Nowadays we have many different tools to optimize images. We may do it using software, plugins or online services. Do you know which way is best for you? If this entry made you curious, it means that either you run a blog or you probably will. When we were designing and optimizing our Ruby theme, we did our best to keep it fast and consistent. Now it’s your turn! You want your blog to be fast. One important aspect of keeping it fast is proper image compression. Enjoy your reading!
The Photoshop way to optimize images
In this post we’ll look at a few interesting optimizing images tools, both through online services and software. In this paragraph, we have to devote a large amount of text on how to optimize images that we save from Photoshop.
Basically, the most important thing when saving files for web is to choose File – Export – Save for Web option.
If you haven’t used this option, you should change this habit. With the appropriate settings, your graphics won’t lose quality, but certainly they will lose their weight.
And this is the first step to a more optimized and faster blog.
To open Save for Web window, you can also use SHIFT+ALT+CMD+S while working on MAC. The window looks like this:
As you can see, in this window we have a lot of settings, from simple to choose to more advanced.
Of course, it is worth to experiment with these settings. Recommended settings to start with:
- Preset: JPEG High
- Quality: 60
- Set to Optimized or Progressive
The JPG format is recommended practically for most of the files. However, sometimes you need to use PNG to keep the transparency.
To sum up this paragraph, try to always use the method I have described. This is the first step to better optimized images. And of course, try to always experiment with the settings.
Helpful online services
Photoshop will create a pretty good compressed files, but with appropriate online tools, we can still gain a lot.
Of course, without losing quality.
Let us then look on my favorite and the most interesting tools available on the Internet.
Optimizilla – The creators promote the tool as ahead of other services and programs, which is true.
Optimizilla allows you to upload up to 20 images simultaneously and supports JPG and PNG formats, which are those most commonly used in the network.
I truly recommend to try this service, because it’s a tool of the highest quality.
And there is another one named Kraken.
Kraken allows you to upload multiple images, as well as selecting the mode of the two available options – Lossy and Lossless. The first one allows you to get wonderfully compressed files. The second option won’t change your image, so you can use it when the image quality is absolutely the most important thing for you.
During the simple test, we managed to get 80% smaller files. We were really impressed.
WordPress free to use plugins
If you’re using WordPress, you can use a plugin as well. This is super simple and automatic solution for WordPress users.
WP Smush – “strips hidden, bulky information from your images, reducing the file size without losing quality. The faster your site loads, the more Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines will like it.”
WP Smush is a universal tool and it works automatically. Use it and be sure that it will reduce image file sizes, improve performance and boost your SEO for free!
And the next one is…
EWWW Image Optimizer – Optimize images in a good way! This is another plugin designed to reduce the weight of your images.
Same as WP Smush, “EWWW Image Optimizer is a WordPress plugin that will automatically optimize your images as you upload them to your blog”. What is more, it uses lossless optimization techniques. It means that your image quality will be exactly the same before and after the optimization!
I encourage you to test all listed in this entry tools. I would recommend always save images with Photoshop via the Save for Web option, which is a good and effective practice. The described tools for optimizing images aren’t everything when it comes to speeding up your site.
If you know better tools for image compression, please share your own thoughts.
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