Apr 19

Who needs Photoshop? Top Tips for Image Compression

London Skyline Test Image - Original

Great images can be one of the most important aspects of your website from a user perspective. They can help sell your products, tell visitors what your business is all about and make your website look appealing. However, if your images aren’t done properly then this could have a negative impact on the performance of your site, as well as your rankings in the search results.

Huge images with massive file sizes will slow down your website – and if your site doesn’t load fast enough, people are going to leave. Site speed is also a major part of Google’s mobile-first index, so it’s important to get this right.

Let’s say your business operates across London and you want to use the above image of the London city skyline on one of your pages. Great! However, the file size for this image is too big. Without running it through online compression tools or using image editing software, this file is 183kb. That’s almost twice the recommended amount for optimisation purposes. Ideally, the image should be 100kb or below, although that’s easier said than done for some larger images.

Luckily, there are a few tools available online for free that can help lower the size of your images. We’ve taken a look at some of them below:

Gnu Image Manipulation Program (GIMP)

London Skyline GIMP Preview Image

If you don’t have access to Photoshop, you could always try this handy image editing software. Available to download for free, GIMP can help compress and optimise your images. You can resize the actual images dimensions so they fit the size needed for your website, as well as reducing them to the recommended level of 72dpi (Dots Per Inch). As you can see from the image above, this lets us get the London skyline image to 97.8kb, which is a perfectly acceptable file size for uploading to your website.

TinyJPG

London Skyline Test Image - After Tiny JPG

If you don’t want to download an image editor, there are a few image compression tools online that you can use for free. TinyJPG is a great example of a free online tool that can help get your file sizes down to an acceptable size. You can also compress multiple images at once, although there is a limit to how many you can do in one session.

Take a look at the image above for example. We tested our London skyline image to see how effective TinyJPG would be. Conveniently, the site gives you a comparison, showing the file size before and after compression. This reduced our image to a total of 79.5kb, which is fantastic in comparison to the original file size.

Optimizilla

London Skyline Test Image - After Optomizilla

Optimizilla is another great (and free!) online image compression tool, similar to TinyJPG. Just like TinyJPG, you can compress a number of images and then download them all once Optimizilla has done its job. Unlike TinyJPG however, Optimizilla shows you a preview of your images once they have been compressed so you can see if you’re happy with the results. If your images haven’t quite gotten below the 100kb benchmark, you can also adjust the quality with each one using the provided quality slider to the right of the previews. This also lets you see how the image would be effected as you play with the slider settings.

As you can see, Optimizilla does a brilliant job of reducing file sizes. With Optimizilla’s compression alone, the image was reduced to 117kb. We were able to reduce this further using the quality control slider, reducing it to a grand total of only 69kb. Thanks to the image previews, we can also see that the image quality is seemingly untouched compared to the original.

More top tips and advice

One thing to keep in mind when trying these tools is that you might see different results depending on the image you’re trying to compress. While we had the best result using Optimizilla with our example, we have had mixed results in the past. For example, in some image tests GIMP has come out on top. It’s always worth trying different tools to see what will give you the best outcome for your image.

If you’d like more advice on optimising your images, take a look at our blog post here for more of our top tips. Alternatively, get in touch with us today to discuss this subject or any other SEO concerns you might have.

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