Best free WordPress image compression plugins

6 Best Free WordPress Image Optimization Plugins for 2021

Do you want to optimize images on your WordPress website? In this tutorial, we are going to show you different WordPress image optimization plugins and how you can use them to optimize images.

On WordPress, You can optimize images in two different ways.  You can either use an image compression plugin or manually compress an image by using an image editing software.

If you want to manually compress images then read our article on how to compress an image without losing quality.

What is Image Optimization?

Image Optimization is a type of data compression applied to digital images, to reduce their size on the storage or improve their accessibility on the web.

There are 2 different types of image compression techniques one is known as lossy and the other one is called lossless.

Lossy compression when applied to images, will compress image size on the storage but it will compromise the image quality.

JPG and GIF file formats both use lossy image compression.

Lossless compression would also decrease the image size on the storage but not to a great extent because it needs to keep the image quality.

Hence, if you are looking for keeping the quality of the image then this is the compression technique that is good for you. RAW, PNG, and BMP are file formats that are known as lossless image compression formats.

Why Image Optimization is Important?

Most platforms like Facebook, Gmail, and others use image compression algorithms, so for an average user, image optimization is not important.

However, for most web publishers it helps a page load faster on the user’s end. Also, Google put websites on higher positions that are optimized for a better and faster user experience.

  • Image optimization makes webpages load faster.
  • It is an important Search engine optimization technique and helps in site ranking.
  • Compressed images will also take less disk storage on your hosting server.

Best WordPress Image Optimization Plugins

We have collected some of the best image optimization plugins from the WordPress plugins directory. They are all quite popular among the community and have a high number of active installs. That is a good indication that these plugins are found useful by a lot of WordPress users. Besides, we have tested these plugins ourselves on our website before recommending them to you. Let’s get started:

1. Smush

smush interface

It is quite a popular WordPress image optimization plugin. It is totally free and you can find it from the WordPress plugins directory and install this plugin on your site. Read this tutorial if you don’t know how to install a WordