WordPress image compression plugins play a major role in the optimization of the whole website.
Be it an e-commerce portal with thousands of products or a simple blog that gets a few visitors every day, compressing images will help you in reducing the load on your server, save you some bandwidth, boost your website’s performance in the front-end and help you in getting a better spot on Google.
In this list, I am going to share with you my favorite WordPress image compression plugins. Install any of these plugins and get started with your image optimization process.
Most of these plugins are free to use and there are some plugins that also offer premium options as an upgrade but if you are a blogger or a small portal, you wouldn’t need the premium version.
I have also shared some external image compression portals that you can use if you don’t want to install plugins for such tasks. Of course, these portals are free to use. Some may come with a specific limit though.
Let’s get started with the list.
Smush By WPMU DEV
I use and vouch for a lot of plugins developed by WPMU DEV and Smush is one of them. It built to solve all your image optimization-related problems for free. Being a WordPress developer myself, appreciate the clean coding standard and regular updates which makes this image compression plugin my top recommendation.
Some of the features include lossless compression, lazy load, bulk compression and optimizing, image resizing, incorrect size image detection, directory compression, automated optimization, Gutenberg Block Integration, no significant load on your servers, and more.
With most image compression plugins, you don’t get lazy loading and directory compression. By installing Smush, you will not have to install another plugin just for lazy loading.
There are some features such as conversion to WebP and CDNs etc. in the premium version of this plugin but you wouldn’t need these features if you are running a blog or small-scale business website.
WPMU DEV has a great track record and history of powering hundreds of thousands of WordPress websites, and they are also loved by developers and enthusiasts.
If you are someone who’s looking for a no-nonsense WordPress image compression plugin, WPMU DEV is the one.
Imagify By WP Media
Imagify optimizes your images automatically as soon as you activate the plugin and you also get the option to convert the images to WebP format. There are three levels of compression:
- Normal: is a lossless compression algorithm that compresses the images without altering the image quality at all. This is the best option if you don’t want to compromise on the quality of the image no matter what.
- Aggressive: is a lossy compression algorithm that performs a stronger compression process with a small reduction in the image’s quality. This is suitable for business websites, small blogs, and medium-scale e-commerce websites.
- Ultra: is a lossy compression algorithm. It performs the most aggressive image compression process. You may see some loss in quality. This option is only suitable for publishing portals that use too many images and have a large multimedia file database.
The only problem with Imagify is that you are limited to a certain number of images or file sizes. Once you exhaust this limit, you will need to upgrade to a premium plan. But, for small blogs and e-commerce sites, the free plan would do just fine.
ShortPixel Image Optimizer
ShortPixel image optimizer is a freemium image compression plugin. It will help you in compressing PNG, JPEG & other variants, GIF, and PDF documents.
On top of that, it will also automatically convert PNG images to JPG to reduce the file size without quality loss.
Some features include compressing images that aren’t available in the media library, compression retina images, uses progressive JPEG for larger files, API integration for multisite, suitable to work with WooCommerce.
It’s is a simple plugin that can be used on shared, VPS and dedicated servers alike.
If you want to upgrade to the premium plan, you can easily do that by creating an account or buy extra credits for a small amount.
EWWW Image Optimizer
EWWW Image Optimizer is the most popular image compression plugin in WordPress. It offers everything without any limit. There’s a premium version that helps you in achieving up to 80% compression but I am sure that you’ll only need the free version.
Features include unlimited file sizes and no speed limits, file conversion, compress the image in the WordPress directories, free image backups, and more.
You can configure this plugin the way you want using the configuration. It’s totally up to you what level of compression you want to use depending on your needs. This makes the EWWW image optimizer a wonderful tool for developers and website optimizers.
Compress JPEG & PNG images
Compress JPEG & PNG Images is a WordPress plugin offered by TinyPNG(I am going to talk about this service in a bit).
If you overlook the limitation, this plugin offers a lot of advanced and basic-level features right out of the box. You get WooCommerce compatibility, advanced background optimization, automatically optimizing newly uploaded images, bulk optimization, image resizing, compress animated PNG files, multisite support with single API key, WP Retina 2x compatible etc.
You get 100 free compressions per month. If you run a small blog or an e-commerce website, the 100 images limit is generous when you consider all the features that come packed with this plugin. You can always upgrade to a premium version to extend some features and push the limits if you want.
Optimus – WordPress Image Optimizer
Developed by KeyCDN, Optimus is a lightweight image compression plugin that you can use to compress small images on your website. It is not suitable for images with a larger than 100 KB file size and I also don’t recommend using this plugin on the WooCommerce website with hundreds of images as you’ll have to upgrade to a premium plan to use this plugin without any limits.
Features include progressive JPEGs, compression right at the time of upload, optimize all image versions, WooCommerce support, WordPress multisite support, bulk optimization, and WP Retina 2x compatible and option to enable and disable automatic image optimization during upload.
For a small niche site with a few articles and thumbnails, Optimus is a promising offering.
SG Optimizer is a WordPress optimization plugin by SiteGround and it works best if you are hosting your website(s) on SiteGround. You cannot use it with any given web hosting platform.
On top of all the WordPress optimization features offered by SG Optimizer, you also get to use Lazy load features, automatically optimize images and automatically generate a WebP version of your images for better front-end performance.
SiteGround is a pretty popular website hosting platform. If you are hosting a blog or any other type of website, SG Optimizer will be a powerful plugin to make use of. Plus, it is 100% free to use and there is no premium version. You get all the bells & whistles in the free version itself.
