Why is optimising images is important?

Resize images and gain more speed

The importance of optimised images 

Who is this tip for?
It's for website owners, who can manage their content but are not professional designers and/or image editors.

Nowadays, more and more business owners can edit their websites. They write blogs and update content. If a typical small business can do this on a long term basis without any help, that's already a great success. However, you need to be careful with the images you upload: Oversized photos can slow down your website. If your visitors have to wait too long for a web page to load they will leave your site and look elsewhere.

Although an image you've uploaded may seem to be OK at first glance, that doesn't necessarily mean that it is. In the case of a responsive website, you may assume that the size of the uploaded image is ideal because it looks perfect. However, the image might be much larger than the optimal size and will consequently slow down your website.

oversized image example on a screen

Internet connection speed is continuously increasing, even on mobile devices (3G, 4G, 5G). That's why it's quite hard to realise if the image is oversized. No matter how fast your website seems to be, it doesn't mean that it is. As Google says, it's for the user experience why Google wants web developers to build faster websites. But we believe there's something else behind it, too. Google crawlers 'read' all accessible sites all over the world. Imagine how much energy Google needs to do the job. When a website is faster, it's easier for Google to read and analyse it.
As such, the reward for those websites which make the job easier for Google is getting a better ranking.

There are three things you should do to ensure your images don't slow your website:

  • Ask your webmaster about the optimal image size on that particular page. You don't need to remember the size, but we believe you must understand the difference between file size and size in pixels.
  • Resize the image to the suggested size by using any free image editing software (one of my favourites is XnView)
  • Use a free online image optimiser before you upload your image (our favourite is kraken.io)

Following these three simple steps, you could reduce the size of your image files by up to 80%.

Snail on blue flower

You may ask yourself: Do I have to bother with this?

We think, yes, you should. Oversized images can have a negative impact on the search results of your website. On top of that, don't forget: Browsing on a mobile phone is often made by a mobile network connection. It's much slower than the connection you use on your laptop.

If you've already learnt how to update a website, it's worth taking another 30 minutes to learn how to create not just 'usable' but optimised images as well.

If you need any help with website design, web development or image optimisation, we are happy to help.

Contact us