A WordPress website that is all text and no images can get pretty boring for your readers. You need rich hi-res media content to engage and captivate your audience or else the bounce rate will go through the roof. But with that being said, media content, even your basic images, are very large in size.
And once you start uploading more and more high-resolution image files, it is going to take a toll on your website’s performance. Your site’s loading speed might even get slowed down to a crawl, which also won’t play well with your site visitors. So how do you add visually rich images without affecting the website performance?
The answer is simple – Image Optimization! And with WordPress, you have access to tons of image optimization plugins. For the purpose of this read, we will be taking a look at some of the best image compression WordPress plugins to help you optimize images on your website.
So without further ado, let’s get started:
With over 1 million active installations, WP Smush is the most popular WordPress Image Optimization Plugins on the market. It markets itself as an all-in-one solution for all your image optimization needs and supports PNGs, JPEGs, and even GIF file types. Notable features include lossless image compression, lazy loading support, bulk image optimization, option to convert images to WebP, automatically resize images when uploaded, and much more. Furthermore, all image compressions are handled on its own server, which makes sure your website resources aren’t affected in the process.
Now, the plugin presents itself as a freemium option. However, all the above features are available with both free and paid versions of the plugin, with the only distinction being that you are allowed to compress image files under 5MB with the free plugin, whereas the premium version doesn’t include any such limitations. Therefore, for the average users, the free version is more than sufficient to handle all their image compression needs.
EWWW Image Optimizer
If you don’t want your images to be handled by an external server, then EWWW Image Optimizer offers an excellent alternative to WP Smush. The plugin helps you to optimize all your website images directly on your own server. This means you won’t have to face any issues like size limitations or daily/monthly limits. You can optimize as many images you like or any size.
As soon as it is installed on your website, the plugin automatically applies its lossless image compression algorithms to optimize all the images you upload to your website. Alternatively, you can use its bulk compression features to easily optimize previously uploaded images. One key feature of the plugin would be the option to automatically convert your images to a file format that produces the smallest image size.
Now, a paid version of the plugin is also available that brings API integration and many more advanced features including support for up to 80% compression.
Compress JPEG & PNG Images
Compress JPEG & PNG Images is another free alternative for WP Smush which doesn’t cap you at 5MB image size but limits you to 100 free image conversions per month. Developed by the team behind the popular image compression websites like TinyPNG and TinyJPEG, all image compressions are handled easily on their server. The plugin is ideal for users who upload very few images that are large in size.
On the feature front, here too, you will get access to automatic image compression as soon as it is uploaded. Alternatively, you can bulk compress images that are already present in your media library. Other notable features include support for encoding progressive JPEGs and the best compression algorithm for animated PNGs. It also supports seamless integration with popular services like WooCommerce, WP Retina 2x, WP Offload S3, and the likes. And if you are looking for more advanced options you can upgrade to their paid account.
Note: Once you upload an image, WordPress automatically creates additional image sizes to make your site responsive. These additional images will be considered while counting towards your limit.
reSmush.it WordPress plugin brings the reSmush API to your WordPress website. Similar to WP Smush, all image optimizations are handled on its proprietary server. It also lets you compress potentially unlimited images, albeit the images are below 5 MB in size. Once installed, it will begin to automatically optimize all the images you upload to your WordPress website. You can also perform bulk optimization on images that are already present on your WordPress Media Library.
However, that’s where all the similarities end. Also in terms of all the other plugins, reSmush.it is pretty simple and straightforward and doesn’t overdo it with tons of additional features. So what’s the big selling point here? Well, reSmush.it offers one of the best image optimization algorithms that significantly reduce image size with minor to no effect on image quality. Another useful feature would be the option to exclude images from compression for situations when you need the image in full-size.
ShortPixel Image Optimizer
And for the final entry in our list of the best image optimization plugins for WordPress, we have ShortPixel. The plugin requires you to create an account in order to get the API key needed to make the plugin work. There is a free version that allows you to compress images of any size, but with a limit of 100 image compressions per month. To increase the limit, you can subscribe to one of their paid plans.
Similar to all the other plugins on the list, here too, the plugin performs automatic image compression as soon as it is uploaded to your WordPress media library. However, an added advantage of using ShortPixel is that it stores all your original images in a separate folder. This allows for better organization and also helps you compare the quality of your images before and after compression.
You also get access to advanced options that allow you to choose between lossy and lossless image compression and supports a wide variety of image formats including JPEG, PNG, WebP, GIF, and even PDF. There is also a Glossy Image Compression format designed for photographers that help preserve exact image quality.
Now, these were our picks for the top 5 image optimization plugins for WordPress. As you can see, we have made the list as diverse as possible in terms of functionality, so you can pick something that meets your specific requirements.
So whether you need an image compression tool that functions on your server, allows for unlimited image optimization, or supports large image files, we have it all. As such, we hope the list was useful and it helped you in finding the right image compression plugin for your needs.