smush.it – optimize your images without sacrificing quality

Sometimes I notice great things, but just forget to blog about them. However, having Chris H in town reminded me – I just have to write about smush.it.

Background

We always chase every single byte when it comes to minifying, compressing, obfuscating and what-not in the case of our JavaScript files (and to some extent, HTML and CSS files as well). What we fail to target, though, is image sizes, who are the biggest culprit in download size, and the least seen-to performance problem.

One reason it is so is probably due to the vast number of of image optimizers out there, all specialized at different formats; also, many times they’re far from user friendly as well.

Enter smush.it

Stoyan Stefanov and Nicole Sullivan are the great people behind smush.it, and it is a service to help you optimize your images. The key sentence in the description statement is:

It uses image format specific non-lossy image optimization tools to squeeze the last bytes out of your images – without changing their look or visual quality.

What this means is that, practically, all the images you use can have a smaller file size without losing an ounce of it visual glare and perfection. Ain’t that sweet? :-)

How it works

They use a number of different open-source algorithms and services, all combined into one interface, to deliver the most optimized images to you. You can download all images, now smaller in file size, in a ZIP file and then just update your own web site with better-performing images.

The only thing which can get you is that they, at times, deliver a PNG image instead of an upload GIF image. While I agree that PNG is generally a better format for 8-bit versions of images, it does lead to that you as a developer have to update your references. On the other hand, this could be a good incentive to stop using GIF altogether. :-)

Ways to use smush.it

The lovely thing about smush.it is that they make it so easy to use. You can optimize images by:

  • Upload images in the web browser
  • Provide image URLs
  • Use a bookmarklet, which gets triggered for all images in the current web page
  • Use the Firefox extension, which also gets triggered for all images in the current web page

The result for either way is a ZIP file with optimized images.

So, what are you waiting for? Start optimizing now!

Posted in Developing,Reviews/tests,Technology |

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>