Unless your audience is into text content, images play a vital role in user-engagement. In fact, images are an essential part of on-page SEO, which is imperative for those who wish to rank high in Google for their keywords.
Unfortunately, unless your images are optimized, these essential on-page components can not only slow down your overall website but prove detrimental to user-engagement. If you’re finding that your images are loading slower than you wish, there can be several reasons as to why this is happening. But, don’t worry. Fixing slow-loading images is almost as easy as 1-2-3.
Reason #1 – Your Images Are Just Too Big!
If you aren’t optimizing the size of your images before uploading them to your website, then you’re doing yourself an injustice. There’s many reasons why your images could be loading slowly, but most commonly, it’s simply because of their size.
In general, it’s important to keep your images less than 70 kb. The largest your image files should be is 100kb, but even this can prove detrimental to your overall website performance. If you can, have your images around 50 kb, they’ll load swiftly without losing quality.
Run a speed test to see what your image load times are and where they fall on the waterfall chart that each test generates. Then, compress images using tinypng.com or the useful Web Interface on kraken.io if necessary.
Reason #2 – Resizing After Uploading
One of the biggest mistakes a webmaster can make about images is uploading an original size and then “resizing” them afterwards. Why is this an issue? Mainly because once an image is uploaded, this is the size that’s read by web browsers. When you “resize” them, the images are only rendered to the new size, they aren’t actually that size. Therefore, always make sure to resize your images prior to uploading.
Reason #3 – Improper File Format
There are many different image file formats. While there are specific situations where unique file formats are appropriate, these situations are rare. In general, always make sure to upload a JPEG of your image. If you must use a different format, stick with either PNG or GIF; however, these image file types aren’t typically compressed without losing some of their quality. If you’re in doubt, then try playing around with different sizes and file formats until you find the best one for quality and swiftness.
Reason #4 – Undefined Image Sizes
If you’re a novice webmaster, then you’ll probably end up uploading images without specifying their dimensions. While this may not seem like a major issue, if you aren’t instructing a web browser to keep images a certain size, they can end up loading a much larger (and slower) image file. This will absolutely slow down your website and result in sluggish performance.
Reason #5 – Too Many Images
Sometimes, the main reason why your images are loading slow is because there’s simply too many of them. While images important for user-engagement, and SEO, if you use too many of them, they can have the opposite effect. Think of images as salt for your food. Too little and it’s bland, too much and it’s overwhelming. Be concise with the number of images you have on a single page. Trust us, your users (and Google) will thank you.