With Google’s move to mobile-first indexing, a fast loading website is more important than ever. This poses a challenge for photographers or other businesses with image heavy portfolio websites.
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How to Optimise Images for web Without Losing Quality
Image SEO starts at the end of the editing process when your photos are ready to export from Lightroom. I’m often asked about how to export images from Adobe Lightroom at the best possible size, and what size they should be exported at.
Responsive websites adjust to the size of the user’s device, so this means your photos will be shown at a range of different sizes depending on the device used by the person viewing your website. This is where technology like srcset has made things much easier.
What is srcset? We’ve dedicated a blog to the srcset attribute, but the highlights are that this is an attribute that browsers can read that provides images in a variety of sizes, meaning the browser can choose the most optimal one for the circumstances.
With this adaptable technology, we can then move from thinking about the smallest image size to instead thinking about how large the images would need to be. I looked at a screen usage statistics from a variety of resources and whilst large 27inch monitors have been increasing in popularity in recent years, they still make up only around 12% of the market.
North America Screen Resolution Stats
UK Screen Resolution Stats
Desktop vs Mobile vs Tablet
Which devices are most popular? I looked at the statistical data from Global Stats and seen that in the last 12 months (July 2018 to July 2019) the split is as follows:
Optimal Image Size for Web
After analysing all of this data and then looking at how large images scaled down (if srcset and WebP technologies were not implemented, but JPEG Mini was used) I came to the conclusion that the best image size to export photos from Adobe Lightroom was:
2048 pixels on the longest edge.
I wouldn’t recommend going any higher than 2560 pixels on the longest edge.
Photo Optimisation Tools we Love!
GTMetrix: This tool allows you to test your site from a variety of different locations around the world. There’s a suite of features that make website optimisation easy, and it’s interface and waterfall charts make website performance easier to understand.
JPEG Mini: Our favourite tool for removing excess data from photos before uploading them to your website. It’s an awesome tool that you can also use to fit photos on smaller size USB drives, and the files look great printed too! Other than being great for SEO, it’s also useful for optimising your storage and reducing storage costs because photographers buying fewer hard drives can only be a good thing!