Is the Size of Your Images Increasing Page Load Times?
Written by – Dulumoni Das
We live in a world where everything is fast-paced. Hence, we want information to be quickly accessible. For website owners, this has got significant implications. They must know that the right kind of media is key to creating a personalized, efficient, attractive and engaging website that will also load faster.
But then which is the best type of media to use on a website?
Effectively, you can use any form of media on your site to convey your message. While both video and audio content can boost user experience, they may be regarded as optional. They should be used only when they seem appropriate for your target audience, considering all of their expectations, capabilities and limitations.
Talking about video content, you might have to consider the devices that people will use to access your site, as well as other technical limitations.
Put simply, videos can be an excellent way to engage users. But what if your visitors’ devices fail to stream the videos you post.
Audio too has similar limitations. Imagine that you have an audio tour of your website. It is unlikely that anyone will listen to it if they don’t have headphones plugged into their device. After all, who would want to disturb people around?
So, the most effective medium to improve user experience, if we use it with reason, is images.
Images on your website can do more than you can imagine-
Research shows that people retain 80% of what they see, and 20% of what they read. Studies also suggest that at least 65% of people are visual learners. Humans can process images in just about 13 milliseconds. These statistics and others support the notion that images are a powerful tool for communication. Their most important function, perhaps, is to remove language barriers because they can be understood by anyone around the globe.
Images are used on the Internet for many reasons. They can be used to improve a website’s appeal, illustrate stories, or to promote products and services through ad displays.
Around 3.2 billion images are uploaded online each day. Many of these highlight brands without using any text.
The Generation Y prefers a picture-based way of communicating information over a text-based one. Millennials grew up with technology and the internet. And they will soon be the largest segment of consumers.
So, having images on your website can be an amazing way to cater to this segment by optimizing your site’s SEO, increasing users’ dwell time and improving the overall user experience.
Page load time is a core web vital and can be as important as having images on your website… or perhaps even more—
Name a domain, and you will have hundreds or maybe thousands of websites trying to grab eyeballs.
So, if your media rich website fails to download quickly on someone’s browser, and they immediately make an exit, you can’t really blame them. There are other faster loading sites waiting to accommodate such users.
Page load speed is an extremely important parameter that is used by search engines to gauge user engagement.
Imagine there are two web pages operating in the same domain, featuring identical information. Note that the one with a faster loading time will rank better on search engines. So, it’s not hard to imagine what happens to a website which has got, say, 100 faster loading rival websites.
Now, the most important question that pops up here is— What makes a website sluggish?
It’s the ingrained media in the website, especially images.
Images don’t just consume a lot of space on a website, they also eat up a lot of the bandwidth.
Here is how images can considerably slow down your website, increasing the page load time-
Images can increase the load time of a website by several notches when they are bulky-
Bulky images are nothing but large, high-resolution files that have not been compressed.
Fixing this issue will require you to take the following measures-
- Optimize the display size-
Figure out the best height and width for an image so that it gets displayed optimally on various end-user devices such as smartphones, tablets, laptops and desktops.
Avoid using one big image and then scaling the display size with the IMG element’s height and width attributes. Instead of that, focus on generating different sized image files and then storing them.
Make use of conditional logic so that user devices can have access to an appropriately sized image file.
- Optimize the resolution-
Choosing the right resolution too can make a sea of difference. For instance, almost all 15-inch laptops come with screens having a display capacity of 100 PPI or DPI. So, is there a point in having 300 DPI images on your website if the majority of your target audience consumes your website content on their laptops? Surely not! You will only make your images unnecessarily bulky by doing so. Remember, 72 PPI is the standard image resolution meant for web pages. Almost all the screens on which website content is generally viewed have their image display capacity ranging from 72 to 100 PPI. 300 PPI is extremely high resolution and is only suited for print.
- Manipulating the images could also help-
The most common file formats used for image compression are PNG, GIF and JPEG. Image files with such extensions contain a lesser number of bytes. So, when a user downloads them, they can download them faster, and the files won’t eat up a lot of space on their device. But then the good news is that such files can be further optimized. So, all you need is to decrease the unnecessary overhead that remains stored with images as meta-data.
You can also decrease an image file size without compromising on its visual details by using certain applications when the image is static, or by using a cloud image solution when the image is dynamic. There are other image manipulation techniques too that you can use to optimize images in a way that they decrease your website’s load time.
Too many HTTP requests to your site can negatively impact its load speed-
All the image files that you have on your site need separate connections to the server.
That means, when the number of images on a web page is too high, it will not just add up to the weight of the website but will also overwork the connection to the server, sending more HTTP requests than what is permitted.
So, what’s the solution?
- Have fewer images on your site-
Choose images that can do a lot of talking. Each image you choose for your website should be able to convey what five images together can convey. This way, you will be able to convey all your messages through your website without using a lot of images. Keeping less than five images on a website could improve its load time significantly.
- Leverage the power of a CDN network-
CDN is a network arrangement in which the files of your website are cached in various servers stationed across the globe. This allows users a speedier access to your site, regardless of how heavy it is.
- Avoid shared hosting-
When you opt for shared hosting, your site doesn’t get the kind of attention it requires as the resources get distributed across all the websites sharing the server. The worst part is that each site is permitted to have only about 10 or less than 10 simultaneous connections. It doesn’t just limit the number of file requests you can raise but also reduces the number of visitors simultaneously requesting to view your site. So, the best solution to this problem would be to upgrade to a Virtual Private Server or VPS.
Standards for the web are constantly changing, which means that users have higher expectations of websites today than they had earlier. This implies that you can’t take any aspect of your website for granted. Coming to images— While they are essential for your site’s growth, your choices linked to images can’t be random. Starting from their resolution and file size to format and frequency of use, everything can have a strong impact on your site’s performance or load time.
Mogi’s Proprietary Video/Image Tech
Mogi I/O (www.mogiio.com) is an AI enabled Video & Image Delivery SaaS that helps Content Platforms to Improve Customer Engagement by enabling Buffer free Streaming Experience for the user through a patented multi-CDN upstream architecture called Mogi Streaming Engine, Enhanced experience through quality enhancement and compression of up to 50% both during transcoding itself and Deeper user insights through Advanced Video Analytics.
Mogi’s Core Image Tech provide upto 80% lossless compression on images, making them extremely light for easy loading. It also auto-resizes images based on screen size of the device to better optimize the image quality and the view .Finally, the smart crop also removes non-prominent areas from the images. Mogi’s Core Image Tech can be integrated seamlessly with your existing system. You can either choose your CDN, or our CDN and we would work either way, compressing and optimizing images on the fly. Clients have got up to 4x faster website load time, and 50% savings on bandwidth and CDN bills through lighter images.
Contact us now to make your website load faster, rank Higher on SEO and reduce bounce rates – firstname.lastname@example.org