Just recently I got asked by a client what is the best practice for using images on WordPress. Good question. In this post I will outline a few pointers that will help optimize your WordPress posts.
Why Image Size Does Matter
Optimizing for speed should always be in your mind when using images on your WordPress posts. You will want to evaluate the size of your image before uploading. The best rule of thumb is to maintain an image size that is smaller than the space it will occupy. Using an image larger than the space on the page will definitely slow your site down by expending more load bandwidth!
Don’t Rely on WordPress Thumbnail Feature
WordPress does a great job making available three sizes automatically of your uploaded images: thumbnail, medium and large. While this may sound advantageous, you need to bear in mind that this feature does not compress or optimize the image size. You can read more about the Post Thumbnails feature here.
Optimize Images Prior To Uploading to WordPress
The best practice for using images in WordPress is to optimize the images first. You’ll want to incorporate a step in your graphical editing application (i.e. Photoshop) and opt to reduce image quality for your use in WordPress. This step is easily accomplished when saving the image and selecting ‘save for web & devices’. You can also use an easy web application to reduce image sizes. These days I recommend Kraken.io or JPEGmini.
Positive User Experience is Key
Chances are you’ve done a good job getting your visitors to your site so maintaining a positive user experience is key. Optimizing images yields quicker page load times, reduces bandwidth and provides search ranking benefits since these components factor in to maintaining a mobile friendly site for Google.