Do your photograph images weigh 200k to 1M or more? You want skinny lossy formats, not fat lossless images. Here is the fastest way to fix them. Speed up your pages.
Lossy photos are much smaller file sizes. Lossy doesn’t mean bad or lousy. There is no loss of visual quality. Unneeded data is removed. Fix the photo size with unnoticeable removal of information. Repair your entire media library. Most sites are image intensive. 55- to 88-percent of page weight is often images. Image processing occurs on your host server using WordPress features.
Converting non-transparent PNG photos to JPEG format are opportunities for better speed. The default WordPress 82-quality setting is a Photoshop compression quality of 50. That passes the WebPagetest.org criteria of “goodness.” The criteria for best-practice speed optimization.
The novice error is choosing the wrong image file format. This mistake happens often. Photos shouldn’t be PNG format. Convert non-transparent PNGs to JPEGs format – and reduce page weight.
Does image optimization always make a big speed difference? Not always. The needle may not move. Image loads are boosted by browser parallel loading. Still, we do image optimization.
We set images to reconfigure with a maximum width, height and quality. When a contributor uploads anything larger, it’s automatically scaled down and replaces the original image.
Bulk-resizing repairs previously uploaded images to free up disk space – and make backups consume fewer server resources. This keeps your server fast.
Retroactive reprocessing of media library images is one of our secret speed tricks.
This is not a paid subscription service (API) like many image optimization services or plugins. There’s no repetitive annual *rental* fees for usage.
WordPress has automatic image optimization features. But not for original images, only resized images like thumbnails.
Don’t be seduced by our competitor’s Smush plugin. Optimization plugins like free Smush (1 million+ active installs) do not resize image automatically. They only change the compression. And it isn’t lossy compression. It’s lossless. That sounds like a good thing but it’s not. Smush only compresses images by about 10 percent. Whereas, visually-lossless or lossy compression reduce image weight by 70 percent. Free Smush plugin is the worst choice for speed.
Constrain all uploaded images to a reasonable size limit. They will still be large enough for typical website needs. Bulk image resizing allows you to process all existing images in the media library. This is ideal for sites that don’t require hi-resolution original images to be stored. Or when semi-skilled site contributors don’t understand how to scale images before uploading.
Photos from modern cameras and cellphones are too large for full-size browser display. DSLR camera photos are for high-quality printing. They’re oversized for web page display. They turn your site into a slug for speed.
Compression and resize happen immediately upon image upload, but before WordPress processing occurs. WordPress behaves exactly the same as always.
Don’t use this process for the following:
- Stock art download sites.
- Providing high-resolution print images.
- Storing a high-resolution photo archive.
During upload WordPress keeps the original full-size image in the media library. Depending on the original size, WordPress creates up to 4 smaller-sized file copies:
These are for embedding on your pages and posts. The original sits on the server unused, taking up server disk space. That usually isn’t a big issue. But we’ve seen exceptions. These images make website backup impossible if your media library grows too large for server resources. You’ll get server throttling or resource overruns.
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