October 6, 2021

21: The Importance of Optimizing Your Website Images

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Website optimization is a crucial part of building a website that performs well. Image optimization is a critical part of building a website because it heavily impacts website speed. Google loves fast websites and fast websites can't happen without optimized images.

Today, I'm going to share the tool I use to optimize images on mine and my client's websites. I'll also talk through some of the settings I've found to work extremely well with this tool.

 

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Episode transcript

Keegan 0:02
What is up everybody, welcome back to another episode of the side hustle to full time web designer podcast. I'm your host Keegan Lanier and today, what we're talking about is the importance of optimizing your website images. Now, this is one of those topics that has to be talked about. Because clients mess it up all the time. If we're honest, if you've built a website, before you've seen it, you know it, somebody will walk out there, they'll take a picture with their phone, they'll copy it over the uploaded directly to their website. Modern phones take really big pictures, or take really good pictures that result in a really big file. Same thing with DSLRs, those things take really, really large file size images.

Keegan 1:20
And so you've got to optimize those things, right? You've got to make sure that they're ready to go on your website to look good, and also to perform good. And there's a there's a balance. But there's a tool that I've used for a number of years now, that has really helped me get the balance, right. And it's it's been so much Pro, you've heard me talk about it here before. But today, I wanted to walk through some of the features that smash Pro has, and really talk about the importance of optimizing your website images. And if you if you've done this for any length of time, you've seen the websites that just perform really poorly. And you go to Google page score, you can go to gt metrics, you go to any of those, those like metrics, scoring websites, put in the URL, and get a result right, get a score. Find out if you did well find out if you did really poorly. It's easy to find out.

Keegan 2:16
But usually it's that you need to deliver either either shrink your image size down, because your images are taken a long time to load. You need to put them through a CDN or content delivery network, or you need to deliver them in a modern format like web P. And most of us don't save images in web p most of us aren't uploading and web p it's just most people are dealing with traditional formats like JPG PNGs, maybe even GIFs but that's why having a tool like smoosh Pro is so important. And so you know, I really want to talk about wpm you dev in general, but specifically smoosh pro now there's so many ways that you can you can build a great website and there's so many options inside of wpm you dev that are gonna help you do that with you know Hummingbird and a bunch of other other plugins some of their hosting it's it's really solid, and I like it. And it's easy, which also like it's it fits into workflows really well.

 

Keegan 3:21
But if you you know, if you wanted to support the show, there's going to be a link below to sign up for wpm you dev membership, and I'll link up to their website where you can just check out what they have to offer. And you'll also be able to get some much pro in that membership. And so it comes with a ton of things. It comes with this hub, if you want to do care plans or maintenance plans, you can lock your webs or you can connect your client websites into your hub, do updates and all those things. And it's just a really great way to manage websites, you can filter them, tag them do a lot of different things. And it works really, really well. And I say that only to say that it's part of the deal whenever you get smoosh Pro, so if you go and you do that you sign up for the membership. It's all right there. It's all included and a ton more so.

Keegan 4:08
I won't bore you with that in this episode, but we will do next week. A complete walkthrough of wpm you Dev, the plugins I use the configurations, it's probably going to be a longer episode because there's a lot to talk about. Specifically when it comes to all of the plugins and the hub and the client portal that you can put on your site. They just have a lot and they've really shifted gears in the past few years. But I digress. Let's get back to smash pro and really talk about some of the features that come along with this awesome plugin.

Keegan 4:40
The first thing and the most important thing is automatic smoosh. When you upload an image, it also automatically compresses it goes through super smoosh it strips out mated metadata, and it'll it'll resize the images if they're really large. So you can set a maximum with a maximum height, you can do a super similar ish, you can keep your originals or not keep your original images and just use the compressed versions. It also offers lazy load of images, videos and a few different formats. It actually can, with the pro version, convert your images into web p format, which is really good for Google page scores. And if Google likes your site, and you get a good score there, you know, they're going to help push you up those rankings for SEO.

Keegan 5:31
Smush Pro also offers a CDN or content delivery network specifically for the images, which helps load time and makes things deliver to the client or the person who's visiting your website extremely, extremely fast. And it has this cool tool called the image resize detection, and it works in the front end. So if you log in to your admin account, and then you go to the front end of your website, on the top right hand corner of the page, you're either going to see a green check, or you're going to see yellow boxes around images throughout your page that are basically calls to action saying this image needs to be tweaked and optimized because something is not quite right. And so it gives you a good visual to go in to say, Okay, this image is not right, I want it to be this size, let me shrink it down, let me make sure that it's optimized to fit into this part of the design. And that goes a long way.

