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March 10, 2017

We Optimized 100 Million Images: Here’s What We Learned

Our team launched Imagify about a year ago. Image compression became a priority for us after a lot of our WP Rocket users’ website speed was dragged down by images that were too big.

Today, our 50 000 users have optimized more than 100 million images. It’s been an amazing ride and we wanted to take the opportunity to reflect and share some things we learned on our way to optimizing 100 million images for the Web.

Our company, WP Media, is known in the WordPress community as the team behind the WP Rocket caching plugin. Our team members have been part of the WordPress community for years. It’s the market we know best so an image compression plugin made for WordPress was a logical step for us.

Lesson 1: Listen To Your Customers

Proper caching for a WordPress website can do wonders. Just today, one of our clients sent us a friendly email telling us that his website speed got a 70% boost thanks to WP Rocket. That’s great news! However, it’s not always this easy for most website owners. Working on caching things made us realize that there was a real need for a service that made image compression easy for most WordPress users.

Customers + Statistics

We listened to our customers and decided a proper solution couldn’t be built into our actual plugin. It had to be a dedicated a solution that would focus on images and images only. This is how Imagify came to be. Our team developed a public API and an official WordPress plugin. With more than 350 daily downloads per day and more than 50,000 active installations, we think our WP Rocket customers were onto something.

Lesson 2: Image Compression Goes Fast!

Everyday, our users are optimizing more than 500 000 images.
The daily record is 692 000 images uploaded online and optimized in 24 hours.

That’s an average of 8 images optimized per second.

We project that Imagify will hit the 1 million images compressed per day by June. 

Lesson 3: Image Format & Size That People Like

After over a year, our image compression data shows that the average size of the images sent to Imagify is 100KB. We also learned quite a few interesting things regarding the formats that users compress:

Almost 90% of the images sent are jpg and and 10% are png files.

Most users don’t have GIF images to put through our image optimizer it seems.

Learning With Image Cruncher

Imagify offers an image cruncher feature. It basically scans a webpage, downloads all the images in order to optimize them. This allows us to learn quite a bit more about images and how they are used in webpages.

On average, a web page contains 22 images.

That’s a huge number. For reference, in 2013 the average page was 1,2MB. In 2017 for the websites tested on our cruncher the images only are 1,7MB. This is a clear signal that we need to take image optimization seriously to avoid slow load times.

Lesson 3: Your Connection Isn’t Slow, The Web Is

There are still a huge disparity in bandwidth in the world. Internet speeds vary from country to country with many still getting 1MB/s. This mean that a visitor would wait at least 1,7 second just to display images on any given webpage. If we factor in the time to open a connection, the various HTTP requests, JavaScript, this means a total load time around 15 seconds.

Imagify made the web lighter by 5TB.

It may sound big to you (and to use) but on a scale the entire Internet, 5TB is a tiny number.

Lesson 4: Proper Servers, Proper Code, Proper People Are A Must

We use a lot of code and a lot of servers to make Imagify happen. Our main application (which runs the back and front-end) has about 2000 commits. It is running on multiple servers which combine a total of 157GB RAM. Don’t bother asking Google if this is a lot; take our word for it, it truly is a lot of memory and a lot of code.

Quick reminder: in the time it took you read that post, about 2400 images have been optimized.

Code and servers are not the only key to our success. Just like with WP Rocket and SecuPress, customer support is the cornerstone of our company success. Which is why we’d like to take the opportunity to let you know that we are hiring a customer support to make our users even happier.

Imagify, decrease the size of your images, increase the speed of your website: try it for free
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