7 Top Image Compression Plugins For Your WordPress Blog
A picture paints a thousand words, meaning it’s an integral part of any blog especially if you want to spare your brain from the additional torture — er, task — of churning out more words for your content. However, if handled incorrectly, images can cause more harm than good for your website. Some images are simply too cumbersome in size or data, which is why image compression plugins exist.
These plugins pretty much tinker with your website’s images to make them optimized. There are plenty of benefits for doing that but the primary ones would be to make them fit in better with your content and to stop them from slowing down your website. That is why they are necessary for most blogs since a blog without images is basically handicapping itself.
So, in order to have the best of both worlds, image compression blogs exist. You can have your images and they won’t slow down your website. These godsend packets of software can rescue your blog and server from damaging slowdowns and ghastly formatting. Here are the best image compression plugins for your blog.
Here we are with one of the most popular options among image compression plugins, Smush. Aside from the cute and appropriate name, Smush just crushes most of the competition due to its generosity. It’s a free plugin that also offers an all-in-one solution to most things pertaining to your images in WordPress.
This can be lossless image compression, bulk compression, lazy loading, image resizing, and a lot more. Of course, one of Smush’s best selling points is how it promises to leave the image quality intact despite the compression. Smush also gives you an unlimited allowance for its free version, though the catch is that this only applies for images 5 MB or below in data size.
Compress JPEG & PNG Images
Another generous free option would be the aptly named Compress JPEG & PNG Images. This plugin is pretty straightforward and does what it’s named after. Expect its functionality to be not as versatile as Smush, however. Still, because of that, it might be a lighter plugin or software for your website.
In any case, Compress JPEG & PNG Images lets you automatically compress or optimize images on the fly as you upload them. You can even set a maximum custom upload size so you don’t have to tinker with it every upload. The allowance is more or less generous, however, since Compress JPEG & PNG Images only allows you to optimize 100 images every month for the free option.
EWWW Image Optimizer
Despite the comical name, EWWW Image Optimizer is the real deal when it comes to image compression plugins. Like the previous option above, it lets you optimize your images as you upload them. You can even use this to compress your previously uploaded images in bulk in case you want to fix some of your past errors for the older content.
Compression is also performed on your own servers which eliminates the need for an account. Optionally, you can let EWWW Image Optimizer convert any image you have to a lighter and more optimized format. It’s a free plugin as well and you’ll only have to pay for premium if you want compression qualities higher than 80 percent.
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ShortPixel Image Optimizer
Like Compress JPEG & PNG Images, ShortPixel Image Optimizer only allows for 100 images per month if you’re running on the free option. However, one of the most outstanding features for it is how upon installation and getting an API key, ShortPixel Image Optimizer immediately begins compressing images.
It even has the courtesy to store your original images in a separate folder. This, in turn, allows you to do some comparisons on how this image compression plugin performs. The plugin even lets you choose how you compare the images and formats.
reSmush.It has most of everything the other plugins in here have from bulk compression of older images to automatic upload compression. Of course, you can also choose levels and customize how the plugin resizes and compresses your images.
In that regard, it’s also similar to how Smush handles its free plan; reSmush.It only allows compression and optimization for images sized 5 MB or below. Anything higher and you’ll have to avail of the premium plan. The plugin’s developers are also proud of how they made the plugin simple and a breeze to use; you can start any operation in as little as two clicks.
Imagify has one of the best user interfaces as far as image compression plugins go and also comes in a free option. Nevertheless, you might find Imagify’s free plan more limiting as it calculates the allowance differently. Instead of limiting the number of images or the max image size, Imagify will give users a monthly limit of 25 MB total image data size.
For this, you can have the same or similar functionalities as some of the top image compression plugins on this list. The plugin does allow you to restore some of the media it has compressed back to the original version quite easily.
As for this final plugin, it doesn’t exactly optimize or compress images directly. Instead, it uses the lazy load method; that is, it only displays the images which the website visitors only need to see. This frees a huge bandwidth for your servers and will certainly speed up your website. It decreases the number of requests needed when loading a page, thus improving the loading time.
Lazy Load is pretty much a dedicated plugin to lazy loading. It’s a great alternative to image compression or optimization especially if you run a photography website and don’t want to tamper with the image quality. It’s also free, like most of the plugins here so it’s up to you which one appeals to your needs and wants best.
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First published in 2020; updated 2022