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The Ultimate Guide To Optimize WordPress Images [Updated In 2019]

We all prefer to use images inside our article. Images are beneficial to describe what the author is trying to manifest inside an article. Displaying some images keep your readers more involved in the topic.

During content creation, when it comes to image optimization people usually suggest using proper alt text. However, optimizing an image is much more than just naming it and using suitable alt text.

Here in this article, you will read about five different techniques to optimize WordPress images which will help you to fix GTmetrix/Pingdom warnings as well as potentially rank images high up in the search engine.

While optimizing an image for SEO is necessary, optimizing that for page loading speed is the significant part. As a result of optimization, you will achieve better page speed and SEO result.

Pre-publishing Image Optimization:

It’s always better to optimize WordPress images before uploading them to the media gallery. You can take advantage of powerful tools like Photoshop or your favorite image editor.

Prepare the image nicely by cutting, resizing, compressing, and saving in a proper format (PNG/JPEG/GIF) before uploading. Don’t forget to give a descriptive filename to it.

Hint: If your website needs high-quality images (Example: Stock Photo Website, Photography Website, Travel Blog, etc) then optimization of images will not help you because it will reduce the quality as well.


#1. Find Unoptimized Images

After assigning the images into the published post, the post-publishing image optimization part will start. First of all, we have to scan and identify the problems with the uploaded images. There are tools like GTmetrix, Pingdom which can help you detect the problem with an image. GTmetrix shows the problem in details so I would recommend you test a particular page with GTmetrix.

Run your website through GTmetrix. As soon as the analysis is complete GTmetrix will display all the results regarding that page into two different tabs “Page Speed” and “Yslow”.

There are 7 types of image related problem can occur on a page. We will first try to solve the most important ones before heading towards the least cause problems.

  • 1. Serve Scaled Image: Resize a large image into a correct dimension that your themes HTML & CSS specify.
  • 2. Optimize Images: Compress the images losslessly.
  • 3. Specify Image Dimension: Define the width and height of images in HTML or CSS
  • 4. Make Favicon Small and Scalable: The preferred size of a favicon is 16x 16x.
  • 5. Use a content delivery network (CDN): Serve images from a CDN url.
  • 6. Leverage browser caching: Cache image files using a caching plugin.
  • 7. Minimize Redirect: Serve images with proper HTTPS.
  • 8. Combine Images Using CSS Sprite: Combine images into as few files as possible using CSS sprites.

GTmetrix will show image related test results like this:

gtmetrix-speed-test-optimize-wordpress-images


#2. Serve Scaled Images

If you get a warning to serve scaled images by GTmetrix, this means that the page includes some oversized images. GTmetrix recommends you to resize them into the correct dimension (will be provided by GTmetrix) which matches with your theme design.

serve-scaled-images

As soon as you resize the images into the recommended dimension the warning of serving scaled images will disappear. It will help you decrease the page size as well.

Resize The Images Manually:

In this case, you should be resizing the images manually. Using a plugin will not be helpful because every image is recommended to set in a different dimension.

You can use an online image editor to resize the images which are required. Open the editor iloveimg and upload the image file from your computer or you can download the original image from the GTmetrix link shown in the warning.

Caution: Do not change the image title.

Set the recommended dimensions inside the editor and resize the image and download the resized version.

Check the original file location in GTmetrix and now upload the resized image to that location using hosting file manager or any FTP client. You should see the overwrite confirmation popup while uploading the image and select confirm.

Resize and upload back all the images which required proper scaling. As soon as you finish the process recheck the page with GTmetrix and the warnings will disappear.


#2. Optimize Images

This warning usually appears when a page contains losslessly uncompressed images. Losslessly compressing an image will help to reduce the size of the image, resize image files themselves instead of via CSS, and most importantly decrease page loading time.

optimize-wordpress-images

To fix this issue open the optimized image in a new tab which is recommended by GTmetrix and download it. Copy the original file name from GTmetrix (Image URL) and rename the downloaded file by pasting the copied name.

download-optmized-image

Now open your website file manager or use any FTP plugin and upload back the optimized images into the correct location (wp-content/uploads/date/….).

