Optimizing images on your blog or affiliate site is a crucial step to ensure fast loading speeds and good presentation of content. Having images which are too big and bloated can hurt your website so let’s look at some ways of solving this problem.
In this article we will provide a simple no nonsense guide to resizing and optimizing images on your website for people new or fairly new to blogging. All the plugins and resources we suggest are free and easy to use, so you can get your images optimized as quickly as possible and get on with what really matters – creating good content.
The goal should be to get all or almost all images down below 100kb in size. Image size is actually a crucial factor in page loading speeds, accounting for as much as 50% of the loading time of a page.
If pages are taking too long to load, visitors will simply leave and this is not good for someone wanting to make money off their site. Google will see that people don’t stick around on your site and your rankings and traffic will drop accordingly.
This is why it is very important to have your images as small as possible in terms of file size on your posts especially. This means not having images which are too large in terms of size, and not having the file size unneccessarily bloated by running the image at too high a definition that isn’t necessary for your purposes.
Let’s look in more detail at two fantastic free resources to do this – resizeimage.net and the Imagify WordPress plugin. These two resources alone will solve the problem of image size and optimization for the vast majority of bloggers. Let’s look at each in more detail.
Images firstly need to be loaded up to your WordPress site already at the correct size. Some people new to blogging fall in the trap of thinking that because an image is displaying at a smaller size than they uploaded it, then the size of the file has dropped accordingly, but in fact WordPress is just truncating the very large image so it fits onto the page.
The actual file size remains the same and can slow down your page if it is too big. Therefore it is important to make sure the image is resized before you upload it to WordPress, and to do this you can use the imageresize.net tool. This is a fantastic resource that is totally free to use and can resize most images to make them smaller.
You simply visit the site, upload the image you want to resize, and then change the dimensions under the “4. Resize your image” section. The number 6 option also lets you select the file type (jpg is usually fine), and the number 7 option allows you to choose between normal or more aggressive compression.
Normal compression will often produce a perfectly decent image and will reduce the size of the image even further. If the quality is a little lower at this level you can stick with “Best image quality” Once you resize you can preview the images before you download them and change any settings accordingly.
For image size it is better to keep the images under a thousand pixels wide or under and whatever height you want to get the aspect ratio you are looking for. I personally go even lower with image widths of around 650-800 pixels for post images and I usually keep the original aspect ratio and leave the tool to adjust the height accordingly.
The imageresize.net tool is a fantastic resource and I have never had to use anything else for resizing images for blogging. If you want to use an image you found online but it is either far too large or small, this tool can get the image resized so it fits well in the article and also get the file size down so the image loads quickly.
Imagify as a Great Resource to Optimize Images
Once you have got an image the correct dimensions to fit properly into your posts, you can then optimize them even further with the free Imagify WordPress plugin. You can find it on your Plugins page on the Dashboard by clicking on Add New and searching for Imagify and installing and activating the plugin.
Once activated you will need to run through a very simple signup process where you input an email and are sent an API code which you then enter to activate your free license and start using the plugin. It comes with a very generous free allowance of image optimization that you would have to be a using a ton of images to exceed.
Most users can leave the settings as they are. Just make sure that the “Auto-optimize images on upload” box at the top is ticked. Most people use the “Aggressive” optimization as it seems to work best. You can always try Ultra on occasion if it shaves some more size off the image and still gives you a good enough definition.
From the point Imagify is installed, it will then automatically optimize all new images you upload to your WordPress site to the settings you specified, getting the size of them right down.
Imagify also has a fantastic tool which can go back over all your old images and optimize them. This is a very useful tool if you only bump into this resource once you have created a bunch of content. The plugin will go back over all those old pages and posts and reoptimize the images to reduce the file size and help loading speeds.
Note however, it will not reduce the file size but it will not be able to resize them for you in terms of actual width and height of the image. To do this you will have to reupload the original image onto resizeimage.net as we demonstrated above.
With a combination of resizing and using Imagify, the goal should be to get all images uploaded down below 100kb and the lower the better for load times. On occasion this may not be possible but in almost all cases it should be.
This helps especially for loading pages on smaller devices like tablets and iPhones. Having your images too bulky hurts the user experience on these devices especially and given the high percentage of browsing that is done on these devices now, image optimization is an important factor in getting and keeping traffic on your site.
Good Sources For Free Images
For finding free to use images online for your site there are many resources but the one we recommend in particular is Pixabay, which is an excellent site offering well over a million free images in multiple sizes to use for blog. You simply search for a certain topic you want an image for and Pixabay will return all relevant image results for you to look through.
All images are royalty and attribution free so they are ready to download and use and crucially come in sizes that are already good for your blog and will not often need resizing. You can simply upload them to your site and Imagify will do the rest of the optimization to get the file size down.
There are other resources like Flickr which have some free images, but some attribution may be required on these images. If you are looking for a bit higher quality there are some good paid service like Stockphotosecrets which have a much larger library of millions of photos and images to choose from.
Other Image Resources
There are some other great resources around the creation and manipulation of images online. The remove.bg site for instance allows you to upload and image and remove the background on that image very quickly and for free.
For bloggers who want to generate memes, there is also this great free resource on Imgflip which allows you to upload a picture and add your own meme text at the top and bottom of the image.
For creating maps, the createaclickablemap site is another good resources, allowing you to create your own custom map of the major countries like the USA and UK, with states and regions filled in to your own specification. Global maps are also available.
Other Factors in Page Load Speed
If you are looking for other ways to boost your page load speeds, then this video from Income School is a fantastic resources with easy, actionable steps that can have your site running faster in 30 minutes.
Page load speeds depend heavily on image size as we mentioned but also other factors like your host and the type of content you put on your pages and posts. The code of the website can also become bloated and compressing it can make pages load faster.
Income School go through this and some other factors you can influence to boost your page load speeds by taking some simple steps and using some free plugins. It has everything new bloggers and affiliates need to get their site running faster and get the traffic and conversion rates up.
Click here for the Imagify WordPress plugin. It can be downloaded directly from WordPress or by following the link and downloading it as a zip file and reuploading it to your WordPress site.
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