Scaled Images and How to Serve Scaled Images in WordPress

9 min read

Get the detailed overview on the process of building scaled images, learn why scaling images is important and how it affects our website performance.

Shashikanth Manjunatha
Shashikanth Manjunatha

30 November 2022

Scaled Images and How to Serve Scaled Images in WordPress

Is your website not getting the traction it needs? Are its bounce rate and ranking not meeting expectations? Are you looking for answers on how to solve these issues?

Then, maybe the problem lies with the images you are using, specifically with their scaling.

While images add value to your web page, using incorrectly scaled images can often increase your page’s loading time and adversely affect its speed and performance. This consequently affects the user-friendliness of your page. The solution to this issue is serving scaled images using a proper technique.

In this detailed guide, you will gain perspective on how to scale the images to create a good user-friendly experience. You will get to know the tools, methods, and tactics that will help improve your website speed, and much more.

You will learn how to scale down an image without losing quality, and how to make all images the same size to help optimize your website making it informative and attractive.

Scaled images

Many website owners are unaware of this terminology. A scaled image is a type of image that has the exact dimensions as defined in CSS and HTML.

In a simpler context, let us assume that a user decides to use an infographic that has 800 x 800

Pixel density for a 50 x 50 thumbnail. This directs the browser to scale down the image before displaying it to the viewers. In this case, it increases the page file size. On the other hand, the same page has an image that is 200 x 200. The increase in page size due to the 800 x 800 image also leads to an increase in the size of the 200 x 200 image, making it blurry. In both cases, it affects the performance of the website.

Slower pages will eventually drive visitors away, increasing bounce rates, and ultimately, creating a less favorable experience for the users.

What do serve scaled images mean?

Scaling an image simply means that the image is restructured and adjusted to a dimension that is ideally perfect for your site. When you serve the images, you practically adjust the size while maintaining the quality, so the image remains clear and concise, irrespective of its size.

Serving images is important for any website; as already mentioned, it improves the page loading time, which in turn improves SEO and helps you rank higher. Once the images are scaled, the page loads faster, increasing user retention, and you will eventually see more users viewing your pages.

A webpage with scaled images and a proper SEO strategy will get you the reach you expect, and increase the rate of revisiting customers.

How to serve scaled images properly?

There are several methods to scale images the right way — one can use manual editing methods, or use a WordPress plugin that would take care of the scaling process effortlessly. Let us understand each of them separately.

Manually scaling images involves the following steps:

1. Analysing your website

To manually scale images, one must be aware of the current dimensions of the image, and the required dimensions. Users can analyze the size of the image from any online measuring tool, like Google page speed or GTmetrix.

In this instance, let us use GTmetrix; it is quite helpful as it recommends the ideal image dimensions.

Open GTmetrix and enter your site’s URL into the text box on their website.  Click on the Test your site button.

GTmetrix runs a diagnostic test on the web page’s loading time. It presents a detailed report that includes the website health score, factors reducing the time, etc.

It also generates a list of images that are not scaled properly, along with recommendations of the more appropriate scale dimensions.

2. Rescaling the images

Now that the analysis has revealed the images that require action, you must make the recommended changes to their scale size. GTmetrix would even help you to locate the target images that have the most exposure, and scale them down as well.

Now edit the images in any editor like Paint, Lightroom, or Photoshop.

Photoshop is arguably one of the easiest methods to get things done in time. Let us use Photoshop, and understand how you can scale the images.

In Photoshop, click on Image in the toolbar and select the Image Size feature.

Next, a pop-up screen will appear asking about the specific dimensions that you need to resize your image into.

You can adjust the height, weight, and resolution of the image as till it satisfies your needs, and then you can upload them to your website.

3. Replacing the Images

The final task is to replace the older images with the new scaled images. For this, you need to access your website’s WordPress backend. Once you log in, follow the steps below:

  • In your Media Library, install Enable Media Replace to ensure a smooth transition from the plugin menu.
  • Once this is done, change the layout of your media library to List view.
  • Click on the Replace media option, next to those images that are oversized.
  • Select the Choose File feature, and select the scaled image from your device.
  • Set up replacement and date options as per your preference, and click on Update.

The same procedure can be repeated across all pages, which will later be reflected on your site’s improved results.

Serve scaled images WordPress

WordPress offers the best functionality to do scaling and other optimization techniques. The easiest way is to install a plugin to take care of your scaling needs.

However, other methods involve using a native feature known as srcset. The core feature of this method is that it makes the images quite responsive towards different screen sizes, be it laptop, desktop, or mobile device. This helps keep the website user experience and increases the chances of the user revisiting the website.

How to serve scaled images on your WordPress website?

Adding images to the website increases the loading time, to reduce it ensure that your images are configured to the right size by scaling the images. One can either edit the images manually or use WordPress plugins. The following steps will guide you on how to use WordPress effectively.

1. Rescale images in your media library

To get this process started, make sure to open the WordPress backend. Select the post and identify the images that need scaling in advance to make the process smooth.

  • Click on the image you want to rescale, and select the Edit image icon. This will take you to the Media Library screen.
  • Here you can choose your image, and click on the Edit image link. This will open another screen that will allow you to scale your image according to your requirement.
  • It will then present a box where you can enter the new dimensions and click on Scale to amend the changes that need to be reflected on your website.
  • Click on Save.

The important thing to notice here is that the newly uploaded files are often assigned with a long string of characters. This may affect your SEO strategy, so make sure to optimize your permalink later.

2. Adjust images in the Settings > Media Screen

One can edit images directly through the WordPress Media settings, which can be accessed on the site’s admin dashboard. There are three different default sizes for WordPress images, thumbnail size, medium size, and large size. The large-size images once uploaded cannot be moderated through media settings. To do this:

  • Open the Settings tab and select Media.
  • This will lead you to the Media settings page, where you can set the dimensions be it maximum or minimum of the image. There would be three options present in the panel as mentioned before. Of this, you can adjust the dimensions for the thumbnail and medium size images.
  • Enter the details regarding the maximum width and maximum height that are required for the image to amend the changes. Put these values as shown in the image.
  • In the case of the thumbnail images, make sure to check the box below the thumbnail section to change its size. Then enter the dimensions as per requirement, and the changes would be implemented accordingly.
  • Click Save Changes.

This increases scalability and ensures that the webpage is configured in the interest of the viewer. It has a simple setup process that can be completed within no time.

Why do you need to serve scaled images?

In current times when the internet is fast and connectivity reach is impeccable, people expect to get their answers fast. So does Google. If your site fails to do that, you might lose both your audience and your platform.

Website performance is quite crucial; every extra second that a page takes to load dents its credibility. If you are concerned about your site performance, then you need to control the size of your images, which is a crucial aspect that affects page loading time.

Benefits of using scaled images on your website

One of the most basic reasons to optimize your website with scaled images is that the raw images used tend to reduce page loading speed. These slow pages are the main triggers for driving potential visitors away, eventually increasing the bounce rate.

With scaled images added to the website pages, it will get the traction needed, and also help to rank the pages in a higher position.

1. Website performance

Visitors are less likely to leave your website if it loads efficiently. Moreover, if it loads faster on mobile, it exponentially increases your chances of lowering bounce rates.

2. SEO

Google crawlers are getting more inclined towards enriching the user experience. With better image optimization improving the page speed, Google is more likely to rank your website higher and increase the SEO rankings.

3. Better user experience and boost conversion rate

Less loading time and more focus on content can iterate better results and attract more clients, considerably increasing sales over a span. Better image optimization leads to better page results and scalability due to increased exposure to a larger market.

Serving scaled images with Gumlet

Gumlet is yet another plugin that is best suited for SEO, and delivering the right size and quality for any image. The plugin optimizes images without having to modify the code and puts image delivery on automation making image processes smarter.

It is one of the best image delivery solutions present in the market that is simple, fast, and yet effective. You can improve page load speed with Gumlet as it provides a detailed overview of each image with insights on its performance. This helps modify the images that are better perceived by the audiences.

Final Words

A great website will have actionable content, less loading time, scaled images, and the right SEO strategy to unleash the best user experience.

This article has covered every basic detail about what scaled images are, and why they are important. It not only helps with the site’s performance but will also help it rank higher on different search engines.

You can analyze your needs and decide the approach to engage better images with minimal effort. Use this guide to select an image scaling technique that is most suitable to your needs and implement it on your website. Track the performance and try to add modifications to improve your website’s performance, and make it the great website it’s meant to be.

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