The Best Image Formats & Free Tools for Editing & Optimizing Them
 by Caitlin Ziolkowski

The Best Image Formats & Free Tools for Editing & Optimizing — by Caitlin Ziolkowski

We all know that images, graphics, and design in general are what give our web pages the professional look we need to instill enough trust for the site visitor to feel confident they've come to the right place online.

Images and page design are the online equivalent of an attractive storefront with appealing signage — neither of which actually make the sale but they DO provide the impetus for the customer to enter and browse to see if they like what you're offering.

These days, the choices among image formats can be confusing if you aren't aware of their pros and cons. So, let's talk about the 5 most commonly used image formats which are:


To help you choose the right format for every situation, let's review what each of them are and discuss their highest and best uses.

1. GIF Images

GIF spinning globe GIF example stands for Graphics Interchange Format and their most common use is for animated images like the spinning globe you see to the right.

GIFs are suitable for sharp-edged line art with a limited number of colors. This takes advantage of the format's lossless compression, which favors flat areas of uniform color with well defined edges.

Besides being used for small animations, they can also be used for low-resolution video clips or as reactions in online messaging used to convey emotion and feelings instead of usin...