5 Free Tools To Optimize Your Image

As a website developer, I am always concerned about optimizing every website my team and I create. This includes everything from writing clean code to optimizing images for faster download. When the Internet was younger and we had to support users on dial-up modems, image optimization was absolutely critical. Today’s high-speed networks allow us to use larger images (and larger file sizes), yet the fact remains that many people are still on slower networks, and mobile computing is becoming more popular than desktop browsing.

By optimizing an image, you are decreasing the file size, meaning it will download faster. It will also reduce the amount of bandwidth your website uses, which could save you hosting fees. The basic premise behind image optimization is to decrease the file size as much as possible without losing any noticeable quality. If you maintain your own website and don’t currently have access to software like Photoshop, here are some great on-line tools you can use to optimize your images.

  • Dynamic Drive Online Image Optimizer – This software allows you to upload an image (or specify an online location) and output it as a jpg, png or gif. It will then provide you with a series of optimized images. Simply choose the one you want to use.
  • Web Photo Resizer – This a very nice tool for optimizing your images, as it also allows you to add borders, resize your images, sharpen them, adjust contrast, etc.
  • smush.it! – Hosted by Yahoo, this is a very simple application to use. It is also available as a Firefox extension.
  • Image Optimizer – This software allows you to specify the quality, as well as the maximum height and width of the image, and will optimize it accordingly.
  • JPEGmini – JPEGmini has both an on-line tool and a downloaded app for Mac. Both are free, but a full version is also available for purchase. This application allows you to save your images to albums, share them on Flickr or Picasa, etc.

Do you have a favourite method of optimizing your images? Let me know in the comments.

Mark Pridham

Mark Pridham is the owner of The Pridham Group, a digital agency based in Saint John, New Brunswick. A life long resident of Saint John, Mark is passionate about design, entrepreneurship, and supporting and promoting local businesses.

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