Images are vital for grabbing user attention, breaking up long content as well as for getting your post shared on social media. Images that you download from image sites like Unsplash look amazing but often image file size is quite large as they are of high resolution. Using these images as-is in your blog post can considerably increase your page size and your blog can become slow to load.
If your website has high page load times, it can frustrate visitors, increase bounce rate (40% people abandon a slow website) and have an adverse effect on Google search engine rankings. So it is important that you optimize your image file size before using in your blog. In this post, we will take a look at how you can reduce image size while maintaining the right balance between image quality and file size. But before we get into the details, let us get familiar with the commonly used image file formats.
Image File Formats
The most common file formats used online are, JPEG and PNG. JPEGs are better used for all photographic-style images. It uses lossy compression in order to reduce file size. While PNGs use lossless compression techniques so quality is higher, however this also means larger file sizes. Know in detail about different image file formats.
Reduce Image Size before uploading to your Website
Images that you upload to your blog are stored on server. Uploading huge image files means using up more storage on your server which can increase your hosting costs over time. It is therefore advisable to optimize image size before uploading to your website.
If you are running a WordPress blog, you’d already be knowing that WordPress can resize images (thumbnail, medium or full size), but these images might not be optimized. It is therefore more efficient to resize your image to the maximum resolution needed (in our case, it is 700×405 px) before uploading instead of uploading the original image that is of, say 1200×1000 px. This simple step of resizing your image size to the maximum you need can also drastically reduce image file size. You can do this using free image editing softwares like Paint.NET.
Let us now take a look at some free online tools that you can use to reduce image file size without installing any software.
Online tools to Reduce Image Size
TinyPNG reduces the numbers of colors used in PNG images to shrink its file size. You can upload up to 20 images at a time with a size limit of 5 MB each. Though this tool uses lossy compression technique, I have always found almost no visible change in image quality after processing in TinyPNG.
JPEGmini uses a photo recompression technology which significantly reduces the size of JPEG images, without affecting their perceptual quality. You can optimize single photos without registering. Bulk upload is supported after registration and you can upload up to 1000 photos with a limit of 200 MB in size. When the need arises to optimize JPEG images, JPEGmini is the go to online tool for me.
Compressor.io is another powerful online tool for reducing image size with almost no visual difference before and after compression. Image types supported are – JPEG, PNG, GIF and SVG and file size limit is 10 MB. You also get the option to select between lossless and lossy compression techniques, I have mostly tried out its lossless compression and it gave me considerable reduction in image file sizes. The only downside I would say is that it allows to upload only one file at a time.
TinyJPG is a JPG image optimization tool from the makers of TinyPNG. Depending on the uploaded image, it applies the best possible JPEG encoding to balance quality and small file size.
Optimizilla uses a smart combination of the best optimization and lossy compression algorithms to shrink JPEG and PNG images. It supports upload of up to 20 files. It also allows you to control the compression level, you can compare the before and after images before downloading.
Smush.it by Yahoo! is an image compression tool that uses lossless compression technique. Supported image types include GIF, PNG and JPEG. Smush.it allows upload of multiple images at once and provides a downloadable zip file with the minimized image files. It also powers a very popular WordPress plugin, maintained by WPMU DEV.
Kraken.io optimization technique maintains the optimal balance of image quality and filesize. It gives you an option to select between compression techniques. It supports PNG, JPEG and GIF images with file size limit of 1MB. Optimized images are available for download for 12 hours for free web interface. Image resize options, 16 MB max file size are unlocked when you go pro. A WordPress plugin powered by Kraken API is also available.
PunyPNG is a free image optimization tool that reduces the file size of your images. It allows upload of up to 20 files with size cap of 500 KB each. Though the site says it supports PNG, JPG and GIF image types, it did not allow me to upload JPG image, but gladly accepted PNG file. Lossy PNG optimization, batch download of images are available if you go for its paid plans.
Images need to be of high quality and at the same time, small enough to not slow down your blog, the best approach is to find the sweet spot between file size and image quality. If you do not optimize image size for your blog, it’s time you get started and cut down your fat web page. Reducing the image file size will decrease your website’s page loading times, improve browsing experience for visitors, build trust in your site and boost SEO.
Over to you. Do you compress and optimize image size for your blog or website? What tools do you use for reducing image size? Let us know in the comments below.