Image Optimization Checklist
If you choose to do your own image optimization, keep these tips in mind:
- Use vector formats when possible
- Minify and compress SVG assets
- Serve scaled images or use sprites
- Remove unnecessary image meta data
- Experiment with file formats and compression techniques
What is Image Optimization?
How to optimize images to improve website page speed scores and performance
Image optimization refers to various techniques to minimize the size of image files used on websites. Images are typically a significant part of the overall file size of a website page. Images are also one of the best areas to mange for the purposes of getting faster page load times. Finding the best way to optimize images depends on the need and file type.
Design for Image Optimization
Website designers and graphics designers should work together to incorporate image optimization into site design. The average design team focuses on only aesthetics. This creates a lot of unnecessary and difficult work for the SEO team. Advanced web design practices leverage sprites and CSS3 effects to reduce page load times. Balancing design and optimization requires skill and planning. The result of proper image optimization work is always a faster site, and better user experience. This translates into better rankings on mobile search results, and is how to improve website conversion rates.
How many photos or graphics do you really need? Your image optimization work (cost) is reduced if you use fewer images. For the photos and graphics you deem essential, file dimensions and type are critical things to consider. One of the first things we suggest is do not embed fonts (text) on images. This bloats file sizes and is counterproductive in responsive web design. Use CSS for effects and animations to achieve a sharp and consistent look on any device in any browser.
Technical Image Optimization
Image formatting is very important for mobile optimization. The difference in the file size difference for the same image in a jpg vs. a png format can be substantial. Popular file formats are png, jpg, gif, and svg. Understanding terms such as vector, raster, pixelated, stretched, radial distortion, optical aberration, and image resolution can help you create great looking optimized images.
After you create an image file of satisfactory size, you need to compress the file size. Compressing the image can reduce the file size by as much as 90%. Always check the final image to assure you have not diminished the visual quality.
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