Images are the most important part of the WordPress website or any other website. Without images, most websites will look like black and white text pages. High-quality images are required to get the attention of the visitor. Images add colors to the content and make it more engaging and readable for the visitor. Adding images to the website can also get extra traffic from image search. But in order to have all these advantages, you need to optimize images for the WordPress website.

Many WordPress website owners add images to their website without optimization, which results in the bad performance of the website.

If you want to know how to optimize images for WordPress website, then keep reading. I will tell you some important tips on image optimization. But before that, I will tell you why images are important and what are the benefits of optimizing images for WordPress.

Why Images are Important?

Visual aid is very important to gain the reader’s interest. In other words, images leave a mark on the reader’s mind. There are many reasons why you should use images in your posts and articles on your website.

  • An image can speak many words without any word.
  • Images enhance the connection between the writer and the reader.
  • Images serve as a visual stimulus for a call to action (CTA). CTA can be any task you want your visitor to do. General CTAs include subscribing to the newsletter, sharing the article through social networks, or purchasing the product.

What are the Benefits of Optimizing Images for WordPress website?

Optimizing images have lots of benefits for your website. Here are some of the benefits of optimizing images for the WordPress website.

  • The speed of your website will increase, and Google loves that.
  • Your search engine rankings will improve.
  • You will have a low bounce rate that means you will have more visitors.
  • Your PageSpeed score will increase.
  • Your website will take less space on your server.
  • You will save mobile data plan for your visitors and yourself as websites are accessed through mobile mostly.

Tips To Optimize images for WordPress Website

Your goal to optimize images for WordPress is to reduce the file size without compromising image quality. There is no ideal way to optimize images, but instead, you have to reach a balance. There are many ways you can use to optimize your images. You can also combine different methods to assure the minimum image file size.

Keep reading to learn top tips to optimize images for WordPress.

  1. Compress images before upload
  2. Choose the right format
  3. Crop your images neatly
  4. Resize images for best display
  5. Use CDN
  6. Name your images properly
  7. Remove EXIF data
  8. Use image XML sitemap
  9. Image captions
  10. Use lazy load
  11. Avoid embedding images from external websites
  12. ALT attribute

Compress Images before Upload

Compression is simply a process of reducing the size in bytes of the image without degrading its quality. Image compression is an important step in optimization and can significantly reduce the size of the image. Optimized images are 40% lighter than ordinary images. It improves page load time and saves bandwidth.

When you compress an image, you need to find a balance between compression quality and image size. With minimal compression, you will get a larger file, but with higher image quality. With a high compression level, the image size becomes very small, but it affects the image quality. Your goal should be to find a good ratio between file size and compression level that you use. That is the best approach to optimize images for WordPress.

Choose the Right Format

The two most common types of images are JPEG and PNG. Before you start optimizing, make sure you have selected the right file format. PNG is an uncompressed larger file size which is used for illustrations, screenshots, logos, web series and everything with text. JPEG is a compressed file which slightly reduces image quality, but is smaller in size and is used for photos and general images.

In addition to PNG and JPEG, you will find many other types of image formats. The Internet also uses the GIF format. These are small animated videos. To add small videos to the website always use GIF instead of MP4.

Crop your Images Neatly

WordPress has a built-in image editor that enables you to crop images from the dashboard. After making too many changes in the dashboard, you end up saving multiple versions of the same file. This increases the load on your server and the overall size of your website. Although this may be useful, we recommend cropping images before optimizing and uploading them to the website.

Resize Images for Best Display

You can save more space if you resize the image before uploading it. But how much should you resize it? It really depends on the width and container of your site. Always resize the image to the required size, and then upload it.

Let say you need an image of 300 × 300 pixels, but instead, you upload an image of 3000 × 3000 pixels which is not a good approach. By doing this, you not only increase bandwidth but also makes loading your image very slow.

You can also resize the image right in your WordPress Media Library. Click Media -> Select Image -> Edit Image and select the new sizes for your image.

Use CDN

Using the content delivery network (CDN), the image is fed from the server that is physically closest to the visitor’s location. If a visitor from Pakistan requests a photo and the CDN has a server in Tokyo and New York, the image will be sent from the server in Tokyo. When you have a lot of traffic, you should install CDN with WordPress to reduce load time and get overall performance. Cloudflare is one of the best CDN’s you can use for your website. Using it for your website is good to optimize images for WordPress website.

Name your Images Properly

You should name the images properly before uploading to WordPress because search engines crawl image file names. This helps you get a better ranking on the search engines. The name of the image should represent the image. Name your images with proper words instead of IMG123.

The image file name should be descriptive and keyword rich for better image optimization. Add relevant keywords about your blog post or website at the start of the file name if possible.

Remove EXIF Data

EXIF data contain information about the image such as camera model, focal length, shutter speed, captured date, ISO, aperture, and more. You don’t need this data on the website unless you are a photographer and your website is about photographs. These image optimization plugins help you remove EXIF data: EWWW Image Optimizer, Imagify, Smush, and ShortPixel.

Use Image XML Sitemap

You might consider creating a Sitemap that will help Google notice your photos, including those that cannot be crawled (for example, images uploaded with JavaScript code). Sitemaps provide search engines with more information about the images on your site so they can better understand and index your content.

You can create a separate sitemap for the list of pictures or add it to the existing ones. Thus, none of your images will become invisible to search engines. To create a sitemap for your image, you can use the Google Sitemap File Generator or WordPress Yoast SEO plugin.

Image Captions

Adding captions to images requires additional time and effort, but it’s good to optimize images for WordPress. Captions are not always necessary, but in some cases they are necessary. Image captions help readers better understand the topic while improving SEO efficiency.

You do not need to create captions for all images, as some may stand on their own without a series of additional text. The caption is only useful when you need to give readers more contexts about certain images.

Use Lazy Load

If you upload many images to WordPress, then the lazy load is the best option for you to optimize images for WordPress website. Lazy load is the technique used to optimize images; it only loads images when the user scrolls down to view the image. This technique helps the page load faster and save bandwidth. This also helps you speed up your WordPress site and improves SEO.

Avoid Embedding Images from Other Websites

You need to Avoid embedding images from the other website. You only add extra request if the image is not uploaded on your website. It can also make the speed of your WordPress website slow. Make your WordPress website faster by uploading the images directly on your WordPress website.

ALT Attribute

The ALT attribute must be the same as the image file name. The ALT attribute describes the image to the search engine because the search engine cannot read pixels instead they read the alt tag. Many people leave this field empty, which is not very good for SEO and you can also lose some of the traffic because of this. Try adding website keywords to the ALT image tag. ALT attribute adds value to the SEO of your website and helps your site rank high in search engine.

Final Words

I hope this article helps you understand how to optimize images for WordPress website. Image optimization increases the chance of ranking higher in search engines. It also improves the speed of the website. By following the above mentioned steps, you can fully optimize images for the website.

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