5 Best WordPress Image Optimization Plugins Compared

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The modern IT world is all about speed and performance. Users on the internet these days don’t have enough time to sit back and wait for your WordPress website to show them the content. According to a Caltech Survey, more than 90% users close a website if it doesn’t load properly in under 7 seconds. Thus, speed optimization of your website is very crucial if you want to keep your website fastest in the market!

Why Image Optimization is so Important for speed?

Image optimization is given utmost importance by experts whenever a website is considered for speed optimization. Images often make up most of the downloaded bytes on a web page and also often occupy a significant amount of visual space. As a result, image optimization can result in largest byte saving and speed/performance improvements for your website.
Image optimization is a complete field of research now and scientists are constantly trying to develop techniques and algorithms that can significantly reduce the size of an image. Image optimization algorithms consider many important factors like format capabilities, the content of image data, quality, and pixel dimensions for optimization.

There are two types of algorithms which are used for optimization:

  1. Loseless: In Lossless optimization, the image is compressed in such a way that it can be restored to original image after decompression. All of the information can be completely restored if we use this algorithm for compression. The Graphics Interchange File (GIF) is an image format used on the Web that provides lossless compression.
  2. In Lossy optimization, algorithm removes redundant information by permanently deleting some information and thus original image can’t be restored in this type of optimization. The JPEG image file, commonly used for photographs and other complex still images on the Web, is an image that has lossy compression. Using JPEG compression, algorithms decide how much to lose and provide an image with the best size and quality.

Image optimization in WordPress is fast and easy because many efficient plugins are available which run compression algorithms on all images of your website and keep it optimized and faster.

Let’s have a look on best WordPress image optimization plugins:

Image Optimization WordPress Plugins

1) WP Smush

WP Smush Speed Optimization Plugin

WP Smush is an image optimization plugin developed by WPMU Dev. It is available in both free and premium formats. The free version of this plugin uses lossless optimization techniques but its premium version has a super-smush option as well. Super-smush optimizes each image multiple times using lossy compression techniques and keeping the quality as best as possible.
WP Smush has great features. Like it automatically optimizes all images uploaded to your website after its installation. You can also optimize previously uploaded images by using its bulk-optimize feature. Moreover, you can individually optimize images as well by going into the Media Library and clicking on whichever file you want to compress, and clicking on the Smush option on the Attachment Details window. This option is useful when you want to optimize only few images and not everything in your library.

WP Smush is very popular and right now it has 400,000+ active installs. The plugin has 4.8/5 rating with a lot of good reviews. The plugin is best for sites which use a lot of images and images are uploaded to them on a regular basis.

WP Smush Bulk Optimiztion
You can bulk optimization for previous photos on wordpress website.
Wp Smush Optimize and Resize
Auto smush to resize and optomize each image.
Wp Smush Dasboard Screenshot
WP Smush Plugin Dashboard

2) EWWW Image optimizer

EWW Image Optimization WordPress Plugin

EWWW Image Optimizer is another popular WordPress image optimizer for compressing PNG, JPG, and GIF image formats. Just like WP Smush, it also optimizes all images uploaded on the website and you can also bulk optimize images on your website.
EWWW is different from WP Smush in a sense that it runs optimization process on your own server instead of running it on third party servers. This makes the process easy and faster and you receive results within seconds. However, cloud optimization option is also available for those who don’t want to run it into their own servers because of hardware constraints.
The EWWW image optimizer plugin uses lossless compression methods by default but it also has the ability to use lossy compression, and you can enable that method easily by changing some settings. We recommend the use of lossless compression if most of the images uploaded on your site are in jpg format and lossy method if mostly images are in PNG data format.

EWWW Image Optimizer is the second popular image on WordPress with 300,000+ active installs. The plugin has 4.5/5 rating with many great reviews. This plugin is best for large and medium scale websites.

Dasboard Screenshot EWWW Image Optimizer
Settings Dashboard of EWWW Image Optimizer Plugin
EWWW Image Optimizer Posts Screenshot
See your savings, manually optimize individual images, and restore originals.

3) ShortPixel Image Optimizer

ShortPixel Image Optimization WordPress Plugin

Shortpixel Image optimizer is different from above two discussed plugins in a way that it automatically optimizes all previously uploaded images on your site right after installation. This is a built-in feature and you can’t change it. Also, it keeps on optimizing newly uploaded images as well. It also gives your freedom to further optimize an image by going into the Media Library in the List View format, where each file will appear with an individual “Optimize Now” button alongside it.
Unlike WP Smush and EWWW, ShortPixel uses lossy optimization technique, but you can change it to lossless from settings as well. This is a light weight plugin which also optimizes PDF files available on your site. ShortPixel is compatible with Woocommerce making it a popular choice for e-commerce websites. By optimizing site images with this plugin, you can significantly improve site performance and reduce page load time.

Sample of Optimized Image
You can see optimized photo and orginal on ShortPixel Website.

 

The shortpixal plugin has gained popularity on wordpress and it has 20,000+ active installs with good reviews. The plugin is recommended for medium and small scale e-commerce websites.

