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how to optimise WordPress images: 6 simple, actionable tips

how to optimise WordPress images: 6 simple, actionable tips

how to optimise WordPress images: 6 simple, actionable tips

home / Archives for July 2021

Optimising your WordPress images is important to maximise website performance in numerous areas – including speed, search engine rankings, user experience (UX) and mobile-friendliness.

In this blog, we provide six simple, actionable tips to optimise WordPress images for a fast-loading, SEO-happy and user-friendly site…

1. install an image optimisation plugin (or two!)

An image optimisation plugin is a great way to ensure your WordPress images are compressed and resized for your webpages. We recommend Smush – it’s award-winning and totally free, so win-win!

Images are often responsible for slow loading times on WordPress, as they tend to be the heaviest website elements. Therefore, Smush compresses images into smaller versions for more rapid loading.

Smush also has several other handy image optimisation features. In particular, the lazy loading feature is well worth activating to improve UX and site speed, as it delays the loading of offscreen images until users scroll down.

Another great image optimisation plugin is WebP Express. It speeds up your site’s mobile performance by re-encoding images into super-quick webp versions for mobile browsers.

2. crop & edit images before uploading

As well as using an on-site image optimisation plugin, it’s also a good idea to crop and compress images off-site, before uploading to WordPress.

There are lots of great free tools which do this, such as Pixlr and Resize Image. With these, you can edit your image into the exact size and shape you want, and also substantially reduce file size.

It’s also worth considering, and sometimes changing, the file type for your image. Jpg images are usually the lightest, most practical file type for most photos. However, if your images are graphics or have transparent backgrounds, then a different file type will be needed.

3. always include alt text

Alt text is a short description that explains what’s happening in an image. This text is key for SEO and web accessibility, and will also appear if an image is unable to load.

Make sure to complete the alt text box whenever you upload an image to WordPress. Try to use clear, descriptive language to help both users and search engines understand your images.

You can add alt text to existing images in Media > Library on your WordPress dashboard. Once there, simply click on any image, and complete the ‘Alternative Text’ box.

4. add a favicon

A favicon is a thumbnail image that represents your website in web browser tabs and bookmark lists. It should be an instantly recognisable symbol for your brand and website, such as the multicoloured ‘G’ favicon for Google below:

Google favicon

We recommend either using a square version of your logo or choosing another image that works well in a small format.

You can add (or update) your favicon in WordPress by going to Appearance > Customise and then selecting ‘General Settings’ and ‘Site Identity’. Make sure your chosen image is at least 512 x 512 pixels in size, or it will appear blurry.

5. check for unoptimised images

We recommend regularly checking your website for unoptimised images. You can do this using an image optimisation plugin, such as Smush, or with a free online speed checker such as GTmetrix.

With GTmetrix, simply type in your WordPress website URL and click ‘Test your site’. A performance report will then be generated with two different speed scores. You’ll also find detailed recommendations for improving your site’s speed, with any bulky, unoptimized images highlighted.

6. clean-up your Media Library

Our final tip for optimising WordPress imagery is to clean-up your Media Library.

Whenever you upload an image or file in WordPress, several copies are made for different purposes. Some plugins and themes also duplicate image files.

This means that every time you add a website image, the size of your site grows substantially – using up more space on your server, reducing page speed, and taking longer to backup.

We recommend regularly clearing out your Media Library (in Media > Library) and removing any duplicate, old or unused image files. To delete a single image, simply click the ‘Delete Permanently’ option in red at the bottom of the screen. You’ll also need to click ‘OK’ in the WordPress popup.

Alternatively, you can delete images in bulk, by choosing ‘Bulk Select’ at the top of your Media Library page. Just tick any images you’d like to remove, and click ‘Delete Selected’. Once again, you’ll need to press ‘OK’ in the popup message to complete the process.

want award-winning WordPress support?

Our expert developers have built, supported and maintained hundreds of WordPress websites – from updating messaging for JRRT to launching a bold and fully-responsive site for Anti-Slavery International. For further information about our WordPress support and maintenance services, please get in touch.

