September 23

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Image Optimization Software – How To Optimize Your Images For A Better User Experience On Your Website (or Just To Increase Storage Space)

By Hanson Cheng

September 23, 2021


It's a little-known fact that JPEGs, the popular file format for storing digital photos, is not as small in size as most tend to think.

In fact, most JPEG images take up about 5 times more space than they need to. 

Fortunately, there is an easy way to fix this problem. All you have to do is use image optimization software and your computer will be able to store more pictures on its hard drive. 

What's more, using photo management software will become a breeze, since you’ll be able to browse through individual images faster and without having your computer freeze on you.

In this article, we're going to look at what image optimization software is, why you should use it, as well as the best programs you can find on the market right now. Keep reading to find out more.

What is Image Optimization Software?

Image optimization software refers to any program or set of programs that can reduce the original image size without compromising image quality. These tools are especially handy if you're trying to fit more pictures onto your computer's hard drive or even make your website run faster.

In fact, one of the metrics that KPI software dashboards have started measuring when it comes to websites is page load speed. The faster a website loads, the higher it tends to rank on search engines while also giving people a great user experience (we’ll get to this in a little bit).

There are other reasons for using image optimization software. In fact, some people may choose to use image optimization software after taking a large number of photos at an event.

In this case, they can use such programs to reduce the size of each picture before uploading them onto their website, ensuring that their page load speed doesn’t suffer due to the large image sizes.

Image Credit: http://techwalls.com

Image optimization software is useful for lots of other reasons as well: It doesn't matter whether you want to free up space on your laptop's hard drive so that you have more room for work files, or if you want to save time when sending images through email – all it takes is one click and the file will be optimized and ready for use.

The question you really should be asking yourself is not whether or not you should use image optimization software, but which program to use. It's one thing to learn that you need the right tools for image compression; it's another entirely to find the best tool for your needs.

You might think that all programs are the same, but that's simply not true. All image optimization tools offer different features and some will be better than others depending on your needs.

Why use Image Optimization Software?

Save space on your hard drive

As time goes by, your hard drive (or even cloud storage) starts getting filled to the brim with pictures that you've taken. It seems like they're never going to stop coming, and when this happens it's common for people to start running out of space.

This can happen even if you don't hoard photos: Camera manufacturers as well as phone producers make it easy to take a lot of quality images by providing bulky storage options with huge amounts of memory. But what they don't tell you is that the files produced by your camera or phone are insanely large.

Before long, your computer will feel sluggish because it has so many photos stored onboard. Fortunately, there is an easy solution for this problem – image optimization software comes in handy whenever you need to reduce file size and end up with compressed images, without losing any image quality.

Save time when sending images through email

Sending images through email becomes a problem whenever you're trying to attach several photos at once. For example, let's say that you want to send some holiday pictures to your family in another country. 

You produce an album full of photos and press the "send" button…but after waiting for five minutes it's obvious that the attachment didn't go through because your image file size is way too big.

You can fix this by using image optimization software: Most tools will reduce file size very quickly so you'll be able to send multiple files without having to worry about running out of space on your data plan or experiencing any other problems. This way, no one will miss out on seeing your holiday snaps.

Edit photos quickly and easily

Image optimization doesn’t just deal with reducing the size of your images - it’s much more than that.

Most people who take lots of pictures aren't photographers – they just want to document everything that happens in their lives. Very often, these amateurs will see an image that they want to improve or enhance before uploading it onto a social media site or even a community platform to be viewed by others.

This is where image optimization software comes into play: Instead of having to open each picture from scratch using a photo editing program, you can edit multiple images quickly and at the same time by using a single tool.

If you edit all your images with the same program, you'll be able to change different parameters depending on what needs improvement – for example, contrast sharpness, saturation, and so forth. This way, you'll be able to adjust your images until they are picture-perfect.

How to use Image Optimization software

The editing process won't take you more than 10 minutes when you follow the below steps.

Steps to follow if the software needs to be downloaded

Download the software from a reputable site and install it on your PC or laptop.

Most image optimization tools don't have large system requirements so they will run on just about any computer configuration. This way, you won't need to worry about blowing through your hardware's processing speed while using an external program.

Scan your images

Scan all the images from a folder that you want to use for optimization by clicking the "select all" button. You can go through each folder in turn while deciding which photos will be reduced in size and resolution without losing any quality.

Decide whether you want to use simple or advanced edits

Here you can select a preset if one is available – this step depends on what type of changes you want to make: If you just want a quick fix, go with the "low resolution" preset so you can send your images immediately. However, if you prefer more detailed edits then each program will give you more advanced features that you can use.

Once you have made your selections, click apply and let the program do its work 

Depending on how many photos there are and what changes need to be made, this process will take the time it needs until it is completed. 

