Most websites don’t skimp when it comes to images. A single blog post can have dozens of photos and screenshots, as the media makes the content more attractive and scannable. However, the more images you add to each page, the longer it will take to load. That’s where a quality WordPress image compression plugin can come to the rescue.
This type of tool takes your images and “optimizes” them to take up less space. In this article, we will highlight the best WordPress image optimization plugins available. We choose them based on their feature sets, ratings and analysis, update history, and pricing.
Let’s go there!
EWWWEWWW Image Optimizer
EWWW Image Optimizer is one of the most powerful WordPress image compression plugins that you can use. Once you enable this tool, it automatically compresses any new images that you upload to your website.
You can also use Bulk Optimizer to compress existing images in your media library:
With EWWW Image Optimizer, you can automatically resize images when uploading and removing metadata from your media files to save space. The plugin also includes lazy loading functionality and allows you to convert image files to the WebP format to increase compression rates.
The free version of EWWW Image Optimizer compresses images on its own server and does not have a file size limit. You can also go for the premium version of the plugin, which uses a cloud service to optimize the image and has higher compression rates.
- Compress image files as you upload them to your website
- Optimize existing files in your media library
- Resize new images automatically
- Enable lazy loading
- Convert images to WebP
EWWW Image Optimize is for you if …
… Your server can handle the additional load of image compression tasks. This shouldn’t be a problem unless you’re using a very basic shared hosting plan or routinely uploading hundreds of images to your website.
Price: Free, with a premium version available starting at $ 7 per month | More information
WP Smush is part of the WPMU DEV plugin family. This specific tool allows you to automatically optimize images after uploading them to your website. Like our previous pick, WP Smush includes a bulk optimization option (up to 50 images at a time) to compress existing images.
What really stands out about WP Smush is its user interface (UI). As with most WPMU DEV plugins, the display is elegant and easy to understand:
WP Smush also includes resizing and lazy loading features. Also, you can configure the plugin to remove metadata from the image after uploading new files.
This particular plugin supports images up to 5MB. If you want to exceed this limit, you will need to use the premium version, which also allows you to integrate a Content Delivery Network (CDN) for even faster load times.
- Automatically optimize image files (up to 5MB) after uploading
- Compress existing images in your media library (up to 50 files at a time)
- Remove metadata from your image files
- Automatically resize images as you upload them
- Enable lazy loading
WP Smush is for you if …
… You do not routinely use image files larger than 5MB. This plugin offers the friendliest interface that you will find among WordPress image compression plugins. We also tested WP Smush with Divi, and the two make a great combination.
Price: Free, with a premium version available starting at $ 6 per month | More information
ShortPixel Image Optimizer
ShortPixel Image Optimizer allows you to automatically optimize images and PDF files, as well as resize images. Although this is a standard offering, a new feature offered by this plugin is the choice between lossy, lossless, and brilliant compression.
Few WordPress image optimization plugins offer brilliant compression. From a technical point of view, it provides a middle ground between lossless and lossy compression types:
ShortPixel Image Optimizer also allows you to backup original image files after optimization. It can help you remove metadata from images and resize them automatically after the upload process. Also, this plugin can automatically convert PNG files to JPEG as well as optimize Retina images and thumbnails.
Despite all its advanced features, there are some drawbacks to using ShortPixel. First, the plugin requires you to share your email address to obtain an API key for activation. Second, the free version of the plugin limits you to 100 image optimizations per month, which may not be enough for some users.
- Automatically compress new images on your website (up to 100 per month)
- Use bulk optimization to compress existing images
- Choose from lossless, lossy, and brilliant compression
- Create backup copies of your images before compression
- Remove metadata from image files
- Resize images automatically
- Convert PNG files to JPEG
- Optimize Retina Images and Thumbnails
ShortPixel Image Optimizer is for you if …
… you can work with the optimization limit of 100 images per month or pay for the premium version of the plugin. In terms of features, ShortPixel Image Optimizer offers more functionality than most WordPress image compression plugins.
Price: Free, with a premium version available starting at $ 4.99 per month | More information
Compress JPEG & PNG Images
Compressing JPEG and PNG images is a simple tool to optimize images in WordPress. By default, this plugin aggressively compresses images with lossy focus. It allows you to automatically resize images and compress all the sizes that WordPress generates when uploading new files:
One downside to using Compress JPEG and PNG is that you have to sign up for a free Tinify account to get an API key. Additionally, the service limits you to 500 free image optimizations per month. Each additional image size that you want to compress takes up another space.
- Optimize images when uploading to WordPress or in the background after they are on your server
- Resize images automatically
Compressing JPEG and PNG images is for you if …
… You want a simple plugin that aggressively optimizes images. In our experience, files generated by JPEG and PNG Image Compressor still look great for most purposes.
Price: Free, with premium plans available starting at $ 25 per year | More information
Robin Image Optimizer
Robin Image Optimizer allows you to optimize WordPress images using various third-party server options. The plugin can help you bulk compress images or optimize new files by uploading to WordPress.
In any case, you can choose whether you want to use a free server that limits the image size to 5 MB or a second option that works on a credit system (with 300 free optimizations per month):
This plug-in also allows you to choose from several compression modes, including lossless, lossy, “high”, and custom options. Robin Image Optimizer includes a feature that allows you to create backup copies of images before optimizing them, and you can also use the plugin to remove metadata from your media files. Finally, it provides a useful function that allows you to schedule background image optimizations.
- Choose from various types of image compression
- Automatically optimize images after uploading
- Choose from multiple servers to manage image optimization
- Create backup copies of your image files before optimizing them
- Schedule image optimizations to run in the background
Robin Image Optimizer is for you if …
… You want to have full control over how complete your WordPress image compression plugin is. Robin Image Optimizer also offers an interesting combination of free features, such as allowing you to choose between servers.
Price: Free, with a premium version available starting at $ 39 per year | More information
There are many options when it comes to WordPress image compression plugins. Most tools offer automatic image optimization, but in many cases, this comes with a few caveats. With free plugins, there is usually a limit to the number of images you can optimize or the maximum file size you can compress.
With that in mind, our top suggestions for WordPress image compression plugins are EWWW Image Optimizer and WP Smush. Both tools offer a wide range of optimization options and only a few limitations in the case of WP Smush specifically. Either plugin can get you up and running quickly with a long-term sustainable optimization solution.
Have a question about which WordPress image compression plugin to use? Let’s talk about them in the comment section below!