In a world of fiber broadband and 1TB speeds, 4G and 5G smart phone technology, you wouldn’t think image file size really mattered much.
But if you are like us, you often wonder why it feels that your images load as fast as a Ford Pinto on a 12 lane highway.
Since eCommerce sites need images, rule of thumb is the more the better, anything you can do to make images load faster is always a bonus.
Google just may have helped those of you looking to eek out the maximum speed possible from your eCommerce image galleries and that tool is called Guetzli, a new algorithm for JPEG compression.
Guetzli is Swiss German for cookie, and it might not surprise you then that this tool was developed out of Google’s Zurich research office.
Google claims that this new compression method can reduce JPEG file sizes up to 35% smaller than currently available without any additional visual compression loss.
JPEG is a lossy compression format to begin with, so there is always some image degradation versus an image created in a lossless format such as RAW or TIFF.
You may have seen image programs offer choices of JPEG compression quality and obviously the more you compress an image (smaller file size), the worse the image became.
Some online retailers accepted higher compression and smaller file sizes even if the image was more degraded, but it provided them with the page load speeds they desired.
With Guetzli you will be able to create a small file size while maintaining better image quality and most important, it is compatible with all browsers and apps that use JPEG.
Now to the slightly bad news, it is still just an open source project, so while the source code is available and Google provides instructions on how to set it up on Windows, it does require a bit of being a computer nerd.
If you want to give it a go, go to the source link below that sends you to the Google Blog post and all the GitHub links to make it work.
For the mortal rest of us, lets hope someone will incorporate this algorithm soon into their image editing programs or build a simple Windows or Mac installer to convert images to this advanced JPEG algorithm.