Keegan 6:19
Another thing that it also includes, as of very recently, are preset configurations. And so you know, there's different hosts, treat websites differently. Different hosts have different requirements and different things, different optimizations on their servers. And so, preset configurations work really, really well. If you have some motion installed on different hosting, you could go with the default configuration, if you're using wpm you dev hosting, because they make the hosting, they've occupied, they've optimized the servers, and they've also built Smush. So you know, smoosh is optimized to work well on those servers.

Keegan 6:57
Now, other hosts may not necessarily be that way, there may be other options, other settings inside of Smosh that you need to tweak to make them work really well with that. And sometimes it's just the part of the game where you got to tinker and play with it and make sure that you can get it to work on those hosts. But once you do, and you know, it works really well, you can save that configuration, and use it anytime you host, another site on that host. And that's, that's great, it saves you time. And all that is geared towards increasing the amount of money you earn per hour, if you can work quicker.

Keegan 7:28
And so those are some of the like a real quick rundown of some of the features that we have inside of Smoosh Pro. But what is it backed by? You know, is it is there another reason outside of features. And for me, I'll tell you the one most important thing behind any product that I use is support, you know, I stuck with flywheel for a long time with hosting because their support is so damn good. They just do it right, it's worth $10 a month per website, or more, you know, 15 20, whatever it is, it's worth it. Because of the support, something happens, I jump on the site, I get in a chat within minutes. Usually within seconds, someone's there, someone's helping me, they're helping me get the site up and running. And they're competent, they know how to work within their system, because they only have one hosting environment, and they only host WordPress websites. So all of their training is really good that which means their support is also really, really good and really quick, really efficient. And really, really nice, oftentimes extremely funny. I enjoy having a good time with them in the chat. It makes it fun.

Keegan 8:35
There's other things, you know, just some statistics is that there's 1.4 million active installs of Smoosh. on WordPress websites, that's huge. I mean, 1.4 million active installs is a massive, massive number. There's over 2 million downloads almost 3 million I think, and but 1.4 million active installs. That's, that's 1 point 4 million websites that are using Smoosh. Currently, massive number definitely brings validity and credibility to that plug in. And, you know, I totally get it. If you're not ready to commit to the pro version. Like I wasn't either. I always wanted to check it out, see what it was like, see if I, if I liked the user user interface. If I if I thought there was any value to the plugin at all.

Keegan 9:25
If you're not sure, inside of the WordPress repository just in the backend of your WordPress site, you can download the free version of smoosh, check it out and you'll get an idea of some of the bare bones features now it doesn't have the CDN it's missing some other features. there's a there's a few things that are missing from the free version. Obviously there's got to be a reason for you to upgrade. But you'll get an idea of what it can do, of how it can process the other really big difference between pro and the non pro version is the actual compression the books and mushing of your images on the pro version that work in computing power is done on wpm, you dev servers, whereas on the free version of the plug in, all of that processing power is being taken up on your website. So your website's actually doing the work to compress those images.

Keegan 10:13
So that's another one of those really, really large differences. And it ultimately results in speed and optimization for your site whenever you're able to do the work and the heavy workload off of your website. And so again, if you want to show support to the show, The Link Below is an affiliate link. It won't cost you anything extra. But if you feel like checking, wpm you dev out and taking a ride with smoosh, click the link below, there's a trial you can check all of their stuff out, you can check out the hub, you can link a couple of your sites in there set up automated reports, set up site traffic, you know all the things. Hummingbird if you want. Smart crawl SEO, which is phenomenal, use it on all of our sites, all of the things that they have, you can check it out for seven days for free. And I would greatly appreciate it if you if you use the link in the show notes. It will help us help them support the show without actually having to cost you a penny.

Keegan 11:09
So it would mean the world to me if you did that. And if there's anyone out there, you know who's doing web design and is at their infancy, trying to build their tech stack, share this episode with them, tell them they need to come and hear my voice and walk through this and maybe they'll completely dedicate themselves to wpm you Dev. And it might save them a whole ton of time, a whole ton of heartache and find the product that just kind of works for him.

Keegan 11:34
So I appreciate you being here for another episode. I can't believe we're done with Episode 21 of the rebrand of the podcast. This has been fun. I mean, that's what 21 is four months on this new format, this new brand, and it's been a hell of a fun ride. I appreciate each and every one of you for listening. I appreciate any support, you show the show. I'm using the links, it will definitely help keep this thing going for as long as I can see. So I appreciate you. I hope you have an incredible, incredible week and we'll be back with another episode where we're going to talk all about wpm you dev all their products top to bottom next week. So look forward to that and I hope you have a great one. We'll see you soon.

 

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