Episode 11: Bulky Images May be Killing Your Website’s User Experience (and What to Do About It)

In today’s digital age, it’s no surprise that just about everyone browses the web on the go. Plus, with phone carriers offering more and more data plans, it’s becoming increasingly likely that a portion of your site visitors may be using your site via mobile.

The question is: are you killing their data plan? One of the most common problems across modern sites is uploading necessarily large images and media—costing users precious data, bandwidth, and speed.

All of these things play an important role in creating a quality user experience for your user.

Fortunately, solving this problem is now easier than ever. In this episode, we’ll dive into a free tool called TinyPNG and how you can start optimizing your site images, today.

The topics we’ll cover in this episode:

Interesting stats from Pew Research:

PI_2015-04-01_smartphones_01

  • 10% of Americans own a smartphone but do not have any other form of high-speed internet access at home beyond their phone’s data plan.
  • Using a broader measure of the access options available to them, 15% of Americans own a smartphone but say that they have a limited number of ways to get online other than their cell phone.

Other stats:

  • 68% of smartphone owners use their phone at least occasionally to follow along with breaking news events, with 33% saying that they do this “frequently.”
  • 67% use their phone to share pictures, videos, or commentary about events happening in their community, with 35% doing so frequently.
  • 56% use their phone at least occasionally to learn about community events or activities, with 18% doing this “frequently.”

Also, if you’re interested in using the TinyPNG WordPress plugin, here’s a quick video tutorial that shows you how to get up and running:

Recommended Resources

By

Thomas is a Graphic Designer, Web Developer, and founder of Rightly & Co. For over a decade, he’s had the privilege of working with a wide variety of individuals and organizations on a wide variety of projects.

2 thoughts on “Episode 11: Bulky Images May be Killing Your Website’s User Experience (and What to Do About It)

  1. Great resource Thomas! Love the fact TinyPNG’s WordPress plugin not only compresses but downsizes the image.

    When you select multiple file compression sizes, does a responsive WordPress theme need to refer to a smaller image? For example, the 1024px instead 2048px image for screens smaller than 1024px, or does WordPress take care of that behind the scenes?

    1. Hey Daniel,

      Unfortunately not. There are a number of plugins out there that help solve this issue—but ultimately—you’re correct. It’s best to use multiple image sizes for various scenarios.

      I know this is something the “picture” element was aiming to solve in HTML 5, however, it hasn’t found a very wide adoption.

      At this point, the best rule of thumb is to utilize a reasonably sized image (something that will look decent or good on retina displays) and then compress the image as much as possible to save space. At the end of the day: the less images, the better.

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