This is a guest post written by Lucy Barret. I didn’t receive any compensation for it. You can find out more about Lucy in the ‘About the Author’ section at the end.
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It is said that “A picture is worth a thousand words!” and that stands true in today’s technological era.
Webmasters tend to use snapshots, HD images, photos sufficiently to catch the user’s attention.
If you don’t use images on your site, it may not attract visitors no matter how meaningful and useful your content is.
These days, there is a heavy competition in online business and everyone wants to grab the maximum number of users at any cost and make them loyal to their brand forever.
So, they use a number of high-resolution images that make the websites heavy and sluggish.
Why do you need to perform image optimization
Image optimization should be on the to-do list of webmasters. Here are some reasons why you need to do image optimization on your WordPress website.
1. Page loading speed matters
Page loading speed matters a lot when you expect better rankings and a steady flow of traffic to your website.
It means that all those websites that load fast, give a pleasant browsing experience to visitors and motivates them to make visits in the future also.
If your WordPress website is slow, users will tend to leave quickly, increasing the bounce rate of your website.
2. Sluggish website = loss in revenue
When users stop visiting your site due to its slow loading speed, its organic rankings start to plummet rapidly, which means you are losing your business.
You can’t afford to lose your revenues just because of your site’s slow speed.
How to optimize images on WordPress websites
1. Use tools to compress images
The size of the images can affect the loading speed of your site up to a great extent. If you use large images with big resolutions, it will consume your resources unnecessarily, put more load on your site’s server and make your site slow.
Compressed images upload quickly, and hence, they improve the performance of your website.
2. Add Alt text to images
Images help users to understand the main subject of contents easily and quickly. But, search engines can’t read your site’s images if there is no Alt text added to it.
Actually, Alt text helps search engines to understand the message of images, and thus, including your WordPress site’s images in the image search results.
You can easily add Alt text to your images. For example, if you want to add Alt text for red flowers, then you need to write the Alt text like this:
<img src = "red–flower.jpg" alt="red Flower" />
3. Choose the correct image format
You need to choose the right image format for your WordPress website because different images have different functions and they are used for different purposes.
In general, JPEG, PNG, and GIF are the common formats that most developers use while setting up WordPress websites.
Let’s understand their usages:
It is a lossy compressed file format, which is suitable for photographs and realistic images.
It includes a restricted image cropping feature that allows you to create small sized images.
You need to have a proper balance between the image size and its loading time to avoid any decline in image quality.
It is suitable for images with a few colors, text-heavy images, and line art.
It works on lossless compression technique for creating compressed images while maintaining its original quality.
Nevertheless, you can’t use this image format for photographs due to its complex nature.
You can use this image format for animated images.
4. Use captions
Generally, plain images can’t answer all the questions, such as what, when, why, who and how. They can’t make it clear what message you want to convey.
But when you add a short caption, it helps readers to easily understand the main idea of the images.
When it comes to web contents, captions are one of the most well-read pieces apart from the headlines.
Therefore, you need to add a short and clear caption to your WordPress images to make them compelling.
5. Make thumbnails
You can create thumbnails to fix the site speed issues caused by the use of large and high-resolution images.
WordPress offers a thumbnail option by default, which creates the preview of the picture. When you use it, the site’s loading time gets reduced to some extent.
The main disadvantage of using thumbnails is that you can’t display the dynamic detail of the pictures.
However, you can add a link to the original image (while attaching a thumbnail to a post/page) by simply going to the attachment menu and choosing “Media file”. Users can see the image in full by clicking the thumbnail.
You can also use website thumb generators to create attractive thumbnails for your use.
6. Use screenshots prudently
Most writers capture the screenshots of other websites and use them as their own material to achieve their digital goals.
Undoubtedly, screenshots help you to make your post compelling and reliable, and attract users, but you must use it prudently on your site as you may fall in legal problems, if the owner of that image pursues you legally for unlawful use of their site’s images.
Just use those screenshots that are vital for your site and make sure that you will not face any problems for using screenshots (of other websites).
Instead of this, you can design your own images using Adobe Photoshop tools.
Images are a part and parcel of websites. They attract readers and help you get traffic to your WordPress website.
But using too many photos, screenshots, animated images, etc., can make your site sluggish.
So, use the above-mentioned tips and suggestions to optimize your WordPress site’s images without any difficulty. It will help your site load quickly and assist you in your SEO efforts.