Images are the most appealing element that drives customer’s attention towards your WooCommerce store. To make the website visually attractive, high-quality images are essential. However, it often hinders the fast performance of websites resulting in decreased conversions. Images can never be avoided from a website, but it can definitely be optimized to improve website load times. Here is an article to give an insight into how you can optimize images to improve the site’s performance.
Why Speeding up the Online store is Necessary?
In an age when online shopping space is thriving, it is apparent that customers would expect a smooth shopping experience. Every single second that a visitor spends on your website can immensely influence their shopping behaviour. If you make them wait, they can easily switch to the competitors by simply abandoning your page. In addition to losing sales, its customer loyalty that is at stake if the website doesn’t load fast. According to Kissmetrics, 79% of users have agreed that they are less likely to return to a slow-performing website. This is a very disturbing figure for any online store owner. Just like web shoppers, search engines too love faster websites and consider it an important factor for ranking. Search engines will crawl your website slower if it is slow and it can put all your marketing efforts in vain.
How Fast your WooCommerce Site Should Be?
If you do not want your website to mess with the visitor’s patience, make sure that it loads extremely fast. To be precise, it should load in 2 seconds or less as that’s what 47% of consumers expect according to research. The study also reveals that 40% of users abandon a website if the loading time is more than 3 seconds. The answer to how fast your site should be is very simple, it should be as fast as possible. A delay by even a single second can marginally reduce sales and customer satisfaction.
Tools to Find Speed of Your website
To analyze the speed of the webpage and to discover the bottlenecks, make use of these free tools available online. You can also find useful tips to improve the site’s performance.
- Page Speed Insights by Google
- Pingdom Page Speed
After you have analyzed the website speed, you will get to notice factors that are affecting the site’s speed. And don’t be surprised if you find that some of the heaviest files on your WooCommerce website are the images. Since images are what make your website appealing and informative, taking it off is an impossible task. The solution to this is to optimize images. Having said that, you must also ensure that your website does not feature any low-quality images. Here are some ways to Optimise your Images to Improve the Site’s Speed.
Use the Correct format to Save the Image
Choosing the right format for images on your website is a great technique to speed up the website. The most popular image formats are PNG (Portable Network Graphics) and JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group). The selection of the format must depend on the desired image quality, file size, and type of Image. PNG images rank higher on quality whereas JPEG offers smaller image file sizes. The major difference lies in the compression format as JPEG is lossy and PNG is lossless. This implies that every time a JPEG image is saved, the quality degrades while it doesn’t happen if the image is PNG. Since both formats have their own pros and cons, the key is choosing the right format for the right image. It is advisable to use JPEG for product images and backgrounds. Further, JPEG is also recommended for images that use different colors like photographs and realistic images. PNG format is appropriate for smaller images such as logos or icons. Some other instances when PNG format can be used are for images with:
- Transparent backgrounds
- For screenshots or images that don’t use a lot of different colours
- When you want to retain the quality of a detailed image regardless of the file size
Resize the Image
The image size plays an important role in deciding the performance of your website. It is always a good idea to check the image size that you’ll need before uploading it to the website. Uploading an image without resizing can multiply the efforts that the browser has to put in, thus making it slow to load. It is also essential to understand the difference between image size and image file size. The image file size implies how big the file size and is often denoted in kb. It is preferable to keep the file size of the images less than 100 kb; it can be extended last up to 150kb. You can use the inspector tool in Google Chrome to know the size of space for your image. Simply right-click on the area that you want to know the width of and click “inspect”. Sort through the HTML sections on the toolbar that will appear and you can see the width. Make sure to resize your image equal to or less than the width for faster loading. If the image size is more than the width, it will cause the browser to load the content and image differently. Here is an example to clear this concept. The size of the area the image will occupy is 1,080px wide, hence resize your image to be 1,080px wide or less.
Save the Image for the Web
You can adjust the file size of the image with the “Save for Web” option on most of the image editing software. Follow these steps to do it in Photoshop. From the menu bar, follow the path File > Export > Save for Web. You can also adjust the image quality and get the desired file size by toggling the image quality bar. A side by side comparison of the original image and the preview of the new one, allows you to make the best choice. Make it a point to not compromise on the quality of the image and yet reach the lowest possible size. Sketch and Pixlr are two other amazing image editing tool with this option
Use Image Compressors
Another brilliant technique to make your website faster is to use image compressors. It allows you to smartly reduce the size of the image without affecting its quality. WordPress plugins like Smush and Ewww Image optimizer can take care of all your image compression needs efficiently. With this, website images can be bulk compressed or it can be automatically compressed when it is uploaded. TinyPNG and Kraken are free online image compressors that will help you accelerate your websites. Mac users can also download ImageOptim for free.
Improving the website speed must be a top priority of your business to achieve success. To increase sales, customer satisfaction and make the audience stick to your website, speed is important. Slow loading pictures negatively affect your site’s performance. Hence, adopt ways to optimize website images and increase sales with a faster website.