If the software can be run on a website, you won't even need to install any software on your computer. In fact, in this case, you'll be able to log in directly from the homepage of the image optimization tool and start making changes immediately. Keep reading to learn more about this.

Steps to follow if the software works through a website

Browse for folders

Browse for the images on your computer that you want to upload by clicking "select" or “upload” (these are typically the button labels used). Once you have selected all the photos that need to be edited, click "upload files" so they can be processed by the software.

Choose your settings

Go to 'settings' or any other feature within the program that will allow you to edit, modify or resize pictures when uploading them onto a website. Choosing the right settings now means that your images will end up exactly the way you want them.

Download the images

Once you have finished editing, download the images from the website and decide where you want to store them. It doesn't matter whether you use your computer or a cloud server for image storage – as long as your pictures are well-optimized, they are good to go.

It's great to note that web storage services such as Dropbox and Google Drive do not tend to compress images on their server to reduce bandwidth usage. Instead, they offer different dimensions for their user to choose from.

The best image optimization software programs

Let's now have a look at some of the best photo editing software out there right now.

This is a good piece of kit because it can process so many different images and give your pictures a professional look – however, it's not necessary unless you do graphic design for a living. With Photoshop, you can create a series of customized presets that can be used over and over again. There are also thousands of tutorials on YouTube that show you how to use this radical image optimization tool.

When using Photoshop and its native PSD format, you can resize images, edit them for color or contrast enhancement and even sharpen the quality if necessary. The software has to be installed on your computer but it's worth doing if you’re serious about image optimization.

This free photo editing program is not as powerful as Photoshop but it's super easy to use, 

With Photoscape, even if you have never done image optimization before, you won't find any difficulty in following the step-by-step instructions and using its drag and drop features when it comes to resizing and optimizing photos with this tool.

IrfanView is another free software that does what it says on the tin without too many unnecessary features included. You won't need to edit any photos manually either because simple presets are included with the free version. 

Once you've installed Irfanview onto your computer, all you have to do is select your pictures, choose what adjustments need to be done, and let the program do its work. This image compression software will allow you to get the job done quickly and easily.

Compressor.io is a unique image optimization tool that can resize photos in bulk – perfect for all those people who use social media as a personal and business platform: if you're looking to save on your data plan, it's definitely worth using this free service because each photo will be resized before it has the chance to eat away at your mobile data.

Just select the pictures you want (either one by one or in bulk), then wait just a few seconds for each file to be processed. 

Compression.io is one of the best online image compression tools available in the market right now due to its ease of use and functionality.

Speaking of more free image optimization tools, Gimp is easy to use and works well for those who don't need any complicated features. With Gimp, users can also create their own custom presets which speed up the process of image optimization by automatically setting the quality of compression level and other needed changes.

Being a cross-platform image editor, Gimp runs on both Mac and Windows computers so it's worth downloading onto your computer if you want to resize images quickly.

Note: Gimp might lack the more advanced features found in other software packages but this is because of its free and open-source nature – people who download and use this program can contribute their codes and plugins, making it a better tool for image optimization over time.

Not only is Pixlr Editor great for resizing images, but it's completely free too. This means that if you're looking for an easy way to do picture editing online, this could be the one for you. 

Just like Photoshop and Gimp, there are tutorial videos available that will help you through the entire photo resizing process step-by-step. It might take a little longer because the interface isn't as user-friendly as these other programs, but it can still get the job done.

Although there aren't any complicated features included with PicMonkey, it's still possible to adjust pixel dimensions, add filters and edit text directly from within the image optimization software itself. 

In other words, it’s perfect if you’re interested in doing different edits to your pictures before uploading them to social media. You can even use this tool to double or half the size of a photo in seconds.

Image Optimization Software - FAQ

What is image optimization?

Image optimization is the process done to reduce the file size of images. It's not the same as deleting metadata so you don't have to worry about losing important information, but it will compress your photos substantially by removing redundant data which has no bearing on image appearance.

Optimizing photos is an effective way of keeping their size under control without losing too much detail in your JPEG images or slowing down website loading times with PNG files - this applies no matter which CMS you’re using - whether it’s WordPress or something else. 

Image optimization is also essential if you are setting up a business website and want to drive online traffic through SEO since web page speed is a big ranking factor. 

In fact, there are specific WordPress plugins that deal with image optimization. The same thing happens with other eCommerce platforms, including Magento. Image optimization plays a crucial role in how well these platforms function.

What is the best image optimizer?

The best image optimizer is one that does the job without sacrificing too many details in your image. The best image optimizers should be able to work on all types of images, whether they are small thumbnails or large high-resolution prints.

The best web image optimizer is going to use a good level of compression that doesn't destroy the detail in your JPEG files. You should also check that you can batch process your images as well as adjust quality levels and color profiles when delivering different versions of the same photo.

