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15 Tips to Create Better Lead Capture Forms to Close More Sales

15 Tips to Create Better Lead Capture Forms to Close More Sales

15 Tips to Create Better Lead Capture Forms to Close More Sales

As anyone in sales will tell you, capturing a lead is the first step in any sales process. Leads turn into prospects, which turn into sales, which turn into customers. The path is clear, but how do we get started?

The right web tools give you options to create lead capture forms. You see them everywhere. Most people don’t know how to design a suitable layout to bring in new leads. “Sign up for our newsletter” is almost like white noise to us at this point. Yes, we know you have a newsletter, but we’re going to skip right over your form.

Lead capture forms aren’t hard to create. In fact, we try to find the quickest and easiest way to build them, but we usually don’t end up with a quality product. How can you take steps to create forms that convert? Here are 15 tips to get you started.

  

1. Do your research.

You aren’t the only one trying to get leads! Look at what other websites are doing. How are they approaching form creation? Remember that every website in every industry uses some sort of lead capture form to build a pipeline. Don’t limit yourself to the competition. Scour the internet for ideas and find ones that suit you. 

 

2. Find your voice.

You have a brand. You have a look. Most form creation tools let you use templates, so find one that fits your voice. Authenticity is the name of the game. When people feel a bond with you, they’re more likely to sign up for whatever you’re selling. There are thousands of possibilities for different schemes. Use the one that you connect with the most, customers will follow. 

  

3. Keep it short.

No one wants to read a wall of text for any reason. They certainly aren’t interested in a pop-up with 400 words. Keep the form short. One or two questions and/or blanks to fill out will give you everything you need to know to get started with a lead. If you need to dive further, do it on your next contact, whether it’s another form or a conversation. Don’t overwhelm leads before they get started!

 

4. Keep it simple.

Don’t ask leads for too much information. Ask yourself what you want to accomplish and design the simplest questions to get you there. If all you need to pursue a lead is an email address, stop there. If your lead qualification goes a little further, think of the most concise phrasing, and use it. 

 

5. Use conditional logic.

What is conditional logic? Conditional logic is where the customers’ answers to each question determine the next fields. For example, if the question is, “are you a citizen,” and you answer yes, you move on to the next question. If the answer is no, conditional logic redirects that person to a new field for non-citizens. This tool lets you keep your forms short by automatically skipping unnecessary questions.

 

6. Test calls to action.

The call to action may be the most vital element of lead generation. The CTA is your way to produce a desired response from the customer. “Click here” is a CTA, although it’s not a great one. Be specific to your product. “Test drive our system today!” builds more value and urgency to drive clicks. 

 

7. Automatically email signups.  

As soon as someone completes your form, send them a confirmation email. Confirmation emails serve a few purposes, aside from just letting the customer know you received their form. You can use them to start promoting products and services before your next contact point. Automatic emails can also help redirect leads to complete a deeper information dive to build on the one or two question signup form. 

 

8. Use the power of conversational marketing.

Nothing produces better results than connecting with a lead in a conversation. We’re coded to respond to usual conversational queues. I ask you a question, and you answer that one question. I don’t ask you five questions in a row and expect an answer for all five right then. Conversational marketing applies that idea to presenting forms to leads. As opposed to displaying a static, five-question form, you can ask leads questions one at a time to generate better responses. If you think you don’t know how to set up this type of lead capture tool, don’t worry. There are plenty of solutions to help.

9. Integrate your lead capture tools to other products.

When a lead fills out a form, they receive a confirmation email, but how do you know when someone submits a form? Integrations with other software products like Slack, Zapier, and Mailchimp can immediately notify you the second someone signs up. Connecting to these different solutions is straightforward since most of them are explicitly built for lead capture tools.

10. Follow up on partially completed forms.

Sometimes keeping a lead capture form short isn’t an option. That’s ok. Longer forms lead to fewer completions, though. Many people will start filling out the questions but not finish. Keep an eye on signup statuses to see where some leads began the process but didn’t finish. In many cases, you can reach out to these prospects to encourage them to finish filling out the form.  

11. Make your forms secure.

Cyber-security isn’t a buzz-word. Hackers are always trying to breach firewalls and intercept information, so putting in a “Captcha” tool can block tacit attacks that some hackers put in place. Google’s “reCAPTCHA” is completely free and provides an excellent layer of security for your site.

