Improve Your Website Speed with the Free WP Smush Plugin

Posted on Dec 01 2015 by in Blogs and Blogging Old-Plugins 

Web visitors don’t like slow internet and the only thing worse than that is a slow website. Website speed is such an important thing that Google uses it as one of the things to rank a website. There is no way that your website will load faster if you have large images. You need to tame your images, but how? Install the WP Smush plugin.

How Wp Smush Improves Website Speed

WP Smush is a plugin that gets rid of all the bulky hidden details and leaves your image smaller without interfering with its quality. This is a great way to increase website speed.

Image compression

As the name suggests, this process involves minimizing the image file. It however starts with reducing irrelevant and redundant details that may not be seen by the naked human eye. It improves the efficient storage and transmission of images. The whole procedure may cause a noticeable reduction in file size.

The aim of the procedure is to attain a good balance between the lowest possible file size and the highest achievable image quality to accelerate website speed.

The process

Image compression is done using an algorithm and a number of them exist, with the simplest being run-length encoding. This particular algorithm examines every single bit (smallest unit of bytes) in search of patterns. An image is usually tens or hundreds of kilobytes and a kilobyte is about 8,000 bits so there is a lot of work involved.

When a pattern is identified, say ten ones following each other, the algorithm replaces them with 10:1 to show the ten ones.

Why the process is important to your business

  1. Improved website speed

All resources on your website compete for the same bandwidth on offer. Images and JavaScript tend to take the lion’s share. Large images will therefore affect how fast your website loads because they truly put up a good fight for bandwidth.

  1. Mobile optimization

Statistics shows that 73% of mobile internet users say that they have come across a website that was loading too slowly.

  1. Search engine ranking

Everyone wants their webpage to feature highly on search engines. Increasing the website speed is a factor for this with Google and Google just happens to be the most popular search engine.

  1. Conversion

It has been established that bulky images lead to slow websites. Slow websites will more often than not receive less traffic and people are more likely to stay on them for a much shorter time. You may end up with a 7% loss in conversions and about 11% loss in page views.

A look at Lossy and Lossless Compression 

These two types of compression are available but there is a slight difference between them.

1. Lossy Compression

With this type of compression, all the data that has been removed to optimize the image is permanently removed and can therefore not be recovered on decompression of the image. Only part of the original data will be recovered. JPEG files usually use this type of compression.

2. Lossless Compression

Lossless compression means that you do not lose any data in the compression. When you take it through decompression you will be able to recover all the initial data related to the image. PNG images will allow you to employ lossless compression.

WP Smush ensures that you have lossless compression without compromising on image quality. You also get to keep backups of the originals in case you will need to use them later. You can even compress images in bulk (in batches of 50) at the touch of a single button.

Practical Smushing

You will first need to set it up on your website and it is available at wordpress.org. You can also go to Plugins>Add new and you will find it then activate it. Then go to Media>WP Smush for the settings. There should be a box that says ‘smush images on upload’. Checking this box means that all your images will automatically be smushed when you upload them, as opposed to you having to manually smush them. Remember to save the changes and you are ready to start smushing.

Convenience and Flexibility

You can either choose one image at a time or smush them in bulk. For one by one with your images set to list view: open Media Library and you will find a new column telling you whether an image has been smushed or not. Unoptimized images will have a ‘smush now’ button. Click it and you will receive the statistics on space savings when it is done.

If set to Grid view: choose the image, click attachment details then Smush now. For bulk smushing, go to media>WP Smush then click on Bulk smush 50 attachments.

The page must remain open when the smushing is in progress. If you want to stop or pause the process, just close that page and you can resume from wherever you left off when you open it next. Now your visitors are ready to see great images and experience an insanely fast website speed!

 

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