Image Management Strategy

Most business owners with websites (and sadly many web designers too) don’t understand the importance of image size when creating content on a website.

Straight out of a camera, images are massive files. Great for printing, enlarging etc. but far too big and heavy for a website, which needs to be lean and thin to work properly.

On any website, data is your enemy. The less data required to render a page, the faster you can transmit the page  anywhere in the world in a fraction of a second.

How long do you wait when a website you want to look at won’t load? The rest of the world can’t be bothered to wait either…. so compressed images are essential.

WordPress Image Compression

Images will have a huge impact on your sites performance. By default, WordPress uses image files just as you upload them.

This makes it quite common to see slow loading sites waiting for massive file size images to download.

There are several ways to reduce the file sizes of images.

You can use one of the available plugins to crunch files once you have uploaded them to your server. We like Smush & TinyJPG but there are others.

Alternatively, you can compress images for the web before you upload them.

There are several advantages to this approach.

We use Photoshop to compress images and graphics so they are web ready. One advantage is that image compression plugins can sometimes fail.

If a plugin were to become incompatible with your version of WP or your MySQL database version, or your PHP version your server is running then all your plugin compressed images will revert to full size.

The consequence of this is that your site will slow down, causing Google to reduce all your rankings and you will lose traffic.

Compression of your source images removes this issue, permanently.

Blog Post Images

It’s quite common for web designers to spend time and effort setting up all the pages of a website to work quickly, only for the website owner to create new content on the blog, uploading massive images onto their posts.

It doesn’t take many posts with massive images to slow most sites down.

If for example you have a ‘Recent Posts’ section on your home page then your massive images will be copied there, slowing down your home page too. Before you know it, you’ve undone all your web designers hard work optimizing your content.

There is a solution….

There are 2 elements to making images website friendly.

  1. The image size in Pixels
  2. Image file size

Image Re Sizing

Images from modern digital cameras often have a standard size of 4000 x 3000 pixels. Perfect to blow up or print, but far from idea to transmit across the internet.

The vast majority of users online rarely use a screen size wider than 1400 pixels. Uploading images wider than this is just wasting data and loading up your website with data you don’t require.

Unless you need people to be able to download a high resolution version of the image, do not upload massive images.

Resizing images is quite straightforward.

We tend to use Adobe Fireworks, but there are many different methods you can use to resize your images.

One good free online tool is which works well.

Once you have resized all your images, the next step is to crush them to remove excess unrequired data.

Image Compression

A standard 4000 x 3000 pixel image may be around 8 – 10 mb in size.

Cropping to 1400 x 1000 will reduce the file size down to around 1 – 1.5 mb. This is still 10 – 20 x larger than we ideally want it to be.

The target maximum file size for a full screen width image on a page should be 50kb.

Google rank websites based on their mobile load speed on a 3g connection. This requirement means that the maimum data size for a complete page is 100kb. Assuming you want it to perform on Google of course?

For images that are only half width or a 1/3 the width of the page, file sizes can be compressed to 15 – 20kb or less.

Logo’s in your header are generally only a few hundred pixels wide and often only 50 – 100 pixels high, can be compressed to less than 10kb. The less the better. For your logo, a gif of less than 1kb can be used in many instances.

We recommend using the free tools for jpg’s and for png images.

Simply upload your image or images and ech site will automatically choose what it thinks is the best compression level for your image.

Click on the image and you will open a settings section where you can pull a slider for more compression and review the image quality before applying the compression you selected and downloading back to your pc again.

Next, How to Backup WordPress Automatically

We're happy To Help..... The Speed That Your Images Can Load Will Make Or Break Your Website. Resizing & Compressing Images Without Losing Their Visual Appeal Can Be A Challenge - We Can Help, So You Get It Right - Click Here To Get In Touch

Important Wordpress Set Up Factors:

  1. Choice of Hosting
  2. Choice of Theme
  3. Choice of Plugins
  4. Loading Content
  5. Managing Content

For 2020 and beyond, there is one website metric that is more important than ever...... performance.

Little by little, Google is dragging all website owners kicking and screaming into the 21st Century, pushing them towards fast loading, high performance, mobile friendly website to represent their businesses.

The days of publishing something that looks like a website but doesn't perform like one are long gone.

If you want search engines and your customers to take you seriously, you need to tick ALL the performance boxes, not just one or two...... so here is a comprehensive guide to set up and optimise wordpress to work like a finely tuned machine for your business.

Wordpress - The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Wordpress is a great platform for any website, flexible, endlessly customisable, open ended and with a seemingly endless supply of functionality in the form of Wordpress Plugins.

However, Wordpress does have its issues too.

Left to its own devices and not managed correctly, Wordpress can be susceptible to chronic weight gain!! If you don't look out, your Wordpress website will have its head in the biscuit barrel and before you know it, you'll have a heavy old Hector on your hands.

It's easier to set up Wordpress to stay slim and fit than it is to lose the weight once its gained it!

Weight is important for websites because all the code in your website has to be delivered to whoever wants to view your pages.

Each time a request for one of your pages is made, the whole page has to be packed up and sent across the ether to their device.

While of course some users will be on superfast broadband, many won't be. Spare a thought for the man stood in a field using a 3G mobile connection to attempt to read your page content. He needs to get the page loaded just as much as the city dweller with his 4 or 5G download speeds.

What makes this even more critical, is that Google use just that scenario - a man on a 3G mobile connection - to assess website load speed before they decide whether they will include your site in their all important search listings.

If your Wordpress site is data heavy, it won't get delivered to that mobile device in the field before the chap presses the back button and looks for a better alternative.

You may offer the best service, products, advice or whatever, but if your website set up doesn't deliver the goods fast enough, it won't matter..... Google will hate you!

WP Hosting

Fast hosting is a necessity if your WP site is going to load quickly. Free and low cost hosting options are a mistake that many business owners make, thinking that good quality hosting isn't very important.

Think of your web server as the engine in your car. You wouldn't put a diesel van engine in a Ferrari would you? Not if you expected it to perform when you pressed the pedal hard.

A website is the same, if you want a high performance site, you need a high performance server.

Not all hosting companies provide the same quality of server, so it pays to choose wisely. Otherwise your website will be parked on a rickety old server, creaking at the seams, unreliable and slow.

More about Wordpress Hosting

Getting Wordpress Right

Getting Your Wordpress Set Up right is important.

Wordpress Core is quite slim and efficient code.

However, it soon becomes bloated when you start adding Themes, Plugins & Addons, much of which you don't need or won't use.

Every bit of code adds to the overall size of the files that need to be sent and received. The more code you can trim the less data you will send and the faster your site will load on each request.

Next - Choosing Your WP Theme