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These days it’s hard to imagine an e-commerce website with absolutely zero visual content as it’s an integral part of a successful online business. No matter what you do, you have to post some sort of pictures online – advertising images of your products or services you provide, photos of you or your employees, etc.
However, if you don’t optimize your images, even if they look sensationally gorgeous and eye-catching, they can do more harm than good. For instance, they can considerably slow down your website and scare away potential customers. Therefore, it’s your duty to master image optimization for your business to be flourishing.
What is Image Optimization?
Optimizing visual content means making sure that it looks flawlessly remarkable – in mobile and desktop versions – without being a hindrance to your website’s performance. In other words, after image optimization is done, you should have photos of high quality and low file size on your website.
What is a File Size?
File size is how many bytes a file takes up in a device’s memory or on a server. The smaller the files, the less space they will take up and, subsequently, the faster the loading speed of your website will be.
Depending on the camera that was used and the amount of editing that was done, the size of an average JPEG image may vary from around 4 to 15 or even 20 MBs. For a web page, an image of 15 megabytes is huge. An image of 7 or 8 MBs is also considered to be quite large; especially if you need to upload a batch of them. But an image of 250 KBs or kilobytes is substantially more manageable.
For example, you want to fill a single webpage with 40 images.
If you want to upload 40 images of 8 MBs each to a single webpage, they will take up 320 MBs. But if you downsize those photos and make them 250 KBs each, they will occupy only 10 MBs on your server. That’s an astonishing difference, isn’t it?
Why Do Your Images Need to Be Optimized?
Just like every file on your computer, every webpage has a certain size. The bigger the size of a webpage, the more time it’ll take for it to load. Now, try to remember the last time you wanted to buy something online and you had to wait excruciatingly long for the website to load. At that moment, you probably felt annoyance, impatience, and frustration, which made you leave the website without waiting for it to fully load and go to a different one.
If you fill your website with unoptimized images, your visitors and potential customers will have the same bad shopping experience. And most likely, they will also leave your website without making a purchase.
If you write a copious amount of text on your webpage, its size will barely increase. On the other hand, high-resolution photos may look amazingly sharp and have a lot of fine details, but they also tend to be quite big. Large-sized images are the worst enemy of your website’s loading speed since they are going to take forever to fully load; especially in the mobile version. That’s something that you should want to avoid, considering that a vast majority of people visit websites from their smartphones, while they are commuting or having a break.
How to Optimize Images For Web
Here’s what you should do before publishing your visual content online.
Compress. Image compression is a cornerstone of optimization since it allows you to drastically reduce the file size of your photos while preserving their great quality. For instance, you can downsize an image of 10 MBs to 200-300 KBs; and you won’t see much of a difference between the compressed copy and the original quality-wise. Most editing programs offer image compression, but if you don’t have any of them on your computer, you can use an online photo compressor that will process your photos within a few minutes.
Crop. A lot of common website builders offer variously shaped image templates. For example, your portrait might be in a shape of a circle on your “About” page. If you upload your original, rectangular photo, you end up with an awkwardly cropped image on your website. Some website builders allow you to adjust a photo to fit it into a template better, but even that may not give you the desired results. By cropping your image beforehand, you will ensure that your portrait looks impeccable. Moreover, this can be easily done with an online image cropper.
In some cases, it might be a good idea to do a combination of both: crop an image first, then compress it.
In the modern world, visual content is unbelievably important. But so is optimizing it for the web. Moreover, it is vitally crucial, if you want to keep potential customers on your website and give them a spectacular shopping experience, as well as rank higher in search engines. Image optimization doesn’t take long but makes a world of a difference.