In the digital age, website speed and performance are critical factors that can have a significant impact on your online success. With users' attention spans getting shorter and shorter and expectations of websites getting higher and higher, a slow and top-heavy website can result in a significant loss of traffic... and ultimately of revenue! The main reasons for a slow website are large images, videos and GIFs that greatly slow down page loading.
In this article, we will explore 4 simple and free improvements to optimize the speed of your website by improving the format, size and weight of your images and minimizing the use of heavy video files and GIFs. By implementing these tips, you can improve your website's performance, user experience, and ultimately your site's search engine rankings... without having to seek the help of a developer!
So if you're looking for ways to improve your website's speed and search engine visibility, keep reading!
1. Make sure you use a good image format
The difference between a JPEG and a PNG.
JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) and PNG (Portable Network Graphics) are both popular file formats for digital images, but they differ in the way they compress and store image data.
The PNG format is a lossless compression format that compresses the file while retaining its original quality, making it suitable for images that need to be edited and saved multiple times without affecting quality. Since PNG contains more information, and therefore more details than JPEG, it is best for more complex images, such as graphics or icons where file size is not a priority. It is also essential to know that PNG formats support transparency areas on images, which is often a decisive advantage for users.
JPEG is a lossy compression format, which means that it discards some of the image information during compression to reduce the file size, making it ideal for photographs and images with lots of color and gradients. However, repeated editing and saving of a JPEG file can result in a noticeable loss of quality and detail. Don't worry, you can control the level of quality loss, achieving the desired balance between quality and weight to achieve ideal performance. JPEG definitely offers more latitude in file size due to greater compression capability, which PNG cannot achieve since this format must retain some data to allow for transparency.
Our free tool recommendation to help you optimize your image sizes
Resizing images to the exact dimensions predetermined for each website is a key step in improving the speed of your website, and therefore for the user experience. It is important to note that uploading images larger than required can be counterproductive and only hurt loading speed, without improving the quality of the website. Using a free online tool will definitely make your life easier, and the one we use and recommend to our clients is "Resizer". It offers several options, such has:
- Resize your image to the size you want.
- Change the format of your image.
- Crop your image.
We understand that you are not a developer or a designer, it is normal that you do not have all the complex tools at hand. However, you can gain maximum autonomy with the various free online tool options to make sure you use the best practices on your website. One of them is to optimize your image formats, and thus improve your website's performance, then user experience and search engine ranking.
2. Compress you images
Image compression is another effective way to reduce file size and speed up the loading time of a website. Image compression works by removing unnecessary data from an image while preserving its visual quality. Again, there are several free online tools that allow you to do this compression yourself with just one click, our favorite is "TinyPNG".
Compression techniques require a loss of quality and are mainly used to reduce the size of your JPEG and PNG files. The free online tools judiciously select the colors of the image to reduce the number of bytes needed to store the data. Although this is almost imperceptible, it has a significant impact on the final file size.
To give you an idea, here is an example of the image compression used in this article. You can see that we have saved 81% of the total weight of the image. On a full site, these savings become substantial, and you won't notice the difference.
3. Reduce the amount of videos or GIFs
The amount of videos and GIFs on a website can have a significant impact on the download speed of the site. Videos and GIFs can be very large files that therefore slow down the loading time of a page. This can result in a poor user experience, as users become frustrated and may leave the site.
It is recommended to limit the total size of all multimedia files on a page. As a general rule, the size of each video or GIF should not exceed 1 MB. This way, the website can still load quickly and efficiently without being cluttered with too many large files.
4. Compress your videos and GIFs
Video compression is the process of reducing the size of a video file by deleting or compressing some data. As with images, there are two main types of video compression: lossless and with loss. Lossless compression preserves all the data in the original video file without loss of quality, but the reduction in file size is limited. With loss compression, on the other hand, removes data that is less important to the video, which reduces the file size, but results in some loss of quality.
Once again, we can make use of free online compression tools, such as veed.io, which uses a combination of lossless and with loss compression techniques to compress videos and GIFs. These tools allow users to choose the resolution and level of compression they want to apply to their video, which can help balance video quality with file size reduction.
It's important to keep in mind that even compressed videos can be heavy, so it's best to avoid using too much on your website. So using video compression tools can be a useful and easy way to reduce the size of video and GIF files on your website, as long as you take care to balance quality and size reduction.
Optimizing the performance of a website is essential to providing users with a smooth and enjoyable browsing experience. The good news is that there are many simple and free ways to improve the speed of a website, even without the help of a developer. As mentioned in this article, the proper use of images, videos and GIFs are effective techniques that can be implemented easily, and in less than a day. They are also good practices to incorporate into your habits.
While these tips can go a long way in improving the speed of your website, you may reach a plateau in your quest for a high-performance website. This is when you can seek the help of a developer to perform some more advanced optimizations, such as:
- Minifying CSS and JS files.
- Making sure there is no "dead code" (unnecessary code).
- Separating CSS/JS files to use asynchronous loading: loading non-critical resources asynchronously, so that they don't block the loading of critical resources.
- Ensure that your website is designed to be responsive and optimized for mobile users, who are less powerful than a computer.
- Minimize HTTP requests: reduce the number of HTTP requests needed to load your website.... This can be CSS files, JS files, videos, images or typography to be downloaded and even pixels used to track marketing data.
It's up to you!
Need help optimizing the speed of your website? Our team of developers is here to help!