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Are images ruining your website experience?

Posted 15th April 2019
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Image Sizing and its impact

Visual content. It’s engaging, it’s impactful, it’s pretty much a requirement for any business website in this day and age – but is yours losing you valuable web traffic and your ability to generate leads? Image sizing is important. Large photo and video file sizes will slow your website down.

A reported 40% of users abandon sites that take longer than 3 seconds to load. So you can’t afford to let something easy to prevent like large image file sizes cost you business.

The users abandoning your website are represented in your website’s bounce rate figure. Your bounce rate impacts your Google page ranking, so your images really can cost you. 

“I was 25 when this webpage started loading…” 

We’re not talking about image dimensions here (as much as these must be optimised according to your website design) we’re talking about the number of Kilobytes ‘KBs’ or worse – Megabytes ‘MBs’ – of space they take up.

Think about it. You have a beautiful, show-stopping image as your main header or background on your homepage. You might also have smaller images that showcase the different services or products you provide, to attract users and encourage them to navigate to further pages.

These images all take up physical space on your web page. So when a user visits your page, that data needs time to load.

But every image adds to your load time, so every image file size counts.

Image sizing is important. If your file sizes are too large, do you know what happens to those beautiful, show-stopping images used to lure prospective clients in? Well, 40% of your prospective clients won’t ever get to see them – they’ve already left your yet-to-be-loaded page.

What’s more, 79% of shoppers dissatisfied with a web page’s performance say they’re unlikely to return, and 44% say they’d tell a friend about a bad online experience.

That’s bad for business.

So how do I analyse my web page speed?

Glad you asked.

Google PageSpeed Insights allows you to analyse the performance of your web page on both mobile and desktop. It also provides recommendations as to how you can improve your speed. 

The one downside of PageSpeed Insights is that the ‘How to fix’ sections are really for the tech-savvy and the recommendations for optimising images are code-based.

How can I easily optimise my website images?

There are several ways you can do this. Google suggests utilising the ‘Save for Web (Legacy)’ feature in Photoshop.

Let’s choose the simplest way:

Use the right image formats for the web

Use the right format

.JPG, .PNG, .GIF. The holy trinity. Put your TIF, .SVGs and the like away. They are not welcome.

Image sizing should be suited to your website/cms

Find out your ideal website dimensions depending on where you are placing your image. E.g. full background or header images are likely to be the full-page width, with featured images in your content likely to be smaller.
You can usually find this information in your CMS or if you’re using a website design template, it will be in the documentation.
Having images in the right dimensions means your website won’t spend valuable load time trying to resize them to fit their location.

Use a compression tool or image sizing tool

Use a free web-based compression tool such as Tiny PNG or Image Smaller. You simply upload your images into the tools and they remove any unnecessary meta-data and the like, often reducing file sizes by up to 90%!

Tiny PNG even has its image analyser, which will tell you the number of images it finds on your website, the combined size of these images and then the optimised size, based on the compression Tiny PNG can deliver.

What’s a good image size to aim for?

Image sizing depends on the number of images on your web page. For a fast-loading page, ideally, all the images on your page will take up less than 500KB.

Optimising your image file sizes is quick and simple and could ultimately make you money by reducing the number of bounces on your website. In 2018, Google announced the speed of your website will actively affect where you rank in Google page listing results on mobile devices, so it is worth ensuring all images on your website are optimised within the recommended file size.

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