The reasons to have images on your website at all should be more than obvious when you consider what your site would be like without them. In short, it would be a rather dull place that would be relatively ineffective at inspiring visitors or giving them an accurate impression of your products or services. But are you allowing a love of sophisticated imagery to impact on other aspects of the user experience – such as how long it takes your pages to load?
Believe it or not, it’s more than possible to reduce how long it takes for your site to load images, without compromising its all-round visual appeal. Here are a few examples of what we mean.
Don’t have quite so many images on your site
It may sound like an obvious tip, but did you know that according to a HTTP Archive report, the typical webpage in 2019 may request between 28 and 32 images when it loads? It’s well worth asking yourself, then, whether all of those images on a given webpage of yours are really necessary.
When it comes to product category pages on ecommerce sites, for instance, the various images showing actual available products tend to be critical in terms of not only showing the viewer the products in question, but also educating them about these items’ benefits and inspiring them to buy.
But are some of the images on such pages on your own site effectively just pictures of text, or decorative, or perhaps even stock images that don’t really communicate anything?
Embrace the ‘lazy loading’ of images
Traditionally, when a webpage loads, it requests every image listed in the page markup, including any images that may be initially off-screen and only become visible when the user scrolls down the page.
This is where ‘lazy loading’ comes in useful, as it loads certain images only when they are strictly needed. Just imagine how much quicker a given page on your site could load, if it only initially requested those images that would immediately appear on the user’s screen.
Various lazy-loading scripts are available to introduce this functionality to your site, or you could ask the Piranha Designs team to incorporate it when you turn to us for website design.
Compress your images
Such raster formats as JPG, PNG and GIF are widespread on the web, and may therefore be represented across many of the images on your own site’s pages.
Sometimes, it’s possible to compress such images to ensure they load faster, while scarcely making any visible difference to their quality. It can be done through popular image-editing software, or automatically via such other solutions as content delivery networks, scripts or application programming interfaces.
Images may be just one element of your brand’s online presence, but they can make a greater-than-initially-expected difference to your efforts to market your business and generate revenue on the web. For a more in-depth discussion of your firm’s web design needs in 2019, why not get in touch with the Piranha Designs team in Gibraltar, London or Edinburgh today?