Shortpixel Statistics Screenshot
ShortPixel Plugin Settings and Statistics Screenshot
Shortpixel Bulk Optimization Screenshot
Shortpixel Bulk Optimization Screenshot

 

4) Kraken Image Optimizer

Kraken Image Optimizer

The Kraken Image Optimizer uses its own API to optimize JPG, PNG and GIF image files. For making the plugin functional, users need to sign up for a free account at Kraken.io’s homepage in order to get API and secret keys.
Once the plugin is functional, it will use the lossy method to optimize your images which can be changed to lossless as well. In addition to these two methods, you can also give a specific value for the quality of your JPG images if you want. We recommend the use of the lossy method as this works best with this plugin.

The plugin is going good on WordPress with 10,000+ active installs and good reviews. It is recommended for small and medium scale websites.

Kraken Options Page
Kraken Options Page – WordPress Plugin

5) Imagify Image Optimizer

imagify-image-optimization-plugin-wordpress

Imagify image optimizer is another best WordPress image optimization plugins which use following three different types of algorithms for optimizing images:
Normal: A lossless compression algorithm.
Aggressive: A lossy compression algorithm.
Ultra: the strongest compression method using the lossy algorithm.

Imagify WordPress Image Optimization Plugin
The plugin also provides a backup option so you can also restore your images to better quality in case you change your mind later.
Just like other plugins, imagify also helps you to optimize previously uploaded images on your site after installation. It automatically optimized newly uploaded images as well and helps webmasters ensure that their WordPress site loads faster, has improved SEO, and saves them some money on bandwidth.
Imagify has 10,000+ active wordpress installs with good reviews. It is recommended for medium and small scale websites.

Imagify Bulk Optimization
Imagify Bulk Optimization Settings
Imagify Settings WordPress Pluing
Imagify Settings Dashboard

Comparison Table for Speed Optimization Plugins

Plugin

JPG Optimization %

PNG Optimization %

Recommended for

Compression type

WP Smush

10.3

0.67

Large/Medium websites

Lossless

EWWW

10

77.75

Large/Medium websites

Lossy

Short Pixel

8.3

71.2

Medium/Small Websites

Lossy

Kraken

8.5

68.8

Medium/Small Websites

Lossy

Imagify

61.69

76.17

Medium/Small Websites

Lossy

BONUS: 4 Tips For SEO Related to Images

In addition to the use of plugins, here are few more tips which can help you make your site lightning fast and SEO friendly.

    1. Name your images descriptively and in plain English. This will not only increase speed but will also help you in SEO.
    2. Always add alt tags to your images. This text appears when browser is unable to render your image properly.
    3. Use images wisely. Do not add redundant images of large sizes.
    4. Make sure that your plugin is optimizing image thumbnails as well.

Following all these tips and making sure that your plugin is working well, you can speed up your website by many times. This will also help you retaining your website viewers and increasing your revenues.

Conclusion

According to all these results and discussion, we can conclude that WP Smush and EWWW are best for large websites while other plugins should be used for medium/small websites. For E-commerce websites, ShortPixel is the best option.
Image Optimization has a very significant impact on WordPress websites load times and with a right plugin, you can do wonders. These plugins are crucial for those who have image-intensive websites. All these plugins which we discussed in the post are best ones in the market. Now it depends on you that which one you choose for your website.

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1 comment

  1. Timothy S. Pastrana Reply

    Thanks for the article, its informative for wordpress users. The image optimization effects also SEO/SEM because its important for on page optimization. I will add some information about SEO and image relationships.

    On page Optimization and Picture optimization are the basic steps for the SEO campaign. More over, if you take your very own screen shots or create your very own pictures, you should read: The way to use flickr to drive huge traffic. Onpage Optimization is the pillar of the Search engine optimization and likely the most crucial on page optimization factors is picture optimization. Image Search engine optimization is among the building blocks of on page optimization. If used correctly they can transfer your message in only one glimpse while a thoughtless use of pictures can destroy your whole perception.

    Additionally to this, images can be a great traffic source from Google Image Search along with other Image Search engines. The vital Picture Optimization elements include the alt tag, title tag, picture size, picture name and picture linking. Image relevancy is very important with regards to image optimization for SEO. A picture of a train on a page associated to Ferrari may do you no good. The Alt tag is one of the most crucial image optimization factor. The written text in the alt tag is displayed instead of the picture if the picture can’t be shown or is taking too much time to load.

    The majority of the main search engines are text based, i.e they can’t read images and videos. The location of your pictures appears as a clear space to search engines. These empty spaces aren’t in whatever way advantageous to your overall SEO. An excellent Exercise for the ALT tag is to maintain your alt tags short, but illustrative. Picture size is a very crutial variable for the overall user experience. Following the latest Panda upgrade, the loading time of pages became an important part for the SEO rank as the total time of visit became more important as a Search engine optimization algorithm.

    If you are not using wordpres, you can use some other tools to optimize images. Yahoo Smushit is an excellent tool to wipe out the excess bytes from the own pictures which makes them lighter. Image hosting is another essential factor especially with regards to driving traffic from Google Picture Search. The factors on which the pictures for Google Picture Search are chosen is kept hidden, but some say that picture hosting is among the key elements for the choice. It’s said the images hosted on the same domain as the text are given more value than the pictures hosted at another domain just like a free picture hosting website. Another essential algorithm for Google Picture Search is how an images are blended with the text on the page.

    Timothy S. Pastrana CEO at @SEMexperts