First of all I should mention that I have been a big fan of Smushit by Yahoo for a number of years now. If you have never heard of it, it is a lossless tool that basically removes unnecessary bytes from images. The end result is smaller file size images with absolutely no noticeable change in visual quality. It does not resize images it just removes bytes.
In some cases you can reduce an image file size by 20-50%, which will also help speed up page load time if you have a lot of images on one page.
They even have a plugin for WordPress to automatically smush your images when you upload and add them to your blog.
Well for the past month or so, maybe longer Smushit has definitely gone downhill. So much that I wouldn’t recommend using it anymore. Images now take an extended amount of time to upload and convert.
I don’t know if Yahoo just gave up and lost interest in Smushit or what the deal is. The only thing they still have going for them is that they don’t limit the size of an image that can be uploaded.
So I started looking for alternatives. There are a few others out there, but many of them reduce the image quality in the process, which I find unacceptable. I don’t want a fuzzy distorted image result. I simply want a smaller overall file size with little to no noticeable change in quality. If it can’t do that, then I don’t need it. I would rather use the larger original image file than to lose too much quality.
I did find one relatively similar to Smushit that you may have heard about before. It’s called PunyPng.com. The name or title of the site is a little misleading, as it seems to imply PNG’s only. However, it will do .jpg, .gif, and .png file formats as well. It is definitely much faster than Smushit, and the results are nearly identical. The only drawback is that for free use they limit the upload file size to 150KB each, which is a little on the small side in today’s digital image world. None the less it sure beats waiting for Yahoo’s Smushit to just load up.
At the time of this post over 390,000 people have downloaded the WordPress Smushit Plugin. I can’t imagine how slow it must be running for those that do use it. Maybe most of them have disabled it by now. If you happen to be using this plugin and it seems to take an extended amount of time to add images to your WordPress blog I would definitely do some checking. I would also consider turning off/disabling it to see if you can add images to your website faster.
Like I said Smushit used to be a great service and feature that provided excellent results. With all these free services getting canned lately by Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo it makes me wonder if it’s on its last leg or facing the chopping block next.