Optimizing the speed of your online store is essential. In this post, we are looking at your images specifically.
In the past I have tried various image compression services because we use lot of photos and screenshots here on our site. I have always tried to optimize my images before I uploaded them, but still, I knew some of them could have benefited from further optimization, especially after performing a load speed test. This is also true for many online shop owners. In fact, they may have a store full of images in need of optimizing.
In a recent podcast, I chatted with Jason from WPEngine about tuning up your eCommerce site, and we talked about images. In a nutshell, as an online store, both the quality and the size of the image are critical. Quality is obvious. A good shot can make a difference between a sale or not. And image size is also critical when it comes to the speed of your site. We all know that a fast-loading site is a good site.
So when Jason shared his experiences and recommendations for Imagify, it piqued my interested. As soon as I tried it out, I was sold on it. Their claim, to speed up your site and save time while not sacrificing image quality, I quickly found to be true.
Imagify Settings & Options
As you can see, there are not a ton of settings you have to wade through to get things going with this plugin/service. Just enough to give you good control over the optimization level and the files you choose to optimize.
I particularly like the three levels of compression you can choose from. When I did a bulk compression on all my images, I went for the aggressive. Then I went back in and on some larger images, I opted for the Ultra.
Also, you have the option to go in and do a bulk-image compression. This was my case as I already had a ton of images in my media library.
Compressed Images in Media Library
Once you have gone through and compressed old images, new ones that are uploaded will now be optimized. Myself, I have optimized many of my images prior to uploading them and using any compression service. As you can see here, not all of mine needed to be optimized in the small section of images. Of course, if I were to change my level of optimization, I could try optimizing those again.
As you take a closer look, you see the options for each image in your media library. You can not only optimize it to the other optimization levels, but you can restore the original as well. (The latter giving you nice peace of mind if you are working with photos of your products.
Also, under each image name you have an option to compare the compress version alongside your original.
And once you click that, you get this view with a slider that you can move back and forth comparing different parts of the image.
A Little Test
So, to give you an idea of compression, I saved an image (without pre-optimization) as a high-quality jpeg and uploaded it. Here are the compression results for all three levels:
And here is the view of the original image and the Ultra compression.
Final Thoughts on Imagify
On both the compression and quality fronts, I was pleased with the results. And yes, my site speed did improve. Unfortunately I was also doing other tweaks at the time, so I don’t have the exact numbers for it, but as I recall, it was well worth it. If you have a lot of images, you can try it for free and see if they are optimized as much as they could be or if it might be time to start using a compression plugin/service like Imagify. They also have paid options and it depends on the number of images you need to optimize. You can learn about it more on their site.
Oh, and one more thing. If you need to compress an image and send it to someone, you are able to do that on their site via your account. Compress it, download it, then send it off.