The holiday season is finally here. Businesses are making sure to create compelling content pieces for lucrative discounts they are offering. All of this is being done to rope in a good sales period.
However, many webmasters forget that the load time is as important, if not more. After all, no one will know about the great discounts until the content gets fully displayed. Simply put, if your site has a slow load time, all your efforts might go in vain.
Images are counted to be the most critical cause of making your website slow. If your website is taking too much time to load, you might lose much of the traffic and sales. The following stats are a proof of that:
38% of UK online shoppers abandon websites or apps that take more than 10 seconds to load.
74% of users will abandon after waiting five seconds for a mobile-site to load.
A survey by QuBit found that 8% of the users abandon purchase stating slow load time as the reason.
Google relegates slow websites and 75% of the users don’t go beyond the first page of the search result.
However, there is nothing to worry about. In this post, you can learn how you can optimize images for faster loading times.
Tools That Help You Optimize Your Images
There is no doubt that there are many WordPress plugins that can help you out in optimizing your web images—and, we too love them. However, on the other hand, some of these plugins pose serious security risks to a website. In fact, a quarter of the WordPress sites get hacked due to poorly developed plugins.
So if you are not in favor of using WordPress plugins for optimizing your images, this post is for you.
Google PageSpeed Tool
The search giant’s solution to make your website faster comes along with image optimization. PageSpeed Tool also has extensions for Chrome and Firefox that not just mention the extent your images can be optimized but also allow you to download the optimized image with a single click.
One of our clients BestVPNService.com has been using this service for a couple of months now. They have reported considerable decrease in load time which resulted in higher visitor engagement and conversion.
Yahoo! YSlow and Smush.it are two of the oldest optimization tools available. Smush.it works as a lossless tool, i.e. it removes unnecessary bytes from the images without changing their visual quality. It provides an online drag-and-drop uploader or asks you to download YSlow to completely analyze your web pages for performance.
PNG is widely used when it comes to transparent images. TinyPNG.org uses “quantisation technique” that combines similar colors of an image into one color. This allows a 24-bit PNG image to be converted into smaller 8-bit color images. While maintaining the 100% transparency, this also removes all the unnecessary meta-data.
For a photographic image or an image filled with gradients, JPEG compression is the best option. Both WordPress and SitePoint recommend JPG format for photographic images.
For optimizing JPG images, we have found JPEGmini.com to be the ultimate solution. Using image quality detector and JPEG encoder, this tool can reduce the file size up to 5 times. The end result is not just crisp but it looks just like the original.
Before we move to our conclusion, we would like you to see what other experts are sharing about this topic on the web.
Frank Apicella provides an excellent tip for non-PC users:
“A Mac app called ‘Imageoptim’ seems to work best for JPG. And, tinypng.org works best for PNGs—at least that’s from my experience.”
Nishant Chauhan advocates a unique solution if you want to take a different route:
“Try using gZip Code. I use it with leverage browser caching over cache plugins for greater speeds.”
If you have a tip to suggest, then do let us know in the comments section below. Now let us proceed to our conclusion.
IMAGE OPTIMIZATION + CONTENT DELIVERY NETWORK = SUPER FAST WEB EXPERIENCE
Even with all the image optimization tools, higher latency can make your site slow for end-users. However, using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) not just allows to serve content from the closest server location, but it also enables you to handle a large amount of concurrent users.