How to Easily Optimise Website Images without Photoshop or Software
One of the main problems we see with clients websites is that they whack up full size images straight from their digital cameras without optimising them or, dare we say it, resizing them beforehand.
Although WordPress does resize and optimise images, this is as a percentage of the original size. Start with an enormous image file size and it will still be considerably larger than it needs to be even after Word Press has done its stuff.
Why does image file size matter we hear you ask? It boils down to three main aspects: page load times, bandwith usage and search engines certainly don’t like slow loading pages.
Geek Speek Alert! ‘Optimising’ is the process of removing unnecessary bytes or information from images without reducing the image quality or by reducing it to an acceptable level – sometimes a trade-off between size and quality depending upon the format of the image
Page Load Times:
Visitors will not hang around your website waiting for pages to load and the larger the image file sizes the longer the pages will take to load. The more images you have on a page the greater the problem. Image file size is not the only factor affecting page load time but it is something very easily rectified.
Bandwidth is like the ‘pipe’ from the server to your website. Every time a page is requested by a visitor it comes gushing (or trickling) down this pipe. The bandwith, amongst other factors not relevant here, not only restricts the rate at which content flows but it is also metered. Your website hosting account will include an amount of bandwith and then usually charge for usage over and above this level.
Google, Yahoo and Bing etc do not want to be sending searchers to slow loading sites. If searchers are not happy with the sites offered up in the SERPS (search engine results pages) then the searchers will simply go and use another search engine. Whilst search engine algorithms are a thorny topic in their own right and forever changing, suffice to say that page load time has always been and probably always will be a consideration in ranking i.e. determining whereabouts your website page/s may appear in the SERPS.
And no this isn’t a pitch to sell graphics programs, training, websites, hosting, marketing or anything else; just simply to share an excellent free resource from Yahoo called Smush.it. Most businesses are already too busy running their businesses and don’t have the time, or inclination, to phaff around in Photoshop or equivalent – assuming they’ve got or even want a graphics program.
So, what does Smush.it do?
- It optimises your images
- Tells you by how much it has compressed them
- And provides a downloadable zip file with the new minimised images.
You have two choices: Upload your image/s for Smush.it to compress – great for images you’ve not yet added to your website. Alternatively, copy and paste in URLs for images already on your website. Either way Smush.it will optimise your images and create a zip file for your to download.
The fact that a search engine, Yahoo, has provided this tool free of charge amply demonstrates just how important it is to ensure your website’s images are optimised and now we’ve told you all about Smush.it you’ve no excuse – have you?