In this week’s blog we’re going to look at the importance of optimising the images you upload onto your website. Selecting and then using strong imagery is one of the keys to creating a successful website but learning how to manage the imagery is just as if not more important.

New Series

This blog is the start of a short series about image optimisation. Over the next few weeks we’re going to be publishing ‘how to’ guides about using GIMP, Photoshop & Image Optimiser so that you can modify your own images and upload them onto your website.

Why it’s important to use images

A well chosen image on a web page can help to enhance the look and feel of an individual page and subsequently the whole website. Whether it is a small profile photo, a full page shot, an eye catching hero image, a slider or even a tiny thumbnail, they all have the potential to bring the page to life, improve the user experience and help to convey your message. Just like in a book or magazine, images should never be there to just fill space, they should be used as a crucial part of the process.

The old saying about a picture telling a story of 1000 words is just as relevant in the web age as it ever was when applied in to books or magazines. With content management systems allowing site owners to upload content and manage their site themselves, we’ve found that there is a need for some easy to follow tutorials on image optimisation. Enter our new blog series!

What is image optimising?

Essentially it involves taking each of your images on your site before you upload them and then configure their size, dimensions, file type and other aspects of them so that they are set up to do their job as efficiently as possible.

Why is it so important?

It helps to streamline your website, reduce the amount of bandwidth you’re using on the server, improve page load speed, the user experience and overall performance.

External factors are also at play here. Search engines like Google use the page speed and image optimisation as ranking factors, and in the constant battle to rank higher in search engine results pages this is one way you can give your site an edge. In short, failing to optimise your images can have an impact on the overall performance of your website.

Do you use lots of images on your website?

Image optimising starts to become essential if your site uses large numbers of images forinstance an ecommerce site. An average e-commerce site will use at least one photo for each product, sometimes up to four or five though, with the products photographed from different angles.

The impact of not thinking about each image and trying to reduce them to a manageable size can be profound. Slow load speeds for example can frustrate your site visitors and can cause them to abandon their shopping and head elsewhere.

Beyond eCommerce

It’s not just ecommerce sites that can use large numbers of images. Our own website uses images on each of the blogs and throughout the website. If you like to upload fresh content regularly whatever it happens to be, then optimising those images will help enormously.

The Good News

You may be thinking by now that this all sounds like a major hassle and just another thing you’ll have to think about when adding content to your site.  Well, yes it is, but that’s why we’re publishing our series of ‘how to guides’ so that you can find a tool that you like to use and get stuck in.

The ‘How To’ Series

In the upcoming series of blogs we’ll explain how each of the main tools can be used. Free to use, quick and simple once you know how, in no time at all you’ll get to grips with the fundamentals. Whether you’re a Mac user like us or use a PC, you’ll be able to discover how to optimise your images and prepare them for uploading.

Each step of the way will be clearly illustrated with screen shots and explained in clear terms so that all you’ll have to do is have a go yourself whilst following the guide. Our aim is that you too will be able to optimise your images and help to maintain a streamlined and efficient website.

Do you run a small eCommerce store?

Did you read our recent blog about how to set up an in-house photography studio? It’s essential reading if you’re running your own small e-commerce store on a tight budget.

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