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Why it’s important to optimise your images

Why it’s important to optimise your website images – Part 1

I bet you’ve heard people say “you should optimise your images” or “you should reduce your load time on your website”.

Do you know what it means? It’s OK if you don’t – most people, unless they’re in the world of web design, don’t.

Optimising your images is much like optimising your business or sales… It’s making the image work FOR you, not AGAINST you. Or, in this case, your website.

When we optimise an image, we are doing a number of things to improve the performance of the website, creating an all-round better User Experience (UX) for the customer.

Here are some reasons why it’s important to optimise your images:

1. Save disk space
This is commonly overlooked because server space is not something website owners monitor. If your image files are huge and occupy a lot of disk space, then your hosting resources will be depleted and your website will lag considerably. Have you spent 3-4 minutes waiting for a website to load? That will be down to image file sizes. The smaller the better.

2. Better SEO
Search engines, particularly Google, favour a fast-loading website and (unofficially) penalise slower-loading websites. Therefore if your images are optimised, your website is fast, and you are more likely to rank higher on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). Labelling your images correctly, including the Alt Tag, Captions, and Descriptions, as well as the image Title, will improve your SEO rankings, too.

3. Increase web page speed
If your images are not optimised properly they will increase the chances of a slower load-time on your site, which will in turn, discourage anyone from using the site. A small image does not mean a poor quality image. It just means you’ve compressed it and reduced the file size. You can still attain a good quality image with a small 90 kb file size. This will increase your web page speed immensely.

4. Enhance the UX
Waiting for a page to load is like watching paint dry. The bounce rate – the percentage of visitors who land on a page and leave without exploring the rest of the site due to load problems – is very high. If a website takes longer than 3-5 seconds, most users will click off it. Keep this in mind.

5. Image galleries
Finally, I’d recommend you go through your media gallery and delete an images that are no longer in use.
You’ll be amazed at how much disk space you’ll save.

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