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01 Mar

Why Image Optimization Matters

Chances are that using optimized images wasn't an item on your checklist when you created or redesigned your website. Is it really that important? What for?

An optimized image will reduce the file's size, meaning that they will load up faster when someone browses your website while on a cell phones or tablet. With mobile devices being increasingly popular, it's important that we keep the amount of data needed for the site to display properly to a minimum. Desktop and laptop computers are typically more powerful than a mobile device, so they can usually display websites faster. 

What are my options for optimizing images? Good question, I'm glad you asked! The brief technical answer is you can use lossless or lossy compression to optimize images. But what does that mean? Simply put, lossless compression will make the image file size smaller without any loss of quality to the image itself.  There's usually some data that's embedded in the file itself that doesn't have anything to the image quality. That data can be removed safely. This is the preferred option. The other option is lossy compression. That means that the file size will get smaller and the image quality will decrease, which makes the image blurry and hard to see. This isn't the option that we want to use.

So how do you go about optimizing images? Do you have to pay someone to do it for you or is it something you can do on your on? There's a tool that we like to recommend for optimizing images: www.tinypng.com. This is a nice one because it lets you drag and drop your images from your computer to the webpage and it can process both photos, like the .jpg files you get from a digital camera, or .png ,which your graphic designer might create if the background needs to be transparent. The other nice thing about this tool is that it tells you how much data it’s saving you and by what percentage the file has been reduced. Real savings shown in real time!

So far, we've learned that optimized images are good for your website visitors and it's something you can do on your own. Wanna know something else? Google likes optimized images as well, since they help webpages load faster. If you're looking for something to tell you what images you need to optimize, you should check out Google Page Speed. Just enter the URL for the page you want to test and it will give you a score; one of the things that it will tell you is what images can be optimized to reduce their file size to create a faster loading page.

On each site that we build we make sure to optimize the images so that they load as fast as possible. If you need help optimizing the images for your site, reach out to us and we can help. 


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