Have you checked your website page speed lately? If not, visit this Web Page Test site, and see how many seconds your home page takes to load. Two seconds is ideal for the first time load, but I find that very hard to achieve. I’m happy if the first load is 4 seconds and the reload time is 2-ish.

web page speed testKarla Winterowd’s Fine Art Gallery website has just the right speed, especially considering the amount of images on the home page. (Image sizes are the biggest culprit in slow load times.) See Karla’s test results in the image here. See the First View, and Repeat View times? This is good.

We achieved fast load times by using the WP SMUSH plugin in WordPress. I LOVE this plugin. We used the free version. This plugin lets you automate optimization by setting the maximum image size. This frees you from the trouble of optimizing your images before uploading them. (If you’re not using WordPress, there are many options for optimizing images. The Optimizilla website allows you to optimize your images for free, regardless of your web platform. I just tested it and it reduced the size of my images by over 50% very fast. It’s easy to use.)

To install WP SMUSH, log into your Dashboard and:

  1. I always back up my sites before doing anything this invasive to my site, so I HIGHLY recommend that you do this too. Each host has a different way of backing up your site. Ask them how if you don’t already know.
  2. Choose PLUGINS > ADD NEW
  3. Type SMUSH in the keyword field
  4. Choose INSTALL NOW
  5. Click ACTIVATE (see info graphic below)

smush-blog-post

To automate the resizing of your images:

  1. go to MEDIA > WP SMUSH
  2. find RESIZE ORIGINAL IMAGES
  3. I recommend setting this to 1000 wide and 800 high (see info graphic below)

Set the width and height of images in SMUSH

There are other settings to play with in WP SMUSH. You will be prompted to “bulk smush” all your images.Do it! Once all this is done, go back into the Web Page Test site site and you should see an improvement. Clear your cache first, or go into a browser you don’t use often.

If you have any questions, please feel free to comment. I’ll respond!

Onward!

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