Having great looking pictures on your website is important. Too many large pictures and graphics however, can really slow down your website. Most digital cameras and smartphones these days take pictures that are much larger than necessary for web use. If you plan on using your pictures online you should definitely do some optimizing first.
It is important to understand how to optimize your images before loading them onto your website so that your pages load quickly without sacrificing quality. If you use image editing software, such as Photoshop, you’ll have many tools for controlling image size. The popular free alternative to Photoshop called GIMP has similar tools for image resizing. Apple’s free program Preview can also resize images for reducing file size. Even without image editing software there are many easy alternatives you can use to optimize your images on-line.
Here are a couple of great on-line services that will help you optimize your images quickly and easily.
JPG Images – JPEG Optimizer
Here is an example of a JPG image that was run through the free on-line image optimizer JPEG Optimizer.
It’s original size was 4672 x 3104 pixels at a whopping 4.4 MB.
After uploading the original file I opted to resize the image to a max width of 900 pixels with 65% compression.
With these settings it was able to reduce the file size by 99%!
Not only did it reduce the file size by 99% but it still looks great. Here are the original and the optimized images side by side. Can you tell which one has been optimized?
PNG Images – TinyPNG
PNG images, short for Portable Network Graphics, are great for small graphics and transparencies for images without backgrounds. These file can be really large too, just like JPGs and can benefit from being optimized. TinyPNG is a free on-line tool specifically designed for optimizing PNG images.
This example is a PNG graphic image that has been run through the optimization on TinyPNG.
It’s original size was 2579 x 1825 pixels at a huge 4.5 MB too.
TinyPNG doesn’t allow you to change the width or control the compression so after uploading the image it just does it’s work automatically.
Even at the full, original dimensions TinyPNG was able to reduce the file size by 83% to only 750 kb.
There are many more ways available fro you to optimize your images. These are just a couple simple ones to get you started. Optimized images not only help your website load faster, but will help with your page’s ranking as well. Fast page load speeds will give your website a bit of a boost in the SEO department too.
One very important thing to remember when optimizing your photos and images is to never overwrite the original. Either make a copy to work from before you start or save the optimized image with a different name. You may still want your full sized originals for things other than your website.