Hint: While uploading the optimized image to your file manager to replace the old image file you should get a “replace” confirmation.

Repeat the same procedure for all the unoptimized images. When finished re-test the page with GTmetrix and optimize images warning will be solved. Previously I have published a complete tutorial on image optimization. You can follow the procedure from there.


#3. Specify Image Dimension:

Specifying the width and height for the images (In HTML and CSS) enables faster rendering by rejecting the need for unnecessary repaints.

This warning appears when GTmetrix detects any image in your website doesn’t have width/height mentioned inside the HTML or CSS code. Some themes automatically attach the image dimension while some others don’t.

Visual editors and live page builders like Divi, Elementor allows you to specify image dimension so they can assist you to fix this problem.

If you don’t use visual editors then adding width/height in HTML code will end this warning. A great example of using dimensions in the WordPress widget area is:

mention-hight-and-width

#4. Make Favicon Small and Scalable:

Favicon is an icon connected with a web page. This little image remains in the “favicon.ico” file in the server’s root. During page load since the browser requests this .ico file, hence it needs to be present there.

Every time a browser requests this favicon file, the cookies for the server’s root are sent. So making the favicon small will help to reduce the cookie size for the server and improves performance the website as well.

Every time a browser requests this favicon file, the cookies for the server’s root are sent. So making the favicon small will help to reduce the cookie size for the server and improves performance the website as well.

You need to make sure that favicon size is 16x16px, and the file is in favicon.ico format, and is cached using cache plugin.


#5. Use a content delivery network (CDN)

CDN is a set of web servers distributed over multiple locations around the globe to deliver your contents more efficiently to the users. The advantage of having a CDN, it can provide an equally fast website performance to your users across the globe.

While using a CDN you need to serve the images from a different URL, which is your CDN URL.

For example:

Image URL without CDN: https://yourdomain.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/an-image.png

Image URL with CDN: https://static-ea7a.kxcdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/an-image.png

There are various CDN provider available, but I use KeyCDN and Cloudflare. Cloudflare serves the contents with 150+ data centers while KeyCDN has 34 data centers. Cloudflare is easy to combine with other CDN provider increasing the data centers for more faster content delivery.

Since Cloudflare doesn’t set CDN URL for the images, hence you can serve images from KeyCDN. It’s very easy to set up. Just create an account on KeyCDN, verify your email address and you will be ready to launch.

Create a custom new zone URL where you want to pull content from.

Go to “zone” from KeyCDN dashboard and fill up the form.

KeyCDN-set-up

Saving this Zone will lead to a new window where you can see the newly created Zone’s status, and access the CDN URL as well.

cdn-url

Install CDN enabler plugin (light weight) by developed KeyCDN and use the CDN URL that you have created few moments ago.

enable-cdn-for-images

Clear your website cache and Cloudflare cache (if you use Cloudflare) and re-check your website address in GTmetrix. The “Serve Images From CDN” warning should disappear upon using this technique.


#6. Leverage browser caching

We can set a default expiry time for our website resources like CSS, images, java scripts, etc under which if a person visits your website again using the same browser, the browser doesn’t have to download that resource from the server. This lead to a quick page load.

See this image below.

browser-caching-optimize-wordpress-images

On WordPress, the easiest way to leverage browser caching is editing your .htaccess file and add the following code into it.

Caution: Only add this code. Don’t make any other changes inside the .htaccess file.

