WordPress Image Optimisation Plugin - A reality in 2016!

Image and Photography Optimisation is a huge issue for anyone who has a website that is large or is fairly old. Let's face it, if you are a photographer - say like Manchester Wedding Photographer, Mick Cookson - you'll literally have page's with anywhere from 50 to 150 images, they may range from a few hundred KB to almost 1 MB if you are unlucky, all because as a photographer you want the photos to look amazing on any computer. And with Apple pushing the boat out with Retina screens it's no wonder that image file sizes are growing, but let's be honest a screen still isn't print!

For years as a builder of websites I wanted great images on sites, I turned to cool sources for images like Death to Stock (you can even get a free monthly set of photos from them to use in anything you want) or use my own photos - but filesizes were huge. I played around with plugins for WordPress but they all failed, so I'd import them to Photoshop and shrink them down to size and export them again until it came out at a reasonable size... suffice to say it wasn't the best way to do things...

Introducing Imagify.

Imagify is by the same guys that are behind WP Rocket, the wonderful WordPress Cache Plugin that we use and recommend.

This simple to use plugin, put simply has 3 options / levels of optimisation for images and instead of using your server to optimise images sends them to the Imagify servers - optimises the images and all the thumbnails and sends them back - so no slowing your server down, no slow website whilst it happens, just a nice easy process. You can either bulk optimise everything you have on the site, great for when you site is already up and running, like Mick's - or you can just let it do new images as they come in, perfect for new websites.

Imagify is a simple to use plugin that gives you 25mb free each month, though for big websites that won't be enough. But its good enough to test to the waters. Once tested, we are sure you will agree it's amazing, depending on the urgency of your need to speed up your site and optimise images, you can sign up to a one-off plan or a monthly plan (which is cheaper than one-off) and then you are ready to go.

Why Image Optimistion is Important

Great, Beautiful Images can make the difference between gaining a new lead / customer or someone pressing the back button on your computer - not because your image wasn't amazing but because it took forever to load on their smartphone.

In the modern world, everything consumers do online is about speed and impression. Our previous posts about WordPress Cache Plugins have compared various plugins and spoke about Google Page Speed testing and various elements but specifically looking at images here are a few things too consider:

  • Image Size (Physical): Just because WordPress will shrink your image to 600px X 600px doesn't mean you should be uploading an image that is 2500px X 2500px, resize images before uploading to WP to the size you really need them (maximum size).
  • 72 DPI only: Apple devices do a great job of scaling up images, so unless you really have a great reason to use a higher DPI don't do it, you are making the image file size bigger than it needs to be.
  • Image Size (File): Reduce your filesize where possible before uploading, when you export consider reducing the quality of the image where possible to 70-80% this will significantly reduce the image file size and help reduce the load burden.

Image Optimisation and generally speeding up your website will really help with increasing user retention, user interaction, increasing traffic and can help increase your conversion rates.