Images are essential for every website. They help to sell your product or service and make your website look great for your visitors. Unfortunately, they also use a lot of downloading bytes, which can cause your website loading time to be really slow. A slow loading website is not only likely to be ranked lower by search engines, but also annoy your visitors so much that they click on to another site without waiting for yours to finish loading. Luckily there is something you can do to speed up the loading times for your photos and that is to choose the best image file type and optimise your images.
There are three main types of image files used online: GIF, JPEG, PNG.
JPEG is the most common image file used on websites and is mostly used for photos as they shrink in size well without losing a great deal of quality. It is not suitable for line drawings, logos or graphics as they can look quite bitmappy.
GIF has a small colour range, so is not used for photos but can be used for animations. Images can be compressed using GIF, but not as small as a JPEG.
PNG files are great for logos or line drawings on a website because they compress without turning your image bitmappy. Not great for photos though as they cannot make files as small as a JPEG can.
Do not use TIFF nor BMP formats for images, as the filesizes will be too large. Do not use PDF formats for images. Even though your designer might provide this file type, it's designed only for printing, and won't render on a website in the way you want an image to appear within the content.
Image compression can be done through a range of paid and free online or downloadable software options including:
TinyPNG – If you have PNG images to shrink, TinyPNG is great. Not only is it free, but it can also help you with partially transparent images too.
JPEG Reducer – a free way of optimising JPEG files without having to download any software.
Shrink Pictures – another way of compressing image files for free without downloading software.
Shrink O’Matic – For JPEGS, PNGs or GIF, try Shrink O’Matic, another free tool.
Photoshop – a great software purchase if you are wanting to do a lot of image editing.
GIMP – the free equivalent of Photoshop.
What is your favourite program to use to compress image file sizes with? Do you have any tips you can help other website owners with to compress their pictures and photos? Let us know!
Posted: Thursday 15 December 2016