In order to grab readers’ attention, many bloggers and webmasters will insert some images into their posts. It is good when you want to add some diversity to your content, but what about the webpage loading time and search engine rankings? There are 2 things you need to bear in mind:
- Images with much data or large sizes will take a lot of time to load.
- Images you have uploaded may not be recognized by search engines.
In this respect, we have listed some useful tips to optimize images in WordPress faster page loading speed and higher search rankings, along with some WordPress image optimizer options.
Optimize Images for Faster Webpage Loading
Restrict the Number of Images
Once you have uploaded an image in your post, it will be sent as a separate HTTP request for your readers to fetch or download. Therefore, adding multiple images will take much more time than a single image. For instance, you have added 6 images in your first webpage, each of which is 50KB, and have also added a 300KB image in the second webpage. Although the total image sizes for each webpage is the same, the page loading speed of the first webpage with six separate images will be slower than the webpage with one single image. Because the first webpage needs to send 6 separate HTTP requests, while the second only need to send one single HTTP request. Ideally, you’d better insert no more than 5 images in your article to avoid multiple server requests.
Re-size Large Images
Not only will the number of images affect the page loading, but also the image size. So, you’d better always upload smaller image files which can load quickly. But if you really need some large images, you have to resize them before adding to your post.
In fact, there are a large number of tools available like Picnik and Image Optimizer, which allow you to re-size an image online for image optimization. You only need to import an image and then set the dimension as you want. Besides, with these image re-sizers, you don’t need to compromise on image quality when you reduce the file size.
Optimize Images for Higher Search Rankings
Rename the Image File
If you have uploaded an image file of a WordPress logo in your post, but the file name is something like “40450_1517_8025653_n”, then you have to rename this file at once. It is easy for you to identify the WordPress logo by just looking at the picture, but search engines are not smart enough to understand what it is in this image.
Add Alt Text and Description
Search engines cannot understand an image with some numerical and alphabets like “40450_1517_8025653_n”, so you have to help the search engine spiders understand each of your images with alt text, file name, and description. To include it, you simply add alt=” the description of your image” to your image tag. For the above example the alt text should be something like the following line:
img src=WordPress logo.jpg” alt=” WordPress Logo “
Top WordPress Image Optimizer Options
In addition to considering the above-mentioned tips, you can also make use of some WordPress image optimizers. In the following, we have listed some top options for you to choose.
EWWW Image Optimizer
This plugin can increase the page loading speed of your WordPress site with the effective image optimization. This can lead to the better ranking on SERPs and the improvement of conversion rate.
No matter the images you have already uploaded or the ones you are uploading, this plugin will start the optimization automatically and convert them to the best file formats.
One of the best things of this plugin is that it will start the optimization process in your server but not some third parties. In this case, the whole process will need less time, which is great for handling some large media libraries.
The plugin settings might be complicated for new users, but you do not need to finish all the settings. Instead, you can set up for some specific aspects.
- Decide the optimization level for JPG, PNG, GIF and PDF files. The levels include No Compression, Lossless Compression, Lossy Compression, Maximum Lossless Compression and Maximum Lossy Compression.
- Enable the ExacrtDN to automate image resizing.
- Enable resize detection.
- Resize images with the max width and height in pixels.
- Enable the image conversion, from JPG to PNG, from PNG to JPG and from GIF to PNG.
From the Bulk Optimization page, you can start the optimization for all your old images at once. The new uploaded images will be optimized when they are uploading to your site.
In addition, from your media library, you can find an additional optimization column to see how your images are optimized.
Smush Image Compression and Optimization
This plugin helps you resize, optimize and compress all your website images using the powerful image smusher. It has been tested and benchmarked as the No.1 image optimizer for speed and quality. With the automatic scanning of images, you can ensure the comprehensive optimization easily. In addition, if you want, you can start the bulk optimization or the single optimization based on your needs.
After the installation, this plugin will give you a quick setup that allows you to decide the following key aspects.
- Enable the automatic optimization when the new images are uploaded.
- Preserve the EXIF data such as the focal length, time, date, location and more. This makes image file larger. But for professional photo takers, the information is important.
- Resize the full size images with the maximum width and height.
After entering the plugin settings page, you can decide some detailed configurations. For instance, you can enable the automatic smush for some specific images and determine the exact width and height for the full size imae resizing.
Now, you just need to click the Bulk Smush button to start the optimization.
Kraken.io Image Optimizer
This plugin allows both the intelligent lossy and lossless optimization modes for your images. In the settings page, you can choose between these two modes, enable the automatic optimization for new uploads, resize images with the exact size, choose to remain the EXIF metadata and more.
In the media library, you can select some options to optimize. Here, you just need to pick up your wanted options, choose the optimization mode and click the Done button.
Adding interesting images to your post is undoubtedly useful to attract more readers, but if you haven’t done this in a right way, you may encounter a super slow page loading speed and invisibility in search engine results. Therefore, before inserting these images, you have to optimize them at first by following the above mentioned tips.