Optimizing images for Word Press can do wonders for your website. A WordPress site with well-optimized images can get such benefits as fast loading times, enhanced user experience, and better SEO. This blog will tell you four easy ways to optimize images for WordPress. We will also list the best plugins to optimize images and answer some of the most frequently asked questions about WordPress images.
Why It is Important to Optimize Images for WordPress?
Optimizing images on your Word Press website is very important. Here are four reasons why:
- Increase web page speed. Un-optimized images make your web pages heavy and slow to load. By optimizing your large images without sacrificing quality, you can speed up your Website.
- Enhance the user experience. Waiting around longer than usual for a page to load is frustrating for website visitors. The bounce rate – the percentage of visitors who land on a web page and leave without exploring the rest of the site – is very high for websites that take longer than three seconds to load.
- Better search engine optimization (SEO). Search engines like Google favor fast-loading websites and penalize slow websites. If your images are optimized and your website is fast, you are more likely to rank well on search engine results pages (SERPs).
- Save disk space. Optimizing your WordPress images will let you use your hosting resources more efficiently. If your image files occupy less space, you will have more space to add other types of content and features to your website.
Four Easy Methods to Optimize Images for WordPress:
- Compress Your WordPress Images
By compressing images, you will reduce their file size. A compressed image file will load faster on your WordPress webpage, improving its speed. The quickest way to compress images in WordPress is to use an image compression plugin. Such plugins often do more than just utilize compression to optimize images. We will break down two plugins that optimize images in one of the following sections. Alternatively, you can also manually compress your large images before uploading them to WordPress by using image editing software or a free tool like Tiny PNG. TinyPNG doesn’t only accept PNG images. It works with other image file formats, including WebP and JPEG. All you have to do is upload the image you want to compress, and the tool will reduce its size for you. The tool can also compress multiple files at once.
- Resize Images
Another way to optimize images for WordPress is to resize their pixel dimensions. Fortunately, this feature is built into the WordPress core. By default, WordPress uses four different sizes of the same image:
- Thumbnail (150 x 150 pixels)
- Medium (up to 300 x 300 pixels)
- Large (up to 1024 x 1024 pixels)
- Full Size (the original image size)
That being said, you can change them to fit your preferences. Here’s how to change the default WordPress image sizes via the media library:
- Open the WordPress dashboard and go to Settings -> Media.
- Enter your preferred maximum width and height for each size.
- Click Save Changes.
- Serve Images Through a CDN
If your WordPress website uses a CDN, it will distribute copies of your images from the origin server to edge servers worldwide. The edge servers closest to your visitors will deliver the images. For example, if your visitor has an Indonesian IP address, an edge server located in Southeast Asia will deliver copies of your content, speeding up load times.
Examples of popular WordPress CDN providers include Cloudflare, KeyCDN, and Sucuri.
Hostinger’s top WordPress hosting plans Business WordPress and WordPress Pro comes with free Cloudflare CDN. Alternatively, you can also connect it to any Hostinger hosting plan as an add-on.
- Clean Up Your WordPress Media Library
As your WordPress site grows, its media library will accumulate a lot of uploaded images. While many of these uploaded images will be featured on your website, many of them might end up unused. For instance, images from deleted blog posts will stay in your media library. Having many unused images in your library can slow your website down, take up a lot of space on your hosting server, and make media management difficult. Creating and restoring site backups will take longer since more files will be included in them.
Before cleaning your WordPress media library, it’s highly recommended to create a complete backup of your WordPress website first. This way, you’ll be able to restore your website to its normal state if anything goes wrong with the cleanup.
There are two main methods to clean your WordPress media library – manually or automatically with a WordPress plugin.
Here’s how to do it manually by permanently deleting unused images:
- Open the WordPress admin dashboard.
- Go to Media -> Library.
- You can either delete the unused images individually or in bulk.
- To delete an image individually, click on it and select Delete permanently.
- To delete images in bulk, click Bulk select, select the unused images, and click Delete permanently.
And here’s how to clean up your WordPress media library by using the Media Cleaner plugin:
- Open the WordPress admin dashboard.
- Install and activate the Media Cleaner plugin.
- Navigate to Media -> Cleaner.
- Click The unused Scan. images will appear as “Seems not in use” under the Issuecolumn.
- Select the images you want to delete, and click Delete (number of selected images) entries.
- Best WordPress Plugins for Optimizing Images
A WordPress optimization plugin optimizes existing images as well as new ones. Take a look at two of the best WordPress image optimization plugins you can install on your website
- Image Optimization and Lazy Load by Optimole
Optimole is an optimization plugin that optimizes your site’s images via a global CDN (content delivery network). Combined with a cloud-based solution, Optimole reduces the load on your server and speeds up your loading times.
The plugin comes with a one-click setup and automated tools. Simply create an account and insert your API key to activate it. The tools will then automatically run in the background to optimize your images.
- Imagify Image Optimizer
Imagify increases your website speed by automatically resizing and compressing different image formats. Aside from still images, Imagify can also optimize animated graphics.
Imagify has three compression settings – normal, aggressive, and ultra. Normal means lossless compression, while aggressive and ultra are lossy compression types. Compared to lossless compression, lossy reduces the file size more significantly at the expense of some image quality.Imagify’s free plan limits users to 20 MB images per month with a maximum upload size of 2 MB per image.