Presenting images for the web is not as straightforward as just uploading them to WordPress. If this is your first time creating a site, there are some common aspects many beginners overlook that you'll want to address.
Fortunately, there are simple techniques you can use to maximize the effectiveness of your images online. Taking a careful and strategic approach to customizing and optimizing them can enhance your site's User Experience (UX) and improve the overall perception of your brand.
In this post, we'll discuss the importance of image presentation and how it influences your WordPress site. Then we'll provide you with three key tips you can use to properly display your visual content on the web. Let's go!
Why Properly Presenting Your Images for the Web Matters
When you're deciding which images to add to your site, you might be entirely focused on the content of each photo or graphic. Of course, that's important. You want your visuals to be unique, high-quality, and engaging.
That said, how you edit and display your images also matters. Everything from the size of the files to how you configure them to load can influence not only the aesthetics of your webpages but their performance as well.
Most people recognize the importance of using quality photos rather than low-resolution, grainy, and pixelated ones. However, it's also helpful to consider that higher-quality images often means larger file sizes.
When your site has a large number of 'heavy' images, your server has to work harder to render them. In turn, this can make your site take longer to load, decreasing its overall UX.
How to Present Your Images for the Web (3 Key Tips)
Now that you understand a little bit more about how images influence your website, it's time to learn how to leverage them to your advantage. Here are three key tips for presenting images on the web.
1. Resize Your Images Before Uploading Them to Your Site
Low-resolution images can make your website and brand look amateur and, in turn, compromise customer trust. Naturally, you want to avoid that.
However, your original dimensions may be larger than necessary. For instance, say your theme supports a header image of 740 pixels (px) by 192 px, but the graphic you've created to display there is 1,000 px by 260 px. You could size it down and retain its quality but make it easier to load your site.
There are many tools you can use specifically for resizing images, including our free NextGEN Gallery plugin:
2. Make Sure to Optimize the File Sizes of Your Images
In addition to adjusting your images' dimensions, you also have the opportunity to optimize their file sizes before uploading them to your site. Without getting too deep into the technical aspects of the process, this involves 'compressing' your photos. They should then take less time to load and put less strain on your server.
You can optimize your images without sacrificing their quality. In a nutshell, compression reduces the size of your files (and therefore how much space they take up) by lowering their resolution so slightly there's no perceptible impact on their appearance. Your visitors shouldn't notice a difference.
For this technique, you can use an image optimization tool such as Imagify.
Imagify is free to use, with paid upgrades. You can simply upload your images and it will automatically compress the files for you to download.
3. Add a Lazy Load Plugin for Your WordPress Site
When it comes to optimizing your images, one of the best steps you can take is installing a lazy load plugin on your WordPress site. This a low-effort method for significantly improving your page speed.
Lazy loading prevents all the images on a webpage from rendering at the same time. Instead, visitors' browsers will display your photos only when they come into view as users scroll down.
While there are a handful of worthy plugins to choose from, we recommend WP Rocket Cache, made by the same team behind Imagify.
Once you install and activate the plugin, you can enable the lazy load feature by simply toggling the option On in the tool's settings. Don't forget, Imagify also lets you compress and resize images as you upload them.
Images play a critical role in the appearance and performance of your website. Fortunately, there are some simple strategies you can use to derive the most value from these key visual elements.
In this post, we discussed three tips you can use to for presenting your images online, including:
- Resizing your images before uploading them to your site.
- Making sure to optimize the file sizes of your images.
- Adding a lazy load plugin for your WordPress site.
Do you have any questions about presenting your images for the web? Let us know in the comments section below!