Definitive Guide on Optimizing Images for The Web (and Performance)

Abdul Wahab Asif
7 min readMar 10, 2021


Hey, are images not a part of your content marketing strategy? Then good luck with engaging your audience!

Images are a VITAL part of all web content.

When browsing web pages, we see attractive images making the content engaging and easily digestible. They act as a pleasant medium to deliver information. Plus, Images effectively hold the visitors to your webpage — a huge content marketing goal.

But using visuals correctly is a DEEP process.

Images NEED to be optimized before using on the internet. Otherwise, your webpage may NEVER load, or at least, it won’t load fast. This way, most visitors are going to run away from your website — making you lose potential customers.

You can’t afford it. Can ya?

So, without further ado, let’s come to the point: How do you properly optimize images for the internet and SEO? That’s exactly what this guide is all about. For instance, I’m going to lay down:

  • Image Optimization — Importance
  • The perfect method of optimizing images for the web
  • Best image optimization tools

Ready? Let’s start.

Image Optimization

Image Optimization is the process of optimizing images for the internet (web). In image optimization, the image size is reduced to the highest possible level — provided that the image quality isn’t significantly affected.

Now that you know how image optimization is defined, let’s show you how optimizing images has become crucial.

Importance of Image Optimization

It’s a fact that ranking on Google is a science and SEO is the formula for doing so. No doubt, ranking on Google is the dream of every blog (and online business). That’s why wise blog or business owners pay attention to SEO (and content marketing).

However, Google keeps changing its algorithm for good.

As science (ranking on Google) is changing, we get to see variations in the formulas (SEO) as well. According to 2021’s SEO trend, Google will rank only the websites that load instantly (within a while).

(2–3 seconds ideally)

And to achieve such a page loading speed, you need to properly customize, format, and optimize images. Otherwise, they can hold you back from performing well on Google — something you don’t want. Right?

Benefits of Image Optimization

Besides boosting your page loading speed (and helping you rank better), optimizing images are advantageous in various other forms such as:

  • Low storage & web hosting cost
  • Lower use of backup storage
  • Instant backups
  • Better image search rankings

By now, you might have assumed that image optimization is not just highly crucial but comes with a list of advantages. And chances are that you’ve set your mind to properly optimize images before publishing on the internet.

But how do you do that? Here it is…

Basics of Image Optimization

While optimizing images for the web, there are a few basic things to take care of:

1) Image Dimensions

Dimensions of an image are directly related to the overall image size. An image with higher dimensions equals a larger file size and vice versa.

Whatever dimensions your images have, they need to be adjusted (lowered).

For instance, you cannot just capture a 4K image from DSLR and upload it right away. A 4k image (3840 x 2160) size will be easily more than 3MB. And once you’ve thrown multiple 3MB images on a single page, DON’T expect it to load EVER…

Even if it does, the image might not:

Instead, if you decrease the width (3840) to 1500 (while maintaining the ratio), you’ll see a significant decrease in the file size. This way, images won’t be affecting your page loading speed — that’s all you want.

Now, you might be wondering:

What Image Dimension is the Best?

When it comes to the standard image dimensions, websites come with different theme sizes and have different standards for images. So, there’s no standard for image dimensions.


…the one I personally use and prefer is 600 pixels (with a suitable height). But If we talk about the image ratio, you’re free to design it the way you want.

How to Customize Image Dimensions?

Well, there are various photo editing tools you can use for customizing image dimensions. These include:

  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Fotor
  • Adobe Illustrator
  • Gimp
  • Exposure
  • And much, much more…

However, I personally use Adobe Illustrator. It’s not just easy-to-use but a very powerful tool by Adobe.

2) Image Format

The image format is easily the second most important factor that can increase image size or affect quality. The image format is the means of digitalizing images. Here’s how Wikipedia defines it.

Image file formats are standardized means of organizing and storing digital images.

If we talk about the image formats used on the internet, there are a lot. JPG (JPEG). PNG. GIF. BMP. PSD. It’s endless…

However, the most popular ones among these are JPG and PNG. You can use either one according to your needs. But the one I personally prefer is JPG because it has a slightly lower file size as compared to PNG.

Plus, the best part about JPG images is that you don’t even have to sacrifice quality for lower file size. That’s why JPG is so widespread all across the globe.

With that said, let’s come to the most effective step; compressing images.

Image Compression (Reducing Image File Size)

The core topic of the whole article, image compression, means reducing the image file size without sacrificing quality.

The best way of compressing images is to use an image optimization tool. The one I recommend the most (and use for myself) is CompressJPEG. (Scroll down to know more about CompressJPEG)

Moreover, you can also go with other tools that serve the same purpose.

Following are the popular image optimization tools.

Best Image Optimization Tools

CompressJpeg — Best Online Image Optimization Tool

CompressJPeg is a highly efficient online image optimization tool that lets you compress various types of images including:

  • JPEG
  • PNG
  • PDF
  • SVG
  • GIF

So, no matter what kind of image format your business is compatible with, the company has you covered.

Another marvelous stand of the tool is it enables you to upload up to 20 images at once.

And effectively gets the job done without making you wait long. After the images are compressed, you get the options for downloading individually or all at once (enclosed in a ZIP file).

I’ve been using it for over a year and had a great experience so far.

And would recommend it to anyone including you.

Looking for an offline image optimization tool that can run on your PC/laptop without an internet connection?

Here it is…

PNG Optimizer — Best Offline Tool for Image Optimization

PNG optimizer is another powerful yet comfortable image-optimization tool.

It runs on various operating systems such as Windows, Debian, Ubuntu, etc.

Unfortunately, the tool is compatible with PNG files only. But if you’re someone who loves PNG files, this tool is good to go. However, you do get the option for converting other file types (BMP, GIF, and TGA, etc) into PNG.

Plus, it lets you optimize animated PNG files as well.

Thanks to the intelligent developers who designed it in the way that it instantly gets the work done depending upon your processing power (CPU cores).


Image optimization is a vital web process — ignoring which can result in poor SEO rankings. This article presents how image optimization is important and the RIGHT method of optimizing images for the web.

Plus, I’ve also listed a couple of tools used for image compression.

Hope you found it helpful.

If you further need any help, let me know.



Abdul Wahab Asif

Tech content writer & blogger with a knack for writing expert Mac, iOS, and Windows articles for leading tech blogs.