Images are incredible part of the web and an image can speak thousands of words.
When it comes to blogging, there are cases, where you have to post a lot of images in your articles. When you use a lot of images, for sure, it affects the blog loading time.
And search engines like Google are considering the page load time as a ranking factor, it is required to load images faster to the users.
When it comes to image Optimisation there are a lot of ways to do it. However most of the time we will be trying different methods here and there.
For me, also the same thing happened, here at BlashO, I tried to reduce the loading time of images by trying different steps.
Finally, I settled on the 3 simple steps that helped me to reduce the loading time of images on my blog.
Not just for search engines, it is also important to have a very good user experience.
Yes, when your page loads faster, it definitely improves the user experience.
Currently, BlashO loads in less than 1 second.
Yes, even there are pages with a lot of images, I have seen load time is considerably decreased to a greater extent.
Today, I will take you through those three steps which are simple to follow and of course, your blog loads faster.
Step #1: Automatically reduce image size to load faster
Let’s see the first step, most of the time the image that we’re using in our blog post will be of higher size.
They may not be optimized for the web.
Now the idea is to reduce the size of the image immediately when you embed a new image.
There are a lot of WordPress plugins to perform this operation.
Using this plugin, you can easily reduce the size of all the images on your blog.
This plugin works in 2 different modes.
- First, whenever you upload an image either from your blog post or page, it reduces the size of the image automatically.
- Secondly, this plugin can perform bulk optimisation also that means if your blog is already having a lot of images you can optimise the size of all those images in a single click.
Here at BlashO, there are more than 10000+ images and I was able to optimise all those images in a single click.
- When you are able to reduce the size of images the amount of data that is transferred from your web hosting server to the user will be less and hence loads images faster.
Installing and configuring this plugin won’t take more than 2 to 3 minutes.
In case, if you are blog is having a lot of images this plugin takes some time to optimise all those images. However, you have to be patience and it pays off well.
This is done by optimising the image format it supports png, jpg, gif that too without much losing the quality of the image.
One of the disadvantages of reducing the size of an image is that you will end up losing the quality of the image. This plugin has the options to customise the optimisation levels too.
Step #2: Use a Content Delivery Network (even free CDN works) to deliver images faster
The second method is to use a content delivery network (CDN).
CDN helps to quickly deliver the image from a high-speed server (say, a cloud-based server) to the user.
In fact, it helps to deliver the image in parallel faster and it won’t consume any memory on your web hosting server.
Images will be directly delivered from the CDN servers. There are a lot of CDN providers available in the market.
You can go for a paid one if you are able to afford it. In case, if you are not interested to spend money for a CDN service you can go for a free one also.
I use Jetpack.
The Jetpack plugin is a heavy one, however, I have disabled all of its features and enabled only the Photon CDN.
Photon is a free service provided by automattic the company behind WordPress.
Photon takes all the images from your blog and caches in its own servers (basically WordPress.com cloud). When your page loads, the images will be served directly from their server. Hence your web server won’t be overloaded and the images are served from high-speed server.
Configuring this plugin is not a big deal. All you have to just click one button to enable the image speed.
Once Installed, go to Jetpack > Settings and enable the following option:
You can see the below screenshot which shows, how the loading time a blog post that is having a lot of images had improved. You can see one of my blog post loaded in less than 1 second – the proof below.
You can check this blog post there are a lot of images in it. Then also, the page loaded very fast.
This is because of Photon CDN.
The blog post has many images and you can also see all those images are being loaded faster in parallel in the below proof.
That is the greatest advantage of using CDN for faster image loading. And the load time is very less in terms of milliseconds, especially for images.
The idea of Photon is to reduce the load on your server and share the images faster to users.
It also resizes the image size according to the page needs. It automatically scales down the image size to the required amount.
For a beginner blog, Photon CDN is a very good free service.
You can understand more about how it works.
Step #3: Consider migrating to faster WordPress hosting and reduce download time
Using a CDN server like Photon, we can quickly optimise the size of the image and make them directly from a faster cloud server. Of course, all the images will be delivered very fast to the user.
- However, a point to note here is, Jetpack can only optimise the images used in post and page and not from rest of your blog.
It is also true that the performance of your web hosting server is directly proportional to the load time of all the resources.
When I was with shared Godaddy, my blog was not loading that much faster.
Hence, I migrated to SiteGround web hosting.
Today, BlashO.com loads in less than 1 second.
When you have a faster web server, the images used in other parts of your blog apart from pages/posts can also be loaded faster.
A high-performance hosting service will definitely deliver the images faster.
There are methods to optimize the size of images using free tools that are available on the web.
However, you have to manually optimise it. That’s a tough job.
If you can follow the above 3 steps, you can easily optimise the images and also, make them load faster from high-speed servers.
To quickly summarise the steps:
- Install EWWW Image Optimizer plugin. And reduce the size of all the images used in your blog post and pages, you can also do the bulk optimisation.
- Install Jetpack plugin and activate Photon CDN. It automatically moves all the images to WordPress.com cloud without any hard work.
- Migrate to SiteGround (they offer free migration from your existing hosting provider) and you don’t need to worry much about your image loading time.
As mentioned earlier, search engines love pages that load faster and it ranks them higher.
The loading time of your page directly affects the ranking on search engines and hence affects how much you get traffic to your blog.
Of course, when you have faster-loading images, it improves the overall user experience to a greater extent.