5 Best Free File Compression Software Tools
Here are the 5 best free file compression software tools online that I have found.
These programs will significantly enhance your page load speeds, which in term will retain more visitors to your website.
Large image files such as PNGs and GIFs can really slow your site down. Improving page speed loading times positively impacts user experience, your SEO, and ultimately your conversions.
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My Simple Habit
There is a simple habit that I partake in every time I write a post or add content to any page. It’s a habit that far too many people either have no idea they should do, or simply take for granted.
Always pre-compress all of your images before you upload them into your Media Library in WordPress.
Since compressed files will improve your image optimization greatly, this will transfer into much faster loading speeds for your websites.
The difference in your page load speeds will be night and day.
Don’t Depend on any Plugin
You may feel that you can depend on a WordPress plugin such as Smush or the EWWW Image Optimizer. These plugins offer lossless and lossy compression automatically for every instance a new photo is uploaded to your media library.
In a word don’t.
The simple answer will be that these plugins will not offer you enough image optimization, and will not be enough.
Take it from me, I have learned this through experience.
Believe me, I used to think this was true too. But having used both Smush and the EWWW Image Optimizer (or an equivalent lossy compression plugin built in Thrive Themes), simply having them activated will not solve your image optimization problems.
When you begin pre-compressing your images, like me you’ll find that pages will load superfast. In most cases, you can easily cut your page load times in half.
In addition to taking this pre-compression step, once the pre-compressed image has been uploaded to your Media Library, you should use the Scale and Cropping tool within your Media Library to make your image even smaller.
Find the Free Versions Only
For the 5 best free file compression software tools, all of them have paid premium versions, but no worries. You won’t any of need them.
There are programs like Optimizilla, Kraken, and TinyPng (and lots more just Google them) that will compress your images before you upload them into your Media Library.
Find and use the free versions only. Save your money and invest it elsewhere. The free versions will be more than enough.
My 5 Best Free File Compression Software Tools
We took the default version of the compressed image from each tool, and ran a test against the original image (uncompressed) for three types of images: a logo, a full-size image, and an infographic – and here are our results.
Here is our list of our 5 Best Free File Compression Software Tools:
Optimizilla is my #1 free image compression software tool. For me, Optimizilla provides the simplest and most intuitive interface.
Pros: Optimizilla allows you to run up to 20 images through its compression at one time. It has a fantastic image preview feature which allows you dial up or down the “quality” of the photo.
There is a quality slider feature that lets you to adjust your image compression based on whether the resulting image will look acceptable.
Lowering the slider down the quality of the image shrinks its size. Therefore, you may want to lower the slider down to 70 percent to reduce the image size as much as possible if you can’t see much of a difference at 70 percent versus 95 percent image quality,
Recommendation: If you have a team and you need a very simple tool to use that has easy outputs that by default are much smaller, I’d recommend TinyPNG
There is no doubt that Optimizilla provides the best combination of an easy interface with simple-to-use customization. One can can easily preview and lower the slider down to change the quality and to help shrink a file whenever I need it.
Cons: None that we can think of, since this program is so effective and easy to use.
Pros: TinyPNG has a clean, simple interface similar to Optimizilla that also allows you to run up to 20 images at a time. Conveniently, it also has an “export to Dropbox” option.
TinyPNG had the smallest file size for the two larger images.
Cons: Interface is not as intuitive as Optimizilla.
Recommendation: If you have a team and you need a very simple tool to use that has easy outputs that by default are much smaller, we’d recommend TinyPNG.
But overall, Optimizilla still has it beat.
Pros: Kraken allows you to upload multiple files. There are some very sweet features here.
Kraken allows you to export files with ease to Dropbox or import files from Box, Dropbox or Google drive.
In addition, Kraken allows for “advanced” customization, such as altering the quality and orientation of the photo image and preserving metadata for your photos.
Cons: Kraken’s major downside is that it was the only tool on the list that wouldn’t execute compression for all of the files in the free version.
Our large infographic (which was a very big file at 2.6MB) was limited by their their free cap.
Recommendation: You can upgrade to their Pro Plan for currently from $5 to $79 a month, but why do so when there are other free versions (such as Optimizilla and TinyPNG) that will.
4. Gift of Speed
Gift of Speed offers separate PNG and JPG compressors. It features bulk upload for PNG, but not for their JPEG compressor.
Recommended: Maybe. We would require more testing here.
Compressor.io offers compression as well. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a bulk upload feature. This makes it necessary to upload one image at a time.
Compressor.io had the smallest size for the logo.
Recommended: No. It does not offer a bulk upload for PNG files.
Keep in mind, your logo (and similar files) are present on every page on your website, so the probability is high that between blog posts, images, and other elements on your site, whether they are call to action buttons, or infographics, you have several non-optimized images.
Ultimately, how much of an aggregate page load impact (and ultimately how much traffic and revenue) are you losing by using these non-optimized images?
Likely, a great deal!
Final Optimization Tips
Ideally, in terms of dimensions you want your image to be close in size to the actual size it will be on your web page.
Next I make sure ALL of my images are pre-compressed to less than 100kb before I ever upload them. Most of the time I get the majority of them to <50kb. This is what you want to achieve.
PNG files are great if you need a super sharp image or one with a transparent background. However, most of the time you won’t need them, and PNG files are much larger.
Lots of PNG images will significantly slow down loading times on your site.
That’s why it is always best to convert most images to.jpeg if they are .png almost all of the time (unless I need a super sharp image or one with a transparent background).
I try not to use many gifs. As fun as they are, I only will use them sparingly as they can slow page speeds.
You can embed the custom HTML code for displaying videos, as those videos live elsewhere and will not take up any memory. And slow down page loads.
Conclusion: Fitting All The Pieces Together
As I mentioned, pre-compressing all of your images first before uploading to your Media Library is only one piece of the puzzle to get your page speeds loading fast.
Add this step, then follow all the steps in my full comprehensive evergreen WordPress training and your Site Speeds will be blazing.
Here is the link to my Training:
I hope this short post on the best free file compression software tools will help to increase your page speed load times.
Please include any comments below to continue the discussion.