How to Automatically Compress Images for Website Speed
Google has many things that it looks for when deciding where your website ranks within their search results. It is important that you to focus on all of these. One of Google's top ranking factors is website speed. To understand and simplify the many complexities of understanding website speed, it is easiest to look at what is actually slowing down your website.
Why Website Speed Matters.
I think that you can appreciate the fact that anything that hurts your rankings in search engines, hurts your business. Your website speed is obviously one of these.
The reality of this is much deeper than 'Google not liking it' though. Google makes decisions based on their users. If their users suffer from a lower quality experience, it hurts them. Thus, they punish websites for a variety of reasons.
The Main Speed Traps to Watch Out For.
With Wordpress websites (which you are building here), there are only a few main culprits to speed lag. They are as follows.
- Poorly Optimized Images. The most common load issue is images. People tend to use images in their exact state, and then upload them directly to their website. The problem is that many of these are not optimized for websites, high resolution files which can take a long time to load (and prevent the rest of your website from loading). Thus, images need to be compressed before you put the on your website or they will cause load issues, ranking issues, and hurt your overall potential.
- Low Quality Hosting. Also, known as budget hosting, you typically get what you pay for in the hosting world. Most "cheapo" web hosts will actually throttle your service if you get any amount of traffic to your website, or require you to upgrade to a new server.
- CPU Intensive Plugins. There are many plugins out there that are complete CPU hogs, some so much so that they can drag an entire hosting server down. Also, each plugin that you put on your website will incrementally add load to your website, so be careful about "overuse" of plugins, in particular if you are using plugins for the sake of "cool", not practicality. The plugin world is not a controlled one
- Theme Issues. Although rare, themes can be a culprit for website lag. Sometimes a theme can be poorly designed and have "required" widgets that cause a lot of servers lag. If you have an issue with a theme, it will be apparent.
- Serving Videos Directly on Website. You should NEVER be putting videos on your hosting, you should be using a specialized video hosting service to serve videos on your website (like Amazon AWS), or you should be uploading your videos to Youtube/Vimeo and then embedding them. It is not good practice to upload videos directly to your website.
SiteContent Compression Technology.
We have solved most of these plugin issues for you here at WA through advanced technology that we have developed, as well as training and creating awareness platforms that let you know where your website speed issues are, and why it is happening.
The first thing we have done is created a platform that is internal to SiteContent that compresses all of your images using some most advanced compression technologies available. When you publish your content through SiteContent, all images within your content will automatically be compressed in several sizes and formats, which will then be rendered appropriately according to the type of page your website loads (mobile, tablet, desktop). This is bleeding edge stuff and there are companies out there charging JUST for this technology, but it is completely integrated and included into SiteContent's publish feature for all Premium members.
*Note: When you upload content directly within your back-office, you are not leveraging the state-of-the-art compression technology available to you within SiteContent. As a result, your website speeds will slow drastically. I don't recommend uploading images directly within Wordpress as they inherently do a bad job of compressing images on their own.
Some Good Plugins if You Are Going To Directly Upload
Image compression plugins are NOT required if you are publishing your content through SiteContent, but you certainly should be leveraging them if you are uploading images directly through your Wordpress back office.
There are plugins that can help you with your load times of images on your website, but you need to be careful about the plugins you choose because some can add a significant load to your website. It is counterproductive to choose a plugin that will actually slow down your website, when you are using the same plugin to speed it up. Thus, I have a few recommendations.
From all of our testing, this was the best plugin. We actually install this plugin with ALL website installs here at WA. It is a good plugin.
This plugins is very easy to install, set-up and use. It will optimize your images as you upload them, so there isn't an independent process to do that with every image upload.
You can also "bulk" optimize feature if you install the EWWW plugin after you have published pages, and it will optimize all existing media files on your website. There are "up sell" features associated with this plugin, but they are certainly not a requirement.
reSmush.it is also a great plugin for image compression, on the scale of effectiveness I would say this plugin goes hand-in-hand terms of quality with EWWW. It also allows you to automatically optimize your images (post install), and it has the same bulk feature to optimize older images that you had uploaded to your website.
It doesn't offer different compression sizes, which can be a downfall. This is something that is offered to you within the SiteContent image technology, as we offer various sizes depending on the device that is used.
Compress JPEG & PNG is a plugin created by the team over at TinyPNG. The instant downside to this plugin is that you need to create an account with them in order to use it. You are also limited to 100 images each month to optimize, which is sufficient for most websites, but for those that create image intensive content it won't be adequate and you will be required to upgrade.
A few of the features that I like are the image size settings (which you can control) and you can set that maximize upload size for your original uploads. Images that are larger than the max size, will automatically be sized to an appropriate size by the Compress plugin.
It is still a great plugin option, but the image compression limits can really be annoying if you are actively building out your website.
PageSpeed Insights, Find Out Load Issues
I have you are having loading issue with your website or you are finding page speed lag, then you definitely want to consider leveraging the PageSpeed Insights platform that you have access to here as a Premium member.
The PageSpeed Insights platform allows you to pinpoint your load issues on your website on a per page basis. It will outline which images are representing the biggest issues, as well as provide you with an instant look into your "Google" rankings.
If you go to the Websites => SiteManager tab: https://my.wealthyaffiliate.com/websites
You will notice that there is a "Details" button. You will want to click that (as shown below) and this will take you to the page where you have all sorts of features related to your website, including the PageSpeed Insights platform.
If you scroll down to the PageSpeed Insights section, you will be able to 'Check' (if you haven't done a check before), or you will be able to "Refresh" to check again.
If you click the "G" it will take you to Google where you will be able to assess the issues.
My problem with this particular post is in fact images, because I added them after the fact! If I added them through SiteContent, they would have been compressed and much more optimized.
So it is very important and beneficial to create your content within the SiteContent platform here. Not only is it an amazing writing too, it is going to allow you to fully optimize your images and your website load speeds (which help with rankings, as well as conversions).
Anyways, there you have it. I wanted to open up a conversation on the major culprits of a slow loading website and how to automatically compress images on your website using the tools and services that you have access to as Premium member here at WA.
I would love to hear your comments, feedback or questions. Please leave them below.