Images made up almost 63% size of an average website. Even more than that, if you host a lot of pictures on your website without proper optimization.
The only downside to adding so many PDF documents or images is slow site speed. You may have read thousands of tools to increase the website speed, but most essential is always said to be image optimization. Content creation is a whole lot of different tasks from image optimization. To get the things done successfully, you must end up using the best image optimization tool.
In our ShortPixel Review, we will tend to discuss the exclusive features of this best WordPress Plugin. Go for custom settings and let the ShortPixel do the job of image compression without quality compromise automatically.
What do you mean by Image Compression?
Image compression means to change the appearance and size of an image to avoid redundancy. The process aims to transmit or store data in an efficient way for website optimization, or you can say image optimization. Mainly, methods of image compression consist of two types as follows.
The method of lossless compression means reducing the file size of the image while maintaining the same quality. Still, this method is substantial in size than the lossy compression method. The formats used here are namely RAW, PNG, and BMP.
When a photo is converted into a smaller size by discarding some parts is commonly known as lossy compression. The formats include the GIF and JPG, which doesn't make the image look that bad. Yet, some parts are discarded to reduce the image size to the smallest.
All in all, image compression is a significant part of image optimization. The extensive subject of image optimization includes a lot more things, but it is nothing without image compression.
Image Optimization To-Do List
It's the entire crazy thing about doing right image optimization. Especially if you are running an online store or any of your websites, you have to master the art of image optimization necessarily.
Of course, tools like ShortPixel are going to help you a long way and even more than your expectations. Still, learning about the actual to-do list of the image optimization is required so that you could be able to understand a difference between using a tool and working on it all manually.
Let's get some briefs about the steps below.
Descriptive naming of images in simple language
To go for an effective On-Page SEO, you must not overlook the fact of descriptive naming of images. Along with analyzing the content on your websites, search engines also go to look for your image file names. Do not just blow by whatever name your camera had given to the image.
Try to name it with relevant keywords that customers want to check for. In this manner, the website analytics gets significantly improved and helps you get high ranks on Google.
Optimize alt tabs – Shortpixel Review
Now, get a check on alt attributes. If you have proper alt attribute settings on your website, you will see that whenever you hover around an image, it will present you with the specific alt attributes you have given. It's another essential to-do task for image SEO optimization.
Remember not to stuff the keywords or use alt attributes on decorative images. For instance, if you are selling products with serial numbers or model numbers, try including them in your alt tags.
Select product angles and image dimensions wisely
Uploading multiple angles and different shots of the product is a common practice. Nonetheless, the practice needs to be done carefully. First of all, add specific alt tags to each product shot you have taken so that it would be much easy for potential customers to land upon your website.
Secondly, you need to consider the image dimensions highly. Well, the ShortPixel Review is all about checking image dimensions and image compression. You must know about the cons of adding larger images upon your website. The worst they can do is reduce the load speed of your webpages.
Reduce image file size
Take a considerate step towards reducing the image file size. Depending upon the size of files present on your website, the page loading speed affects. Even the Google algorithm uses page loading speed as a ranking factor. According to Google, if the pace slows down by just one second, it can lead to an annual loss of $1.6 billion.
What you can do is use the ShortPixel and reduce the size of your images to a required extent. As the best image compression plugin, ShortPixel can reduce the image size up to 90% without compromising a bit on image quality.
Select only the right type of file
Among JPEGs, GIFs, and PNGs, the JPEGs are known to be of high-quality and suitable for the website. In most e-commerce sites, it's only the JPEG file format that found to be highly appropriate. JPEG format also gives you quality images in the smallest size.
On the other hand, it is not advisable to use GIFs for large product images. Instead, you can go to use GIFs for decorative images and thumbnails only.
Thumbnails optimization is as necessary as image optimization. Thumbnails are used to show a quick preview of a product without taking too much real estate. Nonetheless, they may become a silent killer if the file size goes larger than expected.