12. Learn about who is signing up.

Learning demographic details about your audience is every bit as important as their contact information or lead qualifications. Geolocation can help you begin to tailor your calls to action to attack a specific segment of the market or country. Lead capture forms are always evolving, so take every bit of information you can find to improve your conversion chances. 

 

13. Make your terms and conditions easy to follow.

No one likes reading terms and conditions. Most people don’t even read them. T&Cs can save your skin from a legal standpoint, so don’t overlook them as a business owner. That said, presenting them to a prospect during lead capture needs to be easy to stomach. Adding a clickthrough option or a small text box will do the trick, but adding too much information hurts your conversion rates. 

 

14. Hold up your end of the deal.

By completing a form, leads are entering an upfront contract with you. You are responsible for protecting their information and only using it for the agreed-upon means. Ensure you are transparent about what kinds of guidelines and security measures you put in place, so leads feel confident signing up. Your conversion rate will thank you.

 

15. Incentivize signups.

Everyone loves free stuff. Give leads a reason to enter their information. If offering a $25 Amazon gift card generated 2,000 new leads, and you close ten sales, that $25 is a drop in the bucket. Don’t be afraid to go big on a giveaway. Converting new leads is essential to a growing business. 

 

Summary

Shiny templates with strategic verbiage and design are only a few components of a useful form. Our list is by no means comprehensive, but at least you have a head start!

Creating and managing forms on Shamrck is as easy as picking a template and adding your content. We can make sure the leads are routed to the right location, making things easier for you to stay organized and keep all of your sales and marketing tools under one roof. Test drive Shamrck today to start getting your time back.  

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Why You Need a Development Team

Why You Need a Development Team

Why You Need a Development Team

Going it alone is hard. Business owners are well aware of this maxim because it applies to every aspect of running a company. Building and maintaining a website is no different. Website builders help users get started, but the perfect site requires more than a basic template and a few words. Resources like articles and videos help, but the most useful resource of all is a development team.

Most business owners aren’t also web developers. You don’t have time to learn how to code and create a custom website that fits your brand. Maybe you’ll find a template that’s close enough to what you want, but what happens when you’re ready to grow into something new? What happens when your simple site needs to be much, much more?

This step is where going it alone becomes more challenging. Choosing the right content management system (CMS) is critical. Content management systems come with all kinds of tools and resources. 

Development teams know exactly how to leverage those tools and resources.

 

What is a development team?

Businesses starting from scratch need to determine what approach they’re going to take to build their site. Will they use a website builder and simple templates? Some do, but general templates recycled styles don’t help a business stand out in the crowd. In today’s market, every business needs an online presence. Building a site with a fundamental website builder like Wix or Squarespace is like putting an ad in the White Pages (no one really sees it). Using a development team is like putting up a billboard on Main St.

Development teams come in all shapes and sizes, but the leading roles are web developers and web designers. People like to conflate development and design even though they’re two very different aspects of a website. Development is the construction of a site, the custom coding and creation. On the other hand, design refers to the aesthetics of the website, the schemes, and the look.

We can break these teammate roles down into a little further detail.

 

Back-End Developers

The back end of your website is where all the magic happens. Every click navigating to another page, every video on auto-play, and every pop-up happen because a back-end developer built it. Businesses need them to create custom elements that will make their website functional. These elements include site security and other applications, so finding the right back-end developer is essential. Developers also help build the kinds of flexibility that allow site owners to receive and manage user information. 

 

Front-End Developers

Front-end developers focus on user experience. The back-end developer will create the system for running searches or navigation, but your front-end developer makes it look awesome. The spinning wheels, zoom in/out buttons, and feature locations (among other things)? All of that stuff comes from on the front-end. 

Finding an excellent front-end developer is every bit as important as your back-end. The user-experience helps define your website. Visitors will judge not just your site but your entire business based on how your site behaves. An essential part of behavior is across multiple platforms. Your website needs to function the same whether someone visits on a computer, tablet, or phone. 