Inline Image Upload for BBPress
Inline Image Upload for BBPress helps you in adding some much needed firepower to your WordPress website.
Some features include an option to change the directory of future uploads, set limits to particular user roles, limit the total number of uploads per post, automatically resize images, automatically compress images to save some space, enable lightbox for images, and more.
When you run a forum using BBForum in WordPress, you should expect users to upload all kinds of images.
To keep everything running smoothly, you need to make sure that these unoptimized images are taken care of automatically. This is where Inline Image Upload for BBPress comes into play.
Automatic WebP & Image Compression
Want a dedicated image compression plugin for WebP conversion & Compression, Automatic WebP & Image Compression plugin is what you are looking for. Since it’s a premium plugin, you are not limited to some features. You have unlimited access to the reSmush API that this plugin uses to compress images.
You can also compress images available in the theme or plugin folders. The most common issue that I face when working with premium themes is the library or uncompressed images that theme developers use to make their themes look beautiful.
With this plugin, you can easily compress those images and reduce your website’s page load time and increase the front-end performance, encouraging the users to spend more time on your website.
a3 Lazy Load
Now that you have installed the image compression plugin, the next step is to enable lazy loading to increase your website’s page load time.
If you don’t use lazy loading, your users will have to wait for all the images to load before they can start consuming the content on your website.
Lazy loading enables you to load images on scroll. This means that the web page will be fully loaded within 1-3 seconds and when the users scroll down, the remaining images will be loaded respectively.
a3 Lazy Load is a stupid simple lazy loading plugin.
Al you have to install this free plugin and configure the lazy load settings and you are all set. Now, your multimedia files will not be loaded all at once. Instead, the first image at the top will be loaded and the rest will be loaded when the user scrolls down.
Not everybody wants to install plugins to compress the images. Some people may want to compress the images and optimize them prior to uploading them to their website to avoid putting unnecessary load on their server.
For those people, free image compression portals are a life-saver.
One such website is CompressNow. There’s a single page where you manually select the level of compress and then drop your images in the uploaded.
The portal takes a few seconds and delivers compressed images. Since it’s a free service, they do have some limits. You cannot upload more than 10 images at a time and you can only compress JPG, JPEG, GIF, and PNG images. Also, you cannot convert images using this service.
Compress PNG is my favorite PNG image compression service online. It’s free, you get to upload up to 20 images and download them all at once.
It’s a pretty straightforward process and if you want to tweak the default settings, you can select the manual mode where you can select the level of compression based on the number of colors present in the image. The less color = low file size but poorer image quality.
Compress PNG comes from a network on file compression and conversion services. Bookmark this website and you’ll never need any other service to take care of your image compression and conversion.
Most experienced bloggers know that uploading JPEG images will save them a lot of space as it takes less space on your server.
PNGs are known to sport a larger file size and you only need a PNG image if you need some sort of animation or if you want too many colors and transparent colors.
CompressJPEG is a web application built to help you compress your JPEG images. Select your images and drop them on to the field and it will automatically start compressing the image(s). Once compressed, you can easily download the image(s) in bulk.
Similar to CompressJPEG, you can manually select the level of compression.
Most free image compression services and web applications don’t support GIF compression. GIFs are extremely large in file size, and you definitely need to compress them before uploading them anywhere. GIFs’ file size is the reason why most social media portals have banned its use across their network.
But, sometimes, you need to use GIFs to demonstrate a process or to share some memes. In these cases, you need a compress that could take care of GIFs as well.
GIFCompressor is the best GIF compressor out there. On top of compressing GIFs, you can also convert GIFs to MP4, PNG using this service.
TinyPNG is the service behind the “Compress JPEG & PNG images” WordPress plugin. It only lets you compress JPEG and PNG images. The only reason to list this option here is that it offers many developer options.
Using its developer API, you can integrate this service to your web application and force compress images uploaded by users and moderators. Its API is being used by more than 50000 businesses across the globe.
The only downside to using TinyPNG is the limited file size support. But, since most web applications only allow PNG and JPEG upload, using TinyPNG’s API for automatically compressing user-generated images makes perfect sense.
F.A.Q.s Related to Image compression plugins
1. How can an image compression plugin help my website?
ANS: Most images that you download online or the screenshots that you take are uncompressed. This means that they’ll have a larger file size as compared to the compressed ones.
When you upload uncompressed images to your WordPress website, it will take more server resources, bandwidth, and firepower to host them.
So, to keep everything running smoothly, you need to make sure that all of your images are optimized and loads faster without losing any quality.
2. Will compressing images help with search engine ranking?
ANS: Yes, compressing images reduces your website’s page load time by reducing the overall file size of the HTML file. So, you might see an improvement in your search engine rankings.
3. Should I install more than 1 image compression plugin?
Ans: No, you should only use a single image compression plugin. If you don’t want to use any plugins to compress and optimize images, use external resources to accomplish that.
4. What about resizing and adding “ALT” tags to the images?
Ans: You can do all the optimization using Photoshop. If you don’t have Photoshop, get yourself an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription. It’s worth it.
Conclusion: Best WordPress Image Compression Plugins
I use image compression on my client’s website as they don’t know how to get their images compressed before uploading them to WordPress.
For my niche website, I use external websites to compress images. For resizing, I still use Photoshop or Canva depending on the type of customization that’s needed.
I am always searching for awesome add-ons and plugins to share with you guys. So, I will be updating this list on a regular basis. But, if you feel that an item is outdated and needs to be replaced, drop your suggestions in the comment section below.
Which plugin will you use for your website?