Why You Should Optimise Your Website Images
Image optimisation is one of the most important parts of building a fast and user-friendly website. And yet, it’s something that is more often than not, totally ignored by web designers and developers.
In this article, we’re going to talk you through what image optimisation is and why it’s so important.
What Is Image Optimisation?
Cameras nowadays are brilliant, the image quality, detail and size of photos that can be captured are staggering.
Let’s be realistic, even the camera you have in your pocket, also known as a smartphone, can take some seriously good quality images.
However, all of that quality doesn’t come cheap in the file size stakes.
Have you ever gone onto a website and it’s taken ages to load? Well, quite often one of the main culprits for the slow load time are the images, but this can be fixed with image optimisation.
Optimising an image is a process where you create a top-quality image whilst maintaining the smallest file size you can.
It’s not an easy job but it’s vital for any website, especially an e-commerce site as they are hugely image reliant.
When you optimise your website images, as well as the quality of the image, you also have to consider what file type to use and how much compression to apply.
Why Is It Important?
Put simply, large files take time to download and this is a problem for two reasons…
The end-user won’t hang around on your site if it’s taking ages to load. In fact, most users won’t tolerate a page taking more than 2 seconds to fill their screen before closing the window and heading somewhere else.
This means that image optimisation is an important factor in creating a great user experience and retaining visitors to your site.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Your load time isn’t only important for the user experience either.
Your page load time and how an image has been labelled are things that search engines use to decide where to place you in their rankings.
So image optimisation is also an important element in your SEO strategy.
Large files are slow to load as they hold a lot of data. And the more data a file has the more energy is needed to send it between servers and devices.
Using this energy releases greenhouse gases into the environment.
The most sustainable thing to do would be to not have any images on your website at all. But that’s not always possible so it’s important to ensure the images you do use are as small and optimised as they can be, helping to minimise your website’s impact on the environment.
How To Optimise Website Images
It’s advised to keep your web pages under 1MB for faster loading times. But, if you’re not careful your image files can quickly fill that quota and more.
Thankfully there are some simple ways to optimise your images, which we’ve outlined for you the most effective and simple ways to optimise your website images in our other article.
Written by Lee Skellett
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