Images – they speak a thousand words – and they increase the load time of a webpage. A catch-22 situation, isn’t it? Digital cameras are getting better by the day and HDR image resolutions are getting higher. This, invariably, increases the size of the image. You wouldn’t want to offer low-res images on your website but you wouldn’t want to compromise on the load time as well. The good news is that you don’t have to. Not when you have the option of image optimization.
In layman terms, image optimization is the process of offering high-quality and resolution images on your website while keeping the smallest size possible. Un-optimized images directly impact the load times of your webpage. Here are steps for optimizing an image for the web:
- Choosing the right image dimensions – viewing the image at 100%.
- Saving images for the web – an option offered by most photo-editing software.
- Compressing images – removing hidden data like additional color profiles and metadata.
WordPress offers a wide range of tools to help optimize images. In this article, we will be looking at 5 best image optimization tools for your WordPress website:
1. WP Smush
WP Smush is a 100% free and incredibly powerful image optimizing tool available for your WordPress website.
However, it does not compress the original full-sized images but only the ones you upload for embedding on your site. Also, the free tool allows compression of images upto 1MB only. To avail more benefits you can opt for WP Smush Pro (which has a 30 day free trial period too).
2. EWWW Image Optimizer
It is a free plugin available to help you compress and resize images. Optimization takes place within your own servers by default instead of connecting to a third party. Hence, optimization takes lesser time. It also offers cloud tech optimization features if you don’t have the permission to execute the files on the server.
This plugin automatically scales down large image uploads that are larger than the configured max width/height. You can add ‘-noresize’ to the file name that you don’t want to be compressed on upload.
4. Imagify Image Optimizer
This plugin offers three levels of compression: normal, aggressive and ultra. It also offers a backup option to enable you to revert to the original image whenever you want. You can opt for the free plan which has around 25MB of images limit or can opt from one of their paid plans.
5. ShortPixel Image Optimizer
A freemium plugin which uses minimal resources and offers lossy and lossless image compressions for almost all common image formats. You can opt for the 100 free image optimization credit to test the plugin and then opt for one of their plans.
Apart from image optimization, your WordPress website’s speed also depends on the kind of hosting that is use. It is advisable for WordPress based websites to go for WordPress Hosting. WordPress Hosting plans not only provide a very compatible hosting environment for WordPress which enables better performance, but also takes care of certain other maintenance tasks like WP-Database optimization which have a huge impact on the speed of WordPress websites.
Hope this post helps you explore plugins that can help with image speed optimization and if you have used any of the plugins listed above, please drop a comment and share your experience. If you have any other great plugins to achieve this, please be sure to mention them as well!