#Customize expires cache start - adjust the period according to your needs
<IfModule mod_expires.c>
  FileETag MTime Size
  AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain text/html text/xml text/css application/xml application/xhtml+xml application/rss+xml application/javascript application/x-javascript
  ExpiresActive On
  ExpiresByType text/html "access 600 seconds"
  ExpiresByType application/xhtml+xml "access 600 seconds"
  ExpiresByType text/css "access 1 month"
  ExpiresByType text/javascript "access 1 month"
  ExpiresByType text/x-javascript "access 1 month"
  ExpiresByType application/javascript "access 1 month"
  ExpiresByType application/x-javascript "access 1 month"
  ExpiresByType application/x-shockwave-flash "access 1 month"
  ExpiresByType application/pdf "access 1 month"
  ExpiresByType image/x-icon "access 1 year"
  ExpiresByType image/jpg "access 1 year"  
  ExpiresByType image/jpeg "access 1 year"
  ExpiresByType image/png "access 1 year"
  ExpiresByType image/gif "access 1 year"
  ExpiresDefault "access 1 month"
</IfModule>
#Expires cache end

Inside this code, we have mentioned jpg, jpeg, png, and gif and set their expiry time to 1 year. This makes certain that the media files which needs the most time to download are stored on the visitors’ computer, and won’t be needed to download again until the next year.

Hint: Sometimes, changes in WordPress for browser caching doesn’t get detected immediately after changing the .htaccess file. But it does work well.


#7. Minimize Image URL Redirect

URL redirection increases waiting time to load a resource. Redirecting a website to [https] URL from it’s original [http] URL takes extra time to load a page and can show a minimize redirection warning.

GTmetrix recommends using [https] URL to prevent content redirection.

minimize-url-redirect-optimize-wordpress-images

Redirection in WordPress website can be minimized or completely stop by updating the website URLs to [https] version with the help of Better Search Replace plugin.

search-and-replace-optimize-wordpress-images

Alternatively, you can change the site URL inside WordPress general settings. (In case you do not serve images from CDN or other hosts)

general-settings-of-wordpress

#8. Combine Images Using CSS Sprite

Website theme uses small icons to represent a beautiful design. Even we use icons in our pages, mostly on the homepage. In my website, there are 4 icons on the home page. But they are actually 1 image. You can do that using CSS sprite. Combining 4 images into 1 image decrease the total number of browser request and speed up page loading time as well.

css-sprite-optimize-wordpress-images

Creating CSS sprite is a little bit technical or you can use a CSS sprite generator.

Hint: Don’t use CSS sprite for your important images such as featured image, images that describe your posts. Because combining these images will lead to lost of alt tags for each of them. Alt tags are a powerful SEO factor.


#9. Bonus Tips To Optimize WordPress Images

Above mentioned techniques will help you to optimize WordPress images. However, these are not everything about image optimization. There are more other tricks which you can use to optimize website images as well. I will mention a few ways you can apply with the image.

#9.1 Apply Lazy Load

Halt the image loading process while the other part such as layouts, fonts, CSS are loading. It will not affect the visitor’s experience because as soon as the image comes inside the display it will load separately.

I use Autoptimize caching plugin and there is an option to unable image lazy load. If you use another plugin, the lazy load should be available there as well. Else, use the lazy load plugin.

enable-lazy-load-optimize-wordpress-images

#9.2 Remove EXIF data

EXIF data contains the information such as image shutter speed, image ISO, focal length, model of the camera, image date, and much more. These information doesn’t need while using that image on your website. So consider removing them.

Popular WordPress image optimization plugins like Imagify, Smush, ShortPixel have an option to keep EXIF data. Make sure you uncheck that.

#9.3 Use Correct Image Format

I prefer to use PNG, JPEG and WebP format for my website. PNG is uncompressed version so you should use PNG with small images with less color effect. JPEG is compressed and can be used for colorful images. JPEG is lower in size and hence lose its quality. See this Illustration below by Labnol.

PNG-vs-JPEG-optimize-wordpress-images

WebP is a new image format employing both lossless and lossy compression developed by Google and useful for the website as it provides image quality with less image size.

#9.4 Use Proper Image Name And Alt Tag

Search engine checks both name and alt tag of an image. So naming your image file before uploading and setting alt tag after uploading are an important task.

Avoid keyword stuffing in image name & alt tag. Just describe the image naturally.