 

Web Designers

Web designers work in tandem with the developers, but they work on different aspects that flow together. The designer creates the look and feel of your website. Starting with the overview “template” of ideas, a designer will work closely with you to organize color schemes, create custom graphics, and help with the overall concept. Your brand is on display, and your brand is your business.

Keep in mind that designers are not developers. While they may have some experience with coding, their function is to design, not build. Working with a designer is almost an essential part of building your website, but you can’t count on them to make your site function.

 

Use a development team to make a change.

Website builders like Wix and Squarespace are extremely limited. Users start because the platforms offer attractive templates and a user-friendly dashboard. After a while, people realize their website can’t grow with their business and look elsewhere. 

If you already know there’s no future with a site builder, why bother at all?

Luckily, there are ways to migrate away from these other platforms (see our guides on Wix and Squarespace). Moving can be a challenge if you’re looking to do more than just change the look of your site. Using a development team to help you make the move removes confusion and limits mistakes. Plus, you get the bonus of expanding your current functionality by using developers to create new tools. 

 

Why you need a development team

The DIY route is challenging. As we mentioned before, you need a website. With internet traffic trends the way they are, your site needs to shine above everyone else. It has to be functional and chic. You need a website that represents your brand without sacrificing the user experience. More than anything, you need to be able to make changes. No business is the same. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, so saving the ability to build custom features is essential.

Development teams do all of that for you. You get to choose the direction you want to go, work with the team, and watch as they turn your ideas into a beautiful website. The best part? You get to focus on the most critical aspects of your company, your customers. Some people believe they don’t have the budget for a development team. There are teams for all budgets, but all you need to remember is how much time and energy you’ll spend to build the perfect website. How many hours of work will you lose while you fumble through building a site? Compare your budget against how much money you’ll drop by not running your business and see how much it really costs to hire a development team.

 

We’d love to chat with you a little more about why a development team is a perfect business solution. Reach out, and let’s get started!

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How Cheap Hosting Hurts Your Website

How Cheap Hosting Hurts Your Website

How Cheap Hosting Hurts Your Website

Cheap does not always equal value. Cheap shoes fall apart, and a low-cost computer crashes three days after you buy it. Cheap sunscreen gives you a sunburn so bad you painfully regret not buying better sunscreen. When it comes to web hosting, a cheap host can hurt your website in many ways. A bad host can cause a lot of damage from weak cyber-security to slow page speeds and everything in between.

Don’t get us wrong. Saving money is good. Opting for a more inexpensive hosting service is a plausible solution if you weigh all of the pros and cons. The problem is understanding the impact of certain inequities. Some disadvantages will severely outweigh the advantages, and your site will suffer. The best weapon you have is research. Luckily, there are some tools and resources out there to help (like this post!).

So, how does cheap hosting hurt?

 

Upkeep

A good host maintains a stable website status. That means minimal downtime for repairs or bug fixes. Websites need periodic updates to function correctly since plugins and systems are continually updating. A cheap host can lapse on essential updates that affect (possibly crashing) your website.

Worse, cheap hosts are known for terrible customer service. Your website is the face of the business. Imagine that someone locks you out of your storefront, and you have to wait three days for a locksmith. Imagine the business you’d lose! Think of poor customer service as the slow locksmith. You need your website up and running correctly. A cheap web hosting service won’t take the importance of upkeep very seriously.

Slow Page Speeds

When most people think of SEO, thoughts of keywords, and blog posts come to mind. While those are both essential aspects of optimization, page speed is one of the most crucial. The search engine algorithms look through hundreds of site attributes to rank the results, but some traits are more heavily weighted than others. Page speed clocks in as one of the most important because it shows your website is performing well. Google and the other engines will prioritize sites based on load times.

Why is that important for hosting?

A cheap hosting service may not scale well with your business. That means the more traffic you get, the slower the site loads. Slow page load times can kill your website performance. More than have of mobile users give you approximately three seconds before they leave, and the number drops every second after that. Don’t let your website take a tumble in the search results because your hosting service can’t keep up.

 

Cyber-Security

Cyber-security isn’t just a buzz-word, and your website can’t live without it. Cheap hosting services put security on the backburner because security protocols can require additional resources and bandwidth. Start with a straightforward question. Does your host offer a secure socket layer (SSL) certificate?

