This series is a project inspired by @dickiebush’s "Ship 30 for 30” Atomic Essays. Which, I commit to spend 30 minutes a day for 30 days straight to write a short essay about software development tools that I love. My goal is to build my daily writing habit and connect to more people. Check out #ship30for30 on Twitter.
I’m not a fan of editing images at all whatever the case maybe. I find it tedious and not as fun as developing a website. But working as a web manager for my college’s newspaper, the Seattle Collegian, I have no way to avoid it. One of my responsibilities is site maintenance.
Sometimes, our site takes forever to load, which leaves visitors with a bad impression. One of the possible causes are large image files, old plugins, a combination of the two or some other things.
My team leads and I agreed to fix the image problem first, as it seems to be the most obvious and already happened in the past.
We use WordPress with a child theme, Mission News Child. I’m not new to WordPress, but optimizing images is not the area I tapped into before, so I did some research about it. One solution I found to be the most practical for the situation is to edit the image size to have the maximum size of only 1440 x 960px, which fits general device screens available in the market.
Some files we have are over 4000px wide-they are way too gigantic.
Imsanity is a free plugin I choose to use with this task. It allows me to configure the desired size and bulk edit images in the media library all at once. It works efficiently and saves more time than manually editing one image at a time in the library.
After editing all the pictures on the website, I immediately see that the site content loads faster than it used to.
The next task I have to do is to compress images with another plugin, without ruining the image quality. Something to read more and test more. (Smush plugin seems great for this!)
As a starter at optimizing images and increasing load speed time for WordPress, I’ll be so happy to hear about your comments and recommendations, especially if you have done it before. Give me some web performance audits of Seattle Collegian by commenting below. Big thanks!