Optimize Pictures – Make the Web Faster!

by Christi on July 27, 2011

We are always stressing the importance of optimizing pictures for load speed to all of our website clients as well as our blogging clients. Yes, it is an extra step, and, yes, it takes a little bit more time, but it is a very important step. Why? Because it makes your page load faster which is good for visitors whether they be web spiders or real live people. Optimizing pictures is just one way to speed up page load, but it is also one of the easiest. Google thinks speed is so important, they created a “Make the Web Faster” program and have built tools to help you evaluate the load time of your page and increase the speed.

Sometimes, people get the mistaken idea that optimizing pictures for the web will greatly diminish the quality of the pictures. Let’s look at an example:

My Flowers 1

Picture 1

 

My Flowers 2

Picture 2

Which picture do you think is optimized? The answer is picture 2. There is a slight difference in quality, however, picture one will load much slower. Is there enough difference in the pictures that you would turn off your website visitors with slow pictures just to get that very small amount of extra quality. Actually, I saved the 2nd picture using a medium quality. It could have been saved as high quality and it would have looked even better and, yet, still be optimized. I did this just to show the difference. The picture size is the same, but the file size of the 2nd picture is smaller so, it will load faster. Picture 1 is 291kb, Picture 2 is 29kb.

So, how can you optimize you pictures for speed? You can use tools such as PhotoShop Elements that have a picture optimizer included. This program costs around $80. It is also good for editing pictures for quality. Some versions of Windows include a photo program that you can use to compress file sizes of pictures. If you don’t have a tool available to you for compressing pictures, you can use a free online tool such as the image optimizer at imageoptimizer.net.

Don’t keep your website or blog visitors waiting on slow loading pictures. Oh, and by the way, many of your visitors may now be visiting you on their mobile devise and they definitely don’t want to be kept waiting! Optimize your pictures and help make the web faster.




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