/ images

Picpipe - image optimization tool for bloggers.


The motivation.

I've started Picpipe to "scratch my own itch." Sounds like a cliche right? But it's a truth. I'm a software developer, doing my first steps in blogging. As a web developer, I had taken part in building high performant web apps and get used to thinking about any web apps from user experience angle.

Besides server and code optimizations, there are some "low hanging fruits", which every blogger or website owner can do to improve loading time and user experience. One of those things is images optimization. By performing compression and rescale of photos to fit your blog post width we can dramatically improve loading time and user experience of your resource.

Like every blogger I spend bunch of time on image editing and optimization. This process includes rescaling, compressing, annotating the screenshots, SEO optimization that requires image renaming, add alt, title attributes and capture. Some advanced optimizations include CDN, Lazy loading and more.
Every blogger has several tools or plugins that help with those tasks. There are many free tools like TinyPNG, Photoshop, EWWW plugin and others.

The average blogger uses 3-4 plugins/apps to optimize images.
Doing the whole process with a known tools is time consuming, annoying and require a lot of open programs and context switches. Most of the bloggers including myself skip those steps because it requires a time investment. Most bloggers would love to do a better optimization but can't afford this, because it seems more like a nice thing to have rather than a necessary action. It's wrong - image optimizations contribute to your website PageRank and user experience like nothing else.

Better way to do that.

All bloggers are doing image optimization, there are several repetitive tasks that we do from time to time. What if there was a tool that built to do this exact thing? Not several tools, not 5 WP plugins, no half solutions, but just one tool that automates the whole work, centralize all the best practices and do just that thing, faster, better, simpler for a user?
How to help bloggers to deliver their blog faster without compromising any of the optimization steps. The tool that I would be happy to use myself and hopefully help other bloggers.
I reached out to many bloggers around the world in order to learn about their writing habits.

The solution: Picpipe - image optimization tool for bloggers.

Picpipe is about getting the job done. It's a desktop application that automates all the repetitive tasks and allows you to focus on what matters - bringing your thoughts to a paper.

What can you do with Picpipe?

  1. Collect images from the web, upload from your computer or take a screenshot.
  2. Once the image was uploaded, Picpipe rescales and compress it on the fly according to your predefined parameters.
  3. Bulk editing - you can annotate all the photos at once, without opening it one by one.
  4. Picpipe uploads all images to a CDN by default.
  5. HTML or MD snippets to copy paste into your blog.
  6. Screenshot versioning - If you have written several tutorials for your product and it recently has changed it's UI. Instead of seeking this screenshot across all your tutorial posts you can just replace the source image under the same link, and voila! Your tutorials are up to date.
  7. SEO optimization - alt, title, renaming, caption done much faster on a desktop application.
  8. Responsive images for different screen resolution and width.
  9. Smart snippets - if you want to implement the techniques like lazy loading, Lightroom, and other beautiful things. With Picpipe SDK installed into your blog, you can do all those on the fly.

How does it better than another WP plugin?

First of all, Picpipe is not limited to Wordpress. Bloggers that use Ghost engine, Medium, Github pages and any other blogging platform can use it seamlessly.

Picpipe is a native desktop app that nothing to compare with a glitchy WP admin panel interface.

Picpipe doesn't pollute your blog code and database with some third party coding.
I never felt comfortable installing another Wordpress plugin. I don't know how it was developed, what it does under the hood. It adds more complexity and redundancy to an admin panel and sometimes get's glitchy. It can also slow down your blog, by increasing the number of HTTP requests made from your site. It also adds more database queries.
Specifically about Image preprocessing plugins. Running expensive image preprocessing on a regular hosting is a terrible idea and takes limited resources of your hosting.
Picpipe, on the other hand, does all those things outside your hosting.

Invitation to become a beta tester.

I'm planning to release a working beta at the end of January 2018. It will include most of the features already.
If you are interested in becoming a beta tester - leave your message in the comments and subscribe to a mailing list.