According to Google’s Official Webmaster Central Blog, page loading speed is a crucial factor in how the search engine giant ranks websites. It’s important to users, too. People visiting a site that loads slowly are more likely to leave and find another resource before the page finishes loading.
There are many culprits behind these slow-loading webpages. One of the most common is large, unoptimized images.
If you’re trying to speed things up, using a tool like the ShortPixel plugin for WordPress can make optimizing images a breeze. Read on to learn how to use Shortpixel to reduce the page loading times on your WordPress site.
How Image Compression Reduces Page Loading Times
When a visitor opens your website on their device, their browser “asks” the webserver to fetch the files and display them locally. Most of your website’s loading time is due to it sending out these HTTP requests.
Large images are very data-heavy and require more HTTP requests to load. Compressing your images means the server doesn’t have to send as many large data packets to the receiving browser. This can drastically improve page loading speed.
There are two main types of image compression: lossy and lossless. Lossy compression trades quality for the sake of file size, while lossless compression reduces file size without sacrificing visual quality. Both file types have benefits, which is why it helps to have a tool like ShortPixel that employs multiple compression methods for various use cases.
How to Use the ShortPixel WordPress Plugin
The first step to using Shortpixel with your WordPress site is setting up an account with them, after which they’ll email you with instructions for installation. After that, it’s as simple as installing the plugin via the /wp-content/plugins/ directory. Open the
“plugins menu” and enter your personalized API key to activate the product.
Once you’re done with the initial setup, head over to the media library. There, you can choose to automatically compress and optimize any uploaded images. You can do this for both new images and existing galleries.
The standard ShortPixel settings let you choose between all the most popular image formats for webpages. It’s one-click backup also lets you restore images to their original forms. ShortPixel runs in the background and plays nice with other WP plugins, so you’ll never have to worry about it causing problems on your site.
You can try out the service’s basic offers for free. When you need to compress more than 100 images per month or want access to advanced features, ShortPixel offers a variety of affordable packages you can choose from based on your site’s needs.
Install the ShortPixel Image Optimizer to Boost Your Page Speed
When it comes to boosting your site’s SERP rankings, page loading speed is a factor that can’t be ignored. Instead of playing a game of guess-and-check with image sizes, do yourself a favor and use ShortPixel to compress your graphics within the WordPress interface. It will save you time and your visitors will be thrilled with a quick-loading, image-rich web experience.
If you need help refining your site’s user experience beyond compressing large images, J+B Web Development is here for you. Contact us today to set up a free consultation.