When building a website, optimizing the images for your pages is one of the most important steps you’ll need to take. By optimizing your website images, your pages will load faster, and you’ll be able to get the information to your visitors in a shorter amount of time. Learning the basics of image optimization is critical to your success as a webmaster.
Web Optimized Images
Although you do need to add images to your website, you shouldn’t just have any random pictures that you come across. Instead, you need to choose images that are optimized for the Web. Some images are better than others when it comes to putting them online. If you don’t take the time to optimize them, you will potentially negatively affect the quality of your website.
Choosing the Right Format
When optimizing images for your website, you need to choose the right format. There are a lot of different image formats that you could potentially upload to your site. Do the best formats that are generally accepted as ideal for the Internet are .PNG and .JPG. Using a Jpeg will provide you with a very high quality image, but at the same time it can require a bigger file size. If you want a good domination of quality and a small file size, using a .PNG file is a safe bet.
Sizing the Images
In addition to choosing the right format for your images, you also need to make sure that they are the right size. He have to run a delicate line between making the image big enough to see and making it small enough to keep the file size down. You can use many different graphic or photo editing software programs to alter the size of your images.
The reason that choosing the right size for your images is so important is because it can directly affect the load time of your site. When you have a lot of big images on your pages, it can slow down how faster page loads when someone clicks on a link to it. As you decrease the file size and reduce the number images on your pages, it can speed up the load time of the site.
Why is Load Time Important?
If you are putting images on your pages, you may be wondering why load time really matters that much anyway. Think about when you are surfing the web and you come across a site that takes forever to load. In most cases, you probably get a little bit frustrated. Sometimes, if the site takes longer, you will hit the back button and go check out a different website that offers similar information. In many cases, a slow load time is enough to turn people away and keep them from coming to your site at all.
Besides frustrating your human visitors, you can also mess up your relationship with the search engines. Google uses over 200 different variables to determine how site will rank in their search engine rankings. You need to get as many of these variables working in your favor as possible if you hope to have a chance of getting some free traffic from search engines. One of the variables that they use is page load time. If your page loads fast, this is a positive for your site. If it loads slowly, they will mark your site down in the rankings. While there are definitely a lot of other factors that go into consideration, this is one that you can directly control.
Testing the Pages
Once you play around with an image and optimize it for your website, you need to test out your pages to make sure that they load quickly enough. There is not a specific load time that you should aim for, but use common sense. Put yourself in the shoes of one of your visitors, and ask yourself if the page is taking too long to load. If it generally loads very quickly, then you shouldn’t have to worry about it.
In addition to optimizing the images themselves, you should also use alt tags to improve your chances of ranking in the search engines. If your image cannot be displayed, the alt tag will show up in that space. This is also how visually impaired people find out what is in the picture. Put a descriptive alt tag with a keyword in it.
If you’ll keep these tips in mind, your images will perform much better for your site and potentially help you get more traffic.
Category: Website Tips