Optimize Images For The Web Using ImageOptim

As the saying goes, An image is worth a thousand words.

As a tech blogger, I absolutely live by that saying. I like to include a lot of images in my posts for reference and also because sometimes it’s just easier to explain a concept with a single image rather than writing a couple of paragraphs on it.

The only problem with including a large number of images is that the size of an individual page increases and so does the load time. Even though the average home user who reads this blog now has a lot more bandwidth at his/her disposal, page load times are still a factor to keep in mind while designing web sites. And that is the reason why most image editing applications such as Photoshop or The Gimp come with an option to save an image For The Web.

What this option does is that it removes unnecessary information such as color profiles, comments and whitespace from the image and makes the size of the image smaller so that it loads faster over slow internet connections.

But, you don’t have to buy Photoshop or download The Gimp for just this simple task. ImageOptim can do it for you and that too for free.

ImageOptim is an open source application for OS X that does one thing and does it well. It optimizes and reduces the size of any image file that you pass to it.

It is also probably one of the easiest applications to use and understand, that I’ve ever seen. The whole operation is a simple drag and drop affair. Just drag your image file and drop it on the ImageOptim window and ImageOptim gets to work right away.

ImageOptim overwrites the original file with the new optimised image and while some may think of this as a limitation, I think it is just this simplicity that makes the application such a joy to use.

You can even download and install a Finder service that’ll let you optimize your images with just a right click without even launching ImageOptim.

Do you guys struggle with keeping the size of the images on your websites in control ? Do you use any tools for the purpose ?

Please give ImageOptim a try and let me know how that works out for you.