Optimizing Images in WordPress to Improve Performance and SEO

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At 11:20am on 4/29/2018, I attended Optimizing Images in WordPress to Improve Performance and SEO, Presented by Steve Mortiboy of Pressable, at the 2018 Raleigh Wordcamp Convention in the Engineering Building I of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC.

Optimizing Images in WordPress to Improve Performance and SEO

This session is really aimed at beginners who want to understand how to leverage images to improve their website. I’m hoping we’ll take a hands-on look at things you should do when adding images and common mistakes to avoid that could negatively impact your site, especially with search engines.

Intended Audience:  Beginners

What we’re supposed to cover:

We need to think about performance, image optimazation, SEO, performance, etc.

Embedding Images

We’re doing this without proper sizes, etc. and we don’t really think about how it might affect performance, or adjust the layout.

Considerations

JPG, PNG, GIF. We cover this material, and its good content

File Size

this is the biggest problem. Taking an image from our phone or other device is huge, 10MB or more. High def is even worse. Before uploading into wordpress, we’ll want to adjust it. The smaller the better, with 100KB or smaller as ideal.

Dimensions

A 600px content area will not need 1000px width content. in Settings, Media you can adjust your content sizes. Your media may not convert to those sizes, even if supposed to. WordPresss does not know the content, it just crops the images as it feels the data tells it. Beware oversized images. Editing an image on the page allows you to set custom sizes

Image Resolution

DPI and PPI only apply to printing. It do affect image size in the file however. There is a myth of 72dpi. we don’t need to do that in our websites.

Images per page. The more images appear on a page, the more you need ot consider file sizes and page load times. Remember your mobile device users. Consider using a gallery or slideshow such as:

  • JetPack Tiles Galleries
  • JetPack Carousel

Do not load the image initially. Load only when requested.

Image Linking

Where should we link an image embedded? Should it load the media file. attachment page, custome URL, or nothing? LInking the media file should be reconsidered. That just loads the image in the browser. Google following that link only sees the file, no information, and the user must push the back button.

Consider instead an attachment page. This is an older forgotten page type. An attachment page is a wordpress page. You can add these theme pages with styles, links, back buttons, exit data, etc. It allows information such as MetaData to provide richer content to our customers in ways such as location and date. It allows us to add Meta tags, SEO, anything you’d like. You may not know you’re even on a page only for a photo. Google will index that page.

Custom URL is useful for custom button creators, etc.  Uploading a button linking to a particular page (such as contact us) allows you to create linkable, custom pages which can also be indexed.

An item with no reason to click on an image, you should just select none.

Image ownership

This is a big issue over the years. Big companies are seeking out smaller companies to Quash. Just because you found it doesn’t mean you can use it. There are different types of license. Consider using the Creative Commons Search Tools at: https://search.creativecommons.org

Stock Images

For the love of Pete, don’t do it. They’ve been done to death. Take your own photos, be real and be genuine. It brings nothing to the visitor to be seeing general images.

Optimization

Lossless compression reduces file size without losing quality. Lossy compression reduces file size with possible loss of quality. Your goal is to reduce a web image to 100KB or less. Granted, it always depends on the original image.

  1. Photoshop
  2. GIMP
  3. Imageoptim.com for mac
  4. tinyPNG at tinyPNG.com
  5. jpegmini at jpegmini.com
  6. EWWW image optimizer plugin

RETINA IMAGES

Retina schreens and displays are common.

Consider

  • using plugins, WPRetina 2x
  • using SVG
  • HTML method src=”image-800×600.jpg” width=”400″ height=”300″

Image SEO

1000+ line pages are boring. Images are sticky, they keep us there and easily tell us if we’re in the right place. Keep the visitor on the site, but also keep the visitor finding the site. Make your imagery search-engine friendly.

  1. Image Filename: DSC_005612987 doesn’t tell us anything. Rename your images to something which is helpful for search engines. You cannot rename the file once its uploaded because the images is posted in the server. If you’re using the same file on different pages, upload the same file with a different name. It may look the same, but it will be seen as different by search engines and computers which matter.
  2. Title attribute. Set the title and alt text to the content of the page, not the image. rather than describing the image, link it to the page and make it easier to find the page
  3. Alt text. Required for many governmental website.
  4. attachment page. Add the SEO title, the SEO description
  5. include images in your XML sitemap. AllInOneSEO automatically includes these items in the XML sitemap

Images for social media

Cathcing people’s information is really important, and a good high-quality image can really get you that click-through. Use a plugin to set that image. Create a custom image which is properly sized just for social media. Social media images can be shared and cached. It may only be for 7 days (facebook). Twitter and LinkedIn make it difficult to clear that cache.

Image sizes for social media

  • facebook images 1200px x 630px
  • twitter images 900px x 450px
  • pinterest images 236p x scaled height
  • instagram images 1080px x 1080px

Image Caching and CDN

  • JetPack Photon
  • WP Super Cache
  • W3 Total Cache
  • MaxCDN
  • Amazon CloudFront

Test using Google PageSpeed Insights:  https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights

 

 


Steve Mortiboy

Steve Mortiboy is the COO and Service Delivery Manager for Semper Plugins. He leads the team that develops plugins such as All in One SEO Pack. He has been working with WordPress for over 8 years and devotes much of his time to helping people get the most from WordPress. He is also one of the co-organizers of WordCamp Raleigh and the Raleigh WordPress Meetup Group. When not hard at work he’s working on DIY projects at home or off traveling.

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