What is image compression?
Image compression means shrinking the file size of a picture. An image that is 5Mb in size can be reduced to 600Kb or less. Compression is done by using software designed for this purpose. Online compression websites let you shrink image files via the internet. Or you could download and install software to your local machine.
Image compression is different from image dimension. A picture can be the size of your TV screen or the size of your thumb, so long as the file size, the space it uses to store the image, is reduced.
Why is it important to compress images?
Images take up space on the server, which means you will waste money on additional hosting. Large images also take longer to load on a website, which negatively impacts your Google rating and user experience. We recommend that image files should not exceed 1Mb in size.
Also, in the event of sending images via email a compressed file will transfer much faster. Keep this in mind for your clients who may have to pay for data when downloading your email or website.
WordPress websites particularly need image compression
When an image file is uploaded to WordPress, multiple copies of that image file is made in different sizes. Instead of shrinking and stretching a single image to display on different screen sizes, it creates multiple copies of the image in preset sizes. You could end up with as many as 10 copies of the same image in different sizes. Therefore it is very important to compress the original image before uploading it, since all the copies that WordPress generates will be based on that initial file size.