Your website speed determines how your website viewers will initially react; will they be seeing your slick website interface or a loading screen in the first two seconds? If it’s the latter, then your website might be in bigger trouble than you think– there’s a big chance your audience has already left. When it comes to that, image optimizer plugins for WordPress can be a solution.
That’s because the typical case in slow websites is that they’re bogged down by unoptimized images. Take a quick look at your WordPress image gallery and if you see some image sizes with “MB” instead of just “KB,” you got yourself a problem that image optimizer plugins for WordPress can certainly fix.
Otherwise, it could be some server-related issues, but in any case, even if you think your images are optimized but you never used any plugins for them, then it’s high time you give them some meticulous care. Check out these WordPress plugins to help your images and your website speed.
By far, EWWW is one of the most popular image optimizer plugins for WordPress. It provides near-unparalleled ease of use since it optimizes the images you upload on the fly. This can save a lot of time especially if you’re used to manually reducing the sizes of your images as those require external software.
Moreover, EWWW performs image optimization on your own servers. You don’t even need an account of your own to use EWWW, though you can still sign up for it if you prefer. To that end, EWWW is completely free and has no image or file size limits.
- Free, no account or signups required
- No file size limit
- Easy-to-use, good quality of life features.
- Works on your servers
Uploading an image and then not worrying about it anymore once it’s in your media library is Optimole’s strength. It tailors your images to fit in users’ specific mobile devices or different kinds of screens. Of course, WordPress also has something like this but Optimole improves upon that feature.
Optimole is also intuitive enough to have its own dashboard outside of WordPress so you can tweak the intricate details of your images. You also don’t have to worry about your images loading slowly with Optimole.
- Free, but requires an account
- Free plan only allows 1GB of total image data per month
If you have a ton of old images you left unoptimized due to your website or blog being old, you might find optimizing them one-by-one tedious work. Compressing JPEG & PNG images can be a timesaver in that regard. It’s also one of the free image optimization plugins for WordPress but only allows for 100 images to be optimized per month (free account).
What the plugin makes up for is its ability to bulk-optimize images all at once. It also optimizes any new upload while you’re in the process of doing it. You also get an automatic image-sizing parameter with every new image upload; the plugin will automatically crop or resize the image according to your preferred size.
- Free account has a 100-image limit per month
- Great for bulk-optimizations
The user interface is where Imagify excels. It has arguably one of the most stylish layouts and dashboards among all image optimizer plugins for WordPress. The minimal menu and option design is also user-friendly and can shorten the time you spend tinkering with image compression.
Additionally, Imagify lets you pick a lossless compression for your images if ever you want to preserve the image quality while still managing to reduce the image size. As an added bonus, Imagify can also optimize your WordPress theme for you.
- Free plan allows 1GB of image data
- Great minimal UI, easy to use
- Lets you use lossless compression
reSmush.it is often regarded as the best out of all the image optimizer plugins for WordPress by many users in regards to how much it can compress while retaining the image quality. Like Imagify, it also has bulk optimizations for your older images as well as automated optimization upon upload.
Perfect as it may seem, reSmush.it does have some shortcomings; it doesn’t let you choose different compression levels. Optimization is also only available for images below 5MB (free account), 4K images or anything bigger might be exempted. If that’s crucial for your website, then you might want to use another plugin.
- 5MB maximum image size limit for free accounts
- Bulk optimization
- No compression options
ShortPixel is highly similar to Imagify especially when it comes to appearance. Both have minimalist UIs but ShortPixel gives you an advanced page if you want more customized images. There’s also a 100-image limit per month for free accounts.
Where ShortPixel shines is its thoughtfulness; it gives you a comparison of your original image versus the compressed or optimized image so you can tweak the settings to achieve your preference.
- Free, 100 images per month
- Easy UI, lots of options too
- Lets you compare compressed images with the original
- No file size restrictions
Not to be confused with reSmush.it, Smush is also quite popular as image optimizer plugins for WordPress go. It also has automatic optimization upon upload and lets you bulk optimize older images– up to 50 images all at once and you can even make them lossless.
You also get plenty of compression options from resolution changes to scale-downs. The downside is the rather limiting free mode; Smush only allows 1MB maximum filesize for images (free accounts).
- Each image can only be 1MB maximum for free accounts
- No need to signup
- Robust bulk optimization
As for which plugin we’d go with, reSmush.it apparently takes the cake when it comes to the compression-quality ratio. Of course, feel free to test out other options depending on your needs.
First published in 2019; updated February 2022
Civil Engineer by profession, Writer by passion. Serving readers since 2014 on different niches like Science, Current Events, Tech, and Travel.