- Having optimized images is crucial for websites that rely on conversions and SEO traffic as those can slow down the page which leads to a loss of potential customers
- Our top list will help you choose the right software that can easily optimize and compress images
- Optimizing an image often times comes along with a need of cropping and resizing it for a balanced outlay of a page or presentation
- Check our image editing section for more top lists and guides
Image optimization is essential for both professional and home use. This is especially important if you’re an online publisher or blogger. Most of the websites (focus on social networks) have limitations for image size. So, you have to optimize photos in order to use them online.
In addition, the large image files that you add from your gallery will increase website page size and thus, largely increase loading time. And we certainly don’t want that. Because the common visitor wants that page to load in a blink.
On the other hand, we neither want to trade so much of the image quality for improving the site speed. So, compromising between size and quality is the only viable option.
In that manner, we’ve prepared some fast, online and offline tools for image compression and optimization. All of them are free to use.
Top image optimization tools for Windows
This is how you can revive some of your lifetime memories! Photoshop Elements is the first solution to check out if you plan to master incredible snapshots without being overwhelmed by the full potential of the original Photoshop app.
This amazing image optimization software provides featured rich tools such as innovative photo and video effects, automated editing options, and a large array of entertaining slideshows and collages with attractive templates.
Photoshop Elements doesn’t just convert black-and-white photos into color ones, but Automatic Colorization lets you play around with substituting or enhancing colors.
Thanks to the included Additional Guided Edits, you get step-by-step guidance from Adobe Sensei for creating borders, partial-image sketches, fun memes for social media, watercolors, and background replacements.
No less important, you and your loves ones should always look perfect. It’s nearly impossible to get everyone in a photo to have perfect skin and open eyes at the exact same instant.
Features such as Smooth Skin or Open Closed Eyes are intended to gently hide wrinkles and freckles or fix those presumably lost shots and re-open sleepers’ eyes.
The trick lies in automatically applying the eyes from the source image and replacing the closed eyes.
On top of that, Photoshop Elements is fully packed with powerful search and auto curation tools. These can be very useful if you don’t want to end up cluttering the main editing application.
Effortless tools to use such as Photoshop Elements can prove worthy if you want to unite all image optimization functions in one application.
NX Power Lite Desktop
This tool optimizes your JPEG images but also your Word, Excel or PowerPoint documents. It reduces them to a fraction of their original size. Files remain in their original format and there is no need to unzip before using them. It also allows you to customize the balance between quality and compression ratio, which is a very useful feature for images.
It’s very user-friendly: just select the file you want to compress, choose your compression level and click the ‘Optimize’ button. You can also optimize files from within Windows Explorer and Microsoft Office programs, or choose to automatically optimize email attachments as they are sent.
This tool can be tried for free, but, if it fits your long term needs and the features from the trial are not enough to accomplish your work – you can buy the full version.
Compressor.io is a great online image/photo compressing tool. It lets you choose between two compressing modes: Lossless or Lossy. Lossless will optimize the size of your photos, while maintaining the image quality at the same. Lossy will compress the photo more but will reduce its quality. Lossless mode supports only JPEG and PNG formats, while Lossy works out with the following 4 formats:
The Compressor is simple to use. You select a preferred optimizing mode, upload your image and it gets automatically optimized. A nice addition is a split screen preview that lets you see the exact difference in transition. A tool supports only one file per compression up to 10 MBs of size.
You can find Compressor.io here.
JPEG Optimizer is a simple and reliable online tool for both compressing and resizing images. It kind of lacks the advanced features, but it gets the basic job done. Furthermore, the files can be compressed from 1 up to 99 percent, but have in mind that photos will lose a lot of original quality.
The procedure is simple:
- Upload a photo (JPEG, GIF, PNG, or BMP)
- Choose compression level (from 0 to 99).
- Select preferred width in pixels.
- Click Optimize.
Optimizilla is a well-designed online tool for image optimizing. The interface is great and easy to use. It supports only 2 file formats: JPEG and PNG, but since these are the most common formats, you shouldn’t have any major problems. Even though some other solutions support more formats, most of them don’t have the drag-and-drop option. To optimize your photo using this tool, do as follows:
- Choose up to 20 files, drag-and-drop them in a marked area.
- Once uploaded, select an individual file in the queue.
- Use sliders to choose optimization level (more quality – less compression).
- Compare images to find wanted optimization.
- Download files in the standard manner or in a ZIP archive.
You can try out Optimizilla here.
Kraken.io utilizes similar features as most of other optimization tools. But it goes one step further. It has a premium version called KrakenPro. In addition, it supports cloud store input.
Same as Optimizilla, you can drag and drop files in the marked area. However, a free version is limited to 1 MB per file so this may be a deal-breaker for some users. In addition, there is no image preview on the site. Nonetheless, there are Lossy and Lossless compression modes and Expert mode for advanced tweaks. To optimize your photo with Kraken.io, do as follows:
- Select an optimization mode.
- Drag photos from desktop or import from Box/Google Drive/Dropbox.
- Download files individually or in a ZIP archive.
You can try out Kraken.io here.
Resize Photos trades interface simplicity for an abundance of options. Yes, you can just select simple optimization and resize the selected image. But there is much more you can do. For start, you can modify output format. Once the photo is uploaded, there is a variation of difference features. Some of them are shadows, effects, and captions. It supports only one file per conversion which can be JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP, or PSD format, respectively.
To optimize your photo/image with Resize Photos, follow the instructions:
- Upload photo with a supported format.
- Select width in pixels.
- Choose post-optimization photo quality.
- Select wanted output format.
- If needed, modify additional settings.
- Apply to inspect changes.
- Once finished editing, download image.
You can try optimizing with Resize Photos here.
Convert Image is a simple, but quite useful online compression tool. Its distinctive feature are multiple input-output files choices, with most of them unavailable with other online solutions. You can compress only one photo per conversion up to 24 MB. A tool offers tips about compression levels and preview image. That way you’ll get full insight in the image export quality. Though, switching between the output format is somehow complicated and confusing.
To compress photos/images with Convert Image, do as follows:
- The default output format is JPEG. To choose other extensions, scroll to the bottom of the page.
- Upload photo and Agree to the Therms of Use.
- Click Send this image.
- Select the preferred compression level and click Validate.
- Download compressed photo.
You can try Convert Image here.
TinyPNG is one of the simplest online optimization solutions that offers great compression without quality loss. It merely decreases the number of colors in the image without reducing its quality. However, you can’t tweak anything compared to some other available solutions.
It supports only 2 main formats: JPEG and PNG. Per conversion, you can compress up to 20 files with 5 MB as a single file limit. After the conversion, the file-bundle is downloaded as a ZIP archive. Additionally, it offers premium service and WordPress and Photoshop plugins for a modest price. Finished photos can be directly downloaded or transferred to a Dropbox. To optimize photos/images with TinyPNG, do as follows:
- Drag and drop preferred files in the marked area(up to 20).
- Wait until the automatic optimization is done.
- Download compressed files or export them to Dropbox.
To compress your photos using TinyPNG, go here.
We now move onto the free third-party applications. You’ll need to download and install those, but they’ll reward you with improved features and basic editing possibilities.
The first tool we are presenting you with is RIOT (Radical Image Optimization Tool). RIOT is, as its name speaks for itself, an image optimization tool with various features. The interface is intuitive and user-friendly, so even newbies will find it easy to use. The most noteworthy difference comparing to online tools are formats. RIOT supports all basic image/photo formats with the addition of PSD, RAW, HDR, and even a few unusual scientific formats.
Besides compression, you can use RIOT as a full optimization tool for all the operations needed (cropping, rotating, adjusting brightness or gamma). On the other hand, we are here for the automatic optimization feature. It works fast and your photos will be as good as they were before the size reduction. The automatic preview will let you see all the changes, with both dual or single view. Additionally, multiple compressions can be done parallelly, and you can choose the output size threshold. RIOT also comes as a plugin for GIMP, IrfanView or XnView.
If you are keen to move from browser to desktop, you can find RIOT, here.
No matter what option you choose, optimizing your photos for online implementation is imperative. On the other hand, images you upload must maintain a certain quality and be a valid addition to your site.
So, trying to balance between those two is the key.
What is your favorite image/photo optimization tool? Tell us your impressions and experience in the comments section.
FAQ: Learn more about image optimization software
- What is the best image compression format?
The best image compression format is TIF. It is lossless, versatile (except for web pages) and is the most utilized one for commercial purposes.
- What image file type is best for web?
No matter what formats you will be using for your webpage, there will be a loss in quality when compared to TIF and RAW format files. The best formats to use would be either PNG or JPEG which are also the most popular.
- Is PNG higher quality than JPEG?
Yes, PNG is of a much higher quality than JPEG due to lossless technology behind it. The problem is that PNG files have a much larger file size which will slow down your website and eventually the bounce rates may increase.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in February 2017 and has been since updated in April 2020 for freshness and accuracy.