Uncompressed and oversized images can have a major impact on your website speed. Image optimizer plugins for WordPress can help compress and resize the image to reduce the size of the file which speeds up the loading time of your web pages.
As an experienced WordPress web developer, I am always looking for the best WordPress plugins available. I have used many image compression plugins to improve website speed which this article will look at and make a suggestion of the best WordPress image compression plugin suited to your needs.
The image compression plugin that is best for you depends upon your budget and the size of your website. For small websites looking for maximum speed gains, TinyPNG is ideal. Smush image optimizer is a better option if you want to retain the highest image quality. Larger websites would be best suited to using Optimole image compression plugin.
Compressions Levels - Lossy, glossy and lossless compression levels are available. Lossy compresses the images the most but with a small loss in image quality. 'Glossy' compression offers high image quality but doesn't compress the images as aggressively resulting in larger file size. Lossless compression is for users who don't want to maintain the maximum image quality but has a larger file size, although smaller than the original.
Compression Process - Images up uploaded to the cloud and optimised on ShortPixels servers before being downloaded and replacing you existing images.
Image Backups - ShortPixel will backup your images before starting optimisation. There is a button within the plugin to restore the originals.
File Types - JPEG, PNG, GIF and PDF files are supported.
Statistics - The plugin gives you a live update of how much the image has been optimised by using a percentage pie chart. It also shows an overall average image size reduction as a percentage.
WEBP Images - Yes, WebP images can be created and at no extra cost.
Image Resizing - Shortpixel allows you to set maximum width and height for images. Images larger than these dimensions are automatically resized.
Price - Free for 100 images a month and all features included, $4.99 a month for up to 5000 photos and $29.99 for 55,000 images. They also sell one-time packages for $9.99 for 10,000 images.
Compressions Levels - There is only one compression level on offer, which can reduce the file size down to 25% of the original by reducing the range of colours in the image. For general images, this is an effective technique that isn't noticeable. On flat surfaces such as interior photographs, you will see banding in areas of subtle gradients such as a sideboard or floor.
Compression Process - Images are processed on TinyPNG's server. The plugin requires an API to work, and the instructions on setting this up are within the plugin, which is simple to create.
Image Backups - Images are overwritten with no backup option, even for the paid service.
File Types - JPEG and PNG only.
WEBP Images - No, there is no support for WebP images.
Statistics - This plugin shows you statistics during optimisation with before and after as a percentage but without a graph. It does the job but not as attractive or fun as the other plugins.
Image Resizing - TinyPNG uses the images sizes you have specified within your theme or the WordPress default image sizes and compresses those.
Price - The first 500 images a month are Free and then charged per image. Compressing 5000 photos a month costs $40.50.
Compressions Levels - Normal, Aggressive and Ultra image compression levels are available, and the names suggest the level of compression it applies. You should test some images out first to see if Ultra compression is acceptable for the purpose. 'Normal' offers lossless compression but also the larger file size.
File Upload - Maximum image size per image is 2MB for free accounts.
Compression Process - Images are processed on your server.
Image Backups - The 'Backup original images' option is active by default, and they are stored in a separate folder. There is an option next to each image to restore individually, or you can rerun the compression on a different setting as it will work from the originals.
File Types - JPG, PNG & GIF. The paid service also compresses PDF files.
WEBP Images - Yes, WebP images can be created.
Statistics - The plugin has an attractive interface, during image compression icons indicate the file progress, how much an image has been compressed, and the overall file size savings.
Image Resizing - Images can be resized to a maximum width in pixels and then compressed.
Price - The Free plan has 25MB limit per month, approximately ten full resolution JPG or up to 250 cropped images. 1GB a month costs $4.99 and 50GB costs $69.99 a month. They offer one-time packages with 3GB costing $19.99.
EWWW Image Optimizer Features
Image Compression - There is only one compression level offered, but this plugin uses the TinyPNG software to power their premium plus membership.
Compression Process - Images are processed on your server for the free plugin and paid plans can use the EWWW cloud-based servers. There is an option for paid customers to use the CDN for fast image delivery. The free plugin uses a lot of database queries and is banned from some hosting providers, so the cloud option is a better option to use. For smaller sites, another plugin may be a better option.
Image Backups - Images are backed up and can be restored for 30 days on their server. Images can be restored individually from the media library. There isn't a bulk restore option, and they advise you restore the original from your backup of the server if you need to for a large number of images.
File Types - JPEG, PNG and GIF are supported.
WEBP Images - JPEG and PNG files can be converted to WebP, but JPEG has a slight loss in quality, PNG files are lossless.
Statistics - The statistics are limited during the compression to displaying the overall file size you have saved. It's functional but not as fun as the other plugins here.
Image Resizing - EWWW offers automatic image resizing with their paid service. Images will be delivered to the best size depending on if the viewer is using a computer, tablet or mobile device.
Price - The plugin is free to use on your server, $15 for 5000 images using there API or $9 a month using their CDN to compress and store images.
Image Compression - Lossless and Lossy compression is available, but Optimole also resizes the images to the required size, which can further reduce the file size and speed up page load times.
Compression Process - Optimole uses a CDN to deliver and resize images on the fly with the option of using lazy loading. For larger websites, this plugin offers many advanced features, especially for multiple devices.
Image Backups - Compressed images are served from Optimole's CDN server, so the original photos remain on your server.
File Types - JPEG, PNG, GIF and PDF are supported.
WEBP Images - Yes, WebP images can be created.
Image Resizing - Optimole uses one image size from your library then delivers images to the dimensions required by your visitors by cropping and compressing on the fly.
Statistics - There is an attractive interface displaying how much in multiples the image file size has been decreased by such as 2.4x smaller.
Price - Their Free package allows up to 1GB of images a month to be compressed but is limited to 5GB of bandwidth. The business package is priced at £29 a month for up to 50GB of images and 300GB bandwidth.
Smush Pro Features
Image Compression - There is one option for the free plugin, which is quick and straightforward to use. The membership contains more options, including super smush, which reduces the file size by 50% and PNG to JPEG conversion, which can minimise large PNG files.
Compression Process - Smush Pro perhaps the best image compression plugin on this list offering a 45 point CDN, image resizing, WebP, bulk optimisation and an attractive interface. The main problem is the price which at $49 a month is expensive if you were just to use this plugin on a smaller website.
Image Backups - The original images are left uncompressed. You can recreate smaller image sizes from the original by using the regenerate thumbnails plugin, but there isn't a restore option.
File Types - JPEG, PNG, GIF are supported.
WEBP Images - Image can be converted to WebP with their subscription package but isn't available with the free plugin alone.
Image Resizing - The paid version, Smush Pro, can deliver automatically resized images and can resize and compress images as large as 32MB.
Statistics - Smush Pro excels with fun graphics and statistics, making it a more enjoyable experience to use than TinyPNG, but not necessarily better.
Price - There is a popular Free plugin available which allows image compression on your server without charge but is limited to bulk compression of 50 images a time. Their subscription priced at $49 a month offers more compression features, a CDN and membership to WPMU Dev.
That's our list for the best image compression plugins for WordPress! Which plugin is best for you depends upon your budget and the size of your website. For a small website with under 500 images, TinyPNG is very ideal but if you need to retain maximum image quality then the Free version of Smush would be more suitable. For larger websites, The premium version of EWWW is ideal, but for maximum quality and an acceptable price, Optimole would be best suited.