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Lossy Vs Lossless-Which Image Compression Is Right For An eCommerce site?

Are you looking to start your eCommerce website? A major point you should not overlook; is the right image compression solution for your site.

Images are an undivided part of our website whether it is a blog or news website, a photo-oriented photography site, or an eCommerce platform. Images grab the most of user retention and by using adequate and relevant photos we can better pitch our goals and vision to our customers.

However, if you are looking to start an online eCommerce business, you might be interested in knowing image compression because they contain lots of it. There are mainly two types of image-compressing methods people use for their websites lossy and lossless.

In this article, we will go through a simple but detailed discussion on lossy vs lossless image compression and what type of compression is the best fit for eCommerce websites.

But before we dig deep, we need to properly understand,

What are image compression and its importance?

Image compression is simply referred to as reducing the image size without losing the image quality, vividness, and detailing. Even though 3D images are now a reality, if we take an image with a simple camera, the image is in 2D. But actually, modern-day images are made from multiple layers. That’s the reason we see the images are looks alive when we see them on a website.

However, that’s also the reason websites get slower and can’t offer a higher user experience. It makes the website load slower. In order to make a website lightweight and load it faster, we need to optimize our website as much as it is possible.

As images make our websites heavier, we need to use reduce the image size.

How to optimize images?

There are two ways to do so. Most individuals or beginners have the number one option to optimize their photos through various mechanisms and then upload them. Through this process, we need to optimize every image separately and then upload it to our platform.

It’s too time-consuming. Rather we can choose other options which eCommerce businesses and big websites use. They use cloud-based image compression technology that automatically reduces the size of the image and uploads it to the website. The whole system is automated so it does not require any attention.

Importance of image compression for eCommerce websites:

In simple terms, if a website uses a raw image taken from a high-resolution camera and uploads directly, most people won’t wait to load it on their device. They will simply close the tab and move it somewhere else.

For an eCommerce website, there are certain benefits of using an image compressor in eCommerce websites.

It improves the user experience:

An eCommerce platform is where people come to buy products or services. So, you need to keep the user experience to the utmost. While scrolling down through your website if it does not get load the images, chances are they simply leave your site. If all your website images are compressed properly without losing the quality, it will give a smooth scrolling experience. Your website will load faster.

Better SEO performance:

As an eCommerce business it’s okay to run a campaign for your site but, won’t you like free traffic to your site? Of course, you would. To receive more and more free traffic from search engines you need to keep special attention to all the SEO practices. Once the images on your site are well optimized, improves the search ranking. That’s how you reduce the advertising cost for your platform.

It uses fewer hard drives:

Whatever your website contents are, they are stored on a drive or disk that is placed on the server. The drives and servers cost a lot. When you are running an eCommerce business, you can’t choose a low-powered or low-resourced server. In that case, you have to choose the most powerful ones. Now, if your images are in minimal size, they will take less space eventually it will reduce your cost.

However, let’s come to Lossy vs Lossless image compression.

What is Lossy image compression?

The lossy compression process is an irreversible process that reduces the size of an image significantly by removing some of its files permanently. The process cannot be revoked once done. Lossy image compression uses algorithms such as Transform encoding, Fractal encoding, and Croma encoding. The technology can reduce a JPEG file size by 80% from its original size.

However, to achieve this level of shrinkage, the process deletes the redundant data and lowers pixels, brightness, and color density. However, the visuals are not much affected by the lossy compression process and look identical to the original image though.

As it comes with the trade-off, the image quality also downgrades, in case you require the original file, it's better to keep the back as we have already mentioned that the process is irreversible.

What is lossless image compression?

As the name suggests, it does not make any loss in the actual image quality. When we take photos with a device, it adds some files to that image. The lossless image compression process just simply removes those files. The original file remains untouched.

This technology uses algorithms such as Arithmetic coding, Huffman coding, and run-length coding. However, sometimes you might see there is zero to less reduction of the file size when you apply a lossless compress.

So, after an explanation of both types of image compression,

Lossy or lossless, which method is right for eCommerce websites?

An eCommerce website is heavier than other websites because there are lots of other systems such as payment systems, inventory management, and many others. Now, if you do not significantly reduce the image sizes, your users may find serious problems visiting your site.

A shopping site may contain so many images that will make your site very slow. So, using the lossless image compress won’t impact a lot. You need to use lossy image compression for your eCommerce site. It will reduce the image size in a very improved manner without compromising the visual quality.

Also, you may want to add more and more products and their images to your site. If you choose the lossless compression, it makes no sense. You won’t see any improvements in the performance of your site.

However, as you have understood that lossy image optimization is right for you, now you might want to know where you can reduce the image sizes of course not manually. When you are likely to start an eCommerce business, you won’t get time or don’t want to put anyone doing that boring task either.

So, there are some state-of-the-art technologies that not only compress your images but also serve them from CDNs. Below we are mentioning some of the best image optimizers available on the market that offers lossy image compression.

ShortPixel:

ShortPixel image compression is a freemium tool that is an excellent option for eCommerce websites. It offers both lossy and lossless optimization. The company offers 100 free image optimization. If you are going for premium options, there are five options you can choose from. 

The $3.99 per month plan allows for optimizing 7000 images per month.

The 8.33 per month plan gives 16,000 image credits. There are three other plans of $24.99, $41.66, and 83.33 per month which offer 55k, 100k, and 220k image credits. To know more about ShorPixel, you can read ShortPixel Image Optimizer Review- WordPress Plugin, Features.

Imagify:

Another great option you can choose for your eCommerce site is Imagify. The tool offers different compression options; lossless compression, lossy compression, and strong lossy compression. The tool is compatible with WooCommerce. Here you can also get a free plan where 200 images can be compressed. 

The $9.99 per month plan offers unlimited images with fair use policy. For $4.99 per month, it offers approx 5000 image compression. Besides image optimization, backup and restore options are also available.

Optimole:

Optimole is yet another great image optimization solution that resizes images and fits according to various devices. It supports all types of images to compress. Another great benefit of using it is Optimole server images from various image CDNs situated in many places.

It is a premium tool that does not contain any free plan. The starter plan starts at $22. If you are running a business, you can choose $107.18 per month when billed annually. 

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