An SSL certificate is literally the bare minimum you can accept from a host. Malware attacks millions of sites each year, and cheap hosting services that skimp on cyber-security leave you vulnerable. Be sure to do your research because these hosts will put the security onus on you and make sure you are liable instead of them.

There are cyber-security steps you can take on your own to try to secure your website, but ideally, you’d like to work in tandem with a host that emphasizes security as well.

Less Control

Many cheap hosting services offer low price points because they limit what you can do with your site. You lose the ability to create custom coding to fit your needs because the host won’t let you make substantial-scale changes on their server. By limiting bandwidth and disk space, servers can run with less effort and cost, but you end up suffering through a mediocre website.

An excellent hosting service works with you to make sure your site, videos, animations, images, and all, work seamlessly all day every day. Limiting what you can do to build a custom site leaves you with nothing more than a template to type some words.

Hosting is worth the investment.

You can find hosting services in every corner of the internet. Some host on cloud-based servers with data centers all over the world. Some hosts are on a physical server in the back room of a dingy office building. Regardless of a hosting services’ claim of what they do and don’t offer, do your research. Ask questions about security protocols and bandwidth limitations. Learn more about their customer service team and how they handle updates.

There are qualities to some cheap hosting services, mostly, the price, but choosing who hosts your website is critical. The choice can make or break the success of your site and possibly your business. No, that’s not being too dramatic, either. A malware attack leaking customer information can land you in court, ruining your company. Slipping to the second, third, or fourth page of Google can make you invisible compared to the competition all because your pages load slowly.

Investing in a development team to build your website is a wise decision. Investing in a top-class hosting service is just good business. Don’t get sucked in by low price points and wild promises that are too good to be true. Pick a host that you can trust, even if it’s not the cheapest.

At Shamrck, we believe in value above everything else. A hosting service can be inexpensive and still have a customer-first mindset. We’d love to chat a little more with you about trusting your site to an excellent host. Reach out today, and let’s get started!

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How to Move From Wix to WordPress

How to Move From Wix to WordPress

How to Move From Wix to WordPress

Wix is one of many simple website creation tools businesses turn to have an online presence. The builder is easy to use. Users pick a template and use a straightforward drag and drop creation to construct a basic website. Wix isn’t complicated. It also isn’t versatile. That’s why users look to move from Wix.

WordPress blows Wix away when it comes to customization and flexibility. Users leave Wix once they realize they’re not building the website they want. Instead, users have to develop inside a box. Unfortunately, Wix doesn’t make a move to WordPress very easy, but we can still do it.

 

Why is WordPress Better?

WordPress is an explosion of options and possibilities. WordPress has everything someone needs to build the perfect website from premade templates and plugins to the ability to create intricate customizations. Wix starts as an attractive option because the interface is user friendly, and the templates are enticing, but as the saying goes, you get what you pay for. 

As your business grows and your needs grow, Wix’s limitations become more and more evident. The Wix app store sports a paltry 250+ plugins to improve functionality. WordPress features more than 50,000, ready-made plugins affecting every part of your site. Wix limits the ability to build and add the custom code you may need too. More than anything, WordPress has shown to be more SEO friendly than Wix sites. As users get more and more frustrated with their Wix site, they quickly migrate to WordPress.

And here is how.

 

Import Content to WordPress

Wix is closed-source software, meaning there are no direct ways to migrate your content. You won’t have to recreate your content from scratch or copy and paste page after page. However, you’ll need to do a little work to grab your RSS feed and import it into WordPress. 

  1. Bring up your RSS feed by going to your domain and adding /feed.xml to the end.
  2. You’ll navigate to a page loaded with code. Right-click on the page and select Save As, so you’ll have a downloaded version of your XML file to upload.
  3. Go to your WordPress website and into the Tools -> Import section.
  4. Find the RSS area and click “Install Now.”
  5. After a second, you’ll be prompted to run the importer tool.
  6. Choose the file you want to import. You’ll be importing the RSS feed you recently downloaded and hit the Upload and Import File.
  7. You’ll be notified as soon as your import is finished!

Your content pages will show up, but unfortunately, not your images. Importing images from Wix requires a different process.

