5 Best WordPress Image Compression Plugins (2020)

It goes without saying that image compression is important for WordPress sites or any sites for that matter – but it won’t hurt to stress it once more. However you choose to look at it, images are important –   for your site’s front end design, for its functionality, and just for overall good looks. 

With a good combination of images, your site can look like a million dollars, and still be managed with a limited budget. If your site happens to be eCommerce, (where you sell your products online predominantly or exclusively), then the presence of images is even more critical. 

But, images can also be a tad demanding on your website. If they’re not (properly) optimized, they can be pretty heavy and make your site heavier than necessary as well. This, in turn, will also make your site slower, which can definitely affect your site’s user-experience and user-retention. Bad for business indeed.

All of this (and more!) only goes to show how important it is to properly optimize the images on your site. Site problems like too much bandwidth suction or taking up too much server space usually have to do with your images. Images can sometimes take half of the overall weight of the site and that’s a pretty serious weight issue. 

But, fortunately, when it comes to image optimization and image compression for WordPress, there are plenty of great solutions out there right now.. You can make your images significantly smaller without losing on their quality, and further optimize your site for speed. 

In this article, we’ll give you an overview of the best image compression and image optimization plugins for WordPress currently on the internet. Read on and find the plugin of your choice! 

NOTE: If you have a particularly image-heavy website, consider using cloud compression. This kind of image compression is able to give you more resources for the compression process itself – more than a plugin ever could. Have in mind, though, that cloud-based image compression is more expensive than plugins. 

What Exactly is Image Compression? 

Image compression describes the process of shrinking that happens to the original file size of your site’s images. You can find plenty of tools on the internet that do image compression for WordPress, and while most of them will give you similar results in the end, not all of them will get you there in the same way. 

Image-heavy sites usually experience slow page loads. When doing site optimization, one of the first things you need to think about is to lower the image size of your site’s images. Image compression is sure to boost the loading speed of your WordPress website and also take a load off the resource requirements of your site. 

Basically, there are two types of image compression: lossless and lossy. We recommend to always choose lossless compression (not lossy!) because there is a big difference between them. Lossless compression means that in the end, you will get a smaller image file size, with the same quality of the image as its original size. 

Lossy compression reduces the size of your site’s images as well, but it also means a reduction in quality. This can be especially tricky for people that have online businesses that rely heavily on website images. That’s why we always advise people to never sacrifice the quality of the images on their site in favor of faster loading times. Bad image quality is really bad for marketing and it’s very likely to reflect on your business further on. 

Best WordPress Image Compression Plugins 

ShortPixel 

ShortPixel is one of our favorite image compression plugins for WordPress. It’s a plugin that stands out from all others. ShortPixel will help you optimize your site’s images by doing resizing and compression without any loss of image quality. It’s an easy-to-use image optimization tool for WordPress, which will let you choose between lossy and lossless image compression. 

This plugin works really fast (which is one of the reasons why it’s our favorite!), making it very well suited for people who want to do image optimization in bulk, but also WordPress website owners that have particularly image-heavy sites. With ShortPixel you definitely won’t experience any delays or slow bulk image optimization. 

There are a lot of things to say about this image optimization plugin. For example, we simply mustn’t forget to mention how great ShortPixel is when it converts images in the PNG file format. The great thing about it is that it does the converting automatically, which means it doesn’t keep the transparency feature of PNG. 

Plenty of sites on the internet use PNG images, which are actually much larger in size than the alternative JPG file formats. ShortPixel helps you convert the PNG images on your site, turning them into great quality JPG files, reducing the overall size of the pages of your site without any loss of quality whatsoever. 

But there’s another thing ShortPixel is so good at. Namely, that’s the WEBP file format, a relatively underused image file format that actually manages to reduce the size of your site’s images even further, and without affecting their quality. 

Images that are in the WEBP format are 2 to 5 times smaller than images in the PNG and JPG formats. The only problem with WEBP is that not all browsers support it. You can read more about this in our article on Next-Gen formats. You can also find out more about the WEBP format here

ShortPixel is a plugin that has a free plan – which allows you to optimize 100 images each month, but it also has monthly and one-time plans ( which you can find more about in ShortPixel’s pricing section). It also gives you the chance to get dedicated servers with 4, 8 and 24 cores. 

