The Internet is the place to be for instant gratification. So if your site is taking too long to load, people will either leave and find your competitor or stay and get frustrated. We’ve talked before about how images help your content to be more engaging, but the point of this post is to make sure you’re not overdoing it and dragging down your site speed.

So how do you make sure your images aren’t slowing you down?

1. Be Selective

First things first: don’t include images on your site that aren’t necessary. Design (or redesign) your site to use fewer images. This also applies to other content you place directly on your site; videos, slideshows, and presentations can drastically slow you down. Another option is to embed content that is hosted somewhere other than your site. Embedding a YouTube video will not slow you down nearly as much as hosting the video directly on your website.

2. Pick a Format

Different image formats will give you different results. Vector graphics are very friendly to stretching and scaling, where JPEG, PNG and GIF files can distort when resized. Using vector graphics can allow you to compress your images to a small file size, but still have them appear high quality when stretched to fit your website.

3. Size Matters

If your image is large, it will take longer to load. You can resize your images to be optimized for the web very easily in several editing platforms. If you have set an image size in your HTML that isn’t the same as the source it brings the image from, your site has to take extra time to resize the source image to the size set in your HTML. To avoid this, resize the image before you set it in your HTML so that it is the correct size from the get-go.

Short and sweet this week. Take these 3 tips and your site will be off to the races!