The Google Page Experience Algorithm [1] update launches this June, and with it, we will see the Core Web Vitals become part of the ranking signals that dictate how your site ranks on search results. Core Web Vitals measure how fast your website loads and affect other factors that impact the user’s experience on your website.  

How Do Images Impact Website Performance?

At Rock Paper Simple, our team comes across a variety of clients in need of quicker loading times on their website. We have discovered that one of the most impactful ways to increase performance score is to optimize your site images.

Often, the problems we encounter when reviewing a website include images that are too large, poorly compressed, or in the wrong format. Mobile phones are one culprit. Today, mobile phones are capable of producing large, high-quality images, making it easy to upload photos that are too large for the website unknowingly. 

A single photo from your mobile phone camera could measure five megabytes or more with a resolution in the thousands of pixels. The average size of a website today is between two to three megabytes, so having even just a few uncompressed images on your site could inflate your total website size to double, triple, or even higher. This is extra data that mobile users have to download on their mobile plans and can create a negative experience for mobile users with poor connections. 

Online Image Optimizers

If your website is small or only utilizes a small number of images, you can drop those photos into an online image optimizer and replace them on your site with the newly optimized ones. Here are a few online optimizers that do an excellent job of compressing your images using various algorithms.

WordPress Image Optimizers

Here at Rock Paper Simple, we build our websites on an awesome content publishing platform called WordPress. WordPress contains robust features that ensure users don’t upload unnecessarily large images. By default, every image uploaded to WordPress is compressed and served up in various thumbnail sizes running from small (150px) to large (1024px). While this is an excellent feature, our team takes optimization a step further.

This next step is where image optimization plugins and services come in handy. These plugins automatically compress the images you upload to the smallest possible file size when you upload them. Additionally, you can compress images that already exist in your WordPress media library, ensuring that older images also benefit.

Below are a few WordPress plugins with exceptional feature sets. Our developers particularly enjoy the ability to convert images to Webp format — the internet’s next-generation image format for greater performance gains. 

Image optimization is just one piece of the Core Web Vitals puzzle, with many other factors affecting the performance of your site and the resultant search placement. At Rock Paper Simple, our SEO optimization experts work hard to stay on top of the latest changes, trends, and technologies that help guide our clients to better-performing pages, higher-ranking websites, and happier customers. Contact us today or take a look at our web design services to see how we can help you realize your marketing goals, including your website performance and ranking. 

 

Resources:

[1] https://developers.google.com/search/blog/2021/04/more-details-page-experience