Image optimization is a contributing factor to site speed. Should you upload fewer images or install a WordPress plugin to optimize your photos? Customers want more product images, not fewer. Why not optimize your product images before uploading them to WordPress?
“In fact, in a 2017 study commissioned by BigCommerce and Square, American online shoppers cited additional product photography as the #1 thing they want more of from online brands.” BigCommerce (1)
Faster. Better. Cheaper. We usually can only have two of the three options. It’s no different when it comes to product images and site speed. Your store may require Retina-quality images (better), and you know it needs to be faster, so then the only solution is a CDN and faster web hosting. If you want to use your budget host (cheaper), then crop and compress those images. A slow-loading store on mobile isn’t going to get you very far. So, let’s help you prevent images from slowing down your eCommerce site from the get-go.
Crop Your Product Images
The first step in optimizing product images is to crop them to the exact size you need before uploading the photo. Sure, it’s easier to upload that product photo you just took with your 30mm or iPhone. However, those file sizes are enormous. Uploading a 3MB photo — or several of them — for each product is not sustainable. Giant file sizes will slow down your site and cause loss of revenue. Can your eCommerce site afford to lose this speed?
Change the Resolution of Your Product Images
You can optimize your product images by changing their resolution. Don’t go too crazy; your product images shouldn’t be pixelated. They also don’t necessarily need to be retina quality. Customers are looking at photos and videos in lieu of being able to physically experience your product. We’re replacing touch with sight. Quality matters but so does file size.
Yes, you want high-quality imagery on your eCommerce site. But how high quality your product images need to be will depend upon the products you’re selling and the devices your customers use.
Compress Your Product Images
Compressing a product image is another great way to reduce the load on your media library and server. This can be done easily within your native tools or you can use TinyPNG. Doing this before you upload your images (with well-written titles) and then write ALT tags is a better workflow.
Of course, the best solution for a robust eCommerce UX is a CDN paired with Managed WordPress Hosting. When your products go viral on TikTok, this is no time for a budget web host — but that’s another blog post.
“Most JPEG files can be compressed without noticeable degradation of the resulting image. Even a small amount of compression can save significant disk space.” Apple Developer Docs (2)
Perfect Product Images Deserve Perfect Checkout
Now that your eCommerce shop has optimized product images, it’s ready for the Perfect Checkout Experience. A good UX isn’t a sexy option; it’s a necessary one. So why complicate your checkout experience? Offer rock-solid functionality using the most proven selling tools instead. It just works — perfectly.