Optimize Image Files With WordPress Plugins

Written by Bec on April 20, 2014 – 6:38 PM -

Doxie On ComputerImages provide a huge impact to just about everything on the web. From news photos to pictures of the kids at Easter there is no question that we’ve become enamored with sharing our photos with the world. However, maintaining a huge image file database for your blogs can translate into high hosting fees and slow page loads. And for Adult bloggers the use of eye catching photos that load fast and catch search engine attention will hopefully translate into a hefty pay check.

In this article I’m going to go over seven free plugins that are currently available to optimize your image files, for both presentation and for SEO purposes.

 

WP Smush.it

Stripping out unnecessary meta data provides a method of reducing a file’s size while retaining the original quality of the image. The method is called a “lossless” image optimization.

1. stripping meta data from JPEGs
2. optimizing JPEG compression
3. converting certain GIFs to indexed PNGs
4. stripping the un-used colours from indexed images

Smush.it offers an API that performs these optimizations (except for stripping JPEG meta data) automatically, and this plugin seamlessly integrates Smush.it with WordPress.

How does it work? Every image you add to a page or post will be automatically run through Smush.it behind the scenes. You don’t have to do anything different. Existing images can be run through Smush.it via the WordPress Media Library.

IMAGE PRO

If you are using a responsive theme design you may want to take a look at Image Pro. Upload, resize, add, or change images instantly. Easily manage your media collection and use it for any post or page.

Just a few features of Image Pro:

1. images are responsive by default. They will resize nicely on lower resolution devices
2. their size can be chosen according to predefined presets or just typed in manually
3. freely scalable: you can get past the responsive restrictions set by your theme

NextGEN Gallery

Most of you have probably already heard of, and use, this plugin for your photo galleries. Without a doubt NextGen Gallery is the best gallery plugin for WordPress. NextGEN Gallery is also the most popular WordPress gallery plugin, and one of the most popular WordPress plugins of all time, with over 9 million downloads.

It provides a powerful engine for uploading and managing galleries of images, with the ability to batch upload, import meta data, add/delete/rearrange/sort images, edit thumbnails, group galleries into albums, and more. It also provides two front-end display styles (slideshows and thumbnail galleries), both of which come with a wide array of options for controlling size, style, timing, transitions, controls, lightbox effects, and more. NextGEN is available as a FREE download, and also has a NextGEN Pro version with even more features than the free version that you can purchase from their official homepage.

SEO Friendly Images

SEO Friendly Images is a WordPress SEO plugin which automatically updates all images with proper ALT and TITLE attributes for SEO purposes. If your images do not have ALT and TITLE already set, SEO Friendly Images will add them according the options you set. Additionally this makes the post W3C/xHTML valid as well.

The ALT attribute is an important part of search engine optimization (SEO) and many bloggers are missing out on the edge it provides for increased search engine traffic. It describes your images to the search engines and when a user searches for a certain image, or topic, the ALT tag is a key determining factor for finding a match.

The TITLE attribute plays a lesser role but is important for visitors as this text will automatically appear when they mouse over the image.

Media File Renamer

Alt and Title tags aren’t the only things that get SEO attention. Just as using keywords in your titles and posts is important, so is the file name you’ve used on the image. By updating the name of the image / media, this plugin will physically rename the filename, and then update all the references to that media in the associated post if there is any (img, src, url…).

Using Media File Renamer (After it is activated you will find it in Tools), you can bulk-rename all your files all at once, or only the flagged files, but it’s recommended to do the renaming through the Media Library directly. The plugin has been tested with many plugins (including WP Retina 2x and WPML) and supports Windows, Linux, BSD and OSX.

Watermark RELOADED

I can’t even begin to count how many times I’ve had to re-upload a photo over the past 18 years because I forgot to add a watermark! But that over sight now has a remedy! Watermark RELOADED allows you to watermark your already uploaded images. You can create a watermark with different fonts, colors and apply those watermarks to different image sizes (thumbnail, medium, large, fullsize). You can also position the watermark anywhere on the image within the Watermark RELOADED settings. The watermark settings are simple to use and provide you with an instant preview of how your watermark will look on the image.

Bulk Resize Media

The Bulk Resize Media plugin goes a long way in helping to reduce both page load time as well as reducing disk space. WordPress creates multiple image sizes, but keeps the original image, no matter how big it is. So you still get the massive image on your server and can include it in posts, which can drastically slow down your site.

The plugin also works with WP Multisite installations to allow site admins to control the image uploads. It can be run before exporting to help images make the trip during import.

Features Include:

1. Automatically resizes large image uploads, keeping the maximum size and removing the original huge image.
2. Bulk-resize feature to selectively resize all existing attachments.
3. Allows configuration of max width/height and jpg quality
4. In MultiSite, network admins can manage image sizes for entire network.
5. Optionally converts BMP files to JPG.


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SEO Tips for Images

Written by Bec on July 2, 2012 – 6:00 AM -

SEO Tips for Images

Seo Tips for ImagesThe most obvious SEO image tip for any website owner is that a picture should be surrounded by text that applies to the image being shown. Use a high quality image that has been optimized for the web so that details are still sharp when it appears as a small thumbnail on a search engine’s pages.

Many people do not realize that the Google spider cannot read or see text or content that is on an image. Using the ALT attribute and providing a key-worded description lets you tell the search engine spiders what the image is referring to within the context of your post. The ALT attribute is designed to be an alternative text description for images. ALT text displays before the image is loaded in the major browsers and appears instead of the image in text-based browsers like Lynx. ALT is a required element for images and can only be used for image tags because its specific purpose is to describe images.

If you want your images indexed by the search engine spiders then give your images the full SEO treatment by adding the TITLE tag along with the ALT tag’s description. A TITLE tag is what you see when you ‘hover’ over an image, or link, with your mouse. This hidden text that gets revealed on hover is a useful way of letting your readers know specific information about the picture, such as who is in it, where it was taken, etc.

According to Wikipedia:

The alt attribute is used in HTML and XHTML documents to specify alternative text (alt text) that is to be rendered when the element to which it is applied cannot be rendered. It is also used by “screen reader” software so that a person who is listening to the content of a webpage (for instance, a person who is blind) can interact with this element. In HTML 4.01, the attribute is required for the img and area tags.

Use the ALT tag description so that the search engines will index your images correctly according to the keywords and description you want associated with the image. In other words, if you do not provide an alt description, you are depriving your images of possible hits that could have come if it had been used and had included keywords.

Not sure how to add an ALT or TITLE to your HTML tags? You can look up just about any scripting or coding information for  java, html, xhtml or css. etc at W3Schools … click these links for the HTML for the  ALT tag  and for the TITLE tag.

It can take up to 6 months for the search engine spiders to find and index your pictures, but if you don’t use the ALT and TITLE tags correctly, they will most likely miss indexing your photos altogether, and you will loose out on a traffic opportunity. Your website needs to get the most out of every page element. Use ALT and TITLE attributes wherever you can. They will increase your site’s usability and expand your promotion options if you understand when to use them, where to put them, and why.


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