The first thing to slow down your WordPress website is images. That being said, WordPress image optimization should be the first thing you focus on when you want to improve the speed of your site.
The image files you display on the site can be standard images, or elements of your site’s design, or backgrounds, or anything else.
Basically, every file that ends with a JPG, PNG, or GIF, and is served to visitors through your website, contributes to the overall loading time of the whole thing. And the effect of the images is really important.
I might even say, massively important. In fact, most of the bandwidth of your website, I mean the amount of data your site sends to the visitors, is consumed by images.
If there’s only one thing you should be doing to improve the speed of your site, it’s optimizing your images. Doing just that can cut your site’s loading time by 50% or more.
Okay, so how to do it? In this article, I’ll show you that in just 6 simple steps.
What is Image Optimization?
If your image size is very big but you still want to use that image on your site then using image optimization you can cut your image size to a smaller KB without losing your image quality.
It’s a small process to optimize the size of your image. You can use image optimization plugins and tools for this purpose.
All these image optimization WordPress plugins and tools automatically compress your images. It reduces the size of your images by up to 80% without losing the image quality.
Image Optimization Technique For Increase Website Speed
Step 1 : Use an Image Optimization Plugin
The trick with image optimization plugins is that they improve website performance by reducing the size of the images you have on the site, but the smaller images obtained do not differ in quality from the original.
In short – same quality, smaller size, and perfect solution. Now, there are many WordPress plugins for that. What I recommend, however, is a service called Optimole.
The reason I like it so much is that it offers end-to-end image processing, which means that the actual processing of the images doesn’t happen on your own server, but is transferred to a dedicated server.
To get the plugin, simply search for it in the plugin repository on your dashboard, then install and activate it as you would with any other plugin.
Once the plugin is installed, you can access its settings and features by going to Media / Optimole here. To gain access to this free image optimization service, you will need an API key from optimole.com.
So, first of all, go to optimole official website, register, and click; Email API Key, then go to Inbox and open Incoming Message from Chief Optimole.
Copy the API key, go back to your dashboard, paste the key in this field and then click Connect to Optimole service here.
Once the service is connected it will intercept every image you upload to WordPress and optimize it automatically.
Remember that you have free access to an account at optimole.com where you can see the number of optimized images, the average compression of the images, and even more.
After a while, you can go to the Traffic tab and see some data about the last optimized images. I just install this plugin so don’t have any traffic after 24 hours you can see the traffic here.
All your domains managed through this account will be displayed here in the White List Domains tab, where you can also add new domains.
Just remember to install the plugin on each website and connect to it using the same API key on your dashboard.
Step 2 : Lazy Load Your Images
What is Lazy Load?
Lazy loading is all about taking your images and displaying them on the page if the visitor scrolls down enough to actually see them. The default configuration in WordPress is to load images quickly.
It is unnecessary. Lazy loading ensures that an image is loaded only when it enters the viewport of the visitor. And again, this is something that can be done with plugins.
The good news is that Optimole does this and it’s free. To make sure that feature is enabled on your site, go to WordPress Dashboard Optimole Settings and check if this switch is on.
In addition, you can enable the image replacement functionality, which replaces all image URLs on your website with those optimized by Optimole.
Finally, you can set the default resizing values here for all images with sizes greater than these values, and you can set the compression level to Low, Medium, High, or Automatic.
Remember that high compression may result in a small loss of image quality.
So, choose the most suitable value for your images. Once you have done everything, save the changes and you are good to go.
Step 3 : Generate custom images on the fly
Sounds fancy, but it’s really a simple concept. Here’s the thing, if you wanted to display a chart or graph on your site, the standard way to do it was to create the chart in Excel, save it as an image, and then post it to the site.
Sure, it works, but it takes up a lot of disk space, and thus, bandwidth. A more optimized solution is to use a plugin for this. A plugin like Visualizer: Charts and Graphs.
It’s free, and it gives you a straightforward way to create, manage, and embed interactive charts in your WordPress posts and pages. “Interactive” is the keyword here – your visitors will be able to click on different parts of the chart and see some more details.
So this is how you can cut your loading time by 50% by deciding how you handle your site images.
Step 4 : Use .jpg Instead of PNG
This is because these files are usually quite small in size.
So the only time you really ever need to use a .png file is if you need an image that doesn’t have a background color.
Maybe you like your logo or something like that, and you’ve optimized it inside a photo editing tool, and you’re able to save it as a png file.
In addition, everything on your website should be saved as .jpg.
Step 5 :Correct sizes.
So your theme should have very specific sizes that you should use in each area of your website.
Please be sure to use a photo editing tool to resize those images correctly. What you don’t want to do is cram a 3000-pixel image into a space that only needs to be 300 pixels wide.
So you really want to make sure you have the right sizes.
Step 6:Optimize Images
I will tell you another example plugin for optimizing images. If you don’t want to use optimole you can use the smush plugin.
And then finally, even with those perfect sizes, you always want to optimize your images so that they are perfectly compressed for the web and load easily on your website, and your website for every user. Allow it to load quickly, no matter where it comes from.
So let’s take a look at some options. I want to show you an example of a free plugin. They have a paid version of this, a pro version, but the free plugin works perfectly, allowing you to fully compress all your images on your website.
This is the plugin I am going to suggest you use. So you’re going to jump into your plugins area and you’ll click “Add New”. And you’re just going to do a quick search for “smush.” And it should be the first one that pops up right there.
Click on Install. Click on Activate. And jump into your media library and compress them. This allows you to do about 50 images at once, so eventually, you can have your entire library. It’s such a great tool, and it will help improve your load times instantly.
WordPress Image Optimization for Multilingual Website
If you have a website that contains many images then you should consider optimizing them. And by optimize we mean to reduce the size of the image.
This directly contributes to reducing page loading times, improving your user experience and your SEO score.
In this short tutorial, I will show you how to translate and optimize images on your multilingual WordPress website using Compress JPEG & PNG Image Plugin and WPML.
So, let’s get to the WordPress admin area! Of course, you need to have the WPML Core plugin installed and activated.
Compress JPEG & PNG Image Plugin, click the Add new button, and then type the name of the plugin in the search box. Now, click on the Install button and then Activate.
Click on the link in the admin notification to register a new account. Simply, fill in your name and your email and click on the Register Account button. You will receive an email to activate your account.
Your API Key will be automatically added here once your account is activated. I already have an account so I’ll paste in the API key and save it.
It is worth mentioning that the free plan allows you to compress up to 500 images per month.
For new image uploads, you get three compression options:
Compress images in the background which is the recommended option. Compress images during upload or compress images manually. I would go with the recommended option here. You can also choose the image sizes you want to compress.
I would choose to compress the original image with thumbnails, medium and large versions.
Here, you have options related to the original image. Let’s keep the default here. Once done, don’t forget to save the changes.
In my media library, I have some pictures. You can compress images by selecting ListView and then clicking the Compress button. As you can see here, it shows that it is compressing 4 sizes which correspond to the sizes we selected earlier.
The compression process is complete. Click the Details link here to find out more about the different compressed sizes of the image.
You can compress multiple images by navigating to Media Bulk Optimization. On this screen, you can see some image compression statistics such as the number of images you have in your library, the number of images that have not yet been compressed, and the overall reduction in the size of your images.
To optimize all the existing images in your library, click the Start Bulk Customization button.
As you can see in the progress bar here all the images on our website are optimized now.
It becomes very important that whatever images you use in our blog posts and websites. All those images should be fully optimized so that SEO ranking can be improved.
If you have any questions, please comment below and tell us, we will be happy to help you. With this, share this article with our friends on social media.