Compress JPEG & PNG Images with Tiny PNG

The image compression service provided by Tiny PNG has both an online tool for compressing images and a plugin that you can find on the WordPress depository

Tiny JPG is a free online tool that enables you to reduce the image size of your site’s images and compress both JPEG and PNG files. The plugin helps you integrate your WordPress site with this image compression service. 

Like most of the image compression plugins out there, this tool will change the size of your images automatically when you upload them on WordPress, and it will do the same for already existing images – one by one, or in bulk, depending on how you choose to do it. 

How does this plugin work? 

Well, once you upload a particular image on your WordPress site, each image also gets uploaded to the TinyJPG or Tiny PNG service for analysis the image processing is done on their servers. The analysis allows for the best possible optimization to be applied to your site’s images, based on the particularity of the image. The resized image is then returned to your WordPress site, replacing the image with the original size. 

According to their own statistics, JPG images and PNG images are compressed to more than 70%, without any noticeable loss in quality. This kind of size reduction will significantly lighten your site and also give it more bandwidth and more storage space. 

With this tool, you’ll be able to do adjustments to the images’ width and height, preserve metadata, and also pick the compression sizes (thumbnail, medium, or full size). You can also compress animated PNG images. 

Once you download the plugin you’ll be able to get a free API key which, similarly to ShortPixel, gives you 100 free images a month. If you want to compress more than 100 images a month, you’ll have to pay a small fee. You can also do bulk optimization to all the images present in the media library of your WordPress site. If you have a WordPress multisite, you can configure the API key in your wp-config.php file, which means you won’t need to get multiple API keys. 

Optimole

Optimole is also called the image optimization plugin on autopilot. This is so because Optimole works smoothly and almost undercover since once you download it and install it, it will run quietly and consistently in the background without you noticing. 

It features a fully automatic image optimization service and it optimizes the images according to the browser and viewport of the visitor. This means that no image on your site will ever be served larger than it should be and it will depend on the visitor’s internet connection.  

This plugin is completely cloud-based, saving up a lot of treasured CPU from your server, and also making your site faster in the process. 

The automatic WordPress image optimizations are powered by Cloudfront’s CDN service, which means that your images won’t load slowly under any circumstance. 

Optimole also gives you the option for tracking and monitoring, so you can see the particular details of your images’ optimization process, as well as the space being saved. This plugin also includes the option of lazy loading, so your website’s loading times can become even faster (Optimole’s lazy loading feature won’t require any jQuery or heavy JavaScript libraries). 

This is a very easy-to-use plugin with a user-intuitive interface and configuration process that’s compatible with new, modern, and popular page builders online. The setup process is really easy – you just need to get the API key and you’re done. Once you have the key, you gain access to the plugin through your own WordPress dashboard, where you can view all of the optimized images there. You can also modify their settings, like for example the resizing of large images, image replacement, the quality of the compression, and lazy loading. Optimole has its own dashboard outside of WordPress. If you go there, you’ll be able to find more info about your optimized images, like monthly reports and optimization sizes. 

One of the best things about the Optimole plugin is that it supports all image types, which means that among them you can also find support for Retina and WebP image files. It offers lossy and lossless image compression. 

This plugin has a free version which you can find on the WordPress repository page. What you get is 1GB of images per month, 5GB viewing bandwidth, automatic responsive images, smart lazy loading, and 48h email support. 

Not bad for a free version, right? If you want to go with the premium, you’ll either have to set apart $9 each month for the Personal plan, $29 for the Business plan, while you also have the Flexible option if you want to have a custom-made image optimization plan. 

Imagify

If you haven’t heard of the Imagify WordPress image optimization plugin yet, then maybe you’ve already heard of the team behind it. Yes, we’re talking about the guys over at WP Rocket, one of the best WordPress caching plugins you can find on the internet! 

Imagify has a lot of attractive features, as well as all the basic ones no solid plugin can do without – such as image resizing and bulk compression, and also the choice between lossy and lossless image quality. 

Interestingly, Imagify gives you the option to choose between three types of image compression, depending on the type of website you have. 

