When ever we talk about a useful post, it’s always incomplete without a beautiful and relevant image. (See: How images enhances your blog post) Images also help in better optimization of your post but at the same time they increase the loading time. Specially, when we all know that search engines like faster loading blog, using too many images might not be a great idea. But how about those posts which are incomplete without screenshots? More over, I follow minimum of one image/post to add another level of beauty in the presentation of my post.
A quick solution to add those heavy images on your blog post without compromising load time of your page is to optimize images. When I talk about optimisation, it means reducing the size of images without compromising on the quality. Doing it manually is a headache, as you have to process every single image and if you are using bulk image compression software’s like JPEG Advance compressor and so on. But again, this will be time consuming and it’s always a good idea to work smartly more than working hard.
Smush.it is an online service from Yahoo which helps you to compress your image without degrading the size. There is also a WordPress plugin call Smush.it which does the same thing and once you install and activate this plugin, when ever you upload an image, it will be compressed automatically. This will not effect the quality of your image and most important you don’t have to miss out on any image because of it’s loading time.
When smush.it was launched, only available option was to smush (Compress) the images which are uploaded after activation of the plugin, but latest version added a new feature call Bulk smush.it. This feature, compresses all old images on your WordPress image folder and this is very helpful in reducing your load time for old posts. In case, if you have a huge blog or blog with tons of images, you might like to put your blog in maintainance mode and compress all old images.
Some of the features of Smush.it
- stripping meta data from JPEGs
- optimizing JPEG compression
- converting certain GIFs to indexed PNGs
- stripping the un-used colors from indexed images
It’s always a better idea to lower down the image load size this will decrease the blog loading time. You can check your page load time using Pingdom and iwebtoool.
Here is a screenshot of my image gallery on WordPress and it clearly shows how much of bytes this plugin saved from each of my images:
Even if you are using any CDN or serve images from sub-domain, you should use this plugin as it compresses and reduce the size of images at the time of uploading, so even with CDN, Smush.it will make your blog loading faster.
I have already added smush.it in the list of plugins which we use on ShoutMeLoud and it’s one of those essential WordPress plugins that you shouldn’t miss. Since speed is one of important factor in search engine ranking, we can’t afford to miss this.
Do let us know how do you optimize images on your blog? Do you use Smush.it WordPress plugin or any other similar plugin or software?