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During our last Atlanta Web Performance Meet-up, Billy Hoffman of Zoompf discussed ways to optimize images to reduce their size, increase download and rendering performance, and make your website fast! Here is a quick recap:

Topics that were covered:

– Techniques optimizing GIF, PNG, JPG images
– Free, open source tools to optimize images
– Progressive JPEGs and rendering
– WebP, and how it could change things

The Issue: Images are getting heavier, which is hurting performance. The web is obese. This is no surprise. Bulky images are the biggest problem. Sadly, pages are getting slower.

The Answer: We need to get smarter about how we use images online.

The easiest form of optimization is reducing response size. There are some obvious things you should be doing to optimize images. Some include using the correct format and making sure that they are progressive.

Key Takeaways:

“HTTP Compression is not the king”

– js, css, html = 332 KB
– Only 21% of total content size
– Reducing 21% of web content by 66% is not great


Reduce image size by 25% results in more total savings than text optimizations.

Two Types of Optimizations → Lossy and Lossless
Lossless = picture perfect optimizations
Lossy = Actually changing the image

→ Pings are most of the time always slower than gifs (gif uses an old compression algorithm)

-Deflate Usage
-Extra Chunks

-Quantization tables
-Progressive reorders data

How we handle images on the web is a massive, complex issue, but our main challenges can be pared down to a couple of main points:

  • We need to get smarter about how we handle images on the web, since they will only continue to get heavier.
  • We need to embrace existing formats and best practices that will make our images slimmer.

For more useful tips and best practices on this topic and related topics, visit these posts:

The Lowdown On Responsive Imaging
Lose the Wait: HTTP Compression
Chrome’s Data Compression Proxy

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