Therefore, you should make your thumbnail file as small as possible or use ShortPixel, who does all the work for you automatically. Also, remember to vary the alt text. Make it different from other images of the same product. Lastly, it is recommended to index your thumbnail instead of a larger image.
Use image sitemaps
Always use image sitemaps for better image SEO. However, they can't guarantee you high rankings on SERPs. Yet, the step is positive as per Google algorithm and help crawlers find images on your website. Google already consists of many image publishing guidelines to consider.
Besides, you can go for using image sitemaps. To properly format your image sitemap, Google Webmaster Tools has your proper back. They consist of lots of suggestions for correct formatting. Thus, after adding specific tags to your images, you can also create separate sitemaps exclusively to list images.
Say ‘No' to decorative images
Using decorative images with borders or fancy backgrounds can only increase the size of the picture. At the same time, they also look a kind of alienated to your entire subject. Instead, you should go for simple photos related to the product or the topic you are talking about.
Just blowing away with aesthetic appearance can ruin the rankings on Google. Even if you are using decorative images, make sure to reduce their file size.
Cautiously use CDNs (Content Delivery Networks)
CDNs are a great choice when it comes to hosting images and other media files. They help increase the page load speeds and major bandwidth issues. When you are placing images on CDN, it means to remove those images from your domain and to put them over the CDN's domain.
Therefore, if anyone puts links to your images, they are linking to CDN's domain. Similarly, there are many ways around CDNs to be used for image SEO.
To check for customer conversion, test images thoroughly. You can follow different practices to test the pictures. If you are hosting an e-commerce site, review by the number of product images per page. You can have various possibilities to increase click-through rates. Click-through-rates can either be increased by reducing the number of images or increasing the images per page, which you have to analyze.
Also, different test product angles customers like to see. You can figure it out with the help of surveys or directly talking with your customers.
How can ShortPixel help you out in Automatic Image Optimization?
You must know what is ShortPixel if you are highly concerned about image optimization and wants to rank up your website. To start with, ShortPixel is called as the best WordPress Image Compression Plugin. It is lightweight, simple to use, and an automatic image optimization tool. After its installation, you can forget about all the mess you have to do with the image optimization plugin.
Features of ShortPixel
Take a look at ShortPixel Review and admire the best features available in the plugin.
Automatic Image Optimization
No doubt, this is the most appreciated feature of the ShortPixel plugin. As soon as you upload the images on the WordPress Media library, they will get automatically compressed by the plugin. You need to set the preferences once, and it will all happen by own.
Better speed already comes up when you have an inbuilt WordPress plugin to do all the image compression work for you. You don't need any other facilities and waste your time. Instead, you can choose to focus on growth or other areas of your website.
Quick Multiple Compressions
With ShortPixel, you can select how many images to be optimized. You can either go for the Bulk Image Optimization feature or choose a handful of images to be compressed. Suppose, if you also want to optimize the previously uploaded images, ShortPixel even lets you do that with this specific feature.
Automatic Image Formatting
Users can mainly use three compression methods in ShortPixel, namely the lossy, lossless, and glossy. Lossy is the default method that you can set to glossy or lossless. To say the most, ShortPixel does a remarkable job while compressing to lossy images.
In case you are a professional photographer or have a photography website, glossy compression is the ideal choice. The glossy feature is provided explicitly for photographers. And, if we talk of lossless compression, it won't let you see much difference between file size of a compressed image and original image. So, it won't be that helpful.
Support different type of files
As we already mentioned, ShortPixel supports a range of formats outside of the JPEG. It can compress PNG, WebP, PDF files, and GIF format. It also contains an option to convert PNG format with transparent backgrounds. After uploading PDF documents, they are automatically reduced to a significant extent in terms of size to experience fast loading speed.
Go to the settings menu and activate the thumbnails optimization button. Thumbnail optimization comes as a part of image optimization and needs to be considered carefully. However, there is no need to worry if you have set this activation.
