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Why it’s important to optimise your website images – Part 2

Here are a few easy ways to optimise images on your WordPress website to make it run smoothly and efficiently.

1. Compress Your WordPress Images

By compressing images, you will reduce their file size. A compressed image file will load faster on your WordPress webpage, improving its speed.

The quickest way to compress images in WordPress is to use an image compression plugin. Such plugins often do more than just utilise compression to optimise images.

Alternatively, you can also manually compress your large images before uploading them to WordPress by using image editing software or a free tool like TinyPNG.

TinyPNG doesn’t only accept PNG images. It works with other image file formats, including WebP and JPEG. All you have to do is upload the image you want to compress, and the tool will reduce its size for you. The tool can also compress multiple files at once.

2. Resize Images

Another way to optimise images for WordPress is to resize their pixel dimensions. Fortunately, this feature is built into the WordPress core.

By default, WordPress uses four different sizes of the same image:
* Thumbnail (150 x 150 pixels)
* Medium (up to 300 x 300 pixels)
* Large (up to 1024 x 1024 pixels)
* Full Size (the original image size)

That being said, you can change them to fit your preferences.

Here’s how to change the default WordPress image sizes via the media library:
1. Open the WordPress dashboard and go to Settings > Media.
2. Enter your preferred maximum width and height for each size.
3. Click Save Changes.

3. Serve Images Through a CDN

A content delivery network (CDN) is a globally distributed system of edge servers that provide fast delivery of website content, including images, videos, CSS, and JavaScript.

If your WordPress website uses a CDN, it will distribute copies of your images from the origin server to edge servers worldwide. The edge servers closest to your visitors will deliver the images.

For example, if your visitor has an Indonesian IP address, an edge server located in Southeast Asia will deliver copies of your content, speeding up load times.

Examples of popular WordPress CDN providers include Cloudflare, KeyCDN, and Sucuri.

4. Clean Up Your WordPress Media Library

As your WordPress site grows, its media library will accumulate a lot of uploaded images. While many of these uploaded images will be featured on your website, many of them might end up unused. For instance, images from deleted blog posts will stay in your media library.

Having many unused images in your library can slow your website down, take up a lot of space on your hosting server, and make media management difficult. Creating and restoring site backups will take longer since more files will be included in them.

Before cleaning your WordPress media library, it’s highly recommended to create a complete backup of your WordPress website first. This way, you’ll be able to restore your website to its normal state if anything goes wrong with the cleanup.

There are two main methods to clean your WordPress media library – manually or automatically with a WordPress plugin.

Here’s how to do it manually by permanently deleting unused images:
1. Open the WordPress admin dashboard.
2. Go to Media > Library.
3. You can either delete the unused images individually or in bulk.
* To delete an image individually, click on it and select Delete permanently.
* To delete images in bulk, click Bulk select, select the unused images, and click Delete permanently.

And here’s how to clean up your WordPress media library by using the Media Cleaner plugin:
1. Open the WordPress admin dashboard.
2. Install and activate the Media Cleaner plugin.
3. Navigate to Media > Cleaner.
4. Click Scan. The unused images will appear as “seems not in use” under the Issue column.
5. Select the images you want to delete, and click Delete (number of selected images) entries.

I hope that some of this has been helpful to you.

Did you miss Part 1? You can check that blog post out here, or read on for Part 3.

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