When you have an online business, images make your content more attractive and interactive, but they have a small drawback: being larger and heavier than text, images take longer to load and can slow down your website. To improve the loading speed of your website you need to optimize the images that you are going to use. The best way to do this is by using Photoshop or other image editing software before uploading the image to WordPress.
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This gives you much more control over the quality of the images on your website. However, not all users are comfortable working with image editing programs, but luckily there are plugins to reduce WordPress images that can help you and make this whole process easier.
These image compression plugins allow you to easily optimize photos and infographics on WordPress websites by automatically compressing them and using the smaller version for better loading speed and performance of your website. In this article, we compare the best plugins to reduce WordPress images so that you can choose the one that best suits your needs.
Best WordPress Image Compression Plugins
reSmush.it is considered one of the best WordPress image compression plugins. This plugin allows you to automatically optimize your uploaded images as soon as you install it and also has a bulk optimization option for old images that you have previously uploaded to your website. With the plugin installed on our site we won’t have to do anything, simply every time we load an image, the plugin will optimize it so that it takes up as little space as possible and loads quickly.
This plugin uses Yahoo’s reSmush API and allows you to choose the optimization level of your uploads. The downside is that it doesn’t have different levels of compression, and it limits optimization to uploads less than 5 MB in size. In addition, it allows you to exclude images from the compression process individually for those cases in which you need to add a full-size image.
After installing and configuring EWWW Image Optimizer, this plugin will automatically optimize the images you upload to your website or blog, as long as they are JPG, PNG, or GIF files. It also includes a feature to optimize your entire media catalog, in case you already have a lot of images on your site.
One of the advantages of EWWW Image Optimizer is that the optimization process is carried out on its own servers by default, instead of connecting to an external service. This means optimization tasks will take less time, which can be useful when dealing with large media libraries, as regular-sized files (<1MB) should take a few seconds at most.
This is possible by including several pre-compiled binaries that need to be installed from the local WordPress folder, which means some users may have difficulty completing the build if they don’t have permission to run the files. To combat this potential problem, EWWW Image Optimizer also offers a cloud optimization feature which, while it takes a bit longer, gives you the ability to skip that step of the setup process.
It’s also worth noting that while the plugin uses non-lossy optimization methods by default, it also allows you to apply lossy reductions in file size if you need larger images.
WP Smush is another best WordPress image shrink plugin developed by WPMU DEV. It’s available in free and premium formats, and just like the previous two, any image you upload to your WordPress website after you’ve installed it will be optimized (or ‘smush‘ as the developers of this plugin say.
This plugin also includes a bulk optimization option, which as the name suggests allows you to tackle multiple tasks at once, so it’s perfect if you’re looking to compress all the images you already have uploaded after installing the plugin. In the free version, this bulk option is limited to 50 files at a time.
You can also optimize images individually from the media library if for some reason you prefer not to use the bulk optimization option and only compress a few images on your website.
By default, WP Smush uses lossless optimization techniques, but its pro version includes a Super-Smush option that optimizes each image multiple times using professional lossy compression techniques. This method allows file sizes to be reduced by almost half with minimal loss of quality.
ShortPixel not only stands out as one of the best image compression plugins when it comes to compression, but it also packs a nice interface. After installing and activating the plugin, every JPG, PNG, and GIF file you upload will be automatically optimized.
This plugin does not allow you to disable this option, like most others, so all your images will be scaled down. It also includes a bulk optimization tool, and individual images can be compressed by opening your Media Library in the list view format, where each file will appear with an individual “Optimize Now” button next to it.
ShortPixel lets you choose between lossy and lossless compression methods, using the former by default. It optimizes all WordPress-created image thumbnails during the upload process, can strip EXIF data (or keep it, as you prefer), can set a maximum resolution for your images, and best of all, automatically saves copy security of each image you upload in a new folder.
To configure the ShortPixel plugin, you will need to enter an API key during the activation process, which is provided free of charge when you sign up with an email to their subscription list and does not require any additional information. The free trial version allows you to do 100 image compressions per month.
The last of the best WordPress image shrink plugins is CW Image Optimizer. This complement works by reducing the bytes of the images with the aim of not losing any of their quality.
Like the first of the analyzed programs, CW Image Optimizer uses the Yahoo Smush it API to reduce the weight of the images, but with the difference that the images are optimized on our server, without having to upload them to the site’s official Smush it to reduce them (which reduces the waiting time).
Conclusion – Benefits of Using Image Compression Plugins
While optimizing images won’t magically load your website in milliseconds (as many other factors influence load speed), using plugins to reduce images indeed is one of those things that demonstrate that on your website -and your business- every detail is taken into account, and it will bring you some benefits:
- Your pages will load faster. Smaller image sizes to faster page loads. This will make users like it and they will recommend or return to your page, which can increase ad revenue.
- Faster backups. As the images are smaller, the backup copies will take less time to be made.
- Less bandwidth usage. Optimizing your images can save you hundreds of KB per image, which means significantly less bandwidth usage. Visitors with slow connections will thank you.
- Simple and fast process. If you use plugins to reduce the images that use your own server and do not have to upload them to an external one, you can optimize hundreds of images in just a few minutes.
I hope this article helps you with the best WordPress image compression plugins.