Big and beautiful images are great for capturing your readers’ attention but if they are not optimized correctly they can end up doing more harm than good to your blog. If you are guilty of using monster sized images on your blog, then read on.
What’s wrong with large sized images?
First things first, let’s get this straight, there is a difference between using large images on your blog and using monster sized images that have not been optimized. By all means, show off your beautiful photography by using big images on your blog – just make sure you optimize them first, as if you don’t they’re going to slow down your site.
I don’t know about you but I haven’t got the time to sit around and wait for a blog to load, even if it’s one of my favorites! If a blog fails to load within 2 – 3 seconds, I’m likely to click off and look elsewhere and the same probably applies to your readers. Slow loading times cause a high bounce rate and poor user experience, which can have a negative effect on your blog’s SEO. But these are all issues you can avoid by simply optimizing your images!
4 Image Optimization Tips
Use editing software to resize and optimize your blog images
- Before uploading images to your blog, make sure you have optimized them using image editing software. Many image editing applications, including Photoshop, actually have a ‘save for web’ preset that will automatically optimize your images. You can also do it manually – just make sure that whilst you are adjusting the image to the lowest file size acceptable, you are also keeping an eye on its quality. Don’t have Photoshop? That’s okay! There are plenty of free online image editing applications that you can use to optimize your blog images. One of our favorites is PicMonkey, as like Photoshop it makes it super easy to optimize your images for the web.
Limit the file size of your blog images
Image file dimensions and sizes are two different things. The file dimensions are the width and height of the image (usually given in pixels) and the file size is its weight (usually given in Kilobytes KB or Megabytes MB). The dimensions you choose will depend on your blog layout and how big you want your image to be. However it’s important to make sure the file size of your blog images is no more than 80Kb (at absolute most). Dropping the image quality by (up to) 70% will help to reduce the image file size and prevent it from impacting your site speed.
Aim for your home page to be no more than 700KB in total. You can check the KB used by your home page by using the free of charge online Pingdom tool.
Do you save your blog images as JPEGs or PNGs? Not sure? Well you better find out! JPEG is the best option for blog photographs as it offers both reasonable quality and low file sizes. Whilst PNG offers higher quality images, which don’t degrade when they’re re-saved, file sizes tend to be much larger and can slow down your blog.
Optimize your images before uploading them
Although it’s tempting to upload your images straight to WordPress or Blogger and select one of the pre-set images sizes, doing this will actually increase your page loading times. Essentially you will be giving the browser extra code to read and another job to perform, resulting in your blog taking longer to load. Optimizing your images first and then uploading them to your blog is definitely the best way to do it!
As you can see, optimizing your blog images is super easy, so there’s really no excuse not to do it. Getting rid of your monster images will not only speed up your blog but also improve its user experience!
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