How to Serve Images from the Cloud in WordPress using Jetpack

A fast loading website means a better user experience. Pages that take a long time to load are not that fun for visitors. People might close the page if they find that it is taking a long time to load. When this happens, your bounce rate goes up. Faster page loading time is also an indicator in search engine rankings. That is why webmasters do a lot of optimizations to make sure that their pages are loading quickly.

One such optimization method is to serve content from the cloud using a content delivery network (CDN). It means that content and websites are served from a location that is nearest to the user and it is meant to speed up the page load time.

Out of the many contents and elements on a page, images are known to have the largest file size. When and if possible, images should be served from a fast web server—especially if the website is hosted on a shared web-hosting platform.

Using Photon – Jetpack

One way to serve images from the cloud is to use the Jetpack feature called Photon. This feature allows your blog or website to serve images from the powerful servers of WordPress.com. Images are handled by their content delivery network.

Your images are cached in their servers and when requested, they are processed and displayed in a speedy manner. Another benefit is that it allows the browser to download multiple elements of the page at the same time. All these combined increase the page loading times of your web site. It is really beneficial for you in many ways, as mentioned above.

To serve images from WordPress.com content delivery network using Jetpack, there isn’t much configuration that you need to do. You don’t have to install any additional plugins as well. Just enable the Photon module which is present in Jetpack.

Enabling Photon

If you aren’t experienced in using Jetpack or enabling its modules, then just open Jetpack which is accessible from a dedicated side link at the admin area. Then click See the other 25 Jetpack features to list all the modules. Once you’ve listed all the modules, find something titled Photon. Hover over it and make sure that it is activated.

Photon Listed in Jetpack

After activation, there aren’t any more configurations that you need to do. This module works by itself to serve images from the WordPress CDN. You don’t have to update your posts or the images embedded in them.

How It Works

How it works is that when visitors open up a page, the changes to the image source or location is made automatically for all the embedded images. For example: If your image URL is http://wpcraze.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/related-posts-jetpack.png, then it is automatically updated to be http://i1.wp.com/wpcraze.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/related-posts-jetpack.png.

Notice the i1.wp.com in front of your regular image URL. It tells the browser to get the image from a different location. This minor change allows your images to load that much faster. Even when you are receiving a lot of visitors at the same time, your webhost will face lesser burden. Keep in mind that this option only serves images from a CDN and not your entire website.

This is a must use plugin even if you use other caching plugins like WP Super Cache or W3 Total Cache. So activate it and enjoy a faster website.