No limit to the file size and better comparison
After compression, ShortPixel gives you a quick comparison showing the original image as well as the compressed one. The ShortPixel Review is all about knowing the features of this plugin, and the facilitation of better comparison is one of the best functions it can have.
Unlike other online image conversion tools, this WordPress plugin does not put any limitations on uploading files of different sizes. You can upload any file size and reduce it to a significant amount with the help of ShortPixel. By far, do not go for uploading too large images, as we already explained in the image optimization to-do list.
Process of Image Optimization on ShortPixel Review
ShortPixel works on the freemium model. It means you to have to pay only when you want advanced features. Else, you can go for free with general settings. Download the ShortPixel WordPress plugin and find it under settings after installation.
It consists of five tabs as follows.
- General Tab
- Advanced Tab
- Cloudflare API
- WP Resources
Use of General Tab
The General settings mainly contain points such as API Key, Compression Type, Also Include Thumbnails, Image Backup, Remove EXIF, and Resize Large Images.
See how these settings work.
- First of all, request an API key, which is free registration with ShortPixel.
- Next, select the type of compression (Lossy, Lossless, Glossy) that you want the image to reduce to.
- The settings of ‘Also Include Thumbnails' means activating automatic thumbnail optimization.
- In image backup, you can save a copy of the original image before it goes to compression.
- Remove the EXIF Data feature lets reduce the size of the image by removing unnecessary details, camera settings, date, and GPS position.
- Set the maximum size of large photos in Resize Large Images feature.
Use of Advanced Tab
Advanced Tab contains even more settings, as described below.
Additional Media Folders
Select the particular site folders to let the ShortPixel do the image optimization correctly.
Convert PNG images to JPEG
Activate the feature to convert PNG images to JPEG automatically and even go for the conversion of PNG images with a transparent background.
CMYK to RGB conversion
CMYK is a cumbersome format that uses almost all colours for accurate presentation. In this feature, you can select to convert CMYK to RGB for a reduction in file size.
These versions are 25% and 66% smaller than JPGs and PNGs.
Generate WebP markup
General tags now replaced with tags for browsers.
Optimize retina images
Have a retina plugin? ShortPixel can even optimize the images for retina plugin with this feature.
Optimize other thumbs
Go for optimization of different thumbnails produced by third-party plugins.
This feature lets you optimize the PDFs automatically.
Cloudflare API Tab
This Cloudflare API tab helps to connect your website with Cloudflare by using Global API Key, Cloudflare email, and Zone ID.
As the name suggests, the section contains a lot of useful information on average image compression processing. By looking at the critical details, you can know and justify your decision. Statistics also let you see the disk space that you will be able to save.
Different tools and plugins compatible with ShortPixel.
Is there a difference between ShortPixel and other image optimization tools?
Once you set the preferred configuration of all settings, let the ShortPixel do the rest of the work. As soon as you upload an image in the WordPress media library, it will start compression while showing the progress bar, which needs to hit 100% after completion.
Here's the answer if you want to know the difference between other image optimization tools and ShortPixel WordPress plugin. See, you can use various tools available aftermarket for image compression. The only differences that you will get are the lack of features and WordPress compatibility.
Most of the time, you have to go for image compression beforehand uploading the image over WordPress. It seems to be a cumbersome task as compared to using an already built WordPress plugin like ShortPixel.
You can't say that image compression is a luxury because Google ranks websites based on page loading speed. And, image compression is directly linked with increasing the load speed of a website. Secondly, ShortPixel uses its server to do all the tasks, which means you can save a lot of hosting bandwidth space without any difficulty.
We have also discussed another side of image optimization in our ShortPixel Review so that you could know to how extent your task can be reduced. In our opinion, using a WordPress plugin is a better choice than to go for third-party image optimization. By doing that, you will not only able to save time but also enjoy the latest functions.