*Updated on 9/6/2023
We all know that effective web pages have to look great, and images play a huge role in that. Fortunately, it’s never been easier to snap a crystal-clear photo and blast it out to the internet.
However, we also know that images play a big role in degrading performance, and those perfect pics can cost you. Below we see just how quickly load time can be affected by image size. This is why it’s a good idea, early on, to plan how you want to use images on your site and what the ideal dimensions should be.
While it’s true you may need a hefty picture for that fancy full-screen background effect, more often than not, many sites load huge images that only display in small pixel windows. Resizing those images to fit the intended display area can save a ton of weight and this is where we let Sitefinity do the heavy lifting.
How to Generate Different Size Images with Sitefinity
Each time you upload an image, Sitefinity automatically generates several versions with different, pre-determined sizes. These additional sizes are then available for you to drop into pages or work into your templates.
For example, let’s say we have a 2000x1300 px image weighing in around 500kb, and have determined for our news content, that we need:
- 150x150 px news list thumbnail
- 300x300 px featured article thumbnail
- 600x300 px full article header image
All we have to do is hit upload and Sitefinity goes to work scaling, cropping, and saving a separate file for each dimension.
Just like that, our news list can now display a properly sized thumbnail at a mere 5kb rather than the original 2000 px behemoth, saving us bandwidth, load time, and user frustration.
How to Get Started with Image Management in Sitefinity
1. Get organized
We recommend you have a plan to organize your images into specific folders or libraries. This will make the automated process more efficient, but will also help you find what you need later on.
2. Set your sizes
This is where you tell Sitefinity what sizes to create when you upload an image. Ideally, you will determine this beforehand, but you can always add new sizes later. Read this step by step tutorial to get set up.
3. Upload images
Now that Sitefinity knows what you need, you can start uploading. As long as you upload your images to the proper libraries, Sitefinity will do the rest making a potentially dauting task a breeze for even the most casual content editors.
When it comes to optimizing your images, you have to think about more than just the size of the image. If you’re looking to utilize your images to their highest potential, you should consider optimizing your images for search engines using the tips laid out below.
Descriptive File Names
The first thing that you should consider when optimizing your images should be to give each image a descriptive name. If you avoid generic names like “image1.jpg” and instead incorporate relevant keywords into the file name, you can improve search engine visibility. You should also be sure to use hyphens to separate words in the file name because search engines will read these hyphens as spaces.
Alt text, also known as alternative text, is a brief description of an image that’s displayed when the image cannot be loaded or is accessed by screen readers for visually impaired users. In order to properly implement alt text, be sure to provide meaningful and descriptive text for each image on your website and avoid descriptions like “image.” You should also incorporate relevant keywords into the alt text, but avoid keyword stuffing, instead the alt text should be natural and provide context to the image.
Image captions are short descriptions or titles that appear below an image and provides additional context and information. These are often read by users and can help convey the message of the image. When you’re writing captions for your images, be sure to incorporate keywords naturally, but prioritize readability and relevance to the image.
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Impact of Image Size on User Engagement and Conversions
Website speed, user engagement, and conversions are all intertwined. If your website speed is slow, it may resulting in visitors becoming frustrated, which then leads to a decrease in conversions. On the other hand, if your website loads quickly, more users will continue to engage with your website and there will be an increase in the conversions for your business. Having optimized images will not only ensure that your images are more accessible and load quickly, but will also lead to your website loading more quickly, which will enhance the user experience.
Correlation Between Website Speed and Conversions
It’s important to note that faster websites are more likely to convert visitors into customers, whereas slow-loading websites can frustrate users, which may lead to abandoned shopping carts and lost sales. Optimized images contribute to a smoother and more enjoyable browsing experience, increasing the likelihood of conversions. Research has shown that improving website speed can lead to an increase in conversion rates, average order value, and overall revenue.
How to Enhance User Experience with Optimized Images
Optimized images enhance the overall user experience on a website because they load quickly, which reduces wait times and providing a seamless browsing experience. When your website has high-quality, properly sized images improve the visual appeal of a website, it becomes more attractive and engaging to users. By optimizing images, you can provide a better user experience, leading to increased user satisfaction, engagement, and conversions.
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Impact of Website Speed on Mobile User Experience
It’s important to keep Google’s mobile first indexing in mind, which means that Google uses the mobile version of a website to index and rank pages its search results before the desktop version. This means that it’s more important than ever to ensure that your mobile website has a fast-loading time, and the optimization of your images plays a large role.
What’s the Cost of Having a Slow Website?
If you have a website that suffers from slow speeds, you run the risk of lost conversions, decreased user engagement, and negative brand perception. When your website is slow, it can lead to frustrations from users, and this may result in abandoned shopping carts. This could cause a loss in sales and decreased conversion rates. When users get frustrated with your site, it can also lead to lower engagement, higher bounce rates, and reduced time spent on the site. Slow speeds can also harm a brand’s reputation, which may lead to a loss of trust and credibility among your audience.
How to Measure Website Speed and Identifying Areas for Improvement
If you’re unsure what your website speed is or how to improve it, there are a wide variety of tools available. Tools like Google PageSpeed Insights, GTmetrix, and Pingdom are effective tools to measure your website speed and identify different performance issues that are affecting your speed.
When measuring website speed and performance, there are a few key performance metrics to keep in mind. The first is Time to First Byte (TTFB), which measures how long it takes for your website to load the first byte of information from a server after a request. First Contentful Paint (FCP) is a measurement of how quickly a browser loads the first piece of content on a page. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) measures how quickly the main content of your website is loaded. Total Blocking Time is the amount of time that a web page is blocked from responding to a user interaction during the loading process.
Along with implementing these tools and metrics, it’s highly recommended to conduct regular performance audits to monitor website speed and implement optimization strategies. These allow you to maintain high speed on your website and ensure that it’s running efficiently.
How Does Website Hosting Affect Website Speed
When thinking about your website speed and efficiency, it’s important to understand the role of website hosting. It’s imperative that your website is hosted on a reliable and high-performance hosting provider in order to ensure that your website is running at it’s full potential. Content Delivery Networks (CDN) works by distributing user requests and serving content directly from edge services, which brings the content faster to users. CDNs will improve your website performance and page speed as well as an increase in reliability and redundancy. At the same time, it’s important to have sufficient server resources that are able to handle website traffic and ensure fast load times for your website visitors.
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