In this knowledge base article we’ll be running through the importance of optimising images for the web. We’ll discuss why it’s necessary and look at some tools and programmes you can use.
What is image optimisation? #
Image optimisation is the process of reducing the file size of an image, which is to be uploaded to a website.
Why is it important? #
The main reason why image optimisation is important is due to page speed, which in turn impacts SEO and usability. The smaller the image file(s) on your web page, the faster the web page will load. And, the faster your page will load, the better usability and search engine ranking your site will have.
Image optimisation is needed because images taken on professional cameras or even smart phones have a very high resolution and very large dimensions (height & width). These sizes and dimensions are typically too large for your average website.
Who needs to optimise images? #
What are the ideal size & dimensions of an image destined for the web? #
It really depends on the website, but here are some rules of thumb:
- Keep your images below 1,000 pixels wide, unless they’re needed as a background image or in a slider.
- Compress the quality of your image to between 60-80%. It will not only lower the file size, but shouldn’t impact your image’s sharpness.
- Aim for kilobytes, not megabytes. Ideally you should keep images below 250KB. The lower the better.
Tools of the trade #
What online tools can you use? #
We would strongly recommend the Online Image Optimizer – Optimizilla (ImageCompressor.com). But why?
- It’s free,
- Allows great flexibility over the compression,
- Allows you to actually visualise the compression before applying,
- And, lets you optimise up to 20 images at a time.
The limitation, however, is that you cannot reduce the dimensions of the image or crop it.
What downloadable software/programmes can you use? #
While photoshop is the most well-known photo-editing software, it comes at a premium price and is, in our opinion, too complex for the average user.
We would recommend using GIMP (gimp.org) – funny sounding name I know – but it has a good range of tools, lots of support docs and its FREE.
While we won’t be discussing the step by step process of image optimisation, there is a detailed article here that will help.
Good luck, and if we can help in any way, please do get in touch.