How important is it to optimize images on your WordPress site?
Hugely important. Here’s why. . .
If you are planning on creating a WordPress website for your business or blog, you should prioritize user experience. When visitors find your content engaging, they will spend more time on that particular page, resulting in the improvement of your page’s search rankings.
One effective way of making content engaging is by adding visually appealing content (images or other media) in between the text.
Want to know how important visual content is?
Your audience remembers 80% of what they see, and only 20% of what they read.
But There’s a Catch…
You can’t just add many images on your website page and expect the time-on-page to skyrocket. You have to make sure that the pictures you choose are rich in quality
But this paves the way for another problem, i.e., high-quality images are usually heavy in terms of size. A heavy image contributes to an increase in website load time. And for those of you unaware, an increase in the website load time leads to a boost in the bounce rate.
Website Load Time and Bounce Rate: What You Need to Know
Let’s start this off with a relatable example.
Imagine a random internet user looking for a dinner recipe. Upon searching for it on Google, they come across the top results. Interestingly, you have written about the same recipe, and your blog happens to be among the top results.
Impressed by the SEO title, the internet user decides to check out what you have to offer and clicks on the page link.
But guess what? The recipe page you have published is packed with high-quality images of large sizes. Even though your webpage looks fascinating, it takes forever to load.
Since users are impatient, after a couple of seconds they’ll decide your page isn’t worth their time. Off they bounce to check out a different link.
So, what good is a visually appealing page if no one is patient enough to let it load?
It’s time to reconsider your strategy.
According to Google, the bounce rate increases by 32% if the page load time increases from one second to three seconds. The bounce rate goes up by a whopping 90% when the page load time goes up from one to five seconds.
There is a Solution:
No, the solution isn’t to rely on low-quality images. An ideal solution for reducing the loading time of a web page while ensuring it boasts relevant images is by optimizing them.
In 2021, WordPress alone powers about 40% of the websites. So, the optimization method we will be discussing here will be in regards to a WordPress website.
Typically, you should keep the image file size under 100Kb if your goal is to make the page load faster. But simply compressing an image wouldn’t do the trick since it would most likely result in the image losing detail.
This is why we wouldn’t recommend using WordPress image-compression plugins for optimization purposes. Because at the end of the day, you need a good-quality image too.
So, we hit the web and began our search for easy ways to optimize an image before uploading on WordPress without impacting its quality. And after thorough research, we found a quick and easy way to accomplish the task in two simple steps.
The first step involves upscaling a low or medium-quality image into a high-quality one. Then, this high-quality image is subjected to image compression without significant loss in quality.
We’ll use these two tools:
- AI Image Upscaler by StockPhotos: An efficient image-upscaling tool that allows you to enlarge an image by 2x for free.
- Simple Image Resizer: As its tagline reads, this tool allows you to “Resize image without losing quality!”
Let’s go through an example to explain the process, shall we?
Step 1: Select the Image you want to Upscale
For this example, we have selected the photo of a toddler. This image has a resolution of 1000 x 750 pixels, and its size is 46.4Kb.
[NOTE: To see the original image sizes, click each image in the article.]
Step 2: Upscale the Image Using the AI Image Upscaler
Now that we have our low-quality image available, it’s time to upscale it. But before that, there are some features of the tool in question that you should know about
- AI Image Upscaler supports JPG, PNG, WEBP & BMP formats.
- The free version of this tool allows you to upscale an image of up to 2000 x 2000 pixels.
- It relies on AI to ensure that the upscaled image isn’t a blurred or distorted version of the original image. It adds the right detail to sustain the image quality.
After upscaling the image in our example, its resolution is now 2000 x 1500 pixels, and its size is 190 Kb.
Here’s the upscaled image:
As you can notice, the image’s size has increased and it looks much better than before.
In case you’re curious, here’s a before-and-after comparison.
Step 3: Resizing the Image using Simple Image Resizer
Now, all you have to do to make your image ready to be uploaded on WordPress is bring the file size under 100Kb without affecting the quality. This is where the Simple Image Resizer tool can help us.
Simply add your picture and compress the image by, let’s say, 60%
Then, download the image. Here’s the resized image:
This resized image is just 57.5Kb in terms of size and boasts a resolution of 800 x 600 pixels. As you can see, the resulting image has retained most of the detail found in the upscaled version. This is exactly what we were looking for.
And in case you are wondering, the entire process from downloading the image to upscaling and then resizing it took us barely a minute or two. Isn’t that amazing?
It’s high time for you to launch your WordPress website and tell your story to the world
However, due to people having a short attention span these days, it’s essential to keep them glued to your content. To achieve this, we recommend the use of visual content.
However, heavy image files often cause the page to load slowly, prompting visitors to ditch your website. This is why you should optimize an image before uploading it to WordPress.
We hope that this article did an excellent job explaining to you a fast and easy method of acquiring good-quality images that don’t slow down your website.
Ivy Attié is a content manager, researcher, and author in Stock Photo Press and its many stock media-oriented publications. She is a passionate communicator with a love for visual imagery and an inexhaustible thirst for knowledge. Her background is in communication and journalism, and she also loves literature and performing arts.