It is inevitable with busy and high-content-quality websites that image use is on the rise. With mobile-optimised websites the pages are expanded vertically - and you end up needing to store a tonne of images in your cache. To make all this quick and efficient, you need to spend some due care and diligence on ensuring those images are as optimised as they can be - otherwise they will negatively impact usability and website index rankings.
I take a lot of pride in my images - all of them are retouched and refined, given better hue and contrast and increased clarity and sharpness. I like pin-sharp clean image too accompany all the features and articles onsite. For Affino.com all images are a very deliberate 700x700 pixels - the square format allowing them to be accommodated more easily into most types of layouts - particularly on the listing-side. This uniformity also lends a degree of simplicity in image library, as I can use the same image for Thumbnail and Main / Detail.
I admit that I was resistant to compromising the quality of my images even to the slightest degree, but have come around to the fact that it is essential for site usability to have your images load up as quickly as possible. You can of course optimise your images in Photoshop or similar, but each time you need to make slightly different adjustments and it becomes overly time-consuming. I find I get really decent results on the 90% level of Optimizilla, and that the images retain much more quality and clarity for a much smaller file size - so this will be my tool of choice. At the 90% level,
Optimizilla compresses the image by circa 65-70% and gives you the best possibly quality for that degree of compression. You do of course loose some small degree of sharpness and colour-definition / saturation - so images become very slightly less vibrant.
Optimizilla processes your original and appends the optimized version with ’-min’. You can upload up to 20 images at a time, and even with just a single one, you will always get a Zipped folder you need to unpack. Fortunately Affino can unzip folders for you too, but as something of a quality obsessive I often like to compare the original and compressed images side-by-side before I upload.
I must say the compression / optimisation algorithm that Optimizilla uses is the best I’ve encountered yet - I consistently get better results - i.e. better image quality at lower files size than by optimising in Photoshop. Of course it’s a bit of a bind having to do an extra process as part of your image asset creation - but you can get nearly 3 images loading up in the place of one previously - which is a very significant economy and efficiency.
Lots of our Clients have very image-rich sites, and I would encourage them all to checkout Optimizilla soon as!