Image Optimzation

When I sold one of my former motorcycle sites, it had 15gb of user-contributed photos. It had been larger, but after changing a few dimension settings disk utilization was reduced after re-running them through ImageMagick.

I’m still a believer in processing images through ImageMagick, due to it’s separation from php and utilization of system resources. The resulting images do look better and has never crashed a server.

PhotoShop continues to be one of my favorite programs, and the reason I still use a Windows machine. However, I’m not a fan of Adobe’s monthly-subscription model for the software. The software is expensive, but the monthly pricing is just enough to be annoying.

My Rocket site has a fraction of the traffic, but grew to the same level of disk utilization due to user-contributed images. Average Bandwidth has increased, and everyone can afford a camera/device capable of high-resolution images.

  • OptiPNG – haven’t used it within an application, but had run several of my site layout images through it last year, resulting in 25% size reductions with no noticeable results.
  • jpegoptim – used this in both command-line and applications. I’ve over-compressed on a few tests, shown primarily on motorcycles with solid colors or female models. However, it has saved 40-75% on disk space utilization and dramatically cut CDN utilzation.
  • modpagespeed – an option that is real-time instead of permanent changes to images. Using several filters I was able to gain image size reduction, but couldn’t fully propogate the optimized images through the CDN. This wouldn’t be an issue on most blogs, but attached images within forum posts can’t always been seen without credentials. This caused problems with cookies that were either delayed or expired within user sessions.
  • Cloud Services – my new preference. Learned about a way to process Gif and PNG images that resulted in an average 75% disk utilization reduction, utilizing a proprietary service at

I processed over 20,000 images last weekend, primarily through jpegoptim and about 650 through When my monthly subscription renews, all images through be processed through Kraken going forward. Below is my affiliate link to if you would like to consider it:

The experience put a different spin on the use of ImageMagick versus GD, but even with Kraken’s fantastic features I’ll still focus on the stability of what works best.

The use of Photoshop, over GIMP, is also a new consideration. Because if the size of the output isn’t a significant consideration, because the results will be re-run through either open-source or a cloud service anyway, then maybe I’ll be able to give up that Windows7 computer sometime in the future after all.


First Attempts on the Razorback Greenway

It has been over a month since my last significant change in diet, and hadn’t ridden much. There was a lot of rain Saturday morning, but after working on an image conversion project and having a late lunch the weather cleared in the late afternoon.

The initial part of the ride seemed normal, not much exercise and going vegan. The view of Lake Fayetteville was good enough to stop and unstrap my phone (using a new rubber mount) to take a pic.

Things got weird afterward. Couldn’t figure out where the Greenway started. In hindsight I hadn’t stopped long enough to study anything going on around the Lake, but eventually figured it out.

When I got on the new path, my strength level dropped dramatically. Eating salad and other organic veggies is nice, but the new path is across from a modern neighborhood. It was late in the afternoon, and smelling everyone’s barbeque smoke didn’t help. I was stalled at the first intersection at the top of the hill, and calling the wife for a potential pickup. It didn’t take to long to recover, and make a largely no-fun trip back home. I still did 17 miles, but the only motivation was the potential next-trip.

Yesterday morning, a client project was top-of-mind, as well as checking on the benefits of last weekend’s successful image conversions on the Rocket website. I still managed to get out on the trail at 9am, having complex carbs and a mix of peanut butter, grains, and raisins. Prepped the bike with my coffee, slipped on the summer gear and took off.

The entire ride was great. Went up to Lake Fayetteville, got on the Greenway, and rode up to the north-end of Springdale behind a well-known local restaurant on Sanders Ave. The trail snakes through Springdale in interesting ways, but should breathe new life into what was formerly remembered as the active part of town.

I needed to get back and prepare for potential conference calls, that never happened – but that’s Ok – the ride was still wonderful nonetheless.

26.5 Miles, it was a good day.