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Image Optimization – The Easy Way

Excerpt: There are 100’s of plugins on WordPress, and countless websites offering image optimization...

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There are 100’s of plugins on WordPress, and countless websites offering image optimization, now you can even deliver all your images in something called “.wepb”. How do you deliver the highest-quality cost the fasted? This is a question every SEO asks themselves during their optimization journey, lets go through our guide.

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What Is Image Optimization In SEO?

Image optimization involves reducing the file size of an image on your website to produce the lightest, fastest-serving, highest-quality image you can. Ideally, you want an image to be as small as possible, while still looking like it’s high-quality. This was the users experience is unchanged, while still giving them the best looking content you can.

How Do You Optimize An Image?

There are many different ways you can do this, even if you have no technical experience at all:

  • Image Optimization sites – TinyJPG, TinyPNG
  • WordPress Plugins – Smush
 

There are hundreds of different sites you can turn to that will optimize your image for free, you should do this every time before you upload it to your site, regardless of any plugins you have. 

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Image Optimization Tools

TinyPNG and TinyJPG optimize PNG images and JPG images respectively. These tools are even free, and provide some of the best compression we’ve eve seen! You should never upload an image to your site without sending it through one of these tools first.
 
The two images below are a great examples of image optimization, the first image is 277kbs, while the second image (which is un-optimized) comes in at a heavy 604kbs! That’s more than twice as much data for the same image, and the same quality. If every image you upload is not optimized, you could be in for a surprise at how much data you could be saving.

Optimized Image (207kb)

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Un-Optimized Image (604kb)

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WordPress Plugins

Virtually every WordPress should have an image optimization plugin, here at UpNowCafe, we like to use Smush, it’s a fremium plugin. But it does so much more than image compression, it also lazy loads them! Lazy loading involves loading the image only when it comes into view. This can also be a surefire way to speed your site. 

There are lots of other WordPress Plugins that do this, this just what we like to use!
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Serve Images In Next Generation Formats

Have you heard of WEBP? It’s a super-compressed image format than can save you even more data! While WordPress currently does support direct WEBP uploads, not all browsers can serve them. This is why it’s useful to have a plugin manage this. It will serve your images in WEBP when it can, then it will serve the other images when WEBP is not an option.

  • Smush Pro – Has this as a premium option.
  • WEBP Express – This is a free plugin that does this.

We highly recommend you look into these formats since you will have a better chance of ranking your website higher.

All-In-One Plugins

A plugin we will briefly mention here is Nitropack.io, it is a freemium plugin that puts a badge on the footer of your site. Premium use only starts at $27.43USD per month (premium subscriptions remove the badge). We’ve seen some impressive speeds out of Nitro Pack. Even with WordPress, numerous plugins, and Elementor, we’ve still managed to achieve 90+ speeds on mobile and desktop. This is also done completely automatically while we experienced 0 conflicts with any of our plugins, or themes!

Frequently Asked Questions

If you are going to pay for a tool, we recommend Nitro Pack, since it handles everything.

You want the lightest, highest-quality image possible. There’s no specific number.

Yes! You should always measure the area you need to put the image, and crop it accordingly.

Some optimization plugins will do this automatically. If you audit your page with Google Page Speed, it will inform you if images aren’t properly sized.

It’s a very important on-page issue, and should never be overlooked. It is not the most important part, check out our On-Page SEO Guide!

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