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WP optimization: Why images slow your site & what to do about it

Images are a great way to complete your website content and provide amazing media for your viewers. You get them from great stock websites and insert them in a page. However, due to the number of reasons, images can slow down the website and make it difficult to use. Websites that provide free images usually offer heavy and not optimized files, which slow other websites down. As we already know, website speed is one of the top reasons why people use a website or not. Therefore, you need to do as much as you can, to make your pages fully optimized for a fast, yet interesting user experience. Here are the main reasons why images slow your site and what to do about it.

tablet on a table
Images are an important part of each website, so if you wonder
why images slow your site – think about the image optimization

Most common ways images slow your site

There is a number of reasons why a website is slow and difficult to use. Images are probably the most common one. Therefore, be sure to check if any (or all) the following things are true, and we will help you with the way to fix them.

  • Image size is too big – Image files need to be optimized before putting them on a website. Remember that stock websites usually offer high-quality, but very heavy image files. That’s why resizing the images is one of the first steps in SEO image optimization.
  • The wrong format – Actually, there’s no right or wrong format. However, there are formats that are more suitable for your website and are smaller in size. Avoid BMP and TIFF formats and stick to the more common ones – JPEG, GIF, and PNG.
  • Image cashing disabled – If you enable image cashing, a browser will remember image information and load them faster next time a page opens.
  • Texts in images – Regular text is quite easy to load compared to text graphic, so it’s one of the common reasons why images slow your site.

Why do you need a fast website?

Even though it looks like an easy question, many people are not aware of how important the load speed is. Nowadays, everything is about speedy and instant solutions. Consequently, users don’t want to wait for some pages to load – they will simply go to a similar, yet a faster website. So, if you don’t want to frustrate your users – you need to improve your website speed. Furthermore, a fast website has better SEO ranking and therefore make higher conversion rates. So, if you’re making money on your website, be sure to think about this.

laptop on a table
A fast website means happy users.

How to optimize your images for a faster load speed?

In the previous text, we explained some of the common problems with website speed – caused by poorly optimized images. Finally, we come to a solution on how to improve the website speed and therefore boost your SEO. Let’s see what you can do to increase the load speed of your website, in a couple of simple and easy steps.

Reduce the number of images

Images are a great way to make the page more interesting. However, too many images take more time to load and may be the reason why your website is slow. Try to reduce the number of images and use them only on logical and necessary places on your pages.

Resize

We’ve already talked about this. Image size is important. Be sure to reduce the size of your images, but without drastically damaging the quality. Your users still want to see high-quality images that are clear and colorful.

Extra tip: If you are taking images by yourself, check your camera settings. Set the image size to the desired one, so you don’t need to resize images when you need to upload them on your website. It saves a lot of time!

settings screen
Check the settings of your camera or phone, to get the best image size

Use text where possible

Very often, people use images with quotes or some other text on them. However, these take more time to load, compared to the regular text. The solution – use text instead, but style it so it stands out from the rest of the text on the page.

Use that CDN

Content Delivery Network is an amazing way to speed up your website, especially if you need to use a lot of images. CDN service hosts and serves various files, including images, JavaScript files, etc. It makes these files easier to get, and allows parallel downloads, which means your pages will load much faster.

Enable caching

Caching the images’ information helps a lot with future downloads. Be sure to use a caching plugin, which is the easiest way to solve this problem. Another solution is optimizing the .htacess file but requires a professional to do it.

Other image optimization tips

Image optimization doesn’t only affect load speed. If you use the images in the right way, they can for sure help the general quality of your website and move it higher on the SEO ranking list. A good-quality image optimization needs to include:

  • relevant images – Don’t add images randomly but choose them in accordance with the text. Images shouldn’t serve as decoration but to complete the page and give it better meaning.
  • alt tags – Alt tags describe images when they are not displayed for some reason, or when some people can’t see them.
  • appropriate captions – When you choose images that relevant to the text, you should also caption them in a way that actually tells why an image is a part of a text.

In the end

Image optimization is a simple way to improve (but also decrease) the website quality. You often wonder why images slow your site without thinking about these small details that are far from irrelevant. Optimizing your images correctly will give you a fast load and happy users, who will gladly come back and visit your website over and over.

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