So once upon a time, the site only supported GIF images. Then back in early 2013 Andrew enabled the use of PNG and JPEG files, which hopefully have cut down on bandwidth costs.
Before I continue, note that 1 in about 50 images I compress is smaller as a GIF file, especially thumbnails and icons. I'm not sure why this is, but it's very rare for the screenshot compression that I've done.
I have been going through the forums and slowly converting images from GIF to PNG, making sure I don't accidentally convert an animated GIF. Today I spent some time on the older entries in our System - Installation/Configuration category and decided to do a bulk conversion.
- I went through and downloaded all the images manually and gave them names since the database spits out random ones like "ecr4iN95U.gif". There were 39 GIFs total and, since I wanted a big batch of files to run FileOptimizer on, I grabbed 3 PNG files as well.
- I saved them all to a folder on my desktop and ran PNGOptimizer on all the files:
- At this point, I'd saved 387k of space, about 30% decrease overall. One of the files dropped to 11% of its original size.
- Then I ran FileOptimizer on all of them (with the "lossy" optimization option checked). This took a while but I ran two instances in tandem to optimize for a dual-processor system:
- With this, I got an additional reduction of 120k, or 13% smaller.
We now have about 62% smaller images in that section. Over the course of months and years with thousands of visitors and downloads, this can add up to many gigabytes of data saved. Again, the major focus of this is to reduce bandwidth costs over time, but it also means faster downloads and a better website.