In the past, website owners would employ a graphic designer to create images for their website.
In today’s world, where do-it-yourself solutions are in high demand, it has become common practice to use a photo editing software such as Photoshop or GIMP.
While this takes a lot of time and effort to learn, there are many plugins that can help optimize your image files without you having to invest any time at all.
In 2021 Google started rolling out many updates, such as Core Web Vitals and Google E-A-T, which are demanding quality writing and fast-loading websites.
Learning how to write blog posts is easy, but takes time. If you know it, then you just need to concentrate on the next important factor. The Core Web Vitals of course!
It has only 1 simple rule. Your website needs to have optimized code and to load fast. Well, that’s what most people think. You also need to take the images into credit.
A single PNG image can be heavy and big enough to slow your website, which means that you will have issues gaining traffic on your website.
But what if you could handle those images and make your website load faster than your competitors?
If you knew how much size you could save from all of your images and how fast your website had gotten, you wouldn’t believe the results.
What are Image Optimization Plugins
Image optimization plugins are necessary for any WordPress site to avoid excess loading. They compress images, which can dramatically reduce the size of a page.
With such plugins, images are automatically resized down to the file size needed for the particular website.
The quality of the image will not be diminished in any way, but it will still load faster on your site. This is an important consideration if your website is loading slowly and you have lots of photos or graphics.
You can always set the quality of an image as you have full control over your plugin and decide how the images will be shown.
Not to mention that most of these plugins are offering lazy loading for images, which helps your website load images as users scroll on your website’s content.
Even the most standard and functionless plugins offer lazy loading, so you don’t need to be cherry-picking or worry.
Best Image Optimization Plugins for WordPress
The start of a new year is a great time to think about the future and what possibilities it holds. Here is a look at some plugins that will help you optimize your images in 2022.
1. Short Pixel
First, we have the ShortPixel Image Optimizer plugin.
This is a free plugin that has a lot of great features for optimizing your images.
You can resize and compress all of your images automatically by using 1-click installation and a single configurable compression level.
The plugin will also automatically identify the image files to be optimized and then reload them as needed to keep photos loading fast.
In order to start using ShortPixel for optimizing your images and reducing their size, you will need to register.
The free ShortPixel version basically gives you the opportunity to pick how much quality should be reduced from the image.
Each of the images has a credit cost, which is assigned to your account as long as you stick to the free plan.
If you have a small website, sticking to the free plan can be useful, but if you have a website about photography with many images, or your blog is bigger, you may want to consider upgrading your plan.
With Robin image optimizer you can optimize multiple images, without having limitations to your account or being asked to pay a certain price.
The Robin image optimize has 3 different image optimizations, such as:
- Low – Low optimization, which keeps the image at a good resolution, but the file size will also be high.
- Medium – Medium optimization, which keeps the image at a less good resolution, but significantly decreases file size.
- High – High optimization, which optimizes your image to lossy compression, but can remove a big chunk of your image size.
You can optimize multiple to single images on demand. The optimization for a couple of images will take only a couple of images to optimize per 5 minutes (works based on CRON).
EWWW Image optimizer is an advanced image optimizing plugin, which lets you do miracles with your website’s image content.
You have full control over the optimization percentage, but you will need to upgrade to the EWWW Image Optimizer pro version, which lets you reduce up to 80% of your image size.
The plugin supports all kinds of image sizes and can be used to optimize both images and whole image folders by reducing their size significantly.
With EWWW Image optimizer you can change the extension of your images from PNG to JPG or even go further and use their WebP image optimization features.
Each image optimization that has been done, will create an unoptimized image copy as a backup, so you can switch between original and optimized image versions.
EWWW Image optimize has no limit for image optimizations and after compression, images are kept pixel perfect with no blur.
If you are looking for a solution to most of your issues with page size, Smush is one of the best image optimization plugins, which can solve any issue for free.
With Smush, you can bulk optimize images, which is time-consuming, but worth the time. On each bulk optimization, you have 100 images that will be pushed for optimization, but you will need to click the “Bulk Smush” button regularly.
Smush is a beginner-friendly plugin, with an unmatchable interface, granting an unmatchable user experience.
With the click of a single button, you can optimize multiple images and choose the percentage of optimization, which varies from 0 to 100. The lower the value, the more optimized but blurry-looking images and vice versa for the higher value.
If your website struggles with image loading, you can always go for the smush lazy Loading option, which lets your images be loaded while the user scrolls.
This way you save server resources and help your website load faster.
If your images are too big, scaling them to certain sizes is possible on bulk smush optimization. You can specify the perfect size, which fits your website and resize all images, without losing quality.
If you feel like using Smush, why not go even further with the Smush Pro version? The pricing of Smush Pro is only $16.
For this price, you get Smush Pro and all of the WPMU Dev Pro plugins, which will not expire, until you stop paying for your plan.
Imagify is a more standard WordPress plugin with easy and fast optimizations. Imagify holds no limits on optimizing images and achieving wonders with your website.
Imagify comes both in free and premium versions. The free version of Imagify gives you only 20MB of image optimizations per month, which means you can optimize up to 200 images.
Imagify also comes up with WebP optimization, which most of the plugins offer in their paid plan, but you can take it from them free.
You have the option to fully resize your images, to fit your website, which will not cost you any extra MB.
All in one solutions to WordPress Image Optimization
With WP Rocket you can set your images to be sized and optimized depending on the needs.
You can also use their WebP image transformation, which will create a new optimized version of each of your images.
Along with the Image optimizations WPRocket offers, you can also start using their CDN. The CDN works for both optimizing and caching the code and also optimizing your image size and loading time.
If you need help configuring WPRocket, you can check our professional setup on how to optimize a website with WP Rocket.
LiteSpeed Cache is a caching solution developed by LiteSpeed Technologies that provides a full-featured cache architecture with the ability to scale up to one terabyte of disk space.
LiteSpeed Cache can be even more efficient than Memcached, which is the most popular caching solution at the moment.
LiteSpeed Cache is an open-source web application caching solution that helps improve user experience and site performance.
LS Cache is known as the fastest caching plugin, which can bypass WP Rocket and the well-known W3 Total Cache.
With LS cache you can optimize both your website for caching and optimize your images to server next-gen WebP images and download them directly from their free CDN QuicCloud.
It requires a more professional setup and you have a LiteSpeed web server, which is mostly found on VPS hosting.
If you need help configuring LS Cache, you can check our guide on how to optimize a website with LS Cache.