Compressing Images and Improving Site Speed

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Optimising your website speed is an essential ongoing task. As people become increasingly impatient in daily life, a slow site speed can be the difference between make or break for your website.

Can you rely on your customers to patiently wait for your website to load, or are customers slipping through your fingers through exasperation with the speed of your site?

We think some things are better not left to chance.

In general, fast loading websites perform much better across all devices. A faster website provides your clients with a far better user experience, which in turn will increase engagement and crucially, overall conversions.

Slower loading websites will perform poorly on all devices, negatively impacting user experience and search engine rankings. Due to the new changes that Google have made to their algorithm that now features mobile-first indexing, it's becoming more important to keep your customers engaged with a super-fast site speed.

Although there are many tools that can be used to assess your site speed, our personal favourites are:

  • Google Site Speed Insights
  • WooRank
  • Pingdom

Although there are many different ways to improve site speed - a few are quicker to implement than others, and often they are fixing the same key culprits. Here are a few important areas to look at:

Minimize CSS, JavaScript and HTML

This is a job for your web developer. Optimising the coding of a website can dramatically improve the speed of a website as there is less to load when a user clicks onto your site.

Redirects

From an SEO perspective, reducing redirects has many benefits. Ideally, every three months the redirects should be checked and tested to ensure that they are all correct. Any that are no longer needed should be removed, to reduce superfluous coding on your site.

Enable Caching

Another job for your web developer. Enabling caching means that each time you visit a website, the text, images and files will be loaded and stored. This means that the next time you visit that website, it will load quickly as the majority of the elements will already be stored on your device.

If caching isn’t enabled, your site’s elements need to load individually each time the user visits your site. Understandably, if you have a large site with many elements, this can start to deter an impatient user.

Compress Images

Uncompressed images are normally the main reason that a site is running slowly. Usually, the size of an image isn't considered when uploading images to a site, and large file sizes can slow site speed substantially.

Large images such as header images are likely to be a large file size, as well as any professional photography. To compress images, we use one of the following two methods:

We use Photoshop to compress both individual and large batches of images.

 To compress images in Photoshop:

  • Save > Export > Save for Web & Devices
  • When the dialogue box appears, reduce the quality amount. The file size will reduce underneath the preview of the image. The previewed image will also alter as you change the quality amount, so ensure that the image is still clear after you have finished reducing the quality.
  • Once you’re happy, save the image.

 

An alternative option is to use Tiny JPEG, a website that compresses the images for you. Tiny JPEG can compress 20 images at a time, so long as they are all under 5GB per image.

 

There are many other ways to optimise the speed of your site, but the examples here should be carried out on a regular basis to ensure that your user can quickly navigate around your website.

 

For more information about site speed and our SEO services, get in touch with our team today. 

 

post by Alice
Client Portal.