How to optimize images for website performance

Are you wondering why you’re not ranking well on Google, or why users are not taking action on your site? Samasitu Website speed is a critical user-experience and SEO factor (affecting bounce rates and rankings), and image sizes often are the overwhelming performance bottleneck.

Contents

I have over 10 years of experience building photography websites, and I routinely have to find the right balance between creating an impressive visual impact and still crafting a fast & user-friendly website experience.

In this detailed guide, I’ll teach you everything you need to know about sizing and compressing images before uploading them to your website, what tools to use, how to test your site’s speed, and much more.

You’ll find straightforward and actionable tips on how to optimize images for the web and how to improve your site’s performance scores quickly, with tons of examples and resources, and a comprehensive FAQ at the end.

This guide is written with photographers in mind but applies to any responsible website owner looking to improve their website’s load times.

Why care about image sizes & website performance?
People expect websites to be really fast. Google does too.

However, most top photography websites out there are slow:

Source: Photography Websites Report: Stats & insights from the websites of the world’s top 100+ photographers

Website performance has become an essential SEO and user-experience factor in recent years, as connection speeds have greatly improved. Any long delays in page load times might cause your website’s visitors to lose interest and leave.

source: Think with Google – Find out how you stack up to new industry benchmarks for mobile page speed

And with half of your visitors likely using a mobile device, delivering optimal image file formats & sizes is critical. Otherwise, your hard-earned traffic decreases, and your Google rankings eventually drop too.

How do you know if your website has image-related performance problems?

Simply test your site with free tools like Google PageSpeed Insights or GTMetrix or Page Weight by imgIX, and you’ll probably see issues like these:

Follow this guide for detailed instructions on how to fix those performance issues. Part 4 explicitly covers all the image-related page speed “opportunities” listed in Google PageSpeed Insights.

So if you care about your site performance (and, in turn, its SEO), you need to control the size of your images.

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