Michele over at New Biz Blogger recently wrote an article about using Smush.It to shrink all of your images file size before inserting them to your blog to help improve your site speed aka. PageLoad times.
I had written a previously article about the WordPress Smush.it plugin and how it can shrink your image by between 7 and 30% in file size which in turn means faster rendering of those images in a web browser.
One other way to manually shrink your images is with Paint.Net where when you save the image you can choose the quality in a %, and you can see how the file size shrinks as you slightly decrease the quality of the image. This of course is a manual way and I would rather let my WordPress plugin handle it so I don’t have to manually shrink each image.
One disadvantage I found with the Smush.IT plugin is that when you are uploading images from Live Writer it doesn’t trigger the plugin to compress the images, you still have to go through the plugin options and shrink the images manually. This is still far faster than uploading them manually to the Smush.it website and then saving and inserting the compressed image manually.
The other disadvantage is that sometimes when you upload an image through the WordPress editor with Smush.it enabled there can be a delay as it tries to contact the Smush.it server to compress the image. In rare cases this has caused my browser to hang and wait 30-60 seconds while it waits to try to Smush the image before I can insert it into the post.
On another note about images, JPG images will generally be smaller in file size than PNG images. JPG images also don’t support transparency, so if you want some part of the background transparent it needs to be a PNG file.
GIF images are the smallest file size by far but also have the least number of colors available and are best for black and white images or images with less than 32 colors (greyscales).
Either way when hosting images on your website, depending on how many blog posts and images you have and serve you can put your site under stress from serving up many multi meg images at a time, you can also eat up your bandwidth if you don’t have a hosting provider with unlimited bandwidth. One solution is to use a CMS (Content Management Service) like Amazon S3 or MAX CDN to host your static images for you and serve up from their servers, this will greatly improve your pageload times but does come at a cost of hosting the content at another site.
How do you handle your images on your website? Do you compress them or optimize file sizes, or do you use a CDN?