Top 9 Image Optimization Plugins to Help Your WordPress Stay Fast
Site speed and performance are still on top of the things that web developers and even blogging professionals need to keep in mind if they want to be and stay on top of their game.
To create a blog or a website that has any chance of success, you have to have the right combination of knowledge and tools. Whether you decide to use free WordPress themes, paid ones or even themes that you created, you have to have the right eye for design.
You also need to have more than just a general idea of which productivity tools for web designers will be most effective in helping you meet your goals for your website or blog. One big factor that affects your site’s speed is images.
Although they are of extreme importance to your site’s design aesthetics as well as those of your posts, poorly optimized images can cause your blog or website to be sluggish or load really slow. Worry not.
Here are our top suggestions for the best image optimization plugins you can use for your WordPress site to maintain your site’s optimum speed and performance.
Frequently described as the best image-compression plugin for WordPress in terms of performance, it is also the fastest, most user-friendly among the list. That’s why this is one of the plugins you first need to look for when starting a blog.
WP Smush lets you optimize your JPEG, PNG and GIF images individually or in bulk. As soon as you install and activate this plugin, it will automatically compress both your existing images and every other image you upload moving forward.
The best thing about WP Smush is that your files retain their quality even as the plugin reduces their size.
Speaking of zero quality-loss, EWWW Image Optimizer is another WordPress Plugin that will not let you down.
This highly-recommended plugin will also optimize both your previous and future image uploads. However, all your images should either be in JPG, GIF or PNG format for this plugin to do its job.
As a bonus, EWWW Image Optimizer can run using your own servers. You won’t be needing a third-party service to connect to. That cuts your image-optimization time by a lot. This will be especially handy when you’re converting large catalogs or libraries. That’s because regular files sized at 1 MB or less only take seconds to optimize.
What’s just as important as converting your images for better visuals? Optimizing them for search engines, of course. The SEO Friendly Images plugin fits those two requirements to a T.
Accurate ALT and TITLE attributes are important in keeping your images visible to search engines. SEO Friendly Images is a WordPress plugin that automatically updates all your images with those attributes.
Optimus is another WP image optimization plugin that allows you to effectively compress and optimize your images with ease. It also promises zero loss of quality for your images during optimization and compression.
One caveat, however, is that the free version of this plugin only allows you to compress images that are less than 100 KB in size. Purchasing the premium version raises that capacity to images up 5 MB large.
On the other hand, Optimus optimizes everything, from the images itself to other multi-sized images that WordPress creates of that file (thumbnails, etc.)
Same as the other plugins that have figured on this list, CW Image Optimizer’s strongest features are lossless and automatic image optimization.
Using Linux-powered image-optimization programs, CW Image Optimizer converts both existing images and future uploads to your website or blog to help improve its speed and performance.
Kraken optimizes your JPG, GIF and PNG images via its very own API. With a max file size optimization limit of 32 MB, there’s really a lot that you can achieve with this plugin. Like the others, it also optimizes and converts existing and future uploads upon activation.
Setting up and activating the Kraken Image Optimizer is easy. First, you’ll just need to register for a free account at their homepage at Kraken.io. Next, you’ll receive your own API and secret keys that you can use for activation. You can also use these for multiple WordPress installations if you want.
Compared to the other image optimizations plugins mentioned on this list, Compress JPEG & PNG Images is a bit drastic in that it capitalizes on speed instead of quality.
After processing, the images may show no or little reduction in quality. The plugin also allows you to choose maximum resolutions for your uploaded file. Granted, it doesn’t let you set what compression method you want to use. Still, the huge reduction in file sizes will really help a lot in speeding up your blog’s load time.
This image optimization plugin receives constant praise for design adaptability. Basically, it takes your image and produces several smaller-sized versions. Your images then adapt to your visitors depending on what screen or device they are using. All in all, it gives your users a faster and better experience, especially those on mobile devices.
You do have to keep in mind that Hammy only works for images inside your posts and pages. For custom posts? Not so much.
ShortPixel makes it on this list not just for its excellent compression capabilities, but also for its pretty nifty interface. It also integrates quite well with any kind of hosting (dedicated, shared, cloud or VPS) and uses minimum resources.
Aside from the usual JPG, GIF and PNG files, ShortPixel is also the best plugin to use if you want to compress and optimize WEBP images and PDF documents.
Other notable features are single-click compression and easy resizing/rescaling of images in the background. You can do so much more when you don’t have to keep checking your images. You can concentrate on the rest of the things you need to build a blog.
The best part? There’s no size limit for compression. That, and zero quality-loss makes ShortPixel Image Optimiser one of the best image optimization plugins.
When you start a blog or a website, your aim is usually to get enough traffic to keep your site visible and give it credibility and authority. In that case, you need to make speed and performance part of your priority list 100% of the time.
Images, of course, are not the only factor that affects the speed of your site. They are, however, a big part of your speed and performance optimization checklist. Last thing that I need to leave you with before this article ends: use plugins in moderation.
As useful as they are, too many plugins can cause more harm than good. Not the least of these is that too many plugins drag your site and slow it further instead of improving its performance. It’s okay to try and mix-and-match your plugins. In the end, just make sure that you only keep those that you really need.