A good WordPress image compression plugin will shrink the image files on your websites. But, if you want the site running faster than Usain Bolt on a caffeine high, we’d recommend restricting yourself to the very best WordPress image compression plugins.
Their blend of intelligent image optimization tools will compress and deliver your media files in a manner that maximizes page loading speeds, preserves image quality, and enhances user experience.
We embarked on a quest to uncover those exceptional image compression plugins for WordPress users, and here are the results…
Optimole isn’t just a WordPress image compression plugin. It’s an all-in-one image optimization solution, with the power to compress, resize, lazy load, and serve images via a built-in CDN.
Unlike WordPress plugins that compress images locally before replacing them in your media library, Optimole does everything in its Amazon CloudFront-powered cloud infrastructure.
What we mean is, the system here doesn’t replace any images on your website. It, instead, replaces all your image URLs with cloud-based URLs while optimizing them on the fly.
As a WordPress image compression plugin, Optimole offers both lossy and lossless optimization algorithms. This gives you the flexibility to choose between data savings and image quality. You can set your image compression level to low, medium, high, or leave it on auto.
All in all, Optimole compresses images by nearly 80%, without any noticeable changes in quality. Downgrades in image quality only occur whenever the tool detects an abnormally slow network connection from a visitor.
Optimole is both a premium and free WordPress image compression plugin. The free version has a limit of 5,000 visits per month, while its premium plans start at $22.99 a month.
Second on our list of the best WordPress image compression plugins is Smush, which boasts more than a million active installations.
All you need here is to install the plugin and then turn it on. Its bulk image compressor will proceed to optimize all the images in your WordPress media library. Any new images that you upload thereafter will also be scanned and minimized accordingly.
Lossless compression is the technique at play, and Smush uses it to retail original image quality while reducing the file size by up to 5 MB. You can, for instance, compress an image from 250 KB to about 235 KB, with zero loss in quality.
This WordPress image compression plugin doesn’t stop there. It further optimizes images using lazy loading and auto-resizing.
Reminder: what is lazy loading? Lazy loading is a technique used to defer the loading of non-critical resources on a webpage, such as images, until they are needed. This can improve website performance by reducing the initial page load time and only loading images when they become visible to the user.
Smush is yet another WordPress image compression plugin that offers both free and premium options. The free version limits you to images under 1 MB, while upgrades start at $19 a month.
Jetpack is a versatile, all-in-one plugin that comes in the form of a suite of tools – loaded with features for enhancing your WordPress site’s marketing, security, and performance.
Under its performance category is where you’ll find the image optimization features. Jetpack’s advanced image compression algorithm is engineered to calculatedly balance image quality and file size, which then helps you to speed up the website without compromising its visual appeal.
The whole system is automated, and it starts off its optimization with images in your WordPress media library, before finally extending the same to any new mages added thereafter.
Supported image formats include JPEG, GIF, and PNG. Jetpack even supports file conversion sizes by transforming PNG and GIF images into JPEG format.
To cap it all off, the optimized images are usually served via a content delivery network. This should reduce your server load and increase the page loading speeds.
Other image optimization options powered by the Jetpack plugin include resizing and lazy loading,
Jetpack has a free version that supports WordPress image compression. But, for increased performance, the full Jetpack suite goes for $49.95 per month.
Imagify is another powerful WordPress image optimization plugin that offers various compression options to cater to different needs.
Once you add any image to your WordPress media library, the plugin automatically sends a copy to its cloud servers. Advanced algorithms then take over from there and compress the image according to your selected compression level.
Imagify itself offers three types of compression:
Normal compression is perfect for those who prioritize image quality. It performs lossless optimization, meaning the optimized image may end up being slightly smaller than the original. But you won’t see any visible change in image quality.
As such, this option would be ideal for photography sites, technical drawings, and medical diagrams – where pixel-perfect images are crucial.
For users who’d want more shrinkage, aggressive compression uses lossy compression to remove unnecessary metadata from images. This makes the image size even smaller, but still without any noticeable change in image quality. Only a trained eye can spot the difference.
If you’re dealing with heavy images, though, ultra compression might be the best choice. This one stretches the WordPress image compression plugin to its lossy compression limit – which means you could have a visible drop in image quality.
If you choose to leverage Imagify as a free WordPress image compression plugin, you can only optimize up to 20 MB of images per month.
Otherwise, to increase the usage capacity, you’ll be required to pay at least $4.99 a month.
While the other four are multi-faceted WordPress image optimization plugins that support image compression, TinyPNG is a dedicated image compression plugin. This is what you choose when you’re only interested in image compression.
The tool itself is pretty straightforward. After you upload an image to your WordPress site, TinyPNG mirrors a copy of the file to its cloud system. The image is then analyzed to determine the most effective optimization strategy before it’s finally compressed.
The resultant optimized image is eventually sent back to your WordPress site, where it replaces the original image file.
On average, JPEG images are compressed by 40-60%, while PNG images range between 50% and 80%. Whatever the outcome you’re aiming for, though, you can count on TinyPNG to preserve the original image quality.
This WordPress image compression plugin is also capable of processing multiple types of files in one go. Its bulk optimizer can handle JPEG, WebP, and PNG images simultaneously. All it takes is one click to initiate the process.
Another thing to note is TinyPNG’s maximum file size of 500 MB. So, you should be able to optimize even large images without any problems.
TinyPNG can only be utilized as a free WordPress image compression plugin until you hit 500 optimized images. Premium rates will apply from that time on, and you can expect to pay anything between $0.002 and $0.009 per image.
Now that we’ve reviewed the best image compression plugins for WordPress, it’s only right that we clarify how they were identified.
The following is a breakdown of some of the most critical factors to consider when choosing the best WordPress image compression plugins:
To avoid any compatibility problems, ensure that your image compression plugin can seamlessly handle all the popular file formats.
In particular, you might want to prioritize PNG, JPG or JPEG, GIF, and WebP. These are five of the most common media files on WordPress sites.
You’d want a WordPress image compression that can shift between lossy and lossless compression.
Lossless image compression is ideal when you need to maintain image quality. You can expect your image file size to reduce by about 10% to 50%. But, you won’t see any major transformation in image resolution.
Lossy image compression, on the other hand, attains an even more substantial reduction in file size. But then again, the impressive compression ratio is usually accompanied by a drop in image quality.
When the best image compression plugins are integrated with Content Delivery Networks (CDNs), the optimized images are delivered to end-users much faster, and with minimal bandwidth usage.
That blend is particularly beneficial to websites with large volumes of image content. It helps alleviate the load on the hosting server, leading to improved website performance and user experience.
Image optimization goes beyond just compressing the media files – it’s a multifaceted process. So, even as you shop for a WordPress image compression plugin, don’t restrict yourself to image compression tools.
You might to keep an eye out for bonus functionalities like image resizing, format conversion, image caching, progressive loading, and metadata optimization. These supplementary capabilities can greatly enhance your overall image optimization strategy.
Here are our top recommendations again:
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