So last week I shared 3 Simple Image Optimization tips with you.
I learned a few things while writing that article.
Nothing earth shattering, just helpful little hints such as defining the image dimensions before compressing them. Little things like that.
I was having so much fun playing around with the different dimensions on my post I thought I would go one step further and look deeper into image compression. I currently have a paid version of TinyPNG because a while back I needed to be able to compress a large number of files at a time.
Since I no longer work with that many images at a time I decided to checkout some other sites to see what I could find.
Well there are a good number of image compression websites out there. I decided to take a look at just 6 of them. My decision wasn’t based on anything other than they are FREE to use. I wanted to see how they worked, what I liked about them, and to see if there were any variation of file sizes.
What I Discovered
I found some neat stuff. Some of the sites work with JPG format only, some will convert the format you upload to a different format. For example if you upload a JPG but want it converted to a PNG it will do that. I even found a couple that you can use the picture’s URL, you don’t have to upload the picture to the site. You may want to try this out if you have a site with pictures uploaded already that need to be compressed.
Using the same image on all the sites allowed me to really compare the images for quality and file size. I took this picture a few years ago on a fishing trip and I really like it.
Before compressing the image I defined the image size to 225 by 300 pixels. It is actually quite astounding how doing that alone can reduce file size. My original image was 2448 by 3264 pixels and 2.51 MB. After resizing to 225 by 300 pixels it was only 14.4 KB. This is before compressing!
So lets get to the results shall we?
This site has me completely baffled. Every single image I compressed on this site came out larger than my original. I am not sure what is going on but definitely not what I am trying to accomplish. The exact opposite actually.
- original image was 14.4 KB
- the 65% is 18.3 KB
- the 60% is 27.1 KB
- the 40% is 24.1 KB
This is really disappointing because this site does have some neat features. You can change your dimensions as well as set your compression level.
I guess none of that really matters if the image files come out larger that what you started with.
My suggestion, don’t waste your time with this one.
This site has some pretty cool features.
For starters you can upload up to 20 images at a time. Great if you have multiple images to compress.
You can also set the level of compression that you would like. Once done, you can view the before and after compression results to compare before downloading them.
I had some fun with this one.
The image compressed to 60% is 6.89 KB and the 45% is 5.47 KB.
This is another one that the file size is larger after compression.
I think that is because when you download your image after it is compressed it downloads on it’s side.
Then you have to change the orientation and this action increases file size???
I honestly don’t know. This is probably just to entice you to purchase the paid version.
That being said their prices seem pretty reasonable if it actually works. I would be asking some questions before I went ahead and bought the paid version though. Just my thoughts.
This was another fun site that shows you the before and after pictures and also lets you set the compression rate. You are able to upload up to 10 images at a time. Plenty enough if you are doing a blog or social media post.
Unfortunately this one does not maintain transparency on PNG and GIF formats when compressing.
This site would be awesome if it wasn’t for the restricted file size.
On the plus side you can upload an image or enter the URL. It compresses JPG, PNG, or GIF formats.
They are also able to convert formats. So you can upload a JPG and it will convert it to a PNG. It is a neat tool but considering their 2.86 MB max file capacity on upload this feature may not be able to live up to its full potential.
They also offer some other tools such as an animated GIF generator.
With the Online Image Optimizer if you click the “show all results” tab it will show you a preview of your image at every stage of compression from 90 to 10. Now what I found interesting, and someone might be able to explain this:
- original image = 14.4 KB
- 90% = 16.4 KB
- 80% = 13.8 KB
- 60% = 10.2 KB
- 10% = 3.12 KB
The 90% image is actually larger than the original. At 80% the file size starts to decrease. I have no explanation why this is. Someone, please tell me why this happened!
I like using this site, but I am probably biased as I have had the paid version of TinyPNG for some time now. I use to compress a lot of images. It is said to be the most popular compression site out there. It is easy to use, compressing multiple files at a time.
The site also has a generous free version if you did not want to pay for the premium.
Unfortunately you can’t set the compression level. This image after compression is 13.3 KB. You save a bit but not much. The original was 14.4 KB so only 1.1 KB in savings. Not the best.
Each tool has their pros and cons.
Ok a couple down right didn’t work and I wouldn’t waste my time with them. You can decide for yourself which ones.
On the pro side, they are all very simple and easy to use.
I personally like being able to set your compression level. It gives you more control over file size and image quality. It is also kind of nice to see the image before downloading it. On the other hand it is really convenient to upload and compress multiple images at a time.
The bottom line is you are just going to have to play around and see what works for you. Which features you need and like to have. You may also decide that a free version isn’t what you need and opt for paying for the service.
Only you can make that call.
What Are Your Thoughts?
If you use a different FREE Image Compression tool let me know what it is. Please leave a comment so I can check it out.