14 Resources to Optimize Website Images:
Pictures are important for websites because studies indicate that a relevant image improves engagement and views of a page. Images grab our attention and can trigger emotions much more quickly than text. Our brains process images almost instantly, but it takes much longer to read copy.
This has a cost though as it increases the weight of a page and consequentially the page often takes longer to load. According to the latest HTTP Archive Report which collects technical data from half a million of the web’s most popular websites, the average page now weighs 2,262 KB, up by 16% during 2015. The average webpage has grown by 221% since 2010 and well over half (64%)
of the weight (1,443 KB) is comprised of images.
To keep pages to a manageable weight it is important that images
are optimised to avoid slow load speed which can be damaging to conversion. Google penalises sites with slow load speeds and visitors are more likely to abandon a site the longer it takes to load.
Research by Akamai and Gomez.com discovered that almost a half of users expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less, and many will leave a site if it hasn’t loaded within 3 seconds. Etsy found that 160KB of additional images resulted in a 12% increase in the bounce rate on mobile devices.
To help alleviate these problems here are 14 resources, many of which are free, to optimize your images.
1. CompressNow. A Free online tool that supports GIF, JPG, and
PNG. Upload an image up to 9MB, select compression level, and view.
2. FILEminimizer Pictures. Offers Free software to reduce
the size of your images, photos and pictures by up to 95%. Compress your JPG, BMP, GIF, TIFF, PNG, and EMF images and pictures. Compress whole digital photo albums at once. Choose from four different compression levels. FILEminimizer also comes in a premium suite that integrates with Microsoft Office, Microsoft Outlook, and Lotus Notes.
3. FileOptimizer. A Free lossless file size optimizer for Windows that supports over 100 different formats. FileOptimizer has a simple
interface that’s easy to automate. All processed files are copied to the recycle bin, so you can easily restore them. FileOptimizer is an open source application.
4. ImageOptim. This is a Free application for Mac that optimizes PNG, JPG, and GIF images. To do so, ImageOptim integrates a
batch of tools, including PNGOUT, Pngcrush, Zopfli, JpegOptim, and Gifsicle. ImageOptim finds best compression parameters and removes unnecessary comments and colour profiles.
5. Image Optimizer. A Free tool that’s available online or as a
download. Change image dimensions, quality, or file size. Choose an image or compress images in bulk.
6. JPEGMini. A photo compression application that reduces (up to 80 percent) the size of photographs, while preserving their full resolution and quality. JPEGmini Pro supports photos up to 50 megapixels and includes a plugin for Adobe Lightroom. Lite is Free.
7. Kraken.io. Designed with the purpose of being a single, easy-to-use tool to optimise images. Offers multiple methods for resizing and cropping images, lossless and lossy options, and has a WordPress plugin. You can store optimised images directly in Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure, and Rackspace Cloud Files.
8. PNGOUTWin. An application for Windows that uses its own proprietary algorithms for compression. Convert and compress to PNG from TIFF, GIF, BMP, and other formats, or optimize your existing PNG files. Compress one or more files, and drag and drop multiple files on the main window.
10. PNGOptimizer. A Free small Windows program that cleans and
reduces PNG files. It also converts other lossless image formats (BMP, GIF, and TGA) into PNG. PNGOptimizer has a simple drag-and-drop interface and creates easily available PNG screenshots.
11. PunyPNG. A Free online tool that supports JPG, GIF and
PNG. Compress up to 20 files, with a max of 500KB each. The Pro plan offers higher compression and optional “lossy” (e.g. slight quality reductions) optimizations, with a 1MB max file size for 5,000 images per month.
12. RIOT. (Radical Image Optimization Tool) is a Free image optimisation programme for Windows to visually adjust compression parameters while retaining minimum file size. Compare the original image next to the optimised image in real-time and instantly see the new file size. Its features include batch support for multiple files, image adjustment tool, and colour reduction.
13. TinyPNG. A Free online tool that provides lossy compression to reduce the file size of your PNG files. By selectively decreasing the number of colours in the image, fewer bytes are required to
store the data. TinyPNG also offers a plugin for Photoshop, for Windows and Mac.
14. Trimage. This is a Free cross-platform tool for optimizing PNG
and JPG files. Trimage uses OptiPNG, Pngcrush, AdvanceCOMP, and Jpegoptim, depending on the file type. All images are compressed on the highest available lossless-compression
levels. Available for Linux and other Unix systems.
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- About the author: Neal provides digital optimisation consultancy services and has worked for brands such as Deezer.com, Foxybingo.com, Very.co.uk and partypoker.com. He identifies areas for improvement using a combination of approaches including web analytics, heuristic analysis, customer journey mapping, usability testing, and Voice of Customer feedback. By aligning each stage of the customer journey with the organisation’s business goals this helps to improve conversion rates and revenues significantly as almost all websites benefit from a review of customer touch points and user journeys.
- Neal has had articles published on website optimisation on Usabilla.com and as an ex-research and insight manager on the GreenBook Blog research website. If you wish to contact Neal please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow Neal on Twitter @northresearch, see his LinkedIn profile or connect on Facebook.