How many images is your website loading?
I had a call earlier today from a person wanting to know why their WordPress website was loading very slowly. Running a quick report on the number of images being loaded on the Home page determined that a massive 124 images were loading. The size of the images combined was close to 3MB.
Images are very detrimental to a webpage load speed for two primary reasons; images are usually very large in size (as opposed to code) and HTML loads images sequentially rather than in parallel. Page load speed is an SEO ranking factor therefore it is important to have as few images as possible on each page and, with images that are on each page, make the images as small in size as possible (I’ll discuss how to optimize images in a future post).
How to measure the number of images being loaded and the size of each image is relatively simple. Using Firefox Internet Browser use the Firebug add-on which will allow you to run a Yslow! report which will include the necessary image info (Yslow! is also available for other browsers).