Striking, high-resolution images make a website visually appealing and help to attract visitors and hold their attention.
But if like many you, or your clients, upload images to a WordPress site without taking the time to optimise them first, your website’s loading speed will suffer.
Optimising images is one of the quickest ways to improve user experience as it helps to reduce the load times of site pages. And with the right plug-ins you can compress images without losing quality.
So in this post we’ll be looking at seven image optimisation plug-ins for WordPress that’ll help improve site speed.
WP Smush is one of the most popular image compression plug-ins for WordPress. The plug-in lets your compress JPEG, GIF and PNG images up to 32MB individually. There is also a bulk optimisation feature which allows you to optimise up to 50 images at a time.
You can set up the plug-in to optimise all your new images automatically as you upload them to your site. Of course, you also have the option to optimise images individually. Existing files can also be compressed, and this is where bulk optimisation comes in handy.
WP Smush works by stripping meta data from JPEG files, but in case you want to preserve EXIF data, that’s possible, too.
EWWW Image Optimizer
Use this plug-in to automatically optimise JPG, PNG, or GIF images as you upload them to your site. It can also run through your existing images and optimise them.
A nice feature of EWWW Image Optimizer is the ability to convert images to the file format that produces the smallest image size.
This free plug-in automatically resizes images to a size that manages to fit in the browser. You have the option to set a maximum height, width and quality for each image uploaded to the website.
Imagify is another useful WordPress plug-in for compressing images, including thumbnails and Retina-ready images. With the free option you can optimise up to 250 images per month, with an additional 25 MB when you register for an account.
Imagify offers three levels of compression to choose from, with varying levels of loss in image quality. You can use the bulk feature to save time and optimise all your images with a single click.
If, for instance, you’re not happy with the quality of an image post-optimisation, you can always revert to the original one as all the images are backed up.
SEO Friendly Images
To properly optimise an image for search engines you need to add an ALT tag. This important tag describes your images to search engines, making it very useful for SEO.
SEO Friendly Images takes care of this task for you as it edits all your images with proper ALT and TITLE attributes to help boost your SEO efforts. So if an image doesn’t have an ALT and TITLE set, then the plug-in will add them according to the options you previously set.
Compress JPEG & PNG Images
This free plug-in automatically resizes images as you upload them to your site, and it also resizes existing images either individually or in bulk.
You can set the height and the width of the images, preserve metadata, and choose the sizes you want to compress – thumbnail, medium, or full size.
The plug-in optimises images through services such as TinyJPG and TinyPNG. So when you upload an image, these services will analyse your image, determine the best mode to compress, and then reduce the file size with minimal loss in image quality.
With the free API key you can optimise up to 100 images a month.
ShortPixel Image Optimizer
ShortPixel Image Optimizer is another useful WordPress image compression plug-in. With the free account you can optimise up to 100 images per month.
The plug-in starts compressing the images on your site the moment you activate it, and it also stores your original versions in a separate folder. The glossy JPEG compression feature is sure to delight photographers. You can choose to retain or discard the EXIF data.
Your turn now! What are your top image optimisation plug-ins for WordPress and which one(s) from this list have you tried?