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How to Edit and Optimize Images for Your Website: 20 Beginner-Friendly Tips

Edit and Optimize Image for Website

Optimized images play a significant role when creating an SEO-friendly website, but if you aren’t an editor, that process can be more painful than it needs to be. But, there are plenty of online tools you can use to make the most out of your photos without slowing down your website.

    How to Optimize and Edit Your Images for On-Site SEO

    You don’t have to be a master coder or photo editor to create an optimized on-site SEO or technical SEO. Here’s how you can create beautiful images and speed up your website.

    1. Start With High-Quality Images

    Whether you pull your photos from a stock image website or hire an experienced photographer, your optimization journey will start with high-quality photos. Before using or editing a photo from a stock image site, read the terms and conditions to make sure you aren’t breaching copyright.

    2. Use Graphics and Logos

    Stock photos can be used for a lot of things, but they can’t be used for everything. Your graphics and logos should be created by you or another artist, as it ensures your website stays on brand. Most graphics and logos are much smaller than photos, but you’ll still need to optimize them.

    3. Use the JPG File Format for Photos

    JPGs or JPEGs can handle all of the colors in a photograph in a small file size. If you save a photo as a PNG, you’ll be met with an enormous file size. JPGs are also capable of lossy and lossless optimization, which you can use to adjust the quality level for a smaller file size.

    4. Use the PNG File Format for Graphics

    PNGs are a higher-quality image format but come in a larger file size. If you want to showcase a simple image on your website, you can use a PNG without suffering a major speed loss for your site; just don’t go overboard. You can convert back and forth between JPGs and PNGs.

    5. Use Online PNG to JPG Conversion Tools

    Online conversion tools, like Convertio and JPG 2 PNG, can quickly change your file format into the file type of your choice. You can also open a file on paint and save it to your desired format, or you can select File > Export > Export As > Format > (PNG or JPG) > Save on the Mac.

    6. Use the GIF File Format for Animation

    If you plan to add moving graphics to your website, use the GIF file format. While it only uses 256 colors, it’s the best choice for animated images. You can create a GIF easily by using the GIF Maker or GIPHY by uploading a video. Most GIFs are under 100MB and 15 seconds long.

    7. Use the Optimal File Size

    The file size on an image is determined by the number of bytes a file takes up on the computer. None of your images should exceed 1MB (megabyte). Smaller web graphics should be 300 KB (kilobytes) or less. The sweet spot for most website graphics should be 125 KB to 500 KB.

    8. Use Editors to Fit More inside your Photo

    Sometimes a file you’ll save will look wider than you expect, but you can fix this problem with the BeFunky slim photo editor. For example, if you took a picture of a cityscape, you can use the slim tool to push more buildings inside a small photo, giving you more space to work with.

    9. Use the Appropriate Image Size

    The dimensions of an image are measured in pixels, similarly to how photos were printed in the past. For example, a 4x6 photo often found in old photo albums stands for 400x600 pixels. The appropriate size of any image largely depends on your brand, page size, and purpose.

    10. Use the Right Image Resolution

    Image resolution uses dots per inch (dpi) to calculate the resolution quality of an image, which is the same measurement printed photos use. Most computer monitors display 72 dpi or 92 dpi, so anything above that won’t be picked up. Opt for 72 dpi to get the most out of speed and quality.

    11. Use Image Optimization Tools

    At this point, you’re probably wondering how you can optimize your photos in the easiest way possible. There are plenty of tools you can use for any project. Affinity Photo is a popular image optimization tool, but Adobe Photoshop, Paint.NET, and FileOptimizer are also fantastic.

    12. Use Image Optimization Plug-Ins

    If you use WordPress, you can optimize your photos inside the platform. However, keep in mind that the images you upload to your WordPress media library can eat away at your disk space. Use Imagify Image Optimizer, Optimole, WP Smush, and TinyPNG to optimize your images.

    13. Use CSS to Resize Images to Scale

    While WordPress no longer scales down or resizes your images automatically once they’re uploaded, there are some hosting platforms that might. In WordPress, you can go to the Media tab in Settings to resize your images, or you can go into CSS and change the sizes there.

    14. Use CSS to Remove Unnecessary Data

    Image metadata can really impact your web performance, but there’s an easy way to remove it before you upload your photos to your website. On the Mac, simply use ImageOptim. On Windows, select Properties > Details >Remove Properties and Personal Information > OK. 

    15. Use Lossy Compression Where Possible

    There are two kinds of optimization: lossy and lossless. Lossy eliminates some of the data, which degrades the image. Lossless compresses the data but doesn’t reduce its quality. Lossy is preferred because it produces a smaller file format, so try to use this compression style.

    16. Use the SVG File Format Where Possible

    You never have to use SVG files for your images, but this scalable vector format is perfect for mobile-ready websites. SVG files are traditionally smaller than PNGs and JPGs but are indexed by Google in a similar way. You may need an extra plug-in to upload an SVG file to your site.

    17. Use the ICO File Format for Favicons

    The ICO file format contains small size computer icon images. While it’s mostly used on PC, this format is still visible on Macs. Favicons, which is the icon used for your site on browsers, should use this format because they can present your icon vividly without slowing down your website.

    18. Use a CDN To Serve Up Images Quickly

    A content delivery network (CDN) can take the load of your web server while speeding up the delivery of content to your website visitors. On WordPress, you can use plug-ins like WP Rocket or CDN Enabler to route users to a faster local data center location to quickly load your site. 

    19. Use the Correct Names for Images

    Graphic designers know better than anyone that images need to be saved with the correct name to boost SEO ranking. Instead of uploading your photo with names like “Photo1,” rename it to something that represents the photo. For example, a photo of a cat can be called “cat.jpg.”

    20. Use Alternative Captions for Images

    Once web admins upload photos to their site, they often forget to add additional information. Alt tags won’t be visible to most users, but they help the visually impaired and search engines to understand what your image is. Include your targeted keyword in your alt text for SEO.

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