Or, for more expert WordPress tips, make sure to read our Ultimate WordPress Optimisation Guide and other WordPress blogs.

is your Drupal website mobile-friendly?

is your Drupal website mobile-friendly?

is your Drupal website mobile-friendly?

home / Archives for July 2021

With the majority of internet browsing sessions taking place on mobiles and tablets, it’s essential your Drupal website is mobile-friendly.

Drupal website-owners often ask us how to check and optimise their sites for mobile and tablet use, so we’ve put together this short guide with all the information you need…

why Drupal sites need to be mobile-friendly

Mobile and tablet screens are substantially smaller than desktop screens. This means that your Drupal website needs to be displayed differently in order to be viewable and interactive for mobile and tablet users.

If you don’t have good user experience on your mobile site, users will be likely to exit. For example, when mobile visitors have to keep zooming in/out or can’t see important information, they’ll probably give up and find an alternative website.

Mobile optimisation is also an important factor in search engine algorithms, with Google prioritising mobile-friendly sites in its search results. In fact, Google works on a ‘mobile-first’ basis when indexing and ranking websites. Therefore, if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re probably losing a substantial amount of organic traffic.

how to check mobile-friendliness on Drupal

There are two great, free tools that you can use to check your Drupal website’s mobile-friendliness.

The Responsive Test shows how your site is displayed on screens of all sizes. This gives a great insight into what users are seeing when they access your site from different devices.

The Google Mobile-Friendly Test looks at specific URLs, checking whether they’re mobile-friendly. It also highlights any errors and page loading issues which may need to be addressed.

mobile-friendliness for Drupal 8 & Drupal 9

If you have a Drupal 8 or Drupal 9 site, then you’re already well on the way to mobile-friendliness! These versions of Drupal were made with mobile in mind and have more than 100 features to ensure your site is displayed effectively across devices.

The Drupal 8/9 core features include:

  • mobile responsive themes
  • automatic imagery scaling and resizing
  • responsive elements and tables
  • mobile back-end administration

However, you can still further optimise your Drupal website for mobile. To keep mobile visitors happy, try to focus on your key messages and avoid surplus information that may distract or confuse on a smaller screen.

Mobile visitors also expect rapidly-loading webpages, with 50% of people leaving sites which take longer than two seconds to appear. So make sure to read our blog about how to increase Drupal website speed too.

mobile-friendliness for Drupal 7

If you have a Drupal 7 website (or earlier Drupal version), the best way to ensure mobile-friendliness is with a responsive theme.

By using a responsive theme – rather than creating a separate mobile version of your site – you only need to make site changes once. The theme will adapt your content so it’s displayed appropriately and appealingly on different devices.

You can check whether your current theme is responsive in this Drupal.org list. If yours isn’t responsive, you can either switch to a different theme or install modules with mobile-friendly features. For example, the Mobile module removes CSS so that your site displays more easily on mobile.

As well as optimising how your site is displayed on different screens, it’s also vital to optimise your Drupal images for mobile. Mobile visitors generally expect sites to load quickly, and bulky, oversized images are the top culprit for slowing down Drupal sites.

Ideally, you should crop and compress images before you upload them to Drupal, using a tool such as Photoshop or Resize Image. We also recommend adding an image optimisation module, such as as Image Optimize to further compress images for different devices.

the take-home message

With more than half of browsing sessions taking place on mobile devices, having a mobile-friendly Drupal website is essential for success. Whatever version of Drupal you’re using, make sure to optimise messages for visitors on smaller screens, ensure images are appropriately-sized, and keep checking and improving your page speed.

 

For more expert Drupal tips, read our ultimate Drupal optimisation guide, which includes everything you need to know about optimising and maintaining your Drupal website.

Or, for on-demand Drupal support from an award-winning agency with more than two decades of experience, please get in touch.

top digital industry news – summer 2021

top digital industry news – summer 2021

top digital industry news – summer 2021

home / Archives for July 2021

We share the digital industry’s best news stories, insights, tips and content from summer 2021…

pedalo & client news

WordPress

Drupal

SEO

marketing & social

web & digital

 

Need expert web development or support? We’re a London-based agency with more than two decades of experience, specialising in Drupal and WordPress.