 

Import Images to WordPress

Like with the content, the move from Wix doesn’t allow a direct way to migrate images to the new website. Still, there is a simple way to upload your images with a little legwork. In this case, you’ll want to start by installing the Auto Upload Images plugin. The plugin helps you reupload all the images without having to do them one by one.

  1. Install the Auto Upload Images plugin.
  2. Re-save all of your posts in Wix that have images.
  3. Go to the All-Posts page and click on the Screen Options button.
  4. Make sure to update the items per page blank to 999 to include all of your pages.
  5. Select all posts and choose Edit from the drop-down.
  6. Click Apply. You’ll see an edit box come up, but just hit Update, and the plugin will update your posts.

 

Point Domain to New WordPress Install.

First, you can only redirect traffic to your WordPress website if you have a custom domain. If you have a custom domain, the move from Wix is a little more straightforward than some of our other steps. 

  1. Sign in to your account and go to Subscriptions.
  2. Click the Domains drop-down.
  3. Choose the domain you want.
  4. Click on the “Advanced” tab
  5. Choose Transfer away from Wix and then Send Code.

You’ll receive an authorization email from Wix, allowing you to transfer your domain. 

 

Recreate Your Template With Divi

Wix takes pride in offering a slew of crafted templates for their customers. Many users sign up mainly for a template they liked. That’s understandable. Some of these templates are chic, original, and beautifully done. However, there’s nothing done in Wix that you can’t do in WordPress. We completely understand wanting to bring your template when you move from Wix, but unfortunately, that’s not an option. 

Instead, you can recreate the template with the Divi page builder, except now, you can create and make changes as you see fit. No template is one-size-fits-all. Moving to WordPress means opening up options for everything, including web design. You don’t need to be a graphic designer to build a beautiful website when you have the right tools. 

 

Configure Permalinks

Finally, the last step is making sure your page links line up with the Wix links. Wix tends to follow a basic .com/blog-name link pattern. Since this recipe is one of the best for SEO and the easiest to manipulate, we recommend the same. 

  1. Open the WordPress dashboard and scroll over Settings on the left side.
  2. Click Permalinks to open the options.
  3. Click the Post Name radio button. 
  4. Save changes.

You’ll want to make sure any imported posts have this link style. You can visit the posts by going to the All Posts section under the Posts menu. All of your new pages will follow the same link style.

 

Making the Move from Wix

Making the move from Wix is inevitable for many users. As your business grows, you need more space. You need more functionality. You just need…more. WordPress is the answer, and partnering up with a premium development and hosting firm like WPClover maximizes the experience. Otherwise, you’re wasting the many tools and resources at your disposal. 

Your website is the face of your company. It’s the first impression your potential clients have. Take advantage of the possibilities WordPress offers by building the perfect site. Why settle for less?

 

We’d love to take some time to talk with you more about where you see your brand. Our team of experts is here to help you make the move from Wix, so reach out and get started.

 

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3 Things You Need To Know About Third-Party Scripts On Your Website

3 Things You Need To Know About Third-Party Scripts On Your Website

3 Things You Need To Know About Third-Party Scripts On Your Website

Third-party scripts are scripts that can be embedded into websites by a third-party vendor. Mostly, they’re used for things like analytics, advertising, widgets, and connecting your website to other business software. Anytime you see an embedded video or social media sharing buttons, you’re looking at third-party scripts. 

Why are third-party scripts a big deal?

They’re everywhere! Every site you visit or click you make could send browsing information back to a third-party source. You may not know who is receiving your data and you’re at the mercy of whatever website you’re visiting. 

Your website is no exception. Those quirky widgets you think are fun and eye-catching might be opening you up to liabilities. Luckily, You can decide what third-party scripts you allow to operate. While many of these third-party scripts come from reputable sources, the internet is full of unreliable and risky ones. Here are three things to know about third-party scripts on your website.

 

Privacy Issues

When we browse the internet, our information continually goes out to several third parties. They can track us through cookies and place ads on one site based on our browsing history from other websites. Standard third-party tracking is pretty transparent. We can follow codes and get an idea of what kind of browsing is going on.

