Every ecommerce store has tons of images, since visual content is extremely important for online businesses, as it provides the greatest impression on customers. Furthermore, the lack of photos makes a website look suspicious and unprofessional, so use only high quality content in a reasonable quantity. Unfortunately, you can face a problem when large images slow down the user experience reducing search engine rankings and consequently sales. To avoid this situation, we recommend you install the Image Optimization Magento extension by Extendware. This tool will help you optimize your images reducing their size without sacrificing quality. As a result, the site speed and user experience will be improved but the content quality will remain the same.
If faster loading pages and reduce bandwidth are among your goals (and we know for sure they are), Extendware is here to help you, and Firebear is here to review Extendware’s Image Optimization. By reducing search engine rankings, a slow website ruins sales, so optimizing images is vital especially due to the fact that it affects every request. Note that Image Optimization works even better with the following modules:
Before we proceed to features, take a look at what users think about the module:
- Image Quality. The extension lets you reduce image size, but the quality isn’t lost.
- Server Software. There is no need to install any additional software. You just set up the module and it works. At the same time, Extendware Image Optimization supports further serverside optimizations.
- Catalog Product Images. The module lets you add forever expiries to images for the better usage of browser cache. The same is about skin and media images. As for SEO, you can use the same name for a product image and a corresponding product.
- Convenient Optimization. With the Extendware Image Optimization Magento extension, you can optimize product images in literally any directory. It is only necessary to specify the directory and all images there will be processed.
- CDN Support. Use the module with your favourite CDN for better results. Still don’t use any? Try CloudFlare in a combination with our extension: CloudFlare® Control.
- Browser Cache Management. Catalog and CSS images are rewritten and cached in the most effective way: once an image is downloaded, there is no need to to request it on a server again. As a result, dozens of server requests and hundreds of kilobytes are saved per each page load.
- Bandwidth. By reducing bandwidth requirements, you can save money, so the extension pays for itself not only due to improved experience, rankings and sales, but by cutting costs.
You can configure the module under the already familiar location: Extendware -> Manage Extensions -> Extension you want to configure – Image Optimization -> Configure. All the settings are divided between two tabs: General and Advanced. In its turn, the General tab contains 3 sections: General, Frontend Images, and Developer.
The General section contains only one option – Modified Time Check. You can enable or disable it. If the option is disabled, the store works faster, but you have to flush cache manually after changing images.
Next, there is a huge section dedicated to frontend images. The Catalog Image Cache option lets you enable catalog images caching and add forever expirations. By activating the Search Engine Optimization option, you let the module use product names for product images. If enabled, Skin Image Cache rewrites skin images and applies expiration headers to them. The same functionality is provided by Template Image Cache to template media. CSS Image Cache lets you fully leverage the usage of browser cache, by caching CSS images and adding forever expirations to them. The Minify JS / CSS extension is required. Alternatively, you can utilize the Custom Directories option from this section.
In its turn the Catalog Image Optimizing option optimizes catalog images for faster download. Besides, it helps to save bandwidth. The same is about Skin Image Optimizing, Template Image Optimizing, and CSS Image Optimizing. As for the Custom Directories, it lets you add directories relative to the base path where image files should be optimized. As a result, images will be permanently changed, so it is extremely important to create a backup first.
In the Developer settings, you can choose Optimizer Mode: Cronjob or Real-time _ Cronjob. The first one runs optimizations every few hours, whereas the second one optimizes images as pages are accessed. In case of the Real-time mode, the first requests are slow until the images are cached. GIF Optimizer helps you optimize gif images. To disable the feature, leave the field blank. Use smushit to leverage the experimental online API. The same is about JPG and PNG Optimizers. Log Enabled allows you to control all changes in file sizes. Magento Cron option lets you enable/disable the corresponding feature.
As for the Advanced tab, it lets you streamline hostnames. Having different hostnames for different resources can speed up downloads, but it requires advanced understanding of the technology. The tab allows you to use new hostnames for template, catalog, and skin images.
Speed improvements are newer superfluous, and the Extendware Image Optimization Magento extension enables you to implement them on your ecommerce website. By optimizing image files, you will increase the performance of the store as well as its rankings and sales. Besides, the extension will help you decrease server requirements and as a result costs. As an admin, you will face an easy-to-use interface that at the same time contains some advanced options. The price of the module is only $79, so don’t hesitate to give it a go.