<img src="https://www.rankwp.in/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/how-to-install-wordpress" alt="how-to-install-wordpress" width="577" height="247" />

To find images with missing alt tags you can use Image Alt Tag Checker and locate the image to add a proper alt tag.

#9.5 Enable Hotlink Protection

Hotlink protection prevents other people from copying and pasting your image on their own websites. Using your images on their website can consume your hosting bandwidth resources.

hotlink-protection-optimize-wordpress-images

Caution: Hotlink protection can prevent featured image from appearing on social sites such as Facebook, Twitter.


Final Words: As long as the image remains one of the most important parts of an article optimization is necessary. I have added some key ways to optimize WordPress images in this article. However, there are more roads which you can follow to speed up the page performance.

Make sure to optimize your website performance since this is a key factor of SEO these days. Have any thoughts regarding this article! Mention it below in the comment section.

10 keyword tools for YouTube To Increase Traffic [2019]

The keyword tools for youtube, also known as a keyword research tool, are the foundation tools used to discover new keyword opportunity for YouTube videos.

Before writing articles in our blog we discover profitable long tail keywords and later optimize our article according to that keyword. Finding proper keywords is a fundamental practice of doing on page SEO.

Just like that, finding proper keywords for YouTube videos is very essential for getting organic traffic and more visibility.

Being the second highest traffic source, YouTube possesses lots of potential viewers who regularly check for their requirements and solutions.

top-ten-website-keyword-tools-for-youtube

Because you are a marketer you need to make sure to get your ads in front of the wide audience and hence you’ll need video SEO and YouTube keyword research from your side.

For that, it’s always better to use the most recommended keyword research tool for YouTube by the professionals to stick in with the trend.

Why do we need keyword research for YouTube?

It’s very straightforward. After publishing a video on YouTube it goes under ranking war. So without any proper strategy of what you are creating and how you are going to distribute, chances are YouTube marketing may go very expensive.

YouTube keyword research will help your audience to find your videos. If more people find your videos there is a higher probability of getting sharedAccording to the data, 76% of users will share a video [branded] only if it’s entertaining or very useful.

10 keyword tools for YouTube To Increase Traffic [2019] 1

Keyword research also helps in finding targeted customers and the competition gap where you can grow your channel and achieve million+ subscribers to your channel.

In a case study, Brian Dean of Backlinko mentioned that he helped buffer to grow their YouTube channel by 59% in just 30 days.

10 keyword tools for YouTube To Increase Traffic [2019] 2

In simple there are two steps:

  1. Figure out what people are searching for – I mean the trend in your niche.
  2. Figure out if you can rank for those keywords.

The YouTube keyword tool challenge

Unlike Google search keyword tools, there are far fewer keyword tools for YouTube. And most of them are not mind-blowing like Ahref and KWfinder and many more.

That’s why I decided to dive deep and make this list so you can find them all in one single page.

Remember that some of these tools are supplemented by other major tools but they are always a great place to start with.


Free keyword tools for YouTube:

This list contains all the free keyword research tools for YouTube that are available for everyone. You can check each of them and decide which tools are best for you.

#1. YouTube autocomplete

Like Google, YouTube also gives us autocomplete options when we start typing a search query. This is the place where most of the keyword tools obtain their data.

To start with you can just type your core idea and wait for YouTube to show the autocomplete suggestions. This doesn’t show you the keyword matrics but since this is the original tool hence the suggestions are very reliable.

10 keyword tools for YouTube To Increase Traffic [2019] 38

Additional reading: how to create content in a timeline on WordPress


#2. Google AdWords display planner

Google AdWords display planner is a replacement to the YouTube keyword tool back in 2014. Adword planner is not easy to use but the data it provides worth learning to use it.

To use this tool you need to fast sign in with your Google account. After that, you can find this tool on the top right corner or you can just click on this link.

To get the YouTube keyword results you need to change the settings of this tool to videos only.

