8 Excellent Tools for Optimizing Your Images

Jun 7 2009 by Jacob Gube | 69 Comments

One of the easiest ways to reduce page response times is by optimizing your website images to reduce their file sizes as much as possible. Optimizing images not only makes your web pages load faster, but also reduces your bandwidth consumption, which can translate to significant savings in your hosting bills.

There are several free tools available at your disposal to shrink and optimize images. In this article, you will find convenient and user-friendly tools for making your web images as tiny in file size as possible.

1. smush.it!


smush.it! makes optimization of your images a breeze. Created by Stoyan Stefanov and Nicole Sullivan, smush.it! is a tool that is available as a Firefox extension, a bookmarklet, or as a simple web-based application (hosted by Yahoo!). It takes in most types of image formats, and automatically converts GIFs to PNGs (because they’re virtually the same, only that PNGS weigh a whole lot less).



RIOT – which stands for Radical Image Optimization Tool – is an image optimizer for Windows users that is available as a standalone application or as an extension of IrfanView. It supports inputs in JPG, PNG, and GIF files and has the ability to strip out image metadata for further reduction of file bloat. It also has some basic image-editing utilities such as pan, zoom, and rotate, and flip built in.



Created by game programmer Ken Silverman, PNGOUT is a popular, free, and no-frills tool for lossless optimization of your images. PNGOUT can run in the command-line or Windows Run dialog box. It has a robust set of options so that you can easily customize the way your files are compressed. It takes most of the popular image file formats (such as JPG, GIF, and PNG).

4. Online Image Optimizer

Online Image Optimizer

The Online Image Optimizer from Dynamic Drive is a web-based tool for compressing your images further. You can either provide the link to the image you wish to optimize, or upload it from your local machine. Besides optimization, you can select what output you’d like the optimized image to be (the default is the same file type as the input). The limitation of Online Image Optimizer is that it only accepts images less than 300 KB.

5. SuperGIF


SuperGIF is a free utility for Windows and Mac OS users that optimizes your GIF images. It has an intuitive and simple user interface that allows for drag and drop interaction, and it can compress GIFs 50% more in some instances. The free version can only compress one GIF at a time, but it has all the same features as the commercial version ($29.95) except batch processing.

6. PNGGauntlet


PNGGauntlet is a .NET GUI application for PNGOUT. It can be used to convert JPG, GIF, TGA, PCX, and BMP to highly optimized PNG files. PNGGauntlet is perfect for individuals that are uncomfortable working in the command-line/Windows Run dialog box, but would still like to take advantage of PNGOUT’s superior optimization algorithm. Check out PNGGauntlet’s FAQ page or its forum to get help in case you run into trouble using it.

7. PNGCrushrrr


PNGCrushrrr is a free GPL-licensed Mac OS utility for crushing down your PNG files to very small sizes. It has a drag-and-drop interface, allowing you to drag one or more PNG files into it, compressing the files and preserving the original file so you are able to compare the size difference. The creator says that PNGCrushrrr is best used on PNG-24 files.

8. SuperPNG


SuperPNG is a free Photoshop plugin for saving significantly smaller PNG files compared to Photoshop’s native save feature for PNG’s. It also includes some advanced PNG-creation features such as 16-bit color support, variable compression, gamma correction, and metadata saving. Check out some PNG samples saved by SuperPNG in the PNG Samples page.

What’s your image optimization tool?

If your favorite image optimization tool isn’t on the list, please share it with us in the comments: let us know why you prefer it over other image optimization tools.

Related content



June 7th, 2009

I often use TewakPNG (http://entropymine.com/jason/tweakpng/) to delete metadata in PNG-Files or insert copyright information.
Besides that, it fixes some color issues with PNG and IE6.


June 7th, 2009

JPEG & PNG Stripper removes unnecesary tags from jpg and png images.


June 7th, 2009

In fact, i use “smush it” by the plugin “wp smush it” for WordPress. You can “smush” pics uploaded and see the size than you earned with the operation.



June 7th, 2009

This is great, thanks. I’ve been wondering about some images i’ve seen on sites like large background implementations with such amazing backgrounds and such a low size graphic!


June 7th, 2009

What about ImageOptim (http://pornel.net/imageoptim/en). It’s complex optimisation OS X tool for JPG and PNG images contain AdvPNG, OptiPNG, PngCrush, JpegOptim, jpegtran and PNGOUT. Very useful.


