Home Smush.it: Image Optimization in the Cloud

Smush.it: Image Optimization in the Cloud

Yahoo’s Exceptional Performance Team just released an interesting tool that optimizes images for publishing on the web. Smush.it is completely cloud-based and you can choose to upload your images directly to the service, provide Smush.it with a URL, or use a Firefox plugin that analyzes a whole page at once. Smush.it provides a one-stop shop for compressing images and works with JPGs, PNGs, GIFs, and animated GIF files.

As Yahoo points out, there are already many image editing tools on the market that perform similar functions. Smush.it, however, automates this process and works for a variety of popular file formats, taking a lot of the hassle out of the process.

Crunching Numbers and Stripping Out Metadata

Smush.it works on two different levels. First, it strips all the metadata out of the file. For small files like logos or buttons, this data can make up a large part of their size and very few users will ever care what editor you used to create a button. After this, Smush.it applies a number of non-lossy, open-source image optimization algorithms to the image. Smush.it will also transform GIFs into more efficient PNG files when necessary and optimize PNGs and animated GIFs.

For most web pages we tested, Smush.it reduced the total image size by anywhere from 10 to 45%. For most sites, logos, buttons, and icons saw the largest improvements (often close to 90%), though we also noticed a lot of sites that did not optimize their screenshots and other images, which Smush.it was usually able to compress by anywhere between 10 to 30%. If you are a web developer or publisher, using Smush.it could potentially reduce your bandwidth bill significantly.

We only wish that Yahoo had picked a slightly less unfortunate URL for the service…

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