Internet browsing habits have changed drastically in the past few years. Where before users were willing to wait several seconds for a website to load, now they want even the most multimedia heavy website to load in a matter of seconds. There are several techniques web designers use to get websites to load faster. One of these techniques is the image compression technique. Compressing images allows a website to load faster while not compromising on the quality of the experience it provides to the user.
One of the most common image formats used on the internet is the PNG format. A distinct advantage of using the PNG format is that compressing PNG images is lossless. This means that the quality of a compressed image does not reduce, no matter how much you compress it.
We’ve gathered a list of some of the best free tools out there (with different features) that you can use to compress PNG files and get them ready for your website in no time.
RIOT (Radical Image Optimization Tool)
You can use the RIOT software if you are new at image optimization and don’t know exactly what parameters your compressed images should have. RIOT opens two windows side by side, where you can compare the original image with the compressed image and make alterations to suit your taste.
It has an automatic optimization option that comes in handy if you are pressed for time. You can also change colors, make changes to the metadata and convert images into other formats. RIOT supports GIF and JPG in addition to PNG.
You can get RIOT here for free. (Windows)
Major operating systems have built-in command-line utilities that you can use to compress your PNG image. Some of these programs include PNGOUT for Windows and OptiPNG for Linux. These programs can compress an image very quickly, but you need to know command line keywords to use them.
You can get around this requirement by using PNG Gauntlet. PNG Gauntlet is a PNG optimizer program uses this built-in functionality, but it has a graphical interface that everyone can use. PNG Gauntlet can optimize and compress images quickly and it also converts other image formats to PNG.
Get PNG Gauntlet here.
If you just need a couple of images compressed and don’t want to waste time downloading software for it, you can use Compressnow. Compressnow is an online image compression tool– all you have to do is upload the image to the server, enter the % conversion rate you desire and click on convert.
You should get your compressed image in a few seconds at the most. Unfortunately, compressnow does not accept batches of images – you can only upload one picture at a time. Another drawback of the free online tool is that, beyond the % compression setting, you can’t customize the compressed image.
Use Compressnow here
PunyPNG is one of the best free image optimization tools on the internet at the moment. PunyPNG is a professional tool meant for web developers and designers. Like Compressnow, it is an online tool – you don’t need to download it to use it. You upload an image to the website and click on convert – PunyPNG will do the rest.
PunyPNG will analyze your image, auto-compress it and then deliver you the result. PunyPNG has both a free and a pro version. The pro version is available as a free trial on the website at the moment.
You can use PunyPNG here.
Our last item on the list is TinyPNG, a tool that supports “lossy” compression for PNG images. Lossy compression is used when you need really, really small images and don’t mind sacrificing quality to achieve it.
TinyPNG uses smart lossy compression technology to drastically reduce image size and maintaining as high a quality as possible. For example, with the tool you can compress images by more than 70% with barely any reductions in image quality.
If you use any of these tools, you will end up saving a lot of bandwidth and, at the same time, make it easier for users to load your website. Have you used any of these tools? If not, which are some of your favorite image optimization tools? Share them with us in the comments below.
Recommended Reading: 10+ Great Websites for Creating Animated GIF Images Online for Free.