April 20, 2022
Make your site picture perfect

This is the title of an article on the web.dev blog I came across. It is written by Patrick Kettner, the creator(?) of an image resize proxy similar to the free images.weserv.nl.

When you are using Wordpress you will never need a image resize CDN or any other service Patrick is promoting in his blog, as ImageMagick is very good in resizing images. You might want to tweak some settings, but you should be able to get a perfect Google Lighthouse Score with any Wordpress install. When you are using other software (software that is unable to resize images) Patricks article could be useful. However, my opinion is that when you are using software that is unable to resize images properly, you should seriously reconsider your technology choices.

I have multiple reasons for wanting to avoid (third-party) image resizing services. First of all, loading images from a third-party (strictly) requires approval from your European visitors, as you are leaking visitor data. Secondly, loading images from another domain (CDN) will result in an extra DNS lookup, which might prove counter-effective in non-synthetic situations (slowing down your first page load). Thirdly, an image resize proxy (or any other service with caching) only works for high-traffic websites. Using it for a low-traffic website is also counter-effective, as your images will frequently fall out of cache, resulting in slow cache misses. Finally, it will seriously increase your cost. I found out that even a free service (like images.weserv.nl) adds cost through complexity.

I am not a Wordpress fanboy, far from it actually. I use Hugo, a SSG that is also capable of resizing images during the build process. My personal technology choice is not the reason to write this article. I wrote this article because simple and effective solutions are being ‘forgotten’ and complex and expensive ones promoted: a pattern we see a lot in our industry, especially in bigger companies. It is examplary for Google to post a blog like this.

I think I have said enough. You know what to do!
K.I.S.S.

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