Large images slow down your web pages which creates a less than optimal user experience. Optimizing images is the process of decreasing their file size, using either a plugin or script, which in turn speeds up the load time of the page. Lossy and lossless compression are two methods commonly used.
How To Optimize Images for Web and Performance
The primary goal of formatting your images is to find the balance between the lowest file size and an acceptable quality. There is more than one way to perform almost all of these optimizations. One of the most popular tools ways is to simply compress them before uploading to WordPress. Usually, this can be done in a tool like Adobe Photoshop or Affinity Photo. Some of these tasks can also be performed using plugins, which we will go into more below.
The two primary things to consider are the file format and type of compression you use. By choosing the right combination of file format and compression type you can reduce your image size by as much as 5 times. You’ll have to experiment with each image or file format to see what works best.
Choose the Right File Format
Before you start modifying your images, make sure you’ve chosen the best file type. There are several types of files you can use:
- PNG – produces higher quality images, but also has a larger file size. Was created as a lossless image format, although it can also be lossy.
- JPEG – uses lossy and lossless optimization. You can adjust the quality level for a good balance of quality and file size.
- GIF – only uses 256 colors. It’s the best choice for animated images. It only uses lossless compression.
There are several others, such as JPEG XR and WebP, but they’re not universally supported by all browsers. Ideally, you should use JPEG (or JPG) for images with lots of color and PNG for simple images.