Images that aren’t optimized slow down your site. Not only is that bad for the user experience but it harms your SEO as well. Google wants fast websites, and if your site is taking too long to load, you need to look at reducing the size of your images with an image optimization plugin.
There are plenty to choose from, so I wanted to dig deep and review the best image optimization plugins for WordPress.
On to the list!
Optimole is my pick for the best image optimizer plugin for WordPress.
Here’s why they’re the best:
Optimole compresses your images in real-time (in the cloud) rather than overwriting the image in your media library. The benefit of this is that you get to keep the original image but your traffic will see the optimized version.
Resizing based on user’s screen size
While most other optimization plugins stop there, Optimole goes one step further.
Optimole also resizes images on the fly based on the user’s device, browser and screen size.
This is powerful because that means your website doesn’t have to load a 1000 x 500 pixel image for your mobile traffic. If the screen size is 400 then it can magically resize, optimize, and display a perfectly optimized image for each visitor.
Works with slower connections
If some of your traffic is on a slow connection, Optimole will automatically downgrade the quality of the image, always ensuring your site remains fast.
Images are served via a CDN
Optimole also serves images via their CDN (with over 200 server locations worldwide). This means your images will load faster and it will reduce the load on your server.
Finally, you can choose to have your images loaded via lazy loading, which means images won’t even load (and slow down your site) until they come into the user’s view.
Optimole is free for up to 5,000 monthly visits
If you have a bigger site, opt for Optimole’s starter plan, which costs $19.08/mo. for up to 25,000 monthly visits.
ShortPixel is a basic image optimization plugin that lets you choose between lossy, glossy, and lossless modes. You can optimize JPEGs, PNGs, GIFs, and PDF files.
When you upload an image in WordPress, ShortPixel will automatically optimize the image according to the settings you chose. You have the option to keep a backup of the original or just overwrite it with the optimized version.
If you don’t have an image-heavy site, this may be the best option for you because of their low pricing.
The free version of ShortPixel lets you optimize 100 images per month for free. While this sounds like a lot, keep in mind that it will optimize thumbnails that WordPress and your theme create of your image toe. So each image may cost you 5-10 credits.
To optimize more, you can opt for the $5 per month plan and optimize up to 5,000 images per month.
And if you want to avoid a monthly fee altogether, you can buy credits instead, with their lowest cost plan being 10,000 images for a one-time $10 fee.
If all you want is image optimization, Smush is a solid option.
Smush is great for optimizing both new and old images, with no limits to how many images you can optimize. That makes Smush a good option if you have a large library of images you’ve been neglecting to optimize.
While you can optimize an unlimited amount of images on their generous free plan, it does have other limitations: you can only do lossless compression and the images have to be 1MB or less.
In the paid version of Smush, you can optimize images up to 32MB in size, automatically resize and scale images, backup originals, host images on their CDN, lazy-loading, and converts jpg’s to webp.
Imagify was built by the team behind WP Rocket, the best caching and speed optimization plugin on WordPress.
Imagify will optimize JPG, PNG, PDF, and GIFs just like the other plugins on this list.
If you have a lot of unoptimized images, use their bulk optimizer to optimize all your images at once.
You can choose from three optimization levels: normal (lossless compression), aggressive (lossy compression with a small loss of quality), and ultra (strongest compression for the smallest file sizes).
You have the option to keep a backup of your optimized images so you can revert back to the originals if you change your mind.
If you want to create and serve webp images, you can do that with this plugin as well.
In the free version you can optimize 20MB of images every month for free (roughly 200 images per month).
To increase your limit to 500MB per month, it’s $5 per month or optimize an unlimited amount of images for $10/mo.
EWWW Image Optimizer is a no-frills plugin to optimize your JPG, PNG, GIF, and PDF files.
What makes this plugin different than the rest is that your images are compressed on your server. The benefit of that, if there is any, is the added privacy in knowing that your images are never sent anywhere for processing.
The downside of that is that it can put a strain on your server (and your site speed) while you’re optimizing images.
Optimize an unlimited number of images. Since the processing is done on your server, there are no file size or quantity limits.
There is no premium version of this plugin.
Other image optimization plugins
WordPress has a lot of image optimization plugins, most with similar features.
If you still haven’t found the right plugin to optimize your images and speed up your blog, have a look at these other optimization plugins:
- Compress JPEG & PNG images by TinyPNG
- Kraken.io Image Optimizer
- WP Retina 2x
- Robin Image Optimizer
My pick for the best image optimizer plugin
I use and recommend Optimole. It is the set it and forget it solution to having perfectly optimized and scaled images, regardless of the user’s connection speed, browser, or screen size.
Hopefully at least one of these plugins has helped you optimize your images and speed up your WordPress blog! Thanks for reading.
Until next time,