GIFWizard on-line GIF and JPEG compression
The rest of these pages look at software you can run on your own PC to compress graphics. There's also an on-line service that you can use to do the same thing. It's located at http://www.gifwizard.com/ and it does a superb job.
The idea is you submit to it the URL of the page(s) where the GIFs and JPEGs reside that you want compressed, it uploades them, compresses them in a variety of ways and lets you look at the results. This includes the appearance, the palettes and the files sizes. It does all the work in a few seconds. You are then free to choose any of the compressed examples to download, to replace your original graphics. You can also get it to look at images on your own hard disk.
The service used to be free for non-commercial pages, though restricted to a subset of the compression processes. Now (so far as I can tell) they are charging for all compressions, which means most homepage users won't bother (a pity, as there are some real fat GIFs out there!) For commercial sites, a relatively modest pay-per-image charge will get all your pages and GIFs vetted. If you just want JPEGs compressed, try the Pegasus Imaging service, which is free and very good.
How does it compare with the software? Well, I've not tried the commercial service, but the free GIFWizard service was very competitive. My experimentation suggests that GIFWizard is as good as the best of the GIF compression software.
They have also introduced a JPEG compression service as well. If - as I had - you've already done some compressing of your JPEG images, the results from GIFWizard are not so good. They recommend you upload JPEG images that have not been subjected to much compression, and let their own engine do the compressing. That seems like a good idea, as JPEG compression is a lossy process to start with. However, now that they charge for the service, I'd recommend you try the Pegasus Imaging free service.
This information is Copyright © 1997 David Nicholls. These pages may be linked to, provided you don't embed them in frames, but may not be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the author.