Image Compressions and Resizing

Images often take up a significant portion of a page’s size. Transfer times can greatly impact the loading speed of web pages, which is proven to make a difference in convergence rates. This space does not make much of an impact on a computer since the storage on a computer is massive, but when it comes to sending files, these large files take much longer to transfer over the internet. Since the amount of information that a client has to load on a web page is directly proportional to the speed of your website, reducing the size of your images can speed up your website. The speed of your website has a significant impact on both conversion rates and the rank of your website on search engines. Research shows that users on slower sites spend less time on the site, click through the site less, and ultimately, spend less financially.

In order to speed up page load times and improve your ranking on search engines, it is important to make sure that your images are optimized. This optimization comes in two forms, resizing and compression.

What is image resizing?

Resizing images is the process of cropping or shrinking the size of an image. In cases where you would like to use only part of an image, cropping allows you to select a specific area of an image and delete anything outside the selected area. When shrinking an image, the number of pixels is reduced in order to make the image smaller without changing the picture.

What is image compression?

Image compression is the process of reducing the amount of data used to represent an image. There are two types of compression that can be used on images: lossless and lossy.

Lossy image compression is used when you want large reductions in the size of the image. The issue with lossy compression in web design is that an image loses its quality in exchange for the size improvements. This decrease in image quality is often noticeable and can make your images look pixelated.

Lossless compression, on the other hand, does not reduce the quality of the image while still reducing the size of the file. Lossless compression does not usually reduce the size of the file as much as lossy compression, but lossless compression can still reduce the file size of many images by 50% or more. Lossless compression is great for web media since it both reduces file size and keeps the images quality at or very near the original quality.

Why are they so important?

Images that are taken on modern cameras often have high resolution. This resolution is great when it comes to getting details and making large copies of images, but is often overkill when it comes to web design. Most images used on websites are scaled to only be a few hundred pixels in size, while many images are photographed at thousands of pixels in size. The size of these high-resolution images is significantly higher than an image that has been resized to the required dimensions. Loading these large images causes the user’s browser to slow down on your web pages. Image resizing and compression has been made simple and can greatly improve the speed of websites.

Also, think about your users. Studies show that mobile devices now constitute more than 50% of online browsing. Most of these devices are using a limited data plan. When they visit your site, the browser downloads the content for them to see. If you have large images, not only will the site be slower, but it will also use more data since more data is being transferred to the device. Keeping your images small is a priority in this new era of website browsing. You don’t want to lose potential customers due to their latest data bill.

How to resize and/or compress their images?

Many different tools exist that allow you to resize images. Online tools can be found with a simple Google search. These online tools are convenient and can quickly resize or crop an image. The online tools are not alway of the best quality, though, which may cause issues with image quality. If you are going to use a web-based tool to resize images, try out a few different tools and see which of those tools works best for you. It is also possible to get a wide variety of, free and paid, desktop tools that can resize and crop images. The tools available to you will vary depending on the operating system that you use and the amount that you are willing to spend on these tools.

Like resizing, there are also a variety of tools that can be used to compress images. Many of the web tools vary in compression method, so try out multiple tools to find the one that gives you the best mix of quality and size reduction. Also, there are also many desktop tools that can be used to compress images. Regardless of the type of tool that you use, try to use lossless compression so that your images won’t drop in quality.

Summary

Although images contribute to the beauty and quality of your site, it is also important that they don’t undermine your efforts for a fast and smooth user experience. Compression and resizing can help, so get out there and make your site more user-friendly by keeping those image file sizes down! And as always, if you need any help, we would be happy to handle your web development needs. Simply reach out to us by email, and someone will get back to you in a timely fashion.