One of the goals I have for my new website design is to try and keep it as bandwidth efficient as possible. This is, I think, essential given the rise in the use of hand-held devices. Despite their speed and capacity, I think it’s important to try and deliver content to them as quickly as possible, which means (among other things) optimising file size wherever possible. This is a particular problem for an artist, since the primary goal of my website is to deliver large, high quality images, to present my artwork in the best manner possible.
One of the most useful tools I’ve discovered recently is ImageOptim, an open source Mac application that uses several widely available image libraries to remove unnecessary data from common image formats like PNG, JPG and GIF. It’s very simple to use (just drag images into the application window, and leave it to grind away), and the results can be quite amazing. For small PNG files exported using Photoshop’s “Save for Web” tool, I’ve seen file size reductions of up to 95%. Whilst the savings for individual files might be quite small, the cumulative saving across an entire page of images is significant, and well worth the additional step in my workflow.