Increase Site Speed By Decreasing Image File Size

Increase Site Speed By Decreasing Image File Size

Nothing Will Speed Up Your Site Faster Than Optimizing Images

Using a tool like GTMetrix.com will point out some obvious issues with your website. More often than not image size, compression and resolutions will be at the top of the list to fix.

On our first #WPWednesday episode of the BeBizzy Break Podcast we talk about why and how you should be optimizing your images for better site load times.

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What Can Be Managed In An Image File?

Format

  • JPG – most common. Compressed using “lossy” compression, which means you lose some quality when you save the compressed file.
  • PNG – A “lossless” compression type but can be a larger file size. Works best of images using less than 16 colors (icons, logos, etc).
  • GIF – Used for small images and short animations. Images will lose quality due to this format’s limitations.
  • WebP – a fairly new image format for the web. It promises 26% smaller in size to PNG, and approximately 30% smaller than comparable JPEG images. However, WebP is not supported on all servers and browsers so your website could be displayed oddly to most users.
  • TIF – Highest quality image best used for commercial images and not used very often on the web

 Compression

  • JPG and PNG can both be compressed using various softwares. However, when you compress an image you will lose quality, so keep an eye on how that photos looks at various sizes that may appear in a responsive site before you implement.
  • Compression is a great way to decrease the file size of an image. For example :
    • 2000×1500 image recently used as a background on a website – 9MB uncompressed – 7 seconds to download on 10Mbit/s line
    • 2000×1500 at 30% compression – .20MB – close to ZERO seconds to download
    • That same 30% compression at 1000×750 size – .07MB and very little time to download

Responsive Websites

  • Sites that display differently based on the type of device and resolution automatically will sometimes need different sized images to display correctly. Unless you manually tell it what image to use the program (the WordPress theme) will determine this on its own. Keep in mind the sizes can range from a vertical smartphone screen all the way to a 50″ television.
  • For best results use a variety of image sizes, use WPMU’s Smush Pro, or look at your Google Analytics to see what types of devices are more likely to view the page.

How Can You Change File Size?

  • Photoshop – industry “standard” but can be expensive.
  • PaintShop Pro – I’ve used this software for many years. Many Photoshop features but much less expensive.
  • GIMP – GNU Image Manipulation Program – FREE open source Photoshop clone has many of the same features and it’s the best price.
  • TinyPNG – WordPress plugin that automatically compresses files on upload.
  • WPMU Smush & Smush Pro – very versatile program that compresses images and creates multiple sizes that get automatically used where needed.
  • reSmush.it – Regarded as the best image compression WordPress plugin. Limits optimization to uploads lower than 5MB in size.
  • Optimizilla – free online image compressor. You can upload up to 20 images and it will create downloads of the compressed files.
  • JPEG Optimizer – another free online app that lets you select compression values.

Make Sure Your New Images Are Displayed

  • Upload and replace the current images. I suggest deleting the originals AFTER you make sure the compressed images are quality and are working correct just to save space on your site or server. It’s always a good idea of backing them up first just in case.
  • Clear your server and browser cache to remove any memory of the old file paths.
  • Check the site at GTMetrix again and see if anything else needs to be compressed.

What Else Can I Do To Affect Image Load Times?

  • Use a CDN. Content delivery networks are servers dedicated to sending cached media to your website. They are optimized to send this data quicker than your standard web server.
  • Use a host that has SSD hard drives. I was amazed on how much quicker my website loaded when I moved to an SSD from a standard hard drive.
  • Speaking of hosts, move from a shared environment to a VPS or dedicated server. That removes you from the pool of sites on one box that are running who-knows-what and sucking up all the server’s resources.

WordPress News

Have any questions or suggestions on editing your images to make your WordPress website load faster? Leave them below, or send them to me @BeBizzy on Twitter!

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Should You Be Your Own Social Media Manager?

Should You Be Your Own Social Media Manager?

Are you the right person to be running your company’s social media?

Most of us in business for ourselves think we know our business best, so therefore we should be doing our own web content and social media management. But, many don’t really know what the “job” entails so it’s done poorly, if at all.

So to determine if social media is a job you can do yourself, or if it’s something we should be hiring a professional to do, I am joined by Kathi Kruse of KruseControlInc.com, who is the author of Social Media Manager Job Description: A Complete Guide 2019.

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underwear_gnomesSocial media seems easy.

Phase 1 : Create a page on Facebook or Twitter and post some stuff.
Phase 2 : ?????
Phase 3 : PROFIT

But there are potential issues, even if you know your business better than anyone else.

  • Time – You’re good at what you do, but marketing you business might not be the strong suit.
  • People that are not social – sales trainers and even sales people might not get how to deal with a sale funnel or lead generation. They are good at straight sales… someone comes in and buys from them face to face.
  • The sales team vs. marketing team conflict is real. Sometimes the two don’t work together to create a consistent message to potential customers.
  • IT people are usually not your social people. They make everything work, but can think differently than a general user.

Some additional functions of the job of the modern social media manager

  • Social is not in a silo. You have to know how to drive people to the website, but also how to handle them once they get there.
  • Landing pages, call-to-actions, email campaigns, and other things outside the “social” part of the job are now required.
  • Strategy is a big part of the job and can be very time consuming up front. If planned correctly and enough work is done up front it can minimize the
  • Engagement is probably the MOST important part of the job. There’s a payoff to engaging with someone who comments or likes a post on your Facebook or Twitter. Community management can make the user feel that you care. It should be perceived as a privilege to be able to respond publicly to a commenting client or follower.

Tips on being a great social media manager for yourself or another business

  • Kathi only plans posts a week at a time to allow response to changing conditions. It’s a great idea to do these all at once to create a story or consistent message, but if planned out too far it’s tougher to change if something isn’t working, something else works great, or an external issue can cause a distraction or message conflict.
  • Have a conversion strategy. A plan has to be constructed to pull that visitor or customer to a signup, sale, download or other destination.
  • Tools such as Hootsuite or Buffer can make scheduling posts an easy process.
  • Post Planner is a great WordPress plugin to automatically send your posts to social media platforms.
  • Canva is a great tool for creating very engaging images for your blog or social media posts.
  • Pocket can be used to save posts or information is a sortable tool to read and/or share later.
  • Feedly is an RSS aggregator to gather information from your favorite websites into one place. It’s great for reading important or entertaining articles, gathering post ideas, and keeping up with industry trends.

So now you know what can be involved with being your own social media manager. It’s not just simply posting an occasional photo, meme or clever thought. Time is needed to construct a strategy, plan your posts, and follow up with your engagers. Some times you are able to manage that additional job. But often, it’s more cost, and TIME effective to hire a consultant, or even to hire another person internally.

If you’re interested in hiring someone internally, Kathi Kruse has also posted a great article on questions to ask before hiring a social media manager in-house.

Do you do YOUR company’s social media, or have questions before you hire or do you own post? Leave them below, or send them to me @BeBizzy on Twitter!