Wondering why your website is still a bit slow?

If you’ve read our blog post on how to speed up your website, you already know that if you don’t optimise your images, your site can really suffer.

Even if you’ve identified that your photos and graphics are an issue, it can be overwhelming to figure out what steps you should take to remedy the situation. The following is a simple guide that will help you figure out how to optimise your images.

File types

There are three main types of files used for images on websites. You’re probably already familiar with .jpeg files because they’re most commonly used. Generally, .jpeg files work best because they can be compressed without drastically sacrificing the quality of the image.

However, you might prefer to use .gif if you are including an animation on your website. Your third option is a .png file which is often used when details in an image file are especially important or when a file is still being edited. You can also save an animation as a .png file.

Optimal size

Image size is the most important aspect of your website photos or graphics when it comes to SEO. If your image is too big, your site will load slowly, and you’ll lose customers. On average, most customers will leave a page that doesn’t load within three seconds.

You should strive to keep your images at 70 kb or less, but this might not always be possible if you’re working with really large images.

How to resize images

If you’re a Photoshop user, you’re in luck. Photoshop has some of the best tools for optimising images without compromising looks.

One of the best ways to resize and optimise your images without losing quality is through clicking on File > Save For Web when you go to save your image. Using Photoshop, you can also mess around with their different image optimisation options including compression level.

If you don’t have Photoshop, you can use free services like Canva and PicMonkey to optimise your image size.

How to name your image file and write an alt attribute

You’ll want to pay careful attention to your image’s file name and alt attribute. Having effective file names and alt attributes can help you with SEO.

For example, if you’re posting a picture of a black leather purse, you’d want to name your file something like ‘black-leather-purse.jpg’ and have your alt attribute do the work of describing your image in plain language as well. 

The most important things to remember when creating names for files and writing alt attributes are:

  • Be descriptive.
  • Don’t stuff with keywords.
  • Use plain language.

It’s important to note that you shouldn’t use alt attributes for decorative images (e.g. an image that does not add to the content of the page).  

How does image optimisation differ for social media?

Image size, alt attributes, and the name of your file don’t really matter much on social media. On social media, it’s more important that you’re editing your photos so that they look best on the different platforms you’re using.

This may mean you need to make different versions of the same image or graphic for each of the platforms you use for your business.

Still confused? Talk to an expert in web development and design.

Digital Bridge can help you bring your website up to speed. If you’re looking to update and optimise an old website or create one from scratch, we can help. You can contact us at hello@digitalbridge.com.au or give us a call at +613 8658 2434.

Digital Bridge is a Melbourne website design, website development and website management agency.