Images on a website are great sources of attracting visitors to the website. In order to minimize the bounce rate and to maintain substantial traffic flow, images play a crucial role in getting users engaged. Images are the real essence of driving the attention of many whether you are running a personal blog or setting up a business website.
Besides creating an amazing first impression, the images on your websites also needed to be optimized. In order to make your website user-friendly, the images need to load faster as these have a huge impact in defining the loading speed of a website. The optimized images reduce the loading time and assist to acquire better rankings in the search engine results. Today, we are going to analyze the best possible ways for optimizing the image in website design.
1. Need for image optimization
Images that are larger and consumes a lot of space is hugely responsible for slowing down the web pages. Image optimization is the process of decreasing their file size without making them look ugly. After looking up your textual and video content, it is important to focus on the images present on your website.
The visitors get frustrated when they analyze that the website they are trying to access is taking too much time to load. They might choose to leave the domain and try searching for another one.
Search engines tend to punish websites that are not optimized for ideal user experience. The slow loading speed is one of the major factors in ranking lower in SERP’s. Also, people also land on websites through image searches. Make use of analytics tools to identify the sources of traffic to your website.
2. Resizing the images
Reducing the size of images is the ideal solution of achieving the satisfying page loading speeds. However, you need to choose the adequate file size according to the reasonable quality of the images. One of the most widely used ways of achieving this is through image compression. There is a variety of plugins available to do this job however; you can also make use of photo editing tools like Photoshop to optimize your images.
Many tools offer you a leverage of choosing the format of the file and the type of compression to use. The right combination of format and compression type will result in amazing image quality with reduced size.
3. File formats
Choosing the file types are important and you will have different types of options before transforming your image. This includes PNG, JPG and GIF.
The PNG images are of higher quality but due to the consumption of higher server spaces, it is not recommended to utilize for larger images.
The JPEG images give you a leverage of adjusting the quality in accordance with the file size.
The GIF images are used to integrate animated effects. These images perfectly deliver a short message through continuous looping of images.
4. Types of Compression
There are two popular types of compression being used these days: lossy and lossless compression. Which one you should use depends on your business goals.
It involves losing some details from the actual image for making the image smaller in size. The quality will get degraded depends upon how much refinement one needs.
The lossless compression prevents the quality of image to lose by removing only the Meta data on compression. This results in smaller reduction in the file size. You can make use of numerous plugins and tools to achieve lossless compression.
5. Usage of CDN
In order to optimize images present on your website, you can also utilize CDN(content delivery network) services to allow visitors load images faster. Normally when a visitor lands on a website, he/she has to download a website’s images from a hosting server that may locate in a remote region. It could take time even milliseconds to load despite having a fast data connection.
Making use of CDN can solve this problem efficiently. When the user tries to access an image file that is present in CDN data center he/she will get diverted to the nearest station to download these files. Hence, the time required to obtain these files decreases and image loading process speeds up.
6. The browser and Page caching
To bring acceleration in your website’s loading time, browser and page caching techniques are widely utilized. On visiting a website browser caching lets visitors load certain files from the local cache instead of loading them through server each time they visit the site. This means that the loading time will reduce as the images will not take too much time getting files loaded that are already saved in the user’s browser cache.
Page caching refers as search engine’s cached version of the webpages. Instead of approaching the website’s database to serve the user’s request, the cached version of a website that is the recently recorded image gets displayed to the user. So, the time takes to access database and manifest contents, get dropped and users experience fast loading speeds. On the other hand, the most recent version of the website takes time in loading contents like images, videos and other data from databases and user’s may have to wait for a while to get everything showed up properly.
7. Images hotlinking
When other websites make use of images present on your web server in order to publish them on their sites, your website’s loading speed gets effected. Images hotlinking is the act of prohibiting those sites using the content hosted on your server.
When the services of your web server get used by sources other than your own website, it affects the performance of your website eventually. So the solution for handling these kinds of situations is to disable its access to other sites.
8. Choose a faster hosting company
If everything doesn’t seem to work then you should consider opting for a better hosting company that is offering faster response times. The server response time matters as after optimizing the images and other contents on your website couldn’t impact on website’s loading time then it is the indication that there is a problem with your server hosting company. There is a variety of cheaper and effective options out there to choose from.
9. Image sitemaps
Images on a website play a vital role in engaging a huge number of users. A website that takes time in loading contents is highly disliked by search engines and large image file sizes are the main cause of slow page loading speeds. Optimizing the images will not save your disk space on the server but will enhance the performance of your website also. Techniques like browser caching and using CDN are effective in making a website more lightweight and user-friendly. Moreover, search engines prefer to rank higher those websites that take less time in loading the contents of a webpage.
Asad Ali is a digital marketing expert with an extensive experience of 7 years in search engine optimization, conversion optimization and user experience. He is currently working at GO-Gulf Dubai, which is a specialized Website Design & Development agency backed with years of experience of a team of qualified professionals.