10 keyword tools for YouTube To Increase Traffic [2019] 17

Awesome!!

Now you can get statistics on your keyboards for YouTube.

10 keyword tools for YouTube To Increase Traffic [2019] 11

#3. Keywords everywhere

This is browser add on which works both on Google searches and YouTube search. When you type your core keyword this add on will so you the volume, CPC and competition.

Additionally, it will suggest some related long tail keywords which you can target. Keywords everywhere is very user-friendly and you can track keywords data in real time.

To use this tool you need to install the browser add on and activate it using the secret key that will be sent through the mail.

10 keyword tools for YouTube To Increase Traffic [2019] 3

#4. HyperSuggest

HyperSuggest is a small YouTube keyword tool which shows you four different types of Keyword suggestions from 3 data sources. As they have mentioned, the sources are YouTube, Google and Google shopping.

I have discovered this tool in a blog post and tested it by myself. The features and the data it provides makes this tool worth mentioning here in this list of keyword tools for YouTube.

The default language of HyperSuggest is Germany as it’s developers are German. This tool also includes a language filter for those people who don’t understand the German language.

keyword-tools-for-youtube-hypersuggest

#5. SEO Stack

This is another Chrome extension like keywords everywhere which shows keywords volume, suggestions and source.

It has an option to select keyword suggestions from different sources. So when you select resources as YouTube SEO stack will suggest long tail keywords from YouTube searches.

Additional features like filtering option for the country, language and the type of results makes SEO stack a great keyword research tool for YouTube.

SEO-stack-YouTube-keyword-research-tool

Freemium keyword research tool for YouTube:

This list contains all the YouTube keyword research tools which are free to use with limited features but also have a premium version if you want to use all the features. Go ahead and check them all.

#1. Kparser

Kparser is free to use but to get the full-featured version you need to debit some amount from your card. However, with the premium version, you will get a lot more out of it.

Applying the YouTube filter you can obtain the list of suggestion on the core keyword with some essential ranking factors. This is available in the free version as well. And this is the reason I have to mention this tool under the freemium category.

Along with the country and language filters, you will have some advanced filters like alphabets, numbers, questions, etc in the search terms.

Kparser-keyword-tools-for-YouTube

#2. Keyword Tool Dominator

This website contains various types of keyword tools starting from Amazon keyword tool to The Bing Keyword Tool. YouTube keyword tool is one among them.

This tool is mainly focused on finding long tail keywords for YouTube. Like in other keyword tools for YouTube, in this tool you have to type your core keyword and long tail suggestions will be shown in the result.

You can short your results as you want and download the list of organized keywords. YouTube keyword tool allows you up to three searches per day in free use. While you can buy the premium version for $70.

youtube-keyword-tool-keyword-tools-for-youtube

#3. Keyword Keg

I have to say Keyword Keg is amazing. Probably this is the best tool I have ever used in terms of YouTube keyword research with everything put together in one place. The developers have included all the data from eleven different sources to show you the most profitable long tail keywords in an organized order.

To get the results for YouTube you need to select the API of YouTube and you are good to go. One more impressive filter is the country selection where the “Global” option is available which is rare in many other keyword tools for YouTube.

Keyword Keg will display ten [10] different matrices starting from the volume, CPC to key trends.

keyword-keg-keyword-tools-for-youtube

#4. WordTracker

Wordtracker has earned its position in this “keyword tools for youtube list” with easy to use interface and feature-rich options. It’s free to use but like another keyword research tools, it has a premium version with advance stuffs included.

You can search a keyword for YouTube from six different sources for 32 countries with their states. There’s an option to include keywords from a pre-made list.

On the result, Wordtracker will display keyword suggestions with volume, PPC and CPC, Availability in anchor and title. This tool also displays nearly related keyword suggestions which are on trend.

word-tracker-keyword-tools-for-youtube

#5. KeywordTool.io

I would include keyword tool.io into the paid tool list instead I added it here because the free version suggests you some long tail keywords. Only long tail suggestions are available unless you purchase the full version.

