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Perfect Pixels: A Guide on How to Resize Image for WordPress with Ease

Believe it or not, simply resizing images for WordPress can dramatically transform your site’s appeal and performance.

Is your WordPress website loading slower than you’d prefer? The key to a faster loading website is resizing images. Not only will your website load faster, which boosts your SEO and ranking position, but it will also enhance the user experience and engagement.

In this article, I’ll guide you through the process and share the best practices for optimizing and resizing images on your WordPress site. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced user, this guide will equip you with the knowledge and techniques to help you achieve stunning visuals and faster loading times for your images.

Get ready to enhance the visual appeal of your website with this guide to resizing images on WordPress!

Resize Image for WordPress: Table of Contents

Resize Image for WordPress: Reasons Why

Let’s go over the reasons why WordPress website owners and bloggers should resize their images.

Faster Website Loading Speed

Large image files can slow down your website’s loading speed, which can negatively impact user experience and search engine rankings. By resizing images to the appropriate size, you can reduce the file size and improve your website’s loading speed.

Improved User Experience

Users are more likely to stay on a website that loads quickly and has high-quality images. By resizing images, you can ensure that your website looks professional and engaging, which can improve user experience and increase engagement.

Reduced Server Load

Large image files can put a strain on your server, which can lead to slower loading times and even downtime. By resizing images, you can reduce the server load and ensure that your website runs smoothly.

By using the right tools and techniques, you can resize images without losing quality and ensure that your website looks great and runs smoothly.

Resize Image for WordPress: Common For Images to be Oversized

Although there isn’t a direct link between images dimensions (width and height) and file size, in general larger sized images have larger file sizes.

For websites it is common to see images that are oversized. It could be a photo taken on their mobile phone and directly uploading it to their website without resizing it appropriately. As a result, the image file size becomes excessively large, leading to prolonged download times and potential issues such as the appearance of horizontal scroll bars in the browser.

For mobile users it’s even worse as mobile phone speed, especially for people on the move, could make the page unusable.

WordPress helps bloggers by automatically creating low and medium sized images for each uploaded image. We’ll delve deeper into this feature in a later section.

Resize Image for WordPress: Choosing the Right Image Dimensions

Your blog or website will likely contain images of different sizes, from small thumbnails up to large featured images.

WordPress has sensible defaults for it’s automatically generated thumbnail, medium and large image sizes but you are free to adjust them to your needs.

The recommended maximum image size for a featured image is 1200 pixels. That is the maximum size I use for featured images on this site. You may have special requirements, for instance, you are a photography website and high quality images are important to your business so you may want to use higher width images. For most bloggers though I recommend a maximum image width of 1200 pixels.

For mobile devices the typical screen width is between 400-500 pixels. Don’t worry about this though because WordPress will provide a range of image sizes for your browser and the browser will pick the most appropriate size. (Source: Responsive images in WordPress)

Resize Image for WordPress: Using WordPress’s Built-in Image Resizing Features

WordPress includes a convenient image editor that allows you to scale, crop, and rotate your images. This feature comes in handy if you don’t have an image editor or if you prefer editing your images directly within WordPress.

Alternatively, scale, crop and rotate images using your favourite image editor and upload the image to WordPress. This saves file space on your hosting plan and is faster than resizing on your website server.

Editing media in WordPress

WordPress Media Settings Page

In the admin section of your WordPress website, you can view the current dimensions WordPress uses for images. WordPress automatically generates these smaller images for each image uploaded to the Media Library.

WordPress Media Settings page
WordPress Media Settings page

You can make adjustments to the image dimensions and click “Save Changes” to have them saved for future uploads.

Resize Image for WordPress: Manual Image Resizing Techniques

I personally resize images manually before uploading them to WordPress. I use Preview on my Mac laptop, but you can use any image editor of your choice.

Using Preview (Mac OS) to resize an image
Using Preview (Mac OS) to resize an image

From the screenshot above the image width is 1115 pixels so no need to change anything. For images with a width greater than 1200 pixels I would change it to 1200 and the height would be automatically recalculated to keep the aspect ratio the same. Then I save the scaled image back to the file system and upload to WordPress.

In addition to scaling and cropping images, I suggest using an image optimizer plugin to automatically apply optimizations for you. Doing this manually can be time-consuming, and it’s easy to forget.

One plugin that I recommend is the SiteGround Optimizer plugin. It’s free to use and works on all hosting plans, not just SiteGround. This plugin also offers the feature of lazy loading your images. This means that the image will only be loaded when it’s scrolled into view by the reader, reducing the server load and speeding up page loads.

SiteGround Optimizer plugin
SiteGround Optimizer plugin for WordPress
Get SiteGround Optimizer Plugin

Resize Image for WordPress: Using WordPress Plugins for Image Resizing

There are plenty of plugins available that can assist you with image optimization. Take a look at the following selection of plugins listed on the official WordPress website:

I recommend the Imagify plugin as it can compress, scale and change the format of your images to optimize them for quick loading.

Resize Image for WordPress: bulk optimization - imagify
Bulk optimize images using the Imagify plugin
Get Imagify

Using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to Speed Up Image Loading

A web page requires multiple files to be displayed, but images typically contribute the most to the loading time of a web page.

Using a CDN, your images can be served from a server located closest to the user, potentially much closer than your web server.

For websites with many images, or where the speed of your website loading is crucial, a CDN is recommended.

Some hosting plans provide a free CDN with their hosting plans. Alternatively, you can add a CDN to your existing hosting plan usually with a minimum of configuration changes.

Resize Image for WordPress: Final Thoughts

Thanks for reading! Quick recap:

  • Optimize your images for a faster loading website
  • Scale images to not exceed 1200 pixels wide
  • Compress, scale, crop images to reduce file size
  • Consider using a CDN for faster web loading times

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