In this article I am going to show you how to optimize your website photos using Kraken.io. Image optimization is essential for speed loading times and Search Engine Optimization. Kraken.io is a free tool that is super easy to use. It is the first thing I do when a client sends me a new photograph they want uploaded to their website. In this article I am going to cover:
- 1Why you should optimize your website images
- 2What is image optimization
- 3How to optimize your images using Kraken.io (step by step, with screenshots)
Alternatively watch this video to see how to optimize your website photos using Kraken.io
1. Why You Should Optimize Your Website Images
The two main reasons you should optimize your website images are: A: increase the speed of your website and B: to improve your Search Engine Optimization. We will look at these two, closely linked, reasons in more details.
A: Increase the speed of your website
Previous generations had to search through books and ask people (can you imagine) for the answer to questions. Today we expect the answer to even the most trivial of questions instantaneously. What does this mean if you are creating a website? People will not hang around for a slow loading web page. They will click back and go to the next option, probably your competitor.
Not only have you lost a potential customer but you have increased the bounce rate of your website (the bounce rate is the number of people who go to your website and quickly leave again).
If they do happen to hang around and wait for your site to load they probably won't come away from your website having had the best user experience. Especially if all of your web pages load slowly. This is not leaving a good impression!
Bounce rate and user experience impact Search Engine Optimization or SEO. Which leads us to my next point.
B. Improved Search Engine Optimization
In the most basic sense Search Engine Optimization is how likely Google is to show your website in the search results for a given query. This is important!
If Google doesn't think you will give users the answers they need, or provide them with a good user experience then it simply won't put your site in a search result.
One way to improve user experience, reduce bounce rate and become found in a Google search is to optimize your images.
2. What is image optimization?
Before we look at how to optimize our images I want to briefly describe what image optimization is. I will keep it as simple as possible.
There are two ways we can optimize our images: A: image compression and B: image resizing.
A. Image Compression
When you take a photo on your smart phone there is a corresponding image file that contains a lot of information that no one sees. This could include the date and time the photo was taken, the location, camera information or the photo resolution.
When you upload this image to your website, you also upload this file of information. A website visitor has to download that same information to view the image on the web page. This makes your page load slower than it might otherwise have done and if you have a number of poorly optimized images this could add up to quite a few seconds.
Image optimization in simple terms, strips away that excess information allowing the web page to load quicker. It also helps to better 'organise' some of the other information to further reduce the file size. My favorite tool for this is Kraken.io, which I will show you how to use further down this post.
If you use a free tool like Pixabay to find beautiful, professional photos for your website then you get to choose the size of the image that you download. I always choose the file size in and around 1920 pixels.
This should be big enough for most purposes. For example, if you wish to use it on a background section, it would want to be large enough to reach the whole way across the screen. You can downsize an image without affecting the quality (depending on the tool you use) however trying to increase the size of an image could produce a poor quality image.
In order to help your page load as fast as possible it's recommended that you resize your image to the size you actually need it. What size do you really need it? Check out this blog for more on how to do this.
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3. How to optimize your Website Photos using kraken.io
Let's move on to how you can quickly and easily optimize your website photos using Kraken.io, decreasing website loading speed times and improving SEO.
Step 1. Go to the website Kraken.io.
Step 2. Click on Try Free Web Interface
Step 3: Click on 'Click to upload or drag and drop individual images here' where you can upload your images from the files on your computer.
Step 3.1 If you know what size your image needs to be you can also resize it here too. Resizing is essential to reduce page loading time. If you would like to know how to find out what size your image needs to be then read this blog post.
Step 4. Observe the savings in file size. You won't always see this size of a saving but I find it is still worth using this process.
Step 5. Click on Download File then right click and Save Image As to put your new optimized image in a file on your computer. Ready to be uploaded to your website.
If you are using a lot of images, like I have done in this blog post you can upload all of your images first then download them all in one go to save time.
Optimizing your website images is essential to having a quick loading, professional and searchable website. If you are creating your own website then this should be part of that process. Another process you may be thinking about if you want to create your own website is your business logo. Logo's don't need to be expensive as I show you in this blog post.
If you are finding or taking your own images then sending them to a web designer/developer who is creating your site you will be saving him or her some leg work and speeding up the process. I'm sure they will be very grateful!
Have you found a different way to optimize your images?
Did you try Kraken.io? What did you think of it? I would love to see your comments below!