Today it’s all about images and the larger they are, the more attention they attract. But these large images can seriously slow down your WordPress website to the point that it might even affect the way the search engines promote or rank your site.
Site speed is important for both your visitors and the search engines and slow loading can deter both from spending time or effort on your webpages, rendering all your hard work meaningless. Google even penalises slow loading websites so you could even risk losing existing ranking if you don’t speed up your site.
The recommendation on all websites is to keep images to a decent size of no larger than 300kb. However, we know this is difficult if you have a website which is image intensive for say a bed and breakfast or a photography website. The trick is to optimise your images to load really easily and convert your images to the file format that will facilitate quick loading. There are a number of programs which can do this for you when you develop your website and even change existing images to load more efficiently.
Remember that the smaller size images will allow you to make faster back ups too and save you bandwidth ultimately.
Most of these plugins can run on your site without the intervention of a third party to receive, process and return your images. Another nice thing is ease of use in optimising hundreds of images in a few minutes.
The one plugin which makes this really easy is WP Smush and as the name indicates, it really compresses the images for your site. WP Smush lets you compress JPEG, GIF and PNG images up to 32MB individually or in bulk.
The plugin works by stripping meta data from JPEG files, optimizing JPEG compression, converting certain GIFs to indexed PNGs and stripping the unused colors from indexed images. It sounds complicated but you don’t have to do a thing. You can just sit back and wait while you automate all your images. This plug in is also compatible with NextGen Gallery and WP Retina which deal with high quality images.
Hammy is another one you should use is you are into adaptive design This plugin will work on all existing images and regenerates a number of smaller sized images for your content area depending on content width.. Someone visiting your site will then be assured of the most appropriate sized image for their viewing.This is used especially for mobile friendly websites and for the mobile user.
EWWW Image Optimiser
EWWW Image Optimizer uses lossless optimization techniques. But what does that mean? It changes image size but not the image quality which will be exactly the same before and after the optimization. The only thing that will change is your file size with one small exception to this and that is for GIF animations. For more information visit their official site
There are many more such plugins which Imaginet has not mentioned so as to avoid confusion but a personal search is worthwhile if you want to find something to meet your custom needs.