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How to Optimize Image Quality Before Uploading to WordPress

The buzz about visual marketing for brands is true!

When it comes to getting a message across, nothing beats a ‘quality photo’. But what’s the reason behind it? 

Well, the human brain is hardwired for visual content. This is why dedicating considerable time to optimizing the images for your website is a time well spent. Let’s dig in!

Simply put, the images on your website impress your clients to a much greater extent than you could imagine. The visual content stays with them because generally, the audience remembers 80% of what they see and 20% of what they read. This is precisely why 74% of marketers essentially include visual marketing in their content strategy.

Two Requirements For Successful Visual Marketing

You should take the following two factors into account if your goal is to make an image engaging: 

  • Quality
  • Swift Loading 

Image quality is an umbrella term. High resolution is not the only factor that defines the quality of an image. 

Of course, it is the primary concern, but visual marketing has much more to it than an image with a large pixel count. From a meaningful context to clarity and relevance to color contrast, several variables play their part in making an image magical.

But high-resolution images constitute large file sizes, considerably increasing the website load time. 

Whereas compressing an image compromises its quality but makes the website load faster. 

Enter Beebom, an image-focused website. While surfing Beebom, the browsing experience we get is flawless despite a large number of images on it. And this is what we are seeking too.

Therefore, the primary goal is to optimize the image size that favors the website speed while maintaining its (image’s) quality.

Image Optimization Quickly Improves Bounce Rates

Four seconds – if a website takes longer than that to load; it loses the interest of 1 out of every 4 of its potential visitors. This equates to a 25% bounce rate (number of people leaving a  website immediately after landing on one of its pages) caused solely due to the slow loading process. The ideal time for a website to load is within 2 seconds. 

Can you afford a bounce rate of this pace? NO! So, we need a solution. 

Since WordPress is powering nearly half (39.6%) of the websites in 2021, we will keep the focus of this article on image optimization for WordPress.

Every day, over 500 new WordPress websites get on board. In such a competitive space, optimization mistakes can result in your website losing traffic to its competitors.

What is The Optimal Image Size for WordPress Websites?

It is essential to consider that Google requires a webpage size to be under 500KB to perform well.

So, the image size should ideally be under 100kb without quality degradation. In short, the lower the file size, the better the webpage speed.

If you run an image-heavy website, you should aim for every image’s size to be below 100KB. This would help in ensuring a user-friendly experience for visitors.

You can use WordPress image compression plugins to optimize images before uploading them to your WordPress website. However, these plugins don’t provide a way to improve the image quality. 

This prompted us to search for and discover a quicker and smarter way to do the said task.

Our way involves a low or medium-quality image getting enhanced into a superior quality image before being compressed. This method is covered in the case study coming ahead.

Case Study – Image Optimization Tools Tested

We tested two popular tools for quick image optimization:

  • AI Image Upscaler by StockPhotos: This is an image-enlarger tool that converts a low-resolution image into a high-resolution one. 
  • ResizeImage.net: We used this tool to bring down the file size that was increased due to upscaling. 

We were quite satisfied with the results of both the tools and would like to share our experience with you.

Upscaling the Image

ImageUpscaler allows four different formats for resizing images:

  • JPG
  • PNG
  • WEBP
  • BMP

It claims to use AI to prevent the image from distorting or blurring owing to the highly-magnified pixel density.

Below is a blurry image of a baby. The size of the image is 56 KB and its resolution is 413×341 pixels:

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It was effortless to upload the image on the  Image Upscaler through the direct upload button on the home page. The drag and drop image option made the experience even smoother.

The image was upscaled almost instantly. However, you must first upscale it by 2x before you can try the 4x or 8x magnification options.

Here is the result:

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The recovered details in the upscaled image are very evident. The image on the left is the original one with a 30 KB file size. The image on the right is the upscaled version of it i.e. 502 KB. 

Here is the full-sized image after upscaling:

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This processed file has all the unnecessary data and noise reduced. But this was done at the expense of a large file size (56 KB to 502 KB). And what does this large file size translate to? That is correct – Slow loading time.

Resizing the Image 

After enlarging the image, our next course of action was to reduce the file size without impacting its quality.  

Resizeimage.net was our choice for this modification!

So, we chose to reduce the image size by 50% to get it where it was before upscaling. We also applied lite compression so that the WordPress website doesn’t incur load-time issues.

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We also applied normal compression so that the WordPress website doesn’t incur load-time issues.

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Here is the resized image:

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With a 50% reduction in size and slight compression, we’ve got the file size of 28KB yet the image quality was much better when compared to the original image.

Both procedures (upscaling and resizing) took us about a minute or two. This is an excellent practice for minimizing the loading time of a website without compromising on the image quality. 

Conclusion

The images you add to your website are a reflection of your brand identity. They help convert visitors into customers.

In fact, images breathe life into the content and help the visitors understand the sentiments attached to your brand.

But you need to realize that it is the speed of your website that decides the incoming traffic. If a visitor lands on your website but its image-heavy nature causes it to take forever to load, the visitor won’t wait. This would cause you to lose potential clients.

To reduce your website’s loading time without giving up on the quality of images on it, you can simply follow the two methods we discussed above. This way, you can open the door to countless more visits to your website.

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Anariel Design

Anariel Design is an online web design agency that is all about matching unique and fresh ideas with simplicity and user friendliness. Life is complicated enough and we believe that most people need simple yet effective solutions for their online presence. This very philosophy is built into everything we do. Beside putting a lot of time and heart into our designs we put as much effort supporting our themes, giving it a very human and friendly touch.

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