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Last Updated on February 4, 2021

32V8 Web Tool Tip #2 - Image optimization and compression, and why you need it

Image optimization and compression seems to be one of the most misunderstood subjects in web development, yet it is so critical to get it right, as this directly affects the performance and speed of your site dramatically.

What is Image Optimization or Compression?

Image Optimization and Compression are the same thing. This is about compressing your images, and not about resizing or re-scaling them. Have a look at Website Tool Tune Up Tip #3 for more information on image resizing and re-scaling

How it works

Say you start with an image that is 1000 by 1000 pixels, and the size of the file (number of bytes) is 200 KB, and it takes 2 seconds to load into your website.

After Optimization or Compression, it will still be 1000 by 1000 pixels, but the size of the file (number of bytes) may be 100 KB, so it now only takes 1 second to load into your web site. This is the advantage of going through this procedure.

Which Plugin is Best for Image Optimization and Compression?

I have used a number of popular Plugins including Smush, Image Optimizer, but I have found the best and easiest way to optimize images, and have it done automatically, is to use ShortPixel.

If you are on a budget, then ShortPixel is cheap. You can configure it on multiple websites and then sign in with correct credentials to attach it to any site. It is a set and forget system.

How ShortPixel works

When I upload a photo to my WordPress media files, ShortPixel (SP) starts working on it straight away. When it's working, you can see the SP icon with a blue ring circling it, optimizing your file.

As an example, I used an old photograph that I restored in 2014 of my old home town in Rainbow, Australia. It starts off as a 1521 x 960 image, with a file size of 419 KB.

After compression with ShortPixel, the image is still 960 x 605 pixels, but the file size is now 195  KB.

You don't have to click on Update. This just gives an immediate report of the file information by refreshing the data.

Federal Street, Rainbow

Video - How to Compress your Images

The procedure shown in the video is based on you having a WordPress site and using the ShortPixel Plugin.

At around the 30-second mark into the video, have a look below the update button, you will see "ShortPixel Info". Yes, down in the bottom right hand corner. This will give you an update report as well.

If you decide to scale an image later on, ShortPixel will optimize the new image, exactly the same.

Please click on the ShortPixel image to visit their Website. This is an affiliate link, and will help us out  with our running costs.

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