Kraken.io is an image optimiser and compressor Software as a Service (SaaS) that takes on the task of automatically shrinking the byte size of uploaded images while maintaining their quality. It has multiple pricing levels, add-ons and plug-ins available. Based in Berlin, Kraken.io is employed by global brands including Microsoft, Tesla and Dell. The most popular package offers 5GB of images per month for about US$19.
Prices last checked July 2017
Main features of Kraken.io
The most-used feature of Kraken.io is its image optimisation application program interface (API). It takes images in one of two ways – either through an already-existing URL or by uploading a file to the API. Kraken supports the following image types:
- GIF (including animated GIFs)
The API also handles image resizing – which is excellent for sites working with thumbnails or offering preview images – as well as generating up to 10 separate sizes from one single image, a process known as multi-resize. Kraken offers its customers the choice of lossy or lossless image compression. Lossy drops the weight of a file 50–60% on average without a noticeable difference in visual perception. Lossless image compressions drop the file weight by 15–20%.
Additional features of Kraken.io
For businesses with more specific needs, Kraken.io offers more specialised and targeted functions. These include:
- Preserving metadata. Metadata is stripped away to make images smaller but can be saved for use such as copyrights or geotags.
- Automatic image orientation. Regardless of how your image comes across, the API can read its orientation tag and make sure it is facing the right way.
- Chroma subsampling. A technique for JPEG compression that drops the colour resolution in a picture without sacrificing the brightness.
- Custom image quality. Allows you to override the default optimisation level
- Image type conversion: Easily convert JPEGs, PNGs and GIFs from one format to another instantly.
- WebP compression. Introduced by Google in 2010, this image format reduces images by 25–34% of their original size depending on if they implemented in the lossy or lossless image compression technique.
- Connection to external storage. Kraken can send your optimised files automatically to Amazon S3, Rackspace Cloud Files, Microsoft Azure or SoftLayer Object Storage.
- Kraken plugin for WordPress/Magento. Kraken has plugins for both WordPress and Magento which allow you to automatically synchronise your optimised image files straight onto your website, greatly reducing wait times for page loads.
Price structure of Kraken.io
Kraken offers five pricing plans which can be paid monthly or yearly. Paying yearly gives you two free months of service. All plans give the customer Full API Access, Web Interface PRO, WordPress Plugin, Magento Extension and Kraken Cloud Storage. All plans offer the first 100MB of images free of charge and no credit card is required for initial signup. Prices are as follows in US dollars:
|Plan||Pricing||Image quota||Additional data cost|
|Micro||500MB/month||$5 per each additional 1GB|
|Basic||2GB/month||$4 per each additional 1GB|
|Advanced||5GB/month||$3 per each additional 1GB|
|Premium||15GB/month||$2 per each additional 1GB|
|Enterprise||60GB/month||$1 per each additional 1GB|
Prices last checked July 2017
Pros and cons of Kraken.io
In a crowded field of image optimisation, Kraken.io carves its niche by being quick and easy to use. On the flip side, its pricing structure can be confusing and escalates quickly.
- The interface is relatively simple to learn and the commands for one function are transferrable to everything else.
- All functions are included in all packages so you don’t have to pay extra for additional features.
- The WordPress and Magento plugins make updating your website with new images a lot easier.
- The price structure is confusing because it relies on data usage rather than the number of images processed. Many companies will have to do extra research to understand what package works best.
- No “optimise all” function. If this is your first time using Kraken.io, you could be in for a long slog.