Visuals are a vital part of grabbing a visitor’s attention, breaking up long pieces of content, and increasing the likelihood of it being shared across social media platforms. Unfortunately, images also increase the size of your website, leading to slower loading times which can annoy your visitors and negatively impact your search engine ranking.

Therefore, the importance of optimizing images in WordPress should not be underestimated. Properly optimized images will reduce your website’s page loading times, reduce bandwidth and improve the browsing experience for your visitors. And if they are optimized properly, they can have a significantly positive impact on your SEO.

Follow these five straightforward steps to best optimize images in WordPress – this will keep your users happy with faster page loading times and help with SEO:

File Format

The most commonly used file formats online are JPEG and PNG. JPEGS are better suited for photographs as they contain many colours, whereas screenshots and website design images such as icons and buttons are more suited to PNGs. Save your image to the most appropriate format before uploading to your WordPress site.

Image Compression

Reducing the number of pixels in your images is important for both SEO purposes and overall user experience. Large images will make your web pages slow to load – which creates a poor user experience and negatively impacts your search engine ranking.

When adding images to your web pages, you need to choose the appropriate size for the page through graphic editing applications that compress the file size, such as photoshop.

File Name

Before uploading an image to WordPress, consider the page it will appear on and the keyword you want this page to rank for. The file name of the image should include the keyword to tell the search engine what your image represents.

Alt Text

The Alt text of an image is often left blank, however, it is one of the most important fields for SEO. As it helps search engines to understand what your image is about, the description should include your keyword. The text should be concise and relevant because it will be seen by your visitors if they have turned off images in the web browser or are using a screen reader due to visibility impairments.

Automatic Image Optimization

There are many plugins available that can optimize images in WordPress after they’ve been uploaded to your website such as WP Smush.it. which handles all image resizing, optimization and compression needs.

By selecting the maximum image height and width, WP Smush.it will compress the file to reduce its size and scale them down with no loss of visual quality.

Alternatives to WP Smush.it include EWWW Image OptimizerCW Image OptimizerImsanity and Hammy which don’t rely on an external server to process the images.

If the quality of the images is of particular importance to you, such as photographers who want to showcase their work, check out Lazy Load. The plugin doesn’t sacrifice image quality because the images are only loaded when the area becomes visible to the user.

If you require help with optimizing images in WordPress – or help with any other WordPress issues such as SEO, maintenance or performance – get in touch with WP Tech Support. Our range of monthly payment plans will ensure that your WordPress website is fully optimized, backed up and running to the best of its ability.

Customer service is at the heart of what we do, we make support and reporting easily accessible to our customers 24/7 365 days a year, as we never want your website to have a day off! Contact us to find out more about how we can transform your WordPress website to keep search engines and your visitors happy.