Using a WordPress Media Gallery is a good idea. A gallery plugin can save you time and make it easy to display your images to their best advantage. But if you’re making one or more of these common mistakes with your images, it could be costing you money.
You’re Not Using A WordPress Media Gallery Plugin
If you have a website, you should be using images. And if you’re doing this, you should be using an image gallery. If you’re not, you’re already at a disadvantage.
You can use the built-in WordPress gallery, but a plugin gives you added features. With a plugin like FooGallery you can add different hover effects, include paging or filtering, and adjust your caption display. All of this, while choosing from a variety of gallery templates.
All of this adds to your user experience. Features like social sharing, responsive images and a quick load time let your users enjoy your images without any added frustrations. If you don’t address these potential pitfalls, though, your users could end up taking their business elsewhere.
Your Images Aren’t Optimized
One potential frustration is images that aren’t optimized for the web. They could be too large (creating slow page load times), or too small (resulting in grainy images).
If you’re a photographer, have a food blog, or you use your DSLR camera to take any photos for your website, your photos are probably very large. So you’ll need to optimize your images by making them smaller before uploading.
Image quality is another important factor. If you’re using poor quality, fuzzy or poorly captured shots, you’re not going to do your gallery or site any justice. Professional shots, stock photos, or just lots of practice, can help. Once you’ve got the right images, though, you need to be careful with how you display them. Making them too small will result in pixelated images.
Using good quality images is a must. But if they’re too big, they slow down your page speed. FooGallery is a good solution as it comes with Lazy Loading built-in. This feature can improve page load times as images are only loaded when users scroll down to them.
Your Image Gallery Isn’t Responsive
Responsive galleries are a necessity if you want your site to be mobile-friendly. A responsive gallery can adjust in size depending on the device you’re using. So whether your visitors are on a laptop, tablet or phone, your images will look good.
FooGallery opens images in FooBox, a responsive image lightbox that appears as a box on the same page as your gallery. As you can see in the image below, FooBox adjusts in size to accommodate your users’ devices, Making FooGallery a responsive media gallery.
Your Images Are Not SEO Friendly
When you upload an image to your gallery, you need to add information to the image. This will include the title, caption and description. These can be set to display in the media gallery, giving your users information about the images. FooGallery lets you set how the title, captions or descriptions display, such as on hover or below the images.
Your metadata also includes your Alt text or Alt tag. This is the text that displays if your image doesn’t open properly or if a visually-impaired person is using screen reading software. It’s also an important step in your SEO as search engines use it to classify and rank your image, necessary for Google Image Search. The Alt text should include your key phrases, but be careful to avoid keyword stuffing.
When it comes to SEO friendly images, FooGallery is a good choice as it supports Yoast SEO and images are added to the sitemap. This helps search engines understand how the images link to the rest of the content on your site. It also ensures that images are indexed.
You’re Using The Wrong Image Filenames
When you take a photo, your camera or smartphone will assign it a name. This might appear as an IMG name or just a series of random numbers. When you upload your image to your media gallery, or beforehand, you need to change the filename.
As with Alt tags, the image filename can impact on your SEO. It can also help with sorting images in your media library. When you change the name, use keywords (selectively). Avoid using spaces (which show up as symbols in image URLs) and use hyphens instead.
All of these factors contribute to the success of your WordPress media gallery. They’re simple fixes that can help your SEO and your user experience. Without them, you risk slow page load speeds, poor image SEO and frustrated users. All of this can cost you money.