June 7th, 2009

Ohh! Now this one I have got to save! I am only using IrfanView to convert stuff but it cannot have a copyright thing on it.


June 7th, 2009

Thanks for this list! I’ll be giving SuperPNG a try.

Jim Gaudet

June 7th, 2009

These are great, but are there some specific settings you like to use when using Photoshop? I mean, I Save for Web and play with the settings, but wondering if there was some sort of standard..

Amal Roy

June 7th, 2009

Great collection!

nh design

June 7th, 2009

Very good. I am going to try smush.it. I like that it is a Firefox extension.

Matthew Bertulli

June 7th, 2009

As one of the few Windows users left (laugh it up Mac fans) I can say that RIOT has come in handy on more than one occasion.

Nice list Jacob. I’m bookmarking this one for sure.

Danh ba web 2.0

June 7th, 2009

Thanks for nice list. I like smush.it!


June 8th, 2009

Let’s not forget the open-source variants: PNGCrush and its successor, OptiPNG


June 8th, 2009

I often use Adobe Firework’s Export Wizard to quickly optimize the image.


June 8th, 2009

OptiPNG for the *NIX folks


Steve Morris

June 8th, 2009

I downloaded pngout.exe and tried it on a couple of JPG files. It “compressed” my sample files to 400% to 600% of their original size. Am I not getting some practical joke?


June 8th, 2009

i’ve been using VSO ImageResizer to optimize my pics size. I use it because it doen make my pics loose their quality in normal mode, or you say untill zoomed. However i’ll definitely try’n'test some of the tools out of the mentioned above.


June 8th, 2009

Nice tools for the beginner but I’ll stick with photoshop


June 8th, 2009

thanks for this great post


June 8th, 2009

“…an extension of IranView”? :-D


June 8th, 2009

PNGcrush for Windows does a great job for me, and I have it in my context menu for ease of use.



June 8th, 2009

How do any of these compare to the “save for web” option in Photoshop? That’s what I’d like to know.

Rene Zammit

June 8th, 2009

useful tools. Thanks :)


June 8th, 2009

I often use TewakPNG (http://entropymine.com/jason/tweakpng/) to delete metadata in PNG-Files or insert copyright information.
Besides that, it fixes some color issues with PNG and IE6..

psychic readings

June 8th, 2009

Thanks for the interesting article!


June 8th, 2009

smush.it is fantastic and by far the best, but inconvenient when you have a very large site with several folders. But it basically uses OPTIPNG and you can get a few programs that do that already:

http://www.apple.com/downloads/dashboard/developer/pngpong.html This is the best one of the lot, it corrects Gamma and compresses the. If you want to overwrite the files then press the info button (a bit hidden on the base of the racket)

The other good one is:
But it doesnt seem to correct Gamma and doesn’t compress as much as the widget.


June 8th, 2009

Wow.. That PS plugin is cool. I tried it already.

Akhil Sasidharan

June 9th, 2009

Where’s my fav, Shrink-O-Matic? ;-)

Mário Andrade

June 9th, 2009

I’ve been trying RIOT and it’s doing an impressive job. The quality maintains but compresses better than smush.it
the only problem I find is that you can only open 1 file at a time.

prem ypi

June 9th, 2009

This is really cool collection. Personally i had bad experience with smush it!

It kills the transparency of png images. So check the image in different background after smushing, else you may just screw up GUI


June 9th, 2009

Ah very handy list, thank you!

My eye fell on the Iranview link tho, might want to sneak that ‘f’ back in there ;)

Jacob Gube

June 9th, 2009

@Ilja: Nice catch, but really, it was intentional, Iran is a nice country, it’s nice to view it. :))


June 9th, 2009

OMG, I can’t think about online optimization cause we don’t have quite a good connection here at our place. For me offline optimizers does the job. But I’ve tested and found out that Smushit, RIOT and dynamic drive are my favs.


June 9th, 2009

Ever since Yahoo bought out Smushit, it hasn’t been the same =( But still a useful tool — nice post!


June 9th, 2009

Great list, I love dynamic drive their scripts have gotten me out of more than one jam.


June 9th, 2009

great list thank u for sharing


June 9th, 2009

Good to know about all these available free tools. But I am just puzzled whether optimizing images in Photoshop is not enough? Because what I do is just save my images for web to reduce the size without compromising the quality of my images.

Jason Grant

June 10th, 2009

Useful set of tools. Bookmarked!

