A lesson in images; Saving, uploading and optimising

If you are a photographer there is little doubt that your website is going to be full of tonnes of images.  The good news is you are able to create a natural eye catching website from all your original lovely photos and with a thought out functional design and awesome branding to compliment your style you should be well on your way to promoting and selling your services.

However make no mistakes with preparing photos for your website!  This is really important for several reasons;

Images for websites need to be saved in a specific way to ensure they are at the smallest file size possible without ruining the quality, otherwise the website will run into a whole load of issues!

Firstly without having images saved in the correct way the website will load very slowly!  You do not want to clog up your hosting with huge image based files and when the website loads slowly, people will simply leave your site and therefore you will lose business.

There are further advantages of having small file sized images as this will save money on hosting.  The smaller the image files are the smaller the website will be and therefore the lesser amount of space is needed to use for hosting and therefore it will be cheaper.

With the above considered Google very rightly will prefer websites which loads quickly and are smaller.  Google will not like a website if it loads slowly and therefore it will down score its credibility.

We will now explain various methods to help reduce image file size and also explain the best way to save photos so that Google and search engines can read what the photos are, this will also help with your position on search engines.

1.  How to compress your photos.

There are several ways to compress your image files and each one is not necessarily the best.  You may use Photoshop or Lightroom to edit your photos and then export them for your website.  We recommend saving your photos as normal JPGs and at the original size, ensuring that no way of saving alters the colours or quality.  We then recommend using any of the following methods to compress the images so it can be easily uploaded and exist on your website at it’s most compressed size without ruining the quality.

Optimising photos for WordPress websites

The above photos look exactly the same however one is about x4 times the size in file size.

There are various websites which you can use for free to batch compress your photos, we recommend the following;

Tiny PNG  https://tinypng.com

Mini JPEG  http://www.jpegmini.com

If you have an existing WordPress website and already have several photos uploaded it is also possible to optimise your photos within WordPress Dashboard.  Knowledge of how to install plugins is needed.

EWWW Image Optimiser  https://wordpress.org/plugins/ewww-image-optimizer/

Smish It  https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-smushit/

2.  Naming your image files

A common mistake that people make is not to rename their photos.  Yes it seems like a hassle and may seem unnecessary, but it’s really worth the effort and we will show you an easy way to go about this.  To explain why we recommend this, Google does not know what a ‘DCM15168.jpg’ is but it does know what ‘wedding-photography-manchester.jpg’ means.  You could choose to enter the name of the venue, what the photo is about, or any key word or phrases about the photo.  Basically just try to be honest about what the photo is.

Naming photos for WordPress websites

An easy and quick method to batch rename your photo files is to use an application or software which will rename all your photos for you, in a few seconds!

Check out: Name Changer http://mrrsoftware.com/namechanger

Also if you are using Windows 7 you can simply select all the files, right click and select rename.

3.  Titles, captions, Alt text/tag, description

You may ask what are all these for and do I need to enter something for all these for every image!?  It may seem pointless and more work but it’s actually really worth adding this in.

Using Alt text, titles and descriptions for WordPress websites

For one Google picks up on Alt tags and will use this tag to read what the photo is about.   Social media sites also use these tags and each Social Media website will use this information differently.  When thinking about what to write here just be honest about each image, try to use key words or phrases about what you do or what the image is about.  The image will then get used accordingly and ultimately contribute to the over all website score and user experience.

That rounds up our 3 part Help and Advice Blog to help you prepare for a new website.  Hope it helps! 🙂

Part 1:  How to prepare for a new website

Part 2:  Domain names, existing blogs, hosting and email

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