Images are an important component of blogging. Nobody likes to wait an eternity before a page loads, just because it has heavy images. One of the surefire techniques to reduce website load time is to compress your images as much as you can so that your server, your visitors, and you benefit from it.
Image optimization helps you to:
- Save bandwidth
- Have faster loading web pages
- Save disk space on your server
- Save money
You will also notice that most of the tools below are for optimizing the PNG file format. You might be interested in reading these to choose the best format for your web images:
- Case Study: Jpeg vs BMP vs PNG vs GIF - Which Is Faster & Preserves Quality?
- JPEG vs PNG – Do You Prefer Better Image Quality or Lower File Size?
So, here’s a nice collection of tools and resources for you to choose among for optimizing your images.
Shrink O'Matic is an Adobe AIR application which allows you to easily batch shrink and resize your images. You simply have to select your options, then drag-and-drop your images to the application interface and Shrink O'Matic does the job. The application supports images formats JPGs, GIFs and PNGs.
PNGCrushrrr is a Mac OS X application which allows you to optimize your PNG images. PNGCrushrrr works best on 24-bit PNGs and with images saved from Apple's Preview.
Riot can optimize three types of images formats: JPEG, GIF and PNG. Riot provides you with a two pane windows to be able to compare quality of original image and that of optimized image. Riot also has an image compare function to help you notice the differences between the optimized and original version of your image.
smush.it is a web-based application which provides you with different ways to specify the images you want to optimize. You can directly upload your images, specify the image URL or simply use their bookmarklet (or Firefox extension) to optimize all the images on a webpage. When smush.it finishes the optimization, you get a zip file containing all your optimized images for download.
imageoptimizer.net is a web-based image optimization tool which is free and allows you to easily optimize your images. There is also a desktop version which is provided. imageoptimizer.net also provides an API (commercial) which allows Microsoft .NET programmers to include imageoptimizer.net image optimization into their programs.
PNGOUT is a commandline image optimization tool which allows you to produce optimized images from your stock ones.
Dynamic Drive Online Image Optimizer is a web-based image optimizer which allows easy optimization of image files. However, the website limit the file size to 300KB.
SuperGIF is said to be the best GIF image optimization tool with non-lossy output. The software interface is very simple with drag and drop support, however the underlying power of this application is huge. SuperGIF promises to make a GIF smaller, not matter if you have optimized it with some other tool. SuperGIF runs on Windows and MAC OS X.
PNGGauntlet is a .NET application which allows you to optimize PNG files. It uses PNGOUT (reviewed above) as backend supports optimization of other file formats like JPG, GIF, TGA, PCX, and BMP, which it converts to PNG and then optimizes them.
SuperPNG is an Adobe Photoshop plug-in which allows you to save PNG files in Photoshop quicker and in smaller size.
TweakPNG is a low-level utility which allows you to strip metadata, copyright information, etc in PNG-Files. It also tweaks the PNG files for better quality. This results in considerable reduction in the file size. TweakPNG works on Windows 2000 and up.
This tool is similar to TweakPNG above. It however not only strips PNGs, but also JPEGS from all useless metadata to reduce the file size considerably.
ImageOptim is a MAC Leopard and Tiger application which acts as a frontend to multiple image optimization programs and uses each of them to squeeze every byte out of them to reduce their file size. ImageOptim acts as frontend to the following applications:
- AdvPNG from AdvanceCOMP
- jpegtran from libjpeg
- and optionally PNGOUT
PNGCrush is a commandline application which works on MSDOS, Linux and UNIX. It allows you to optimize your PNG images for better size. PNGCrush is open source.
OptiPNG is another commandline utility, similar to PNGCrush (reviewed above) which allows you to optimize your PNG images easily. OptiPNG is open source.
PNGpong is MAC OS X Dashboard Widget which strips the color “correction” information from the PNG files and optimizes it by running it through OptiPNG (reviewed above). Simply drag and drop the image file on it, it will do the job.
That’s it, if you’ve got something to add to the list or you just want to leave your thoughts, drop a comment below!