WordPress Image Optimizer Plugins are the easiest to optimize and manage image assets. Plugins make images load faster. This eventually boosts speed of the WordPress website, improves user experience and attains better SEO ranks.
WordPress Image Optimizer Plugins
Compress JPEG & PNG Images
Compress JPEG and PNG Images is a plugin by TinyPNG. TinyPNG is an online tool that offers image compression. Compress JPEG and PNG Images is a simple and handy. After registration, you go through the minimal settings. Once activated, you can forget about the plugin, but it keeps compressing newly added images.
TinyPNG services come in two flavors: one as a WordPress Plugin; another as an Online Compression Tool. They have Free and Paid Plans. Unlike the name suggests, TinePNG supports PNG as well as JPEG formats. You can also compress APNG (Animated PNG) image files.
The Free Plan supports files upto 5 MB and you can optimize upto 20 images at a time. Obviously, the Paid Plan has more features to offer.
When you’re looking to just optimize JPEGs and PNGs, the Compress JPEG & PNG Images plugin is probably the most handy one.
TinyPNG also supports to store files to cloud spaces like Dropbox.
EWWW Image Optimizer Cloud
WordPress Image Compression Plugin EWWW Image Optimizer Cloud is one of the strongest contenders for Lossy image compression. Set up an account; get a key from their website and you’re all good to go with the plugin. It awards you with free credits to use to get started optimizing images. Once the free credits are consumed, it charges based on your usage. Rates are low and reasonable. Plus, no upgrades required to do bulk image optimization. This plugin integrates nicely with other plugins.
The EWWW Image Optimizer requires exec() permission and API key. If things aren’t setup as expected by EWWW, it might show error. It also depends on other software tools and libraries like pngout.
Free version offers loseless compression only.
Imagify is the brain child of reputed WP Rocket. Once the registration is complete, you’re provided with several options. Choose aggressive mode at first, to see quick results balancing compression and file size. Imagify plugin has option to save original files in a separate folder. Imagify is nice, neat and solid.
For the beginners, ShortPixel comes with impressive surprises. It probably yields the best compression results with default settings, among all the WordPress Image Compression Plugins.
It also has a glossy option for photographers or imaging professionals who need can’t compromise with the loss of quality.
Agreeably, WP Smush is one of the oldest and most popular WordPress Image Optimizer Plugins for WordPress. This plugin is developed and maintained by WPMU Dev. It is one of the frequently updated plugins. Free version allowed files less than 1MB to compress and optimize.
WP Smush allows to automatically compressing newly uploading images. Some reviewers complain that the image quality is worst with free version, among all the available such plugins.
With Smush plugin you can resize, optimize and compress all of your images for the web so they load faster than before. For photo-rich sites, this plugin is well advised by many reviewers.
Some of the best features of the plugin are only available in the Pro version, e.g., “bulk smushing” at once. WP Smush Pro version is offered with WPMU Dev Membership at the rate of $46/mo. A free trial lasts for 30 days after signup.
The plugin provides both lossy and lossless compression.
Compressing and Optimizing Images with Image Editing Software
Compressing and optimizing images on your own is definitely professional. You maintain more control over your image compression. You don’t have to pay for a compression service. For limited number of images, your works will may outperform the plugins. However, working with too many images personally, isn’t probably the best way to get things done.
You can use Photoshop, Lightroom, or any other image editing software or tools to resize, compress and optimize images. When working on your own, remember to resize the dimensions; adjust the height or width and release the height-to-width ratio. When resizing, for quicker output, you can resize at a percentage of the original size, instead of resizing based on pixels. You may also use preset sizes to resize your images to frequency used dimensions used on web page sections.
Adobe Photoshop is the industry standard in image processing and editing. It is expensive. But, it well pays off you back. Photoshop is easy to use to compress images locally. However, you’ve to optimize one image at a time. This makes the option less feasible for sites having hundreds or thousands of images.
With Photoshop, you can easily compress your images. Open the File menu in Photoshop. Choose View > Actual Pixels to view the full size of the image. Choose to resize by navigating to Image > Image size and entering the desired dimensions. Make sure the “Constrain proportions” box is checked so that the image is scaled proportionally, and will not be distorted when resized.
Photoshop comes with a built-in Save for Web option that allows you to save images optimized for the web. When done editing, go to File > Save For Web & Devices to export. Choose JPEG as the file type and image quality options. For web the quality does not need to be quite so high. You can use the image preview to determine the best quality against the smaller file size.
On Mac, you can use the Preview for image editing purposes. It’s not quite about compressing. The Preview lets you resave images in a different size and resolution and it reduces the file size considerably.
Open the image file in the Preview app. Go to Tools > Adjust Size, change the height and width, select “Scale Proportionally” and save it.
On Windows and GNU/Linux, GIMP is the perfect free alternative to Photoshop. Open an image file in the GIMP. Choose Image > Scale Image from the menu. In the “Quality” menu, choose the option you’d like. Click “Scale” to save.
Export the image in the preferred format by clicking on File > Export. Use PNG for images of icons and buttons; or JPEG for images more rich in colors. Click “Export” at the bottom of the dialogue box. You’re done.
Compressing and Optimizing Images using Online Image Optimizer Tools
Online image compression tools are many out there on the web. Choose to use one. We will introduce you with a few. You can explore many others yourself.
CompressImage is a compression tool by Toolur. It accepts upto 25 images at a time and each of the files can weigh up to 30MB. CompressImage works both with PNG and JPEG files. When you’re done editing, you can download the resulting image files.
Compressor lets you upload and edit one image at a time. Beside the drawback, the tool deservers appraisal. It free and easy to use. It supports lossy and lossless compression.
ImageOptim comes with lots of options. The default settings are just too fine to get best results. The design might look a bit dated, but it works.
ImageResize.org allows you to reduce the size of PNG and JPEG image files for free. It uses lossy compression algorithm. It also has no file size limit, however, you can compress up to 20 images per session.
ImageSmaller doesn’t allow bulk upload and processing. You can upload single files each being up to 50MB. That’s good part.
JPEG.io, being a free version, works more or less like Kraken. It works with JPEG file.
Though you can git JPEGmini a try for free, it’s actually not free. Free trial allows 200 images to process. That’s enough for most of the sites.
Kraken.io is a premium image compression tool, but also offers limited free services. It supports JPEG, GIF and PNG files. The online service is free. You can import images from Dropbox or Google Drive too. The paid version of Kraken has many more features.
Optimizilla deserves an honorable mention. It’s simple, powerful and free to use. It lets you upload 20 images.
TinyPNG is the simplest one regarding the interface. You just upload images and get them compressed. That’s it. TinyPNG offers a WordPress plugin version. Plans are two folded: free and paid. The tools supports Animated PNGs in addition to JPEG and PNG. The paid version comes with more features, while the free version offer limited functionalities. Free version lets you process 20 images each begin 5MB maximum in size - adequate enough.
As the name suggest, ResizeImage, yet another online image editing tool, lets you resize, flip, crop and compress images. Like many others, ResizeImage also lets you process one image at a time.
APPENDIX I – Articles of the Series on “WordPress Image Compression & Optimization”
Chapter 1: WordPress Image Compression & Optimization
Chapter 4: WordPress Image Compression and Optimizer Plugins, Software and Tools