Kraken Image Optimization Now at Wealthy Affiliate
Today I am really excited to blog about a technical update we have been working on for quiter some time. As many of you that have built websites at WA in the past know, image optimization is incredibly important to the success of your business. Slow loading images on your website are in many cases the sole culprit of a poor user experience, and worse yet, Google will punish your website in terms of rankings and exposure if you have a slow website.
So how do you optimize images on your website?
There are a few ways to optimize your images. The easiest way to optimize images and a feature that is available to all Premium members, is the image optimization platform that is built directly into SiteContent. If you upload or use any of the 1,000,000+ images that you have available to you within the SiteContent writing platform, you will automatically get industry leading "image optimization" performed as publish your content to your websites.
This is sophisticated technology that we have developed and has been available to you for some time.
So, what about Wordpress plugins for image optimization? Are they a good option?
Yes, many of them work well. Up to this point we have installed the EWWW image optimization plugin with every website install. This is a solid plugin and I have no problems recommending it moving forward, but we are moving on from this plugin. We are now offering a brand new image optimization platform for all NEW websites built moving forward.
I want to spend some time explaining what this platform is, why we have made the decision to adopt this platform for image optimization, and the continued and vast benefits that you are going to get building your websites here at WA moving forward.
Introducing Kraken Image Optimization...
Kraken is image optimization company and they are by far the industry leader in terms of image optimization. We have actually been using them for several years now for optimization done on our end and within internal platforms here at Wealthy Affiliate.
If you have ever used the SiteContent Images platform where you can leverage over 1 MILLION high definition images for your websites, we have leveraged Kraken technology for the image compression there. A service that we pay for, but we include in your Premium membership because we understand the importance of compression and want the best for all the members here at WA.
This is also one of the many reasons why WA websites outrank websites within all of the other hosting/content management platforms in the industry. We have a vested interest in offering you the fastest loading websites and hosting, because we want your websites to be as successful as possible. The server side technology and the overall optimization done from OUR end is becoming more and more important to search engines, thus we continue to keep it at the forefront of our focus.
We will continue to lead the website/hosting process from a technology and UX standpoint. We have some more announcements in respect to this as we move through the weeks and months ahead, some truly breakthrough stuff that we have been working on for over two years now!
Anyways, back to Kraken. Why have we decided to adopt Kraken for image optimization, not just for our website/hosting side of things, but as a company we have decided they are the best of the best when it comes to this. To offer you some clarity and help you understand the competitive difference between Kraken and some "other" plugin or tool used for image optimization, I have broken this down into 4 key reasons we have made the switch.
- We have used it for years, it work's brilliantly well. Before we ever make a decision to adopt any sort of technology, in particular something that we implement on a hosting basis, we put it through rigorous testing. If it is not a sophisticated enough solution for us, then it isn't going to ever make the cut for a service that we provide for others. After testing many solutions and even using the same code that Google uses to process images, we have determined that Kraken is the clear winner. We want you to have the "best of the best" and this is it. They run their company much like we do, always looking for new solutions and never being content with their technology. This leads to innovation and is what creates industry leaders.
- Off Site Processing. Most Wordpress plugins process and optimize images "on server", meaning that the server has to do the resource intense job of crunching images, creating load and efficiency issues on servers as well as hits to website performance. Kraken processes images on their own servers which leads to more efficient optimization.
- Adopted by other Major Corporations. Used by the likes of Nvidia, Microsoft, Dell, Tesla, Nasdaq among many others. They have optimized over 3 BILLION images and this number is growing by millions daily. When a company has a focus on images like this and has a "funded" platform from real paid companies, you can rest assured they are going to be the leaders in the space.
- Optimal Page Loding Speeds. Many times the reason for a slow loading website is due to one issue, imagery. Using Google Pagespeed Insights as a tool to help you with your website, you can determine speed issues - in many cases a big "issue" is having images that are not optmized for the web. For all websites installed here at WA going forward, any images that are uploaded directly through WordPress are going ot be "Kraked" (Optimized). Any images added through SiteContent are also Kraked!
Managing Your Kraken Plugin
There is nothing that you have to do on your end to set-up Kraken with a new website. Upon creating any NEW website, you are going to see the Kraken plugin within the Plugins tab.
This is where you can go to manage this plugin, you can deactivate/activate. In saying this, this plugin should always be activated on your website.
Retroactively, old websites will be unchanged. I recommend that if you are using EWWW, that you continue to use EWW as the Kraken website has been formulated to work with new website installs (with our custom solution) on our brand new class of servers. This is a class that our technical team has spent more than two years developing, and something that ALL websites are going to be moved to in the coming months ahead (the transition has already started with that) . We'll be blogging in detail about this very soon.
The Kraken plugin settings will offer you options that we do not suggest you change. You'll notice that there are "Keys" - do not change these because these are the keys that you need to use in order for Kraken to work. And as a side note - these keys only work with websites hosted here at WA on the new server class. They will not work on any other web host, or older websites here at WA.
There are a number of settings that you "can" change, but we've done a lot of testing here at WA to make sure that the setting the plugin is installed with are optimal. When you upload an image to WordPress, the theme will create a number of sizes of images, typically a thumnail, and small, medium, large etc. We've got things set so that all of these images will be optimized.
How to take advantage of Kraken?
There is absoltuely nothign that you need to do differently to take advantage of this new cutting edge image optimization platform. Either use SiteContent to create and publish your content (our recommendation), or use WordPress directly as you normally would. All images will be Kraked and optimized!
On our many test websites that we've used during developement of our new server class that includes Kraken, you'll be happy to know that we're achieving perfect, if not near perfect scores in Google PageSpeed Insights. That's scores of 100/100 Mobile and 100/100 Desktop - Kraken certainly plays a role in these incredible and industry leading scores.
Masterful, Seamless Image Optimization
We are giving you the key to image optimization, not just metaphorically but we are giving you access to the premium and industry leading optimization of your websites without any additional costs.
If you have a website installed currently at WA and are using EWWW image optimizer, keep using that because Kraken will not work on those websites using our Premium Keys (Yet). With that said, we will be announcing our Next Generation server class very soon which is gonig to allow all Premium members the ability to upgrade and make use of these insanely fast and optimized servers and thus enabling Kraken in place of EWWW image optimizer.
Thanks for reading this post, we look forward to any feedback or questions that you may have!
Have a wonderful day and week ahead!