99: How To Avoid The Biggest Mistake I See Bloggers Making Regularly
In this episode, we are helping you avoid the biggest mistake so many bloggers make. We share a few tools to help you keep your website lean when using lots of images including Smush Pro from WPMUdev
In today’s episode I’m going to help you avoid the biggest mistake I see bloggers making all the time.
What’s up Divi addicts? We’re here with another episode of the podcast this week, you know, we’re it’s centered around blogging, I’ve been working with a few people a lot lately, actually, where we’re building the site. And in most cases, well, two of the of the few cases, these sites already were built. So I was going in picking them up as maintenance clients. And, you know, looking through the blog, looking through the Media Gallery, I start to see a ton of recurring things, or a single thing that recurs a lot, I guess there’s a better way to put it.
And it got me thinking about something I wanted to share here. And it’s I’ve seen it, you know, along my path, you know, sometimes more often than others. And it depends on who you’re working with. Some people are more advanced, but but ultimately, most people get into, into WordPress, so that they can blog or so they can build an authority website. And almost all of them have some writing component to it a blogging aspect, right. And so, so many people, they they start their blog, they go, and they just find either stock photography, or, you know, pictures that they’ve taken, and they upload them to their website. And they don’t think about making sure that there is optimized for web as they could possibly be.
So sometimes, you know, I know, I know, for me, I use a Samsung phone, I’ve got the note 10 plus. And when you take a picture, I mean, it’s multiple megabytes big, you know, if you do video, if especially if you’re, if you’re filming in 4k, it can be really big, really fast. And so what I see is that people just snap pictures or go to like pexels.com. And they, they download stock photography. And then they upload it straight to their site, they don’t think about the size, you know, they download the biggest image they can find. And it’s sometimes two megabytes that they’re uploading the single picture. And that takes a long time to load. I don’t know, you know, people, some people know more about file sizes, and different things like that than others. And I totally understand that.
But I wanted to say like, you know, if you’re building a website, you have to put something in place to help make sure that this doesn’t cripple your website. And there’s a few ways you can do that. And if you’re somebody that you know it, that’s one thing if you’re if you’re building these websites, if you’re on the other end of the spectrum, and you’re just a casual blogger, and you happen to be listening right now, there’s a few things that you need to do if you built your site yourself. That’s going to list three plugins are two plugins and a service actually, that you can use to really optimize these images for your blog so that your website doesn’t just screech to a halt.
So the very first one that we’re going to talk about here is WP Smush. There is a free version in WordPress repository. And then there’s a pro version if you have a membership to WPMU DEV. If you don’t have your membership to WPMU DEV, the free version works really well. The difference between the two is that the pro version actually does the image compression on WPMU DEV servers, so it’s lighter on your website, if you’re using a shared hosting plan.
And you you know, and you do a lot of blog posts and you have a lot of images, I would highly recommend going out and getting a monthly membership to WPMU DEV and I’ll link the site up below here in the show notes. And you know, it’s just something that will help make your site run better, because it will compress your images without making them look bad. And it will also help speed up your site because you’re doing a lot of the heavy lifting off of your website. But the free version definitely works. And if you’re not heavy into images, and you don’t blog a lot with a bunch of content or a bunch of imagery, the free version will work just fine for you.
And then the second one we’re going to talk about is short pixel, short pixels. Another one of those is image optimization. It’s a plugin that goes in to your WordPress site. And anytime you upload your your new images, it just compresses those for you. So you know those two solutions work really well or I guess technically three, if you talk about the pro one, those work extremely well. And they do a lot of the work for you automatically.
Now the third thing we’re gonna talk about is more of a manual process. And there’s there’s a few different sites if you look online where you can, you can do web based image compression, but the one I’m going to talk about here is just it’s it’s old school Photoshop. If you’ve got Photoshop, you can load the image up inside of Photoshop. You can go to to file you can export and you can save it for web. And it’ll actually compress the image down strip a lot of the extra information that’s on the file, it will, you know, you can pick the file format. And there’s a lot of information out there about file formats. And that’s not really what we’re going to get into here.
But pick the right format and save it that way, it’s where you can, you can get the smallest file size possible, I recommend just regular website images, be no bigger than 100 kilobytes. And if it’s a header, you can go up to 200. I try and keep them all under 200 kilobytes. And that way, the site just moves lean and mean and it doesn’t get bogged down trying to load up these these monster size images, that in itself is going to make your site load faster. And you know, Google loves fast sites. So this all ties back in to an overall website strategy. Trying to get people to find you know, SEO is going to be impacted. If your site takes too long to load, Google is going to prioritize your site below regardless of how much great content you put out. And you know how perfectly optimized your your metadata and your keywords and all those things are, you’re going to be seen and not as good light as somebody who site loads quickly.
So I say to all that, just to make sure that take these three things, take any one of these processes, you can do it manually in Photoshop, you can install Shortpixel or you can install WP Smush. And just make sure that all of your images get optimized, at least some of the way, the best thing to do is to resize them as well resize them before you upload them make sure that they’re the proper size to fit into the design. You know, don’t don’t put something that’s 2000 pixels wide in a spot where you only need something to be really really small. You just want to make sure that you’re doing all these basic steps so that your site loads fast and you can avoid this colossal mistake that I see a lot of bloggers making all the time.
So thanks for being here again for another episode. You know, I really asked this pretty regularly here. But you know, if you’re listening to this on iTunes, give us a give us a review. And hopefully this will help other people find the podcast we can continue to grow this thing, continue to bring you weekly, just best practices and great tips around the WordPress, freelance business and the Divi platform. So I appreciate you being here. And thank you so much for listening. Every week, we continue to see our numbers grow. And that’s just always an awesome thing. It means a lot to us that you’re here. It means a lot to us that you support us every single week. I cannot thank you enough, but have an awesome day. Please stay safe out there. And we’ll see you next week with another episode of the Divi addicts podcast.