Best Free Image Optimization Tools
As a professional web development agency we constantly encountering really big JPEG files which slow down websites. The main reason is website admins don’t know about image optimization.
Keep reading this article and you will discover some great tools that will help you compress your images without losing their original quality. As result, you website will load faster… more faster.
Why you need to optimize your images
The need to compress, crop or enlarge a picture can be caused by various reasons:
- To improve the attractiveness of the content. Many users, in the first place, pay attention to the images and graphics that you post on your webpage. Bright and high definition pictures create interest in the content of the site. Search engines have long noted this pattern, so they take into account the presence of images and their quality when ranking.
- To speed up the loading speed of your website. High definition pictures are usually heavier and can slow down the loading speed of the site. User can easily leave your website for another if it loads slowly.
To solve these problems, it is important to have the image optimization tools and also know the criteria that the processed file must meet.
Basic requirements for images on the site
Optimization is carried out in 3 main parameters:
- image file size.
Let’s study in detail each of the above points.
What are the image formats
There are a lot of different formats and types of pictures, photos, etc. For today the most popular ones are:
- JPEG is a format used for storing photo images. Ideal for the web;
- BMP is a common version for graphics files. The image is not compressed, so it has a large size;
- GIF – a format of a kind of mini-video, live-photo for a few seconds;
- PNG – popular among designers. Often it has a transparent background, which increases the weight of the file.
- SVG – used to create vector images.
Google indexes all the above types of graphics files.
In an effort to reduce the weight of images without losing the quality, there are now newly released formats, for example, JPEG-XR, WebP and If you plan to use them, keep in mind that they are not supported by all browsers as of now.
When working on image optimization for the site, do not forget that they are intended primarily for users. Therefore, the picture should be clear, attractive and relevant to the description on the site.
Pay attention to the proportions of the images, so that they are not compressed or stretched on one side.
The file size
The file size can be determined either in pixels or megabytes:
- the length/width of the photo, which is measured in pixels (px)
- file weight in megabytes (MB)
From a technical point of view, optimizing images for a site is important for the page loading speed.
Later we will look at programs that will help resize (in MB) without spoiling the image itself.
As for the length and width, for the correct display of pictures, they should be uploaded to the site in the proportions that you would like to see when viewing the page.
Important! Many sites independently configure the necessary parameters for the original images, while creating copies for the desktop and mobile versions.
Image optimization tools that preserve the image quality
For the convenience of users, image optimization services are available in 3 categories:
- online mode,
- desktop applications,
- software code that runs directly on the inside of the site.
These tools are free and are the perfect choice for people who don’t want to change the length and width of the pictures.
Online service TinyJPG with a simple and convenient interface allows you to compress up to 500 images per month for free. A distinctive feature of this tool is the high processing speed.
Up to 20 pictures can be downloaded at a time and should be no more than 5 MB each. The finished result can be downloaded or uploaded to Dropbox.
A convenient free service that can compress images while preserving the original quality.
Compression is possible up to 90%, but the size of the original file should be no more than 10 MB. Let’s take a look at how it works.
How to reduce the weight of a photo in Compressor:
- First of all, select the mode in which we want to process the image, and load the desired file.
- After that, you can download the compressed image.
A free converter capable of converting more than 120 formats to any of the twelve most popular formats (BMP, EPS, GIF, EXR, ICO, JPG, PNG, SVG, TGA, TIFF, WBMP, WebP).
How to reduce the size of a photo in Image.online-convert:
Image.online-convert allows you to resize a file in a few clicks, and change its format.
Optimization on the site server
The question here is how to resize photos directly on the site, instead of downloading them and after uploading them back?
It is possible to optimize all images on the website but to do this a plug-in is required and you will have to pay to be able to use them. Most of these plug-ins are designed for WordPress sites.
If this option does not suit you, then it will be preferable to download images from the site, process them using online or desktop methods, and then re-upload them.
This is one of the most popular tools for working with images directly on the site. After installing it, you can process all the pictures and photos on the site at once.
Initially, all users are provided with 100 MB of image processing free of charge, and for further use, you will be required to subscribe.
There are also two types of compression – The compression with loss of quality and the compression with preservation of the quality.
How to reduce photo weight in Kraken:
- First, you need the API Key e to provide the link between the plugin and the resource. Enter them in the specified lines in the settings. After that, data about all images on the site will be loaded.
- After that, you can optimize both every single image (by clicking “Optimize This Image”) and all the files at once (by checking the “File” line).
For WordPress sites, one of the best tools is the Imagify plugin. It processes all the graphics files on the site at the same time, and when adding new pictures automatically optimizes them. The user can optionally select one of the processing modes:
- normal: does not allow the loss of quality, however, a slight decrease in weight occurs;
- aggressive: the “golden mean” for most users, as it significantly lightens the weight of images, while allowing for minimal quality reduction;
- ultra: maximum compression of images without preserving quality.
How to reduce an image’s weight in Imagify
Let’s figure out how to compress a photo with a plugin.
- First, you need to download, install and activate Imagify, after which you will see the following page:
- Having passed all the stages, you can proceed to image processing.
- Select a mode for optimization as well as additional features as needed.
- After specifying all the necessary settings, click “Save and go to Bulk Optimization”.
The optimization page itself looks like this:
Here again, it will be necessary to specify the processing mode and start it with the “IMAGIF’EM ALL” button.
After the process is complete, you will see the following page:
Desktop Image Processing Applications
Important! Use desktop applications only if you need to change the height or width of the picture. Otherwise, it will be enough with these online services.
Just a few clicks it allows you to change the image format, as well as its size.
To do this, just open the program, upload the image for processing. A window with various options will open. Select on the toolbar “Image” then “Image size”.
Register the required sizes in the highlighted box, if you need a proportional picture – leave the tick on “Save proportions”, but if the image should be non-standard, uncheck the box and specify the size.
In the file saving settings there is a very important feature for optimizing the weight – “Save as for web devices”. Use it to reduce the weight of pictures.
Total Image Converter
If there are not enough paint’s modest capabilities, then you can pay attention to a convenient optimization application – Total Image Converter. This program has many advantages:
- the ability to process entire batches of images at once
- format converter
- a series of operations to change the size of the image, reduce its weight, etc.
- Russian interface
How to change an image format in Total Image Converter:
- After launching the program, select the file for conversion in the panel on the left.
- Then in the top line specify the format in which you want to convert the image.
How to reduce the size of an image in Total Image Converter:
Selecting the image and the format you want, click the “Size” button, tick the “Resize” box and specify the parameters.
As you can see the process of images optimisation is simple even for a non-tech person. As a front-end developer I recommend you to check size of images and to optimize them.
But in some cases you need some tech things to make your website faster, ie. lazy-loading image. To implement it you should hire website developer or WordPress developer for a site based on WordPress.
Hope these tips help you to increase website loading speed and to attract more vistors, and to get more conversions.