Lossy Compression with Photon

Photon, the image service hosted by Automattic, does lossless compression automatically. Page Speed will probably still complain that images aren’t compressed enough. Luckily, Photon has a way to fix that.

There are a couple of parameters, quality and strip, that will further reduce the file size of JPEG images. Quality is pretty straight forward. The strip parameter will let you strip EXIF and color data. I use a snippet like this to set the quality to 80% on my site.

https://gist.github.com/joshbetz/9399b50dc4d47e774bd4

The results can be pretty dramatic. At full size, this image of downtown Madison goes from 16MB to 2.7MB by setting the quality to 80%. That’s a big deal on a mobile connection and it’s pretty hard to spot the difference on most images unless you’re looking at them side by side.

Madison

One Year at Automattic

It’s been a year plus one day since I graduated from the University of Wisconsin, which means I’ve been working at Automattic for exactly a year.

In the past year, I’ve seen whales in Boston, palm trees in Santa Cruz, dolphins in Key West, and a sun rise in Napa.

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Whale!

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Good morning Santa Cruz

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Stayed up for the sunrise. #wpvip

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I’ve also had the chance to work with the best people, coolest clients, and interesting projects I could have hoped for in my first year out of school. I interned at Automattic the summer before my final year of school. I wanted to work here for a long time before that, but after meeting the people I would work with, I didn’t want to work anywhere else. I’m proud of the work we do, contributing to the WordPress community, our open source code, but it’s the people that really make it a great company.

I’ve been able to do all of this without moving away from my friends, family, and the best place in the world that’s buried by snow for 5 months every year.

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#onwisconsin

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At least the snow looks nice.

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This weekend at the 2014 UW graduation, I was reminded how I felt a year ago — proud of what I had accomplished and where I was going. We get better at what we do every day and I’m just as proud to work here today as I was then.

#uwgrad

Posted by Josh Betz on Monday, May 19, 2014

Also, we’re hiring. 🙂