Editor’s Note: the following guest post was written by Gerard Blanco Capell of Shortpixel.
Have you noticed how mobile browsing seems to have taken off in a big way? As of July 2021, nearly 50% of all web traffic is from mobile devices. If you haven’t yet, now is the time to explore AMP.
What is AMP?
There are times when mobile browser pages aren’t loaded quickly, and this can discourage users from enjoying your content. So, what needs to be done? AMP is one solution. AMP accelerates page load time. At its core, it is a stripped-down form of HTML. The AMP open source library aims to make the web faster and better for everyone by loading pages instantly.
We can assume that if you’ve looked at our blog, you’ve already implemented AMP on your website. With AMP, you are required to maintain at least two versions of any article page: one version that is seen by end users, and a separate AMP version.
If you haven’t tried AMP on your website, we encourage you to visit the plugin website for information on how it works, or test out the onboard wizard once installed. The setup wizard offers an awesome walkthrough of how the plugin works.
What is ShortPixel?
ShortPixel optimizes the only thing that AMP can’t: your images! Your website may be featherlight, but if you are still uploading your 5 MB images taken with your camera straight to your WordPress Media Library, you are probably offering a very bad user experience.
ShortPixel does one simple thing, and it does it very well: image optimization. What does it mean to optimize images? It means to make your images smaller while keeping the same quality.
Based in Romania, ShortPixel offers many tools to compress your images in different ways, but since we are talking about your WordPress website, the tool you are going to want to use is ShortPixel Image Optimizer.
ShortPixel Image Optimizer to the rescue
ShortPixel Image Optimizer (abbreviated SPIO) is an easy to use, comprehensive, stable and frequently updated plugin that sends images that you upload to the WordPress Media Library to ShortPixel’s Image Optimization Cloud, where they are compressed and optimized. Here’s how SPIO works:
- An image is uploaded to the site.
- SPIO detects the new image (and its thumbnails) and sends it to ShortPixel’s optimization servers.
- The image is optimized and sent back to the site.
- SPIO replaces the unoptimized image (and its thumbnails) with the optimized one from the optimization servers. Optionally, a backup is created.
SPIO only replaces your physical image files. It does not edit how your webpage looks and it does not modify the code of your site (unless you are delivering WebP files). This process is done for every image (and respective thumbnails, if selected), whether you do it from Media > Bulk ShortPixel, from your Media Library one by one, or for new uploads.
Images comprise almost 75% of a page’s total weight, and ShortPixel gets an average compression rate of 70-80% using Lossy compression. This means that without ShortPixel’s image optimization, a page could have a weight of 7 MB, but with ShortPixel’s image optimization, the page weight could be reduced to just 1.75 MB!
Using ShortPixel means you can also use images in next-gen formats, such as WebP, as recommended by PageSpeed Insights. We’ve written a blog on this recently.
Be sure to check out ShortPixel’s step-by-step guide to install and use ShortPixel Image Optimizer. Remember that it’s fully compatible with the official AMP plugin!