It's also important that the software that you use provides some amount of control over the level at which the JPEG is compressed – this means you will have more options when optimizing photos. And finally, it has to work fast. There’s no point waiting for hours to get the job done when there is software that can finish much sooner.

Once you have found an effective tool to optimize JPEG images, it might be a good idea to keep it for all future use. Don't waste time searching for other programs because once you have found one that works, there is no need to go through the process again. This is especially true if you can save presets that will work in different situations.

Which is better? PNG or JPG?

JPEG and PNG images are popular image formats (along with GIF, BMP, and SVG) that have their pros and cons. However, the best image format might be PNG because it doesn't lose any detail in the image when it's compressed, unlike a JPEG which has got compression technology that reduces storage requirements while also decreasing the overall quality. 

Understanding the distinction between these file types is important when it comes time to convert images while still keeping the images high-quality.

What is the difference between an optimizer and a compressor?

Optimizers are used to make an image better, while compressors are algorithms used to reduce file size. They're both important in their way, but it's possible to be more aggressive with compressors while still preserving some of your data.

The major advantage of using an optimizer is that you can get great results using minimal compression. In simple terms, this means that there isn't too much degradation when saving your files again after optimization is performed.

However, if you have many images to optimize then you might find yourself waiting around for hours on end - so a JPEG optimizer might not be the best solution for you.

Compression algorithms and compression techniques are also at play and can give various results based on the image provided. The image compressor functionality also dictates how small an image can be made in size.

What's the difference between quality and compression?

Another important factor to consider is that even though image files have got different levels of compression, they have got different quality settings as well. You won't be able to compress your images as much if you choose higher-quality settings because it will increase the file's density (so there are more pixels per square inch).

If you want to reduce your PNG file size then set it to lower settings like 85% density (this means fewer pixels), but if you want to store more information in your image, then leave it at the default setting.

Does image compression help with search engine optimization?

Having fast-loading images on your website is essential for conversions and SEO. Short loading times and fast page speeds help you to rank higher than your competitors. The right compression of images is one of the main factors in how this gets done.

Lossless compression is the keyword to look out for here because this allows you to use efficient coding methods to accomplish your goals - this is the opposite of lossy compression. 

When it comes to websites, there might not even be the need for PNG or JPEG if you want to achieve faster loading speeds. You can optimize images using Webp and jpeg2000 formats. These are formats that are made specifically for websites and fast loading times.

Why should you use an image optimizer?

There are plenty of reasons why you should be using an image optimizer software: 

  • Save disk space - Optimization reduces byte size of photos which in turn creates more room for additional files
  • Load websites faster - An optimized image takes seconds to load with your web browser (whether it is Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Edge). 
  • Improve email deliverability - It's important that your images can be displayed properly in emails since bloated photographs slow down rendering time.
  • Eliminate file corruption - Using an optimizer will reduce the risk of file corruption because files are smaller. This also speeds up recovery time if needed.
  • Save money on bandwidth costs - It doesn't matter if you're running a small business website or web hosting company; every byte counts which means your monthly bandwidth allowance will add up if you’re not aware of it.

Is image optimization needed for images on my computer?

Yes, it is. With the right image compression tools, you will get the job done quickly and easily. By using efficient image optimization software, your bandwidth will be used more efficiently and you get the most out of your storage space. 

Sometimes, even a free image compression tool can get you on your way to achieving the right results - however, we do encourage you to go for a premium solution if you’re interested in the long-term benefits that this process will bring.

The right image compression tool will allow you to compress images offline (i.e. having to download and install software), but if you're looking for a fast way to achieve a result that you can work with, then make sure you use an online image optimizer. 

Finally, there are other online tools that we didn't mention in this article that you can also check out. These include Tinypng, Optimizilla, Shortpixel, Imagify, Pngout as well as Kraken.io. While these all offer similar settings, it might be worth checking them out individually if there’s a specific feature that you require.

Conclusion

In conclusion, you can see that there are a large number of image optimization software available on the market. The choice for a specific tool depends on many factors like requirements, availability, and personal preference. 

This means that there is no single tool that can be recommended for everyone. While some programs have good to excellent compression ratios, others offer only mediocre image compression at the expense of speed or a wide variety of features.

By keeping the above tips in mind, you are well on your way to finding the right image optimization software for your needs. If you have a business website, all of this will ultimately result in better website performance and loading speed - which ultimately gives a better user experience for your customers.

Why not try out some of the above software and find the one that’s just right for you?

Last Updated on September 29, 2021 by Hanson Cheng

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Hanson Cheng

About the author

Living in Bali with my Fiancee and puppy, (Alina and Pickles). Scaling online businesses and sharing lessons learned on this website and in our email newsletter. Always happy to hear from you, so find me on Instagram if you want to say hi!

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