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Did you know your website’s page load speed has a huge effect on visitors? Customers have no patience for slow loading webpages. So what bogs down a website? Most likely it’s all those lovely graphics. Most likely, they’re too big. Easy fix. Reduce image size. The immediate result will be a faster website.

Your website visitors aren’t the only ones that don’t like slow loading webpages. Google hates them too. This month Google is releasing a new search algorithm. ‘Speed Update’ will track how fast a webpage loads on mobile devices. Slow websites will rank lower in Google Searches.

So what are we to do? We need to reduce the size of our images. Optimized graphics result in faster page load speed.

You may be wondering “which images on my website do I need to reduce?” If you’re like most small businesses, you have a ton of graphics on your website. And, have no clue which ones are too big.

Thank goodness there’s a simple way to find out. A free and easy website analyzer you can use to discover your oversized web graphics.

So let’s get started.

 

Which of Your Web Images are Too Big?

To test your website’s images, visit Page Weight by Imgix and type your website’s url in the search box.

Immediately, they’ll show you all the images you need to fix. They’ll even highlight your worst performing image. You’ll notice that they list the image’s dimensions (i.e. width x length pixels) and file size (i.e. KB or Kilobytes). They also point out their recommendations for optimizing the image.

 

 

Above is an example of a graphic image from Launch4Life’s website. Notice that while they have the same dimensions (1100 x 600 pixels) the file size 1017.3kb is too big. The webpage does not need the graphic to be at such a high resolution. The file size is causing slow page load speed.

As a good rule of thumb, the size of your image should match the display size on your website.

For instance, on our WordPress blog the featured image (at the top of the page), shouldn’t be any wider than 700 pixels. So if we used an image that was 3,500 pixels wide, it would be five times larger than we need.

The dimensions of a graphic are only one part of the “size” equation.

Resolution, or image quality, also has an effect. The higher the resolution, the bigger the file size.

Images we view on the web don’t need to have such high resolution. Therefore you should try to reduce the image size down to 100kb. Even better, shoot for 75kb.

 

How to Optimize Your Graphics? Reduce Image Size 

So below is an image I uploaded from my phone. Nice picture of me and my family traveling in Scotland.

In the graphic above, the image on the right is the original. You can see the dimensions are pretty large – 1280 pixels by 960 pixels. The file size – 508,460 KB – is pretty big too.

If I wanted to make this the featured image on my blog post, I would need to reduce both the dimensions and file size.

So how can we do that?

Resizeimage.net is the easiest online tool I’ve found to reduce image size.

You don’t need to set up an account. Upload your image, type in the dimensions you want, and click the Apply Changes button. Wow, it doesn’t get simpler than that.

As a tip, it’s best to choose select JPEG for your output file. JPEG files are smaller than PNGs.

As an added benefit, this program also has a few other simple editing features. You can use it to easily crop images and/or add a custom-colored border. It’s pretty basic, but then again, sometimes that’s all you need.

Once you’re done optimizing each image, you will need to upload the images to your website and place them where they belong.

You could stop there, but I suggest doing a few more things. Even if it’s a bit of extra work.

Number 1, make sure you delete all the old images from your website. Even though they will no longer be displayed, you don’t want them cluttering up your media library.

Number 2, go back and run your website again through Page Weight. Hopefully, your website will now pass with flying colors. Allowing you to feel confident your images are no long dragging messing with the speed of your website.

When you reduce image size the speed of your website should increase. Which means Google won’t penalize your website for being too slow. But most important, faster webpages will make your visitors happy. And happy visitors are more likely to stick around and check out your website.

 

Recommended Online Tools

 

Page Weight By Imigix

https://pageweight.imgix.com/

 

Online Image Resizer

http://resizeimage.net/

 

By Gillian Whitney

Communications Consultant

Launch4Life

gillian@launch4life.com