Pictures photos images for WordPress

Pictures photos images slow down your WordPress site

And that affects how many readers stick around long enough to read the words.

Pictures, photos and images make web sites more interesting

But adding photos to your WordPress site forces a trade-off with how fast your site loads. 

Studies have proven that load time has a profound impact on readership.  The impatience of users detailed in this fascinating article  may surprise you.  IF your site takes longer than 3 seconds, you are losing 40% of potential readers, and that’s based on a study done in 2009!  Google will tell you that site speed is taken into account for search rankings.

Pictures photos images — still worth a thousand words?

Photos taken with modern digital cameras are capable of storing huge amounts of information.  But those pixels are bad pixies, magically slowing down site speed.  Recently I realized that I was killing my load time with HUGE photos of two to three megabytes apiece.  Fortunately, the JPEG format, commonly available for digital photos, allows you to negotiate the trade-off.  JPEG compresses images by sacrificing detail, but not that much.  By setting your camera on the lowest setting, or using  a photo editor, you can get perfectly web-worthy images at 50 to 100 KB, a savings of about 97%! 

Pictures, photos and images can be made even smaller

A WordPress plugin called WP Smush.it sends your picture to a “photo fat camp” for further size reduction.  Supported by Yahoo, Smush.it reduced the image above by 18.6% or 17.3 KB.  WP Smush.it is “lossless” so pictures lose data without loss of detail.  WP Smush.it operates right inside the WP Media Library, and from the main WP Dashboard under Media can be set to Bulk Smush.it.  Caveat:  Smush.it has a ceiling of 1 megabyte per picture, so it won’t work if you made the mistake I did and have gargantuan photos in your Media Library.

Want to know more about WP Smush.it?  Check out Optimize your images for faster page loading by the amazing WP guru Dave Clements at doitwithwp.com.

Where to get images?  Another amazing resource article about getting and using images.

4 thoughts on “Pictures photos images for WordPress”

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