Unfortunately, there are some bad actors out there who are not transparent. Your email address, purchase history, location, and more can leak to eavesdroppers without you even knowing it. As a site owner, you’ll almost certainly add third-party scripts. Share buttons, form creators, and also comments sections all fall into this category. The best thing you can do to protect your users’ privacy is to research the third-parties you’re using and make sure to disclose the names of those systems in your privacy policy

If your privacy policy doesn’t have accurate information for users to know where their data is going, you open yourself to potential lawsuits. Be wary of any scripts that provide personal identifying information about your website visitors as they may be selling that information. That is against the law in some states and some countries so make sure you are careful.

 

Security Issues

Letting someone else’s script into your site makes you extremely vulnerable. That third-party has access to your entire front-end website. Before adding any additional scripts outside of your own, make sure the service you’re using is safe.

Sometimes, third-party scripts will actually build off information coming from another third-party. This process funnels data to at least two other companies, if not more. The more the code is exposed like this, the more opportunities hackers have to inject malware, which directly affects your website’s security.

Hackers are continuously looking for ways to access encrypted information on your website. Similar to the privacy issue above, some advertisers or third-party payment scripts have lax encryption implementation methods. Without realizing it, your customers’ information could be out in the open until the vendor encrypts the data. By that time, the information is available for anyone to see.

Privacy is essential, but taking additional security steps is paramount. Neglecting site security, including third-party scripts, can land you in the courtroom. Be diligent in your research before deciding to welcome in a third-party.

 

Optimization Issues

Another substantial problem with third-party scripts is the effect on your site’s optimization. Privacy and security are important, but they’re irrelevant if no one visits your site! Adding widgets and analytics to your website can slowly drag down site performance. Boosters like caching and CDNs can only do so much, but some third-party scripts can damage performance. 

For starters, these scripts can load large images or video files, putting more stress on your host. Slow page load times are a killer for your SEO scores since search algorithms put an enormous focus on website speeds. The more additional functionality you add with third-party scripts, the more work your server has to do. 

Having several third-party scripts can also run into the problem of launching too many requests off to multiple servers. The more requests a site has to make, the longer it will take to load. We discussed how CDNs can reduce latency, but even so, too many requests can overwhelm servers and slow everything down.

There are tools in place to help identify what third-party scripts are on your website. This diagnostic information shows how many third parties are running scripts and a breakdown of which ones take the most time to execute. Optimizing your website, including these third-party scripts, will be one of the most critical aspects of site maintenance.

 

Conclusion

Almost every website uses some kind of script from a third party. We all take advantage of inserting someone else’s code from embedded videos to pop-up forms to social media share buttons. Our challenge is to make sure we only use third parties we trust and trying to keep our site as optimized as possible. 

When adding any third-party scripts, the first step should be to research security protocols for third-party codes. Make sure you’re working with reputable firms before opening your site to additional functionality. Choosing from thousands of potential integrations is difficult. Choose wisely!

 

Do you know everything happening behind the scenes on your website? WPClover offers a FREE 30-point website health inspection to help show you the effect third-party scripts have on your site. Schedule your check today!

 

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Why You Should Use Image Compression on Your Website

Why You Should Use Image Compression on Your Website

Why You Should Use Image Compression on Your Website

We already know that slow page load times can kill your SEO efforts. So, what slows down page speeds? The answer is pretty wide-ranging, but one of the most common problems is image size. We all remember the dial-up days when websites took 10 minutes to load, and a single, grainy image could take even longer. Those times were different, though. We expected it. Today, websites are blazingly fast, and if users have to wait longer than two seconds for a page to load, they’re ready to leave. Luckily, we have image compression to help keep your site loading quickly. 

Because of image compression, we can see the world in vivid colors without having to wait for a dial-up server to piece together a picture one kilobyte at a time. You should be compressing images on your website already, but if not, it’s time to get with the program.

 

What is Compression?

Image compression is the practice of optimizing a large image file into a smaller one to limit the amount of stress placed on your website. Larger pictures with more data, slow load times and can cost you valuable traffic. With compression, you can take the same images, reduce the file size, and immediately see improvements in page speeds. In short, compression is the act of limiting the data an image contains.

There are two main types of compression, lossy and lossless. 

-Lossy refers to image compression or optimization, where the compression strips away bits of data from an image while trying to maintain as much of the image quality as possible. “Lossyness” can result in pixelation or jagged edges because the compression is getting rid of those data segments. Lossy compression is most commonly associated with JPEG images.

