Compression tools for photos have been around for a while. But did you ever think you’d need one?
What is image compression?
Image compression makes your photos smaller. It’s as simple as that. Compression, as it sounds, makes the amount of space your image takes up, smaller. There are a few ways to do this, but lossy and lossless compression are the most popular.
Why do I need my images compressed?
Do you use the camera on your phone to snap pics of the pets you care for? Take a look in your camera’s settings sometime. The size of your photos is probably quite large, especially for posting on your website. They’re great for printing or sending to friends, but the size is a drag on website load time.
While you could change the settings on your phone, that doesn’t help much, as you can see from the options on my phone (to the right). The best thing to do is use a compression tool to get the job done.
This is an excellent discussion of file size and compression, and I hope you’ll read it. (It outlines the details far better than I could).
The bottom line is that you need to compress images you take with your cell phone, because although they’re beautifully detailed, they slow down your website. Slow sites make visitors leave. And that’s bad.
Tiny PNG and why it’s great
I recently came upon TinyPNG.com, an free image compression tool that’s easy to use and does a great job. You simply log onto the site, upload your image (or images; you can do a bunch at a time (excellent!!)), and it compresses them very quickly. You don’t have to know anything about sizes or how they do it. They just do it (yay for ease of use!).
When complete, they will download the compressed files into a regular or a .zip file (not my favorite format; I hate unzipping, even though I understand the need for it).
The compressed files are the same dimensions you had before the compression, but the amount of space they take up is noticeably smaller. For example, take a look at the logo image at the top of this post. Before compression, it took up 113 kb of space. After compression, it takes up 31 kb (and this is the image you see). And it still manages to look reasonable. That’s what you need to do with the images on your site.
Compressing images on your website is a great way to speed up your site. TinyPNG.com is an easy-to-use tool that allows you to upload files and quickly and efficiently compress them.