Images play an important role in the design of your website. Most websites utilize multiple images across each page to improve the UI and UX of the website. However, using a lot of images on a webpage raises its load time notedly and if this load time is high you are likely to lose potential visitors to your website who are not willing to wait the extra 2 or 3 seconds till the page finishes loading. Surveys have found that more than 75% of website visitors are likely to leave your website if it takes more than 2-3 seconds to load.
Outlined below is a method where you can compress your images that are present on your website and shave off a few seconds off your page load. This method does not need any advanced coding knowledge and can be implemented by people with basic IT knowledge. Before you go ahead with this method it would be wise to check how long your webpage takes to load by using some tools such as Google PageSpeed Insights or Pingdom Tools and then comparing values after compression to see if it made any difference.
- Server access to the folder where your website is hosted.
- File Optimizer. Can be downloaded here.
File Optimizer is a pretty powerful program that compresses images to save a lot of space. However, you can enable Google’s Guetzli compression via File Optimizer to save that extra space that will mean a lot when it comes to page load speed.
Steps to install File Optimizer and enable Guetzli compression
- Once you have downloaded the File Optimizer setup file (FileOptimizerSetup.exe), install the program to a location of your choice.
- Once installation is over, navigate to your main user folder. This is usually the user that you are logged in as when you installed the File Optimizer application. Egs: C:\users\John\
- In this folder you will fine a file named FileOptimizer.ini which you need to open using an application such as Notepad.
- Once you have opened this file with a text editor, find the JPEGAllowLossy value. It will usually look like this:
- Change the “false” value to “true” so it looks like this:
Now you have an application installed on your computer that is capable of compressing your jpeg files by using the Guetzli encoding.
Steps to compress the images
- Login to your server via cPanel or FileZilla and download your main images folder. You can usually download all the images at once by zipping this folder and then downloading it via the browser which is usually faster than downloading multiple files one at a time using a file transfer application such as FileZilla.
- Once you have downloaded the images folder all you have to do is open the File Optimizer application and add the folder to it by navigating to File and then Add Folder. Once the images are added you have to navigate to Optimize and then click Optimize all files. This operation can take up quite a long time depending on the number of files and the file sizes involved.
- Once compression has finished all you have to do is re-upload the image folder to the same location on the server you downloaded it from.
An important thing to do is to have a copy of the old uncompressed images on the server just in case your upload causes issues. You can rename the old image folder to something such as “images_old” and let it be so if your upload causes any issues all you need to do is delete the uploaded files and revert the name on the images folder to the original name.