Why Do I Need to Optimize Images on my Website?

Why Do I Need to Optimize Images on my Website?

SPEED!  The answer is a very simple one but the process can be time consuming and the process confusing.First, why are images so big? Images you take with your cell phone contain loads of data that you as a viewer will most likely never see. On the back of each image lies a data set which contains a wealth of information such as : time of day it was taken, type of cell phone, position of the phone, latitude and longitude, white balance, exposure and a host of other variables.  All of this data increases the size of each image and thus increases how long a particular image takes to load online.  So do we need this data? NO! Eliminating this data will help decrease the size of the image and thus decrease the time it takes for the image to load on your website. BUT HOW? We’ll get back to that in a minute.

What else can we do to decrease the file size of an image? RESIZE IT! Depending on what device was used to create the image, it may be very large and thus require more time to load.  A simple fix is to resize the image before putting it on your website. Why use an image that is 4000 x 3000 when you only need it to be 400 x 300? But can’t I resize the image with CSS? You can, but using CSS to resize the image can increase your web page’s load time!

Is there a solution to the problem! YES! TinyPNG.com is a great solution to solve a number of the image size issues. This site will start by stripping all of the metadata out of each image. Next, the number of colors used to create the image will be simplified. Say your image is a 24-bit PNG file,  TinyPNG can convert the image to a 8-bit indexed color image. This process will dramatically decrease the size of your image.

Will TinyPNG resize my image? Nope.

Won’t this process distort my images? Nope.

Below are two of the same image. Only the first image has been optimized. Can you tell the difference?

 

So what the point of all this? The goal of this exercise is to decrease load times on your website and thus improve your SEO performance. When all of the images on your site have been sized and optimized properly, your website will load faster! No coding, no programming required!

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