Make JPEG Smaller Up to 5x Without Visible Quality Loss

JPEGmini

I just discovered this new start-up company called JPEGmini. You can make JPEG smaller up to 5x on average. JPEGmini\’s unique algorithm produces less bytes with the same perceivable image quality.

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JPEGmini is not is not a new file format. It just a photo optimization technology that reduces the file size of the photo using a unique recompression technology. It claims that at times it can produce JPEG files that are smaller than other  newer formats like JPEG2000, JPEG-XR or WebP.

Less Bytes, Same Quality?

Most users can\’t tell the difference between the original picture and the picture that was optimized with JPEGmini although some people with keen eyes have reported slight blurring of photo. So is the marketing for \”less bytes, same quality\” true? Partly. Your eyes can easily fool you with bigger pictures. If you zoom in really close you can still see slight difference with the picture quality but you really have to look hard to see it. For the average person, there is no visible quality loss.

When you are resizing pictures take note that JPEGmini achieves the highest file size reduction for photos created by digital cameras. If you already used a photo editing software like Photoshop to optimize those pictures you may get lower file size reduction because those images were already optimized.

Will you delete your original JPEG photos if you can reduce the JPEG file sizes? I don\’t think so. JPEG is a lossy format and as much as possible you need the finest image you can get if you want to preserve your pictures in its highest quality. As a photography enthusiast I store a backup of my photos in RAW. Some people may think it is too much but I think that is what most professionals do.

Alternative to JPEGmini

I am using smush.it in my blog for a long time already and it can optimize JPEG by removing unnecessary bytes from image files. It is a \”lossless\” tool, which means you can make JPEG smaller without changing their look or visual quality. I believe it\’s better because it can process not only JPG but also GIF and PNG image files.

 

 

 

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Page Speed Service: Google\’s Entry to Content Delivery Network

\"PageIn a mission to \”Make the Web Faster\”, Google announced last week a new service called Page Speed Service. It will compete directly with major players in content delivery like Akamai and Amazon Cloudfront as well as newer services that improves web performance such as CloudFlare, Torbit, Incapsula, Blaze and Yottaa.

In Google\’s test, they claim that the service will speed up your website from 25% up to 60% and to do that you have to set your DNS to point to Google instead of your own server. Page Speed Service then fetches the content from your website and rewrites them with best practices that enhance the page load performance.

At this point Page Speed Service is only available for free to limited testers but you can request access by filling up the form here. The link is also available from Google APIs console.

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Take note that Google will eventually charge you for the service. Pricing is yet to be published and it is unknown whether it will have a freemium model.

Page Speed Service Optimization?

I ran my own tests using the comparison tool that Google provided and I found that the simulated optimized page is actually much slower.

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Right now you can simulate how Google can improve the speed of your website. Some people complain that it actually makes their website slower. Later on, the original post was updated with this note:

We were notified of a bug in the measurement tool that sometimes causes incorrect measurements. If your results indicated a slowdown on your pages, please run the tests again, and make sure you specify a fully qualified domain such as www.example.com. We apologize for any inconvenience and confusion this may have caused.

Details:
Measurement tests run for bare domains (such as example.com, without the prefix www) previously indicated that pages were loading more slowly, rather than speeding up, when using Page Speed Service. The test results page now prominently notifies you of this when you visit this page, if this error applies to you. Please check your old measurement results page if this bug applies to you. Running the tests again with the fully qualified domain such as www.example.comusually fixes the issue and gives you the correct measurement.

So I ran another test and here is what I got:
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As you can see on my first test, I am using the prefix www so I believe CloudFlare is doing a better job in optimizing my website performance more than Google Page Speed Service. However, on my second test, it seems that Google Page Speed Service is somewhat faster. On both tests, I noticed that the images are not all available in Page Speed Service. I still requested for the service because I want to test it first-hand and not just run it on a simulation.

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Website Speed Optimization with CloudFlare

Nowadays many search engine uses website speed as a metric for ranking specially Google with their mission to make the web faster.

There are many ways to optimize your website or blog so that it will load faster. You\’re probably looking at not just one option because you can use a lot of methods to off load the bottleneck. Compression, mirrors, CDN, caching, and so on. I won\’t go into details on how you can make your site faster. I just like to share my experience with a very unique approach to CDN. I was compelled to finally try this service yesterday.

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CloudFlare protects and accelerates any website online. Once your website is a part of the CloudFlare community, its web traffic is routed through our intelligent global network. We automatically optimize the delivery of your web pages so your visitors get the fastest page load times and best performance. We also block threats and limit abusive bots and crawlers from wasting your bandwidth and server resources. The result: CloudFlare-powered websites see a significant improvement in performance and a decrease in spam and other attacks.

CloudFlare claims that on average, a website using their service loads 30% faster, uses 60% less bandwidth and has 65% fewer requests. With zero-cost and additional performance boost, you simply can\’t beat that offer. My blog is running CloudFlare now and I observed page-load improvements.

Web traffic is also filtered using the intelligent network which help thwarts spammers, botnets and other threats that may harm your website. If any of them get across your website, they will be greeted with a challenge page that looks like this. In my short period of testing CloudFlare already blocked few attacks. I\’m impressed.

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Currently CloudFlare has 8servers distributed around the globe: 5 in the USA, 1 in Netherlands, 1 in Japan and 1 in Hong Kong which was recently opened. The service is relatively new since it was introduced by Techcrunch as \”CDN for the masses\” last year. The company gained momentum after nearly winning TechCrunch Disrupt last year.

It is fairly easy to set-up as it only requires changing DNS settings. If you are skeptical about this and have not tried doing any changes on your domain name, don\’t worry because there are a number of testimonies around the web about this service already. The company also has knowledge-base and community support to help newbies as well as paying customers.

Curious now? Watch a quick video about CloudFlare after the break.

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