Do you want to compress images without losing image quality?
Large image files take longer to load on the user’s end. They slow down your website, which affects your user experience and SEO.
Image compression is a necessary step to improve your website page load speed. Faster loading websites tend to rank higher in search results. Using this image compression guide, you can easily resize an image without compromising its quality.
Check out these free stock photo websites if you want to add high-quality images to your blog posts.
In this tutorial, I will cover the following topics:
- How to compress images without losing image quality
- Compress images before uploading them to a website
- Bulk compress images already uploaded on your website
- How to shrink PNG Images without losing quality
Table of Contents
Why Compress Images and How it Improves Performance and SEO?
Every website these days use high-resolution images to improve the user experience. However, those images could affect your website page load speed if you don’t compress them before uploading them.
Image compression is a technology that allows you to reduce image file size. For example, you can compress high-quality photos from your phone, typically more than 1 MB in file size to less than 100 KB.
Compressed images load faster, improve user experience, and boost your on-page SEO.
Image compression is also crucial for WordPress speed optimization as images take the most time to load on any website.
I performed a page speed test on a web page. First, I checked the page speed with unoptimized images. After that, I compressed images to smaller file sizes and re-ran the test.
Here are the results:
Before image optimization:
After image optimization:
As you can see, this is a huge performance boost and makes a big difference in any website’s success.
Note: I am also using a WordPress caching plugin. I recently reviewed two WordPress caching plugins side by side here, WP Super Cache Vs WP Fastest Cache. If you are using WordPress and concerned about page load speed, this post will help you.
How to Adjust and Resize Images?
There are two ways you need to optimize your images.
- Resize image resolution
- Compress the image to reduce its file size
Image resolution is the dimensions (width and height) of the image. It is calculated in pixels, for instance, 1200 pixels x 1200 pixels.
It also has pixel density settings depending on which device created or captured the image. Higher pixel density means a higher quality photo and larger size.
The file size is the actual size of an image on a computer.
Your goal is to reduce both the image resolution as well as file size.
Image resolution matters when it comes to image optimization. You have to adjust it according to your website content area.
For example, if your website content’s area has a height and width of 500px x 500px. you can reduce the image size to 500px x 500px while creating it on your image editing software. Doing this will reduce the size of your image file.
Usually, most modern mobile phones save images in high resolution. These images are too massive to be used on your website.
When compressing your images, you must also choose a reasonable resolution. If you are unsure about the width, you can choose anything less than 1000px wide.
Resolution ensures that your image is still pleasant to see but not too large to slow down your website.
How to Manually Compress Images Before Uploading
If you want to compress an image before uploading it to your website, you can use the following image compression tools.
1. Compress Images without Losing Quality with Adobe Photoshop (Paid)
Adobe Photoshop is one of the most used image editing software. It allows you to retain the maximum possible quality of the image while creating a small file size at the same time.
Using Photoshop, you can choose the image file format between JPEG or PNG. It will show a preview of the file size for each format. This way, you can select a file format that produces the best result.
Here is how you can optimize an image if you use Adobe Photoshop.
First, you must open the image you want to compress in Adobe Photoshop.
Click on File > Export > Save for web (legacy).
Now select JPG from the right corner of this new window.
Adjust quality as per your requirement.
Colorful Images look good in JPG format, while you can compress images with fewer colors in PNG-8 or PNG-24 file formats.
Even in those formats, you can customize colors and image resolution., It should significantly reduce the image file size without losing quality.
You’ll be able to see the preview of the compressed image and the file size in the bottom left corner of the preview window.
Now, if you try to reduce file size too much, this would affect the quality of the image. You need to balance between quality and acceptable image file size.
For instance, I keep image file sizes under 100 KB max on my blogs. It always helps with faster page loading.
However, if you run a photography business or graphic design agency, you might want your website to have a much higher quality of images.
The great thing about using software like Adobe Photoshop is that you can try different combinations and see previews before saving your image.
Adobe Photoshop is expensive software, and it’s not affordable for everyone. The following method would suit those looking for free image compression software.
2. Compress Image File Size with GIMP (Free)
GIMP is a free, open-source image editing software for Windows, Linux, and Mac operating systems.
Here’s how you can use this free software to compress images without losing quality.
Open any image on your computer in GIMP, then click on File > Export as.
Now click on the Export button, which will open a new window.
You can decrease the image quality as much as you want. By clicking on Show preview in image window, it will give you an estimate of what would be the actual file size after compression.
Try different image file types and compression settings to find the best result. After some practice, you’ll get used to saving your images optimized for the web by default.
3. Compress Images Online with TinyJPG (Online/free)
TinyJPG is an online free image compression tool. One benefit of using TinyJPG is you can compress multiple images in one go.
How to Compress image to 100kb Online with TinyJPG
Visit the TinyJPG website and start uploading your images.
It will start compressing your images on the cloud, and you will be able to download the compressed versions to your computer.
That’s it! Without any quality loss, you can compress images. The ideal image size for the web is less than 100 KB, mainly if your website loads multiple images at once.
They also have a sister site called TinyPNG that helps you shrink PNG images without losing quality.
How to Automatically Compress Images Already Uploaded to Your Website?
If you have already uploaded images on your website without optimizing them, you can still compress those images without losing their quality.
1. Use Smush WordPress Image Compression Plugin
Smush is a free WordPress image compression plugin. It has over a million users and thousands of five-star reviews.
It simply optimizes your images when you upload them to your WordPress website. You can also compress old photos in bulk on your website.
Install the Smush plugin on your website.
After that, click on the Smush icon in the WordPress admin sidebar and choose the Bulk Optimize option.
2. EWWW Image Optimizer WordPress Plugin
EWWW is an excellent alternative to the Smush WordPress image compression plugin.
First, download the EWWW Image Optimizer plugin to your WordPress website.
Go to Media > Bulk Optimize.
Click on Scan for unoptimized images.
It will take some time to scan. After completing the scan, click on Start Optimizing.
How to Compress Images in Next-gen Formats?
Using WordPress, you can easily convert your existing JPEG and PNG images into next-gen image formats.
What is a next-gen image Format?
You must have read about the next-gen image format when using Google’s page speed Insights.
Google recommends compressing images in size using next-gen formats such as JPEG 2000, JPEG XR, and WebP.
These formats compress your JPEG and PNG size further without degrading quality.
Google is right about that. However, next-gen image formats are still not widely used on the web. It is hard to find photos in “next-gen” formats.
If you use WordPress as your CMS, you can use a third-party plugin to convert your existing JPEG and PNG images into webP format.
You can install a plugin WebP Express to your WordPress website. Here’s how to install this plugin.
- Login to your WordPress site. Go to Plugins.
- Click Add New button. Search for ‘WebP Express.’
- Install and Activate the plugin.
After that, existing images on your site will use WebP format. If a user’s browser doesn’t support WebP format, this plugin will show them an original JPG or PNG image.
That’s it! Hopefully, this guide helped you compress images. You can also maximize loading times by using a WordPress caching plugin. You can easily configure the basic settings of W3 Total Cache with the help of this tutorial.
If you're interested in working with me, get in touch.