Get Your Images Scaled Just Right in WordPress
Living in the fast-paced and dynamic online world, performance optimization is crucial for better user experience and search engine rankings. Images are an integral part of any website, and serving them in the right format and size is increasingly important. WordPress, the ever-popular content management system, offers several options to optimize images for the web, including serving scaled images. Are you perplexed yet? No? Let’s dive deeper and burst with information.
The Importance of Scaling Images in WordPress
Serving scaled images means displaying images in their original size without any unnecessary stretching or scaling. When you upload images in WordPress, it automatically creates several versions based on size defined in media settings. While it is helpful while designing a website, it can decrease the site’s overall speed and performance. An oversized image used as a thumbnail can significantly slow down the loading time. To ensure optimum performance, appropriate-sized images must replace the needlessly large images.
Serving scaled images is critical to improve your website’s speed, point to a positive user experience, and gain organic traffic. Better website loading speed translates to better search engine rankings and a lesser probability of users leaving the site.
Determining Scaled Images in WordPress
Before you start scaling images, you must determine if your images are scaled or not. Scaled images are images displayed smaller or larger than the original dimensions. Here are a few methods to determine scaled images in WordPress:
Method 1: Google PageSpeed Insights
Google PageSpeed Insights is a free tool that assesses a website’s performance and provides suggestions on how to improve it. To determine if your images are scaled, go to the Opportunities tab, and look for the “Serve images in next-gen formats” and “Properly size images” recommendations.
Method 2: GTmetrix
GTmetrix is a free tool that provides a more in-depth analysis of the performance, including images. To determine if your images are scaled, go to the PageSpeed tab and look for the “Properly size images” recommendation.
Method 3: Inspect Tool in Your Browser
Use the inspect tool in your browser by right-clicking over the image to view the dimensions. If the dimensions are larger or smaller than the image’s original size, then the image is scaled.
How to Serve Scaled Images in WordPress
Now that you know how to identify scaled images let’s get scaling right. Here are the steps:
Step 1: Determine the Appropriate Image Dimensions
To serve appropriately scaled images, determine the space’s dimensions where the image will be displayed. For instance, if you plan to use an image as a thumbnail, determine the thumbnail container’s dimensions using your browser’s inspect tool.
Step 2: Resize Your Images
After determining the appropriate image dimensions, resize your images with an online tool or Photoshop. Save the image using the correct format to maintain its visual appeal.
Step 3: Upload Your Images
Upload the resized images to WordPress using the Media option in the left-hand WordPress menu. Click on “Add New” to upload the image, name it appropriately, and fill in the alt-text field.
Step 4: Use the Correct Image Size
When your image is uploaded, choose the suitable size from the drop-down menu to replace the previous oversized images. WordPress will then display the image in the chosen size.
Step 5: Use a Plugin
To ensure automatic scaling of your images, use a plugin such as ShortPixel, Imagify, or Smush. The plugin resizes the images and serves them in the appropriate size for your website’s design.
Serving appropriately scaled images is crucial for better website performance, speed, and user experience. In this article, we have covered the importance of scaling images, how to determine scaled images using different tools, and how to serve appropriately scaled images with the help of online tools, WordPress, or with a plugin. Start scaling your images to improve your website’s overall performance and improve your search engine rankings.