Images are attractive, narrate a story, used to convey an idea, set the mood, support a brand’s personality, and do so much more. But they come at a price. – they impact the site’s load time.
A vital component of every website is images. More than 60% of the data loaded on webpages are images according to HTTP Archive. As it’s such a vital factor on nearly all websites, whether news, e-commerce, fashion, travel portals, blogs, etc. optimization of images is essential, especially if you are looking to prevent your image heavy website from slowing down.
No doubt, a website with appealing images is fantastic, but it’s a huge bottleneck for website loading time. And, there is nothing more frustrating than a slow loading website.
A website that loads slowly is unfavorable for both the end-user and SEO (Search Engine Optimization), which means that your website will rank lower on search engine results, which causes fewer page views, customer conversion, and less ad revenue.
It’s best for your website not to be on Google’s hate list.
Fortunately, there are ways you can reduce the loading time of your website, and web developers like Infinity Digital aim for this.
MOST COMMON REASONS FOR IMAGES TO SLOW YOUR WEBSITE DOWN
- Heavy Images – It’s going to take time for a large image to load, and if your website has several large images, that means extra loading time for the website.
- Complex File Formats – Websites can load JPG, GIF, PNG formats quite fast, but some formats such as BMP and TIFF take longer to load and eat into your loading time.
- Unspecified Image Dimensions – An image which is 1000 X 1000 pixels if scaled down to 100 X 100, it takes ten times the effort for your browser to load this. So, it’s essential to scale images properly.
- Graphics With Text – Visuals that have a lot of content which takes longer to load as opposed to a visual with a simple font.
- Images Without Caching Information – Image caching makes a difference a big difference for users. The images of your website are stored on the computer of a visitor temporarily, so every time they visit the website, they don’t have to wait for it to load.
Here’s a look at some simple techniques which can help make your website with a lot of images significantly quicker. Let’s learn how to speed things up!
- Choose The Right File Format – Before you begin modifying your images, ensure you have picked the appropriate format and quality for all images on your website.
The most commonly used formats are JPEG, PNG, and GIF, and all serve different purposes.
JPG – With JPEG images, you can adjust the quality level to achieve the perfect balance between quality and file size. Use this format for images that have a lot of colors.
PNG – Although images quality is higher, the file size is bulkier. Use this format for simple images.
GIF – The perfect choice for animated images. It uses only 256 colors.
There are several other types like WebP, JPEG XR, etc. but these aren’t supported universally by all browsers.
- Resize Images – Resizing images is a must. The file size of an image is affected by its file format, quality, and dimensions. By modifying those, you can reduce your image size.
Dimension – Ensure the image fits the position where you intend to place it. If you upload a smaller image than needed, it will cause pixelation when you enlarge it. And you don’t want a bigger image.
A large image on your website should be showcased as a smaller image but ensure it doesn’t pixelate. The resized images will load much faster in comparison to the original image.
Quality – When you reduce quality, it doesn’t make the image look bad or cheap. It’s only lowering the data used to represent it on the website. How much you reduce will depend on the image, the purpose of the image, etc.
Although it sounds simple, following through with this will do wonders for the loading time of your website.
- Browser Caching – Instead of having the visitor download the same thing every time you page loads, enable browser caching. This lets you store data on the computer of the visitor temporarily, so each time they visit your page, it will load faster.
- Compression – If you enable compression, it’s akin to putting your website into a zip file.
The size of your page drastically reduces with compression and hence, increasing the loading speed. Compression can knock off nearly 50-70% from your CSS and HTML files according to Varvy. That’s a mountain of data which doesn’t have to be downloaded by visitors!
- Load Fewer Images Or Lazy Load – We’re not talking about sacrificing a chunk of your images, we know how important they are, we’re suggesting a technique called lazy loading time.
The idea behind the Lazy Load technique is that the images on your site load right before the user sees them. The images at the bottom of the page will load only when the user gets closer to it and not when your site loads.
If images only load when needed and a fewer number of images are loaded at the same time, not only do you get better performance but also save bandwidth.
If your website has images, which we’re sure it does, then optimization is a must!
It will improve SEO, the performance of your site, and create a better experience for the user.
It’s of utmost importance to ensure that your end user has a seamless experience. This will enable you to capture their attention and add value to your brand.
These tips are easy and straightforward and will make a tremendous difference to the traffic your website generates.
Follow these tips for a website that loads faster!