Image optimization is the process of employing tools and strategies to optimize images on your website. But why do you have to optimize images? Image optimization minimizes the risk of website slowdown because of the large size of multimedia files. It also saves time to create backups of the images.
While there are plenty of online websites and software that perform image optimization, installing and running 1 right from your WordPress website can save you a lot of time and effort. By using WordPress image optimizer plugins, you can automate the optimization and let it run in the background while you effortlessly work on the website content.
What are the Benefits of WordPress Image Optimizer Plugins?
The primary benefit of a WordPress image optimizer plugin is to reduce the image file size while keeping image quality intact. Below are a few more benefits of using an image optimizer plugin with your WordPress website.
Faster page-load speed
A website that loads fast requires fewer resources and saves time. And there is no doubt that a webpage without many images will load faster than 1 with a lot of them. So when you optimize the media and images, you essentially ensure your website will take less time to load, leading to a better experience for your website visitor.
Website loading speed is among the top factors that can affect your search engine rankings. By guaranteeing that your website loads faster, not only do you get an improved search engine optimization (SEO) result, you also increase the probability of getting returning visitors.
Improved conversion and engagement
When a website loads faster, viewers spend more time engaging with your website and business. Visitors can use this saved time exploring your products and services, which can result in better conversion and less bounce rate. So, optimizing images is the first step in increasing your conversion rate and viewer engagement.
What to Look for in a Best WordPress Image Optimizer Plugin
Deciding to get an image optimizer plugin for your WordPress site is the first step. The next step will require you to understand what to look for in the best WordPress image optimizer plugins. Here is what we suggest you look for:
Quality of optimized images
Optimizing an image does not necessarily mean degrading the standard of the image for the sake of a faster website. Sometimes, when resizing and editing the image to fit a certain size, the image’s pixels deteriorate, making the images appear blurry and unclear.
This loss takes away the visual aspect of your website and renders the process of optimization ineffective. So, look for the plugin that doesn’t compromise on the quality of the final image.
Reviews of the plugin
This factor comes into play no matter what product you are looking to get. When looking for a premium or free WordPress image optimizer plugin, keep an eye out for reviews from users of the plugin to better understand its performance and resulting quality.
Cost of the plugin
There are several free image optimizer plugins available on the WordPress marketplace, but you will want a premium plugin if you require added functionality. To get a premium plugin, you don’t necessarily have to spend a lot.
You can cut the cost of a premium plugin by choosing the plugin with just the features you require. When getting your WordPress image optimizer plugin, set a specific budget and only pay for the option with the features you need.
Support for the plugin
When you come across any issues or queries with the plugin, sometimes the only way is through the help of the support team the plugin offers. Look for a plugin with an excellent support team, especially if you are using the plugin for the first time.
Also, confirm that the use of support services will not incur additional charges.
5 Best WordPress Image Optimizer Plugins
After establishing the benefits and factors affecting the WordPress image optimizer plugins, it’s time to uncover our best WordPress image optimizer plugins list. Read below for the brief list.
One of the top-rated WordPress image optimizer plugins, reSmush.it offers users plenty of freedom to optimize the contents of your site as you go.
Pros: Based on the reSmush.it API, it offers image reduction based on advanced algorithms. Because it’s simple to use and understand, it can be an ideal image optimizer plugin for even beginners. This WordPress plugin includes a bulk operation that you can use to automate the image optimization process. It also lets you customize the optimization level and exclude images you don’t want to change.
Cons: ReSmush.it’s biggest drawback is its incompatibility with the newer themes in the market.
Pricing: ReSmush.it is a free plugin that doesn’t require you to upgrade to a paid version for advanced features.
Rating: 5 stars
If your main focus is to reduce image sizes and optimize your website to its fullest, this is the best free image optimizer WordPress plugin.
Pros: Optimus works by uploading your original images to the Optimus server and sending fresh and compressed images to your website. With Optimus, you can reduce the size of the image files by up to 70%. It lets you enable and disable the automatic optimization as required. It also allows you to view the gains per file within the plugin’s media library.
Cons: Its downside, however, is the limit in the number of conversions with the free version. Optimus’s free version only allows you to optimize images up to 100KB in size.
Pricing: If you switch to its premium version, you will get additional features like increased file size and API support. Its premium plan starts from $29 per year and goes up to $149 per year.
Rating: 4 stars
EWWW Image Optimizer
EWWW is a free plugin that reduces the size of your images with the best compression-to-quality ratio.
Pros: It supports all image file types (JPG, PNG, PDF) and is quite flexible. It also supports bulk optimization, saving you time and effort. EWWW is constantly tested with new plugins and themes for compatibility, which reduces your chances of breaking the plugin. One of the best EWWW features is the ability to let you optimize all the images within your WordPress site, including avatars and Gravatars, at once. This plugin also enables free image backups for 30 days.
Cons: EWWW, like most premium plugins, limits the optimization you can perform. With the basic version, you can only use a few compression algorithms for image optimization.
Pricing: Its paid version provides you with an application programming interface (API) key that lets you access its entire library of compression algorithms. Its paid plan starts at $7 per month.
Rating: 4 stars
Smush is another free WordPress Image optimizer plugin benchmarked for its speed and quality. It offers a feature-rich option for professionals to boost their websites through image optimization.
Pros: Its best feature is its compatibility with Gutenberg that guarantees it meets all current WordPress standards. With Smush, you get lossless compression. You also can enable the lazy-load feature to defer off-screen images for faster load time. The plugin is cross-browser compatible and supports multiple file types (JPG, PNG, GIF, PDF). Unlike most free plugins, Smush does not limit optimization in any way.
Cons: Despite these pluses, Smush lacks the customization functionality in its plugin. And, its output is not as impressive as the output from some of the paid plugins.
Pricing: Smush is a 100% free WordPress image optimizer plugin.
Rating: 4 stars
Another popular free WordPress image optimization plugin, ShortPixel, has more than 300,000 active installs to date. This lightweight WordPress plugin is great for any website and works well with all web-hosting.
Pros: Using ShortPixel, you can optimize any image file type and automate image optimization in your website background. Unlike the other plugins, it supports both lossy and lossless image compressions. You even get complete freedom to scale images down to your custom settings. As it has no limits to file size, you can optimize huge image files as well.
Cons: ShortPixel falls short of compressing panoramic images. It also doesn’t allow you to set image file size, which means most compressed images are over 100 kilobytes (KB) in size.
Pricing: You can optimize 100 images each month for free. If you want to optimize more than 100 images a month, you will have to choose 1e of Shortpixel’s paid plans. Itsr most budget-friendly plan comes at $3.99 a month. It also offers a 1-off fee for 1-time bulk image optimization needs.
Rating: 4 stars
Optimize Your Website Images, Streamline Your Website
If you optimize your website images, you get a better load speed. That helps you with your search engine ranking and boosts website visitor engagement and your chances of sales. If you consider these points, it is quite safe to assume that image optimizer plugins can be 1 of the easiest yet most fundamental ways to improve the overall website experience.
Yet, before you decide to use a plugin on your website, you have to look at the several affecting factors and understand what propels your need for a WordPress image optimizer plugin. If it is just for better speed, go with the 1 that reduces the image size to the maximum. If it is for the balance of speed and aesthetics, look out for the plugin that doesn’t compromise the quality for smaller file sizes. After all, your needs should decide your choice.