When it comes to uploading images to your website, there are a few things that you need to take into consideration. When using a CMS such as WordPress, you may think it’s as easy as clicking “Add Media” and selecting all of your images. In a way, it is. It doesn’t mean it’s the correct way. In fact, it’s far from it.
There are some major pitfalls to blindly uploading images:
- Images aren’t sized properly – Not only do they take up more space on your server, they’re larger than they ever need to be. This will increase your load times, and will irritate users on slower connections. As a result, your bounce rate will increase. This will also drag down your own internet connection when uploading and downloading the photos.
- Bad for SEO – How are Google and the other search engines going to know what your image is about when it’s called DSC_009882734.jpg? My guess is you’re also using something similar as an alt tag by default, or worse, you have no alt tags. If you name the image properly before uploading, WordPress will use attempt to use that image name as an alt tag!
Now, a few tips on getting your images created properly:
- Check where your images will be on your site. What is the largest that image will ever be? Set it to that.
- Check your image’s resolution? For the most part, you can stick to 72 dpi (unless you’re doing a special case in regards to a retina logo, which is rare). In Photoshop, go to “Image” -> “Image Size” and make sure you’re set on 72 dpi under the “Resolution” setting.
- Do your images need any transparency? If not, stick to .JPG files. PNG’s take up more space.
- If you have time, open it up in Photoshop and trim down the quality a bit. For example, jpg’s can often be trimmed down to 30% of the filesize just by moving the quality setting from 11 to 7. Keep an eye on it and drop it down until you notice a change in quality. There is no perfect answer for this, and it depends on your case.
- Lastly, name your image. Image names should be lowercase, and contain dashes in place of spaces. DO NOT use underscores in your name! Images should also be done strategically to match the keywords for your site.