To find out more, give us a call on 020 8747 3274 or complete our contact form.

10 reasons to choose WordPress

10 reasons to choose WordPress

10 reasons to choose WordPress

home / Archives for July 2021

As a specialist WordPress agency, of course we love WordPress!

But why is WordPress so special? What makes it the CMS of choice for millions of websites around the world?

We share ten reasons why WordPress is brilliant, and why you should choose WordPress for your next web design project.

1. it’s free

Unlike many other website content management systems, WordPress is free. It’s an open-source platform, which means that anyone can use it to create a blog or website without charge.

As running a website can be expensive, with domain registration, web designer fees, hosting and other costs, choosing WordPress helps keep things affordable.

2. easy setup

WordPress websites are constructed using design templates called themes. Not only are there are thousands of free themes available to choose from, but many of them can also be adapted to your unique requirements without needing any technical knowledge or code writing skills.

Because of this straightforward structure, WordPress websites can usually be setup more quickly and easily than with other CMSs.

3. versatility

Whilst WordPress was originally a blogging platform, its versatility and wide range of features mean that it can now be used for almost any kind of website.

WordPress is a great platform for lots of different purposes, including informational/brochure sites, jobs boards, e-commerce stores, forums, directories and more.

4. plugins

Plugins are small software components which add additional features. There are a vast number of plugins available which can be used to customise your WordPress site for exactly the design and functionality you want.

Additional functionality can include fundraising, event booking, social media integration, photo galleries and much, much more. Plugins are very easy to install and add-on to your WordPress site, and many are free too!

5. SEO-friendliness

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of optimising your website so that it’s displayed higher up on search engine results pages. WordPress sites are naturally well-optimised for SEO, which means you have a good chance of gaining organic traffic without too much effort.

It’s also easy to further improve your SEO game with a WordPress SEO plugin. We recommend Yoast, which has features including showing how your webpages appear on search engines and rating the SEO quality of your content.

6. media-rich content

With its built-in media uploader which handles images, videos and audio files, WordPress is a brilliant platform for sharing rich and engaging content. It’s also super-easy to add content from social media (eg. YouTube videos) – just paste the relevant URL into your WordPress editor.

WordPress also has an intuitive backend interface which means it’s straightforward to create and update all content – even if you’re not a techie. And with WordPress 5.8, the latest WordPress software version, creating media-rich content is becoming even easier!

7. trusted by big names

Whilst WordPress started out as a platform for bloggers, it’s now the website CMS of choice for some of the world’s largest companies and brands.

We use WordPress for the Pedalo website, as do household names including Spotify, PlayStation, Beyoncé and CNN.

8. mobile-responsive

With more than half of internet browsing sessions taking place on mobiles and tablets, and mobile compatibility also affecting search engine rankings, having a mobile-friendly website is a must.

With WordPress, you don’t need to change your site to make it mobile-friendly. It automatically responds and adapts to different browsers so that users can access your content on all devices.

9. regular security patches

With bots constantly searching the internet for security weaknesses to exploit, your website needs up-to-date security protection to stay safe.

Fortunately, WordPress updates are made regularly to patch security issues as they arise. This means that as long as you keep your WordPress software updated, your site will stay one step ahead of the hackers.

10. popularity

More than a third of all websites use WordPress, with 70 million new posts published using the platform each month.

In fact, WordPress is used by more than 64 million sites! So if you choose WordPress for your next web design, you can rest assured that its popularity is a testament to its brilliance.

want help with your WordPress project?

Our award-winning team of WordPress developers have helped countless clients build beautiful websites – from updating branding and messaging for JRRT to launching a bold and fully-responsive site for Anti-Slavery International.

We’d love to chat about your next WordPress project, so please get in touch. We also have lots more WordPress tips and advice in our Ultimate WordPress Optimisation Guide and other WordPress blogs.