You can try selecting the YouTube API and the country to get recommended suggestions by this tool. Once the results appear there are options to filter for suggestions, questions, prepositions, and hashtags. Hashtags are an advantage though.

To obtains key matrices like volume, trend, CPC, and competitions you have to spend some money with Keywordtools.io.

keywordtool-youtube-keyword-tool

Final Words:

As I have mentioned ten different keyword tools for youtube, you can choose any one of them according to your requirements. Personally, I like keyword keg a lot because of the wide range of features.

However, what matters the most is your goal, time and energy investment. If your goal is big with any keyword tool you can achieve it.

All the keyword tools provide you the same resources, some offer a little bit more while others a little bit less. One thing you need to remember that without a keyword tool dreaming for building a bigger channel is like shooting in the dark. You never know where the bullet gonna strike.

And in the end, I want to mention that this list never complete yet. There are lots of similar tools which I am aware of at this moment. But as soon as I get to know about worthy contestant I will update this list for sure.

If you haven’t seen any great tool (that you know) in this list please let me know. I will wait for your comments down below.

Streamlining Proposals and Contracts on Qwilr (without Breaking the Bank)

Today I want to share something that’s been really useful for us, especially at Content Refined, to make proposals and contracts for clients.  We had always done this in a pretty laid back way in the past – we would talk to the client over Skype or Zoom, and follow up with a recap of their needs via email.  There might be some back and forth, and then we would send their payment link via email.

We still do some of that, but earlier in 2018 we started using this tool Qwilr to make things a lot more streamlined.  One of our Project Managers, Mona, actually introduced us to this tool.  It’s basically a drag-and-drop, intuitive document builder with awesome templates to work from.  They have their own stock photography too, so you can switch up the backgrounds to make it more suited to your brand.  The overall tone looks really hip, clean, and professional.

It’s specifically helped us in these 3 ways:

  1. Overview of our services.
  2. Custom projects and long-term contracts.
  3. Pitching new offerings.

Now taking a closer look at each of those…

  1. Providing a detailed overview of our services to prospective clients.

As to be expected, there’s a lot of subjectivity in the world of content creation.  Everyone has different preferences for writing requirements, format and style of articles, publishing needs, etc.  So this overview is a great way to let our clients know exactly what we do (and what we don’t do).

Full overview here:

https://pages.qwilr.com/Content-Refined-Content-Creation-Services-Overview-7z0ULxLXS4C8

content refined qwilr example

This has been great to send out to people who have shown interest in our services, or who want to refer us to a colleague.  It looks professional while detailing everything. Plus they’re directed to Laura to email any questions/hesitations or to book a call.

  1. Detailing custom projects and long-term contracts.

We do a lot of custom work for people who have particular requirements that differ slightly from our standard process.  We’ve also started working on more long-term contracts for our clients, like 6 or 12 month commitments. So this sort of proposal is perfect for those as well.

Qwilr pricing breakdown content refined

They have an option where you can add an ‘accept’ button and/or a signature requirement at the end of the document for contracts.

qwilr contract accept

  1. Personalized pitches for new offerings.

We’ve been pitching the content upgrades more over the last few months, because it’s an offering that not many other content marketing companies are doing (especially at this level) so it really sets us apart.  Then we started doing personalized cold outreach, so whoever was sending out the emails (Laura, one of the other Project Managers, or a Sales Rep) would have a proposal customized to them; it would include their bio, their contact info, and their booking link.  Again, this is just a nice, professional, streamlined way to keep everything looking consistent with the Content Refined branding.

Example here: https://pages.qwilr.com/Pareto-Content-Upgrades-Content-Refined-tzDY2qpYQ4ur

Final Thoughts

I’m not an affiliate or anything for Qwilr.  I just wanted to share it with all of you guys because it’s been a great solution for streamlining some of these documents and proposals for us!  What do you guys use to send out proposals and contracts, etc.? Let me know in the comments!

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