Last month, we touched on why it’s important to properly optimize your website’s images. This month, we’re looking at some free online tools to help you do just that. While this is certainly not an exhaustive list, these free tools can help you ensure that your photos aren’t slowing your site down.
As a way of testing each service, I’ve downloaded the photo below and will use the different tools to see how well they can reduce its file size. Originally, the photo was 7.4 MB and had dimensions of 4000 px by 2667 px. That’s way too huge of a photo, and it would certainly slow my site down. Let’s take a look at what free tools can help me out.
The first step in optimizing your images is to resize them. I have used Pixlr for years to do very basic image editing, and it works great for resizing photos for free. Simply open up a photo within the editor, select Image, and then Image Size. Let’s say that I need my photo to be 1200px by 800px.
Pixlr also allows you to change the image quality from their save menu in order to reduce the file size. Even while keeping the image quality to 100, resizing the photo has already greatly reduced the file size from 7.7 MB to 1.36 MB.
The resized version of my Golden Gate Bridge photo is what I will use when comparing different compression services. Since Pixlr also allows you to reduce image quality and file size, I wanted to see what the file size would be if reduced to a quality of 85. This further compressed my image file from 1.36 MB to 297 KB.
Next, let’s look at the very highly recommended image compressor Tiny PNG. Despite what their name is, Tiny PNG will allow you to compress both .png and .jpg files. They have a very simple interface where you simply upload up to 20 photos at a time and watch them get compressed. One of the downsides to using Tiny PNG is that you cannot control the quality of the final image as you can with Pixlr and other applications.
Tiny PNG reduced my photo from 1.36 MB to 281 KB which is slightly better than what we got from Pixlr with an 85 image quality.
Another popular option for image file compression is Optimizilla which will compress both .png and .jpg files. Like Tiny PNG, you can compress up to 20 images at a time, and there doesn’t seem to be a limit as to the original file size. The largest image I had on my computer was over 8 MB, and it allowed me to compress it without a problem.
Optimizilla also has a really cool feature that will help you see what level of image quality will be most suitable for you. Once you upload a photo, you can control the image quality with a slider, and you compare that image to your original to make sure your compressed image looks as good as you want it.
While shooting for the same 85 image quality as with Pixlr, Optimizilla reduced the file from 1.36 MB to 241 KB.
Now that you know about some of these tools, try them out for yourself! We’d also love to hear about any other tools out there that you might use and find helpful.
- Great free image editor
- Allows for compression as well as image editing and resizing
- Very easy to use
- You can save photos to a Dropbox or directly to your hard drive
- You can only compress 20 images at a time
- There is a 5 MB file size limit
- Cannot control image quality
- Before and after comparison
- No file size limit (that I found)
- 20 photo limit
|Resize Images||Quality Control||File Size Limit||Final Photo Quality||Original Photo File Size||Final Photo File Size|
|Pixlr||Y||Y||None||85||1.36 MB||297 KB (0.297 MB)|
|Tiny PNG||N||N||5 MB||N/A||1.36 MB||261 KB (0.261 MB)|
|Optimizilla||N||Y||None||85||1.36 MB||241 KB (0.241 MB)|