Image Speed, are Your Images Up to Speed?
Is image speed, and hence page speed, important for both ranking and user experience? In this article, you will find the truth.
If you would prefer to read, the textual version of the article follows the video.
Firstly, lets dispense with the page speed urban myth. which states that page speed is a major page ranking factor.
Page speed is NOT an important page ranking factor. So large, slow loading pictures (image speed) will not affect your page ranking significantly with the search engines.
On the other hand, slow page load time caused by image speed will have an effect on your readers. Nobody likes waiting more than a few seconds for a page to load.
The myth stems from a statement by Google in 2010, which stated: less than 1% of search queries would be affected by how fast a page was loaded (“pagespeed”). That means your pages have to be really slow, before you have to worry.
Google has noted that pagespeed is a factor on mobile search. Nevertheless, it is still of minor importance compared to the relevance and quality of the content.
The Best Reason to Increase Pagespeed
Although pagespeed may not be a significant factor with the search engines, your site pagespeeds should still concern you. Slow pages decrease customer satisfaction, and research has shown faster site speed can increase conversions.
Compressing your image files to increase image speed, without significantly affecting visual quality, is the best way to give your visitors a speedy experience.
Method: How to Optimize Images
Use TinyPNG, a free service, to compress your .png and .jpg image files.
Just drag your images into the box on the page. When the panda has done its thing, download the compressed files for your website.
TinyPNG uses smart lossy compression techniques to reduce the file size of your PNG files. By selectively decreasing the number of colours in the image, fewer bytes are required to store the data. The effect is nearly invisible but it makes a very large difference in file size.
In the above image the file size is reduced by more than 70%. Can you spot the difference?
If you use WordPress, you have a few automated options available to you.
WordPress User Bonus 1
The Compress JPEG & PNG images plugin by TinyPNG. This plugin automatically optimizes all your images by integrating with the popular image compression services TinyJPG and TinyPNG.
There are no file size limits with the plugin. With a free account you can optimize roughly 100 images each month (based on a regular WordPress installation).
WordPress User Bonus 2
WordPress Smush Image Compression and Optimization, brought to you by WPMU DEV.
Smush has been benchmarked and tested number one for speed and quality and is the award-winning, proven crowd favourite image optimization plugin for WordPress. Now with image resizing.
How Does Image Optimization Work?
After you upload an image to your WordPress site, the image is analysed to apply the best possible optimization. The result is sent back to your WordPress site and will replace the original image with a smaller one. On average JPEG images are compressed by 40-60% and PNG images by 50-80% without visible loss in quality. Your website will load faster for your visitors, and you will save storage space and bandwidth!
Is Image Speed Killing Your Website Conclusion
Do not stress about pagespeed, concentrate on content first. Using a tester like Google’s PageSpeed Insights will tell you whether your images could benefit from compression.
Bandwidth is increasing all the time, making page size less and less important. With the advent of super-fast broadband almost everywhere, you can virtually forget about image size and do what you like.
For WordPress users, automating image optimisation could not be easier, so the problem does not really exist anymore.
Finally, many thanks to Cath Andrews, Head of SiteSell‘s Content Team for prompting this article.
Well, I hope you liked this tutorial and found it helpful. If you have any comments, corrections or items you think should be added to, ‘Is Image Speed Killing Your Website‘, please do not hesitate to let me have them in the comment box below.