-Lossless compression is a way to reduce file size without losing any quality. Without going too far into the weeds, lossless compression essentially rewrites the original file’s data more efficiently. The tradeoff is the image files don’t end up that much smaller. PNGs are an excellent example of lossless compression, but depending on the needs of your site, PNG files may still be too large.

 

Benefits of Image Compression

You don’t have long to grab someone’s attention when they visit your website. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 2-7 seconds does not give you much breathing room for load times. Large image files slow load times and cost you traffic. Worse, slow page speeds drastically affect your SEO. Google does not like slow page speeds, and after video, image files take up as much space on your pages as all other data (coding, fonts, etc.) combined.

How do you make sure your images aren’t your downfall? Easy. Since image compression, by definition, reduces the size and amount of data of an image, your pages can load more quickly. Search engines won’t penalize you for slow page speeds, and visitors won’t get impatient and leave. Optimizing image files has other perks, too.

The smaller file sizes use less bandwidth, meaning less stress on your server. Networks can operate faster when there’s less traffic on the road. Also, website backups are a necessity, and compressed images can speed up that process. Finally, and it almost goes without saying, compressed images take up less space on your server. 

 

Best file types for web images

Before we start discussing which types of files are best, let’s cover the differences. The main four types are JPEGs, PNGs, SVGs, and WEBPs. None of these files are better than the others, but each one has benefits in certain circumstances. 

JPEG – JPEGs are possibly the most commonly known and used image files. JPEGs are easy to compress because they use lossy compression. The images shrink, but because JPEGs delete data to become smaller, the images lose quality. JPEGs are best for simple pictures that can lose a little data and still look the same. The trouble is finding the balance between small and too small. 

PNG – PNGs are the weapon of choice for most people starting or running their own sites. These files can be compressed without losing any quality (lossless compression). However, PNG optimization doesn’t actually remove data, so the image can only be compressed so far, leaving you with what could still be a large image.

SVGs – SVGs are scalable vector graphics. If you are familiar with vector images, you know the draw is the ability to grow or shrink an image without losing pixels. SVGs operate in much the same way. These image files can compress like JPEGs without losing quality like PNGs. SVGs are also incredibly versatile since they show at a higher resolution without slowing down page speeds.

WebP – WebP files are a giant leap into the future of image files. Google created the WebP format to combine superior lossy and lossless compression. Files end up noticeably smaller than both JPEGs and PNGs without losing any quality, and they support transparency just like other files. We’re not to the future yet because not all browsers support WebP images, but it’s a great start.

What kinds of image files you use are dependent on your skill/comfort level with image creation and optimization. SVGs and WebP files are the future because they can do everything PNGs and JPEGs can and then some. But not every occasion suits the more modern image files. Regardless of the image type, the principal goal is to create an optimized file to load on your site.

 

Compress your images with Imagify

Imagify is a WordPress plugin dedicated to image compression and built by the same team who brought us WPRocket. Imagify offers an easy-to-use image compression system allowing you to choose from three different compression types with one click. Depending on your need, you can choose from normal, aggressive, and ultra. If you don’t like your new image, you can re-compress with one click and start again.

Imagify does come with a free plan with a limit of 25MB/month, but plans up to 1GB are only $4.99/month. Image optimization is a critical factor in running your site, so investing in a compression plugin is certainly worth a look.

 

Why compression matters

As cameras and software become more advanced, images become more and more detailed. We can zoom in to see every blade of grass from 20 feet away. The wonders of technology! However, that level of detail comes with a cost. The images can be enormous. 

Trying to add images that size to your website is almost certainly going to slow everything down, hurt your SEO, and lose traffic. The results can be catastrophic. For years, though, image compression has been the solution. Just as cameras and software are improving, image file types continue to develop. Using SVGs and WebP files let you display full images on your site without slowing page speeds, and tools like Imagify make the task more accessible to anyone. 

Without image compression, we wouldn’t see the world online as we do today.

 

How is your website speed performance? WPClover offers a free 30-point website health inspection to check page speeds and walk through possible best practices for improvements. Come sign up, and let’s get started!

 

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