According to recent research, images make up 63% of the size of an average web page. Therefore, if you want to ensure your website loading time is less than 3 seconds, you need to speed up your image loading.
Then how do I do that? It’s a simple question most website owners ask.
Well don’t worry; today we are going to answer that question by looking at some simple techniques that can help you speed up your heavy image website.
To ensure the website speed is okay, resize your images to exactly what is required on your website. The best way to achieve this is by resizing the image on the server and then sending it to the browser. By doing this you will be able to maintain the quality of the images.
For example, you may have a 200*300px image on a product listing page and an 800*1000px on the product detail page. Therefore to ensure you send the correct dimensions, scale the original image. Note that, the resized image will load faster than the original image.
To make sure you correctly resize the images, have an image server that can resize an image to any dimension, in real-time by only changing the image URL. That way, the server will make it easier for you to just specify the new image dimension in the URL.
The other great step to take to ensure you speed up your website is to choose the right format and quality for every image. Although there are several image formats the most commonly used are JPG, GIF, PNG, and the new one called WebP. The WebP format combines the best of the images formats, which is 30 % smaller in size and is supported on almost 76% of the modern browsers.
Hotlinking is when other websites post images that are hosted on your server. Simply put, it makes your webserver use resources to make someone else’s website better. However, no matter how much you want to help other people out, your loading time might be affected.
When you disable hotlinking, you will ensure your server only focuses on your own website. To easily disable hotlinking, you can use all in One WP Security and Firewall plugin or add the following code to your .htaccess file.
Although you have optimized and resized your images, if you load too many of them at the same time you will slow down your website. Therefore, to avoid overwhelming the website and negatively impacting the user experience, there are several techniques you can use. One of them is lazy loading which means you delay loading images that are not to be used immediately.
Basically, it means that any image that is not visible to the user on his screen can be loaded later when the user continues loading the page. With this technique, the loading time will improve as well as user experience. In case the user doesn’t scroll the entire page, you will end up saving on bandwidth cost for image delivery as not all images will be loaded.