Knowledge Base

How to optimize images

One of the easiest ways to improve your site's performance is by optimizing images. Reducing the size of image files enables your site to load faster. This article discusses several ways you can optimize web site images.

Method #1: Use your site's CMS or web application

Some content management systems (CMS) support plugins, modules, or extensions that enable you to quickly and easily optimize images. All you have to do is upload your image files using the application's web interface, and it takes care of the rest. For example, the EWWW Image Optimizer for WordPress can optimize JPEG, PNG, and animated GIF files. For information about how to use EWWW Image Optimizer to optimize your images for WordPress, please see this article.

Check the documentation for your own web application or content management system to see if there are any plugins, modules, or extensions available that can optimize images.

Method #2: Use an online service

There are several web sites that provide online image optimization services. Although these services are convenient and easy to use, they often have restrictions in place, such as the file size limit and how many files you can optimize at a time. If you have large files or hundreds of files to optimize, one of the other methods described in this article may be a more suitable choice.

If you only have a few images to optimize, however, or if you do not want to download and install a program on your computer, these online optimizers may be all you need.

For example, Dynamic Drive provides an online service that enables you to optimize image files and convert them between the most popular image formats (JPEG, PNG, and GIF). To use the optimizer, please visit http://tools.dynamicdrive.com/imageoptimizer.

Here are some additional online image optimization services—you can find many more by searching the web for online image optimization:

  • Image Optimizer: This service can optimize JPEG, PNG, and GIF files.
  • JPEG-Optimizer: As its name implies, this service specializes in processing JPEG files.
  • TinyPNG: As its name implies, this service specializes in processing PNG files.

Method #3: Use a client application

There are many free image optimization programs available that you can download and install on your own computer. If you have large files or a lot of images to optimize, this is often the best method to use. You can optimize a batch of images on your local computer all at once, and then upload the optimized versions to your A2 Hosting account using FTP.

Microsoft Windows

There is a large number of image optimization applications available for Microsoft Windows, including:

  • RIOT: This free program optimizes JPEG, PNG, and GIF files, as well as several other types of image files. It is also convenient to use for batch processing of multiple files.
    The software installer for RIOT asks if you want to install free software trials. To avoid installing extra software during the installation process, make sure you disable the selections for extra software.
  • PNGGauntlet: This free program provides many options for optimizing PNG files. You can also convert files to PNG format.
Mac OS X

A popular option for Mac OS X is ImageOptim. This free and open-source program combines the functionality of several image optimizers, enabling you to optimize JPEG, PNG, and GIF files from one user interface.

Linux

If you are comfortable using the command line, there are many free, open source programs that you can use to optimize images. You can usually install these programs using your Linux distribution's software packaging tool (such as apt-get or yum). Alternatively, you can download the source code and build the latest versions yourself.

For example, the following applications can quickly process and optimize a large number of files:

  • jpegoptim: You can use this program to optimize JPEG files.
  • optipng: You can use this program to optimize PNG files.
  • gifsicle: You can use this program to optimize animated GIF files.

 

More Information

For more information about image optimization, please visit http://gtmetrix.com/optimize-images.html.