Jacob Gube

June 10th, 2009

Thanks for sharing your thoughts everyone, and @vovanbo, awesome addition, thanks for that!

John Rygielski

June 10th, 2009

Great post. It’s just what I’ve been thinking about this week for my website. Tried PNGCrushrrr but it doesn’t start up. Running OSX 10.5.7.

@Edward. Thanks for the link to PNGPong. Works great. Reduced a fullscreen PNG with transparency by 70%!

John Faulds

June 11th, 2009

I’ve been using http://psydk.org/PngOptimizer.php for a while and it does a good job of compressing PNGs that have already been exported from Fireworks.


June 11th, 2009

Thanks for introducing these tools. Will try to take a look at ‘em.


June 12th, 2009

I use irfan view, it can set how small is the output file


June 13th, 2009

Great Post. Thanks for this valuable information
I use contenta converter to organize, convert, process, rename and reduce my images. You can get more information about it here:http://www.contenta-converter.com/


June 14th, 2009

Don’t forget OptiPNG, open source and really doing a great job.


June 15th, 2009

There is a great one at http://www.imageoptimizer.net. You can download the tool for bulk optimizing pictures of a folder by rightclicking it. so handy!

Will Dashwood

July 1st, 2009

I use TweakPNG to set the bkgd chunk (to avoid the nasty grey box in IE6) and then PngOptimizer to squash the file sizes down. The combination works great but I need a tool to add a bkgd chunk to many files in a batch. Does anyone know of a tool to do this? It would be a great addition to PngOptimizer so maybe I should contact the developer.

Paul West

July 13th, 2009

how do these tools compare to using Adobe Firework’s Export Wizard, are they tools for people who don’t have Adobe’s web suite? or are they even better at compressing??

Conrad Chu

July 14th, 2009

There’s also another service which I created called punypng which gives very impressive compression results in comparison to the other tools.

Give it a try:


July 23rd, 2009

also using sprites inside of images can spead it up alot for icons just use css offsets to load diff images in the sprite


February 4th, 2010

Thank you for your list. I will try some tools.
I have to compress the a lot of images. So i can improve the PageSpeed of the websites.

ps: your Blog is bookmarked ;)


February 8th, 2010

I don’t think we need any other tool to optimize the images. I am used to doing it though Photoshop itself and do it wonderfully.

Ramesh V R

February 8th, 2010

The list is good.
But designers won’t choose online optimizers if the images are confidential.

So the best tool remains “Save for Web” option in Adobe Photoshop.


April 7th, 2010

another vote for ImageOptim here. Combined with picturesque for other batch goodies it’s another sexy OS X app win!


May 13th, 2010

PNGCrushrrr is very fast and is working good. Article shared.


July 28th, 2010

PNG Gauntlet is AWESOME. Thanks for this post. PNG Gauntlet really helped me out.


August 9th, 2010

I’ve tried RIOT and works pretty good….but there is only minimal difference between PShop’s save for web application

Paul Ouano

November 26th, 2010

Doesn’t Adobe’s Fireworks do a splendid job at optimizing?

Bobby Barkley Jr

December 16th, 2010

I usually use the save for web devices option on Photoshop but I will certainly try this out

Andrew Edney

January 23rd, 2011

I’ve had some problems with uploading images when I had SmushIt installed – only way to fix the problems were to turn off the plugin :-(


February 18th, 2011

Yes I used some of the tools that you mentioned its really useful, by the way thanks for the additional list, its really great for optimizing pictures


May 11th, 2011

Is it possible to optimize image for web in ACDSee 4 software.
Anyone ?


May 30th, 2011

I love ImageOptim, thank you, webmaster


September 18th, 2011

I love ImageOptim, thank you, webmaster

richard rees

September 22nd, 2011

absolutly love it!!!!!!!

matthew morgan

September 22nd, 2011

thanks i think this awesome my mum gwen told me about this site she loves this and told all her friends and family


November 11th, 2011

Does anyone know of a tool that is able to optimize mixed formats and output them all in their original formats, all in one batch operation? I have hundreds of subfolders each containing a mix of jpeg, png and gif images. None of the image optimization is able to handle all these folders and subfolders and output in one operation all the various files. They all very stupidly try to convert them all to jpeg, or gif, or png. I just want the original format kept intact – it’s the optimization that I care about!

thank you!


November 25th, 2011

Thanks Mate….I have been speding some time trying to find those….

Leave a Comment

Subscribe to the comments on this article.