  • Normal – this is an option that includes a lossless type of image compression that won’t affect the quality of your image in any way. 
  • Aggressive – this is also the lossless type of image compression, but the difference is that you will notice a small reduction in the quality of your images. This small reduction of quality may or may not be that noticeable, so consider it if you’re willing to sacrifice a bit of quality for the sake of more speed and overall page optimization (but, as you remember, we kinda advised you against it in the introduction to this article). 
  • Ultra – this is the most radical of their image compression algorithms, and it’s lossy. Bear in mind, however, that besides making your images as small as they can be, it’ll also cause a reduction in quality. 

If you’re not content with one of your choices, you can always use Imagify’s backup option and restore the original image so you can run it through another compression type which you’ll be more satisfied with.  

Imagify supports image files like JPG, PNG, as well as GIF files. Also, you’ll be able to find support for Magento, PrestaShop, Joomla, and Shopify. 

Imagify offers different types of paid plans, but there’s also a free version that lets you convert 25MB of images each month (which translates to about 250 images). The paid plans start at $4.99 per month for only 1 GB of data, and then go up to $69.99 for 50GB of image data per month. 

This one is also pretty easy to use – you just need the API key and you’re good to go. Similarly to Optimole, Imagify also gives you the chance to test on an image compressed in several different ways and compare it on their visual comparison tool present on their website. This way you can see directly how the different compression types actually look like. 

WP Smush

This is by far the most popular image optimization and image compression plugin for WordPress, with more than 1 million active installations as we speak. It’s an easy-to-use plugin, made by the developers’ team at WPMU DEV to quickly optimize your WordPress site’s images. 

This plugin offers you a free and a paid version. The free version you can download from the WordPress repository. The paid version is actually a bunch of tools and plugins (among which WP Smush) that will be quite useful for your WordPress site if you want to get plugins in bulk. The paid version costs $49 a month. 

In the free version of WP Smush, you get to optimize images on your site only with the lossless compression (if you want the lossy one, you’ll have to upgrade to the premium version). You also get the lazy loader option, as well as the option to optimize up to 50 images in bulk. You’ll also be able to do image resizing (set max-width and height parameters), and quickly locate those images that are constantly making your site go slower. 

WP Smush is a multisite compatible plugin, which means you can use it if you have multiple integrated sites on WordPress. The free version of this plugin gives you the option to optimize images up to 5MB in size. You’ll also be able to detect images with incorrect sizes and get tips for properly scaling your site’s images. What’s more, you’ll be able to optimize images even if they’re not located in the Media Library of your site. The API that WP Smush uses is from the WPMY DEV’s own reliable servers, which means super-fast image optimization. 

One of the best things about this plugin is that it also supports the up and coming WEBP image format, which you can use to convert regular images into the next-gen image format (recommended by Google), and save significantly in size while maintaining the same high image quality of the original. 

WP Smush is made to be user-friendly, which means that it’s pretty easy to configure and set up. With this plugin, you’ll be able to optimize your site’s images directly from the WordPress Media Library. 

WP Smush is a good-quality image optimization plugin for WordPress, making the image compression process a breeze. Also, if you want a bunch of good-quality plugins for security, marketing, SEO, backups, and branding, you can purchase the full package for $49 a month and save yourself the trouble and also save up some money in the long run. 

Conclusion 

So, image optimization matters quite a lot! Not only does it speed up the loading time of your WordPress site, but it also takes a significant load off the server supporting your site. 

The most frequent image types are PNG and JPG images, but as we saw, WEBP is gaining more and more traction since it allows for an even smaller image size while maintaining the high level of image quality of the original image. So keep an eye out for this one! 

We also saw that there are two image compression types: lossy and lossless. The lossless one is the one we recommend since it doesn’t make the image lose its original quality, while it does achieve a significant reduction in size. 

Remember, the quality of your images is still important and shouldn’t be sacrificed for better page loading speeds. Good image quality makes your site look professional, well-designed, and well-taken care of. And all of these characteristics are a winning combination for any online business! 

Of course, there are plenty of image compression tools on the internet right now, but we chose these 4 WordPress image optimization plugins specifically because we thought they stood out from the rest, and we thought they made a great combination – performance-wise and price-wise (which is something pretty hard to find!). 

We hope we helped you out in your dilemmas about which one you should choose for your site. In the meantime, we’ll definitely be on the lookout for some more great image optimization plugins for WordPress, so stay in touch! 

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