How Images Could Be Impacting Your Website Performance
Images and visual content make up a large part of how your website looks and how appealing it is to your visitors. Sadly, images can play a significant role in your website’s performance and could do more harm than good. Website images can impact your user experience in many ways, including slow loading times, unresponsive design, impact on core web vitals scores and poor visual representation of your brand.
Five quick-fire website speed facts:
- The first five seconds of page-load time have the highest impact on conversion rates. – Portent
- The average mobile web page takes 15.3 seconds to load. – Google Research
- Nearly 70% of consumers admit that page speed impacts their willingness to buy from an online retailer. – Unbounce
- The highest eCommerce conversion rates occur on pages with load times between 0-2 seconds. – Portent
- Half of the people surveyed said they’d be willing to give up animation and video for faster load times. – Unbounce
This blog post will explore how images can have a negative impact on your website and give you the information you need to be able to fix them!
Image size is one of the most significant factors in how images impact your website, and by size, we mean both dimensions and file size. Size does matter when it comes to website images – the smaller, the better!
An extreme example is website owners who use mobile phones to take product photos for eCommerce stores and upload them directly without optimising them. The average file size of such images can be hundreds of MBs when they need to be KBs – causing slow loading times and increased bounce rate when the page does not load for the visitor.
Some plugins can help with this by converting and compressing them if you use WordPress. However, it is best practice to get into the habit of uploading them in the correct format and file size. You can do this using programs such as Adobe Photoshop or Affinity Photo or online image editors such as TinyPNG, which allow you to resize and compress the images before uploading them to your website.
What is the perfect image size?
Well… That depends!
It depends on where the image is going and what formats you are using. So sadly, there is not a one size fits all solution that we can advise, but we will say to find the balance between the smallest possible image size and quality – so that it can be viewed on all device sizes.
Drop the Scatter Gun Approach
Images play a significant part in branding and marketing, but having too many on one page can lead to performance issues – which have MORE of a detrimental impact than any gains they offer. We will have all visited a website with ads everywhere, images, videos and icons scattered all over the page, and it took what felt like an eternity to load?
Users won’t hang around – so your website could be the all-singing dancing version of branding heaven – but if no one is hanging around to see it load, it is useless. Keeping images relevant and only using them where required helps you to keep your page sizes down and loading times lightning quick.
Stop Using Third Parties
Imagine optimisation plugins, image buckets, and images being pulled from third-party websites; the list is endless regarding where the image files are being pulled from to present to the website visitors. Most are bad for performance, and we say most as some are beneficial, such as CDNs or image caching systems. However, most will severely impact your website’s overall performance.
It would be better for you to maximise your image optimisations before uploading them to your website than doing it once they are on the website. This will reduce the processes needed to present the images, reduce pressure on your server and speed up your website.
There is no denying that a slow website significantly impacts your business and its ability to reach and convert new customers online, so getting it whipped into shape should be a priority. Getting your website images optimised correctly before loading them to your website is time-consuming – however, the benefits are clear. Quicker loading websites have benefits beyond just things such as core web vitals; they have UX, conversion, and environmental benefits, to name a few.
If your website is not up to scratch and you need some assistance getting it into fighting fit condition speak to the team here at E2E Studios. We have a dedicated team of specialists covering all aspects of web development, SEO and content, so we know what makes websites work!