If you are a professional web designer, internet marketer, or even a casual blogger: The speed at which your website loads is one of the most important factors to determine the number of views your page will receive. Page load speeds, according to Google, now even impact your overall search engine optimization (SEO) rankings. If you are serious about your site, you need to be serious about stress testing it to minimize loading times.
One of the first things a web designer should do when optimizing their site’s speed is optimizing all of the images on their site in order to reduce file size. There are a number of free and paid programs available that will assist the developer in managing the size of their image files without sacrificing the inherent quality of the images. One of the best image optimization tools out there is Adobe Photoshop. Photoshop has long been the de facto standard for web graphics and the built-in algorithm used to minimize file sizes is one of the best around. However, because of the high cost of Photoshop, many amateur web enthusiasts will turn to the open source alternative to Photoshop called, Gimp. This program offers many of the same features as Photoshop and includes a file reduction algorithm almost on par with the one offered by Photoshop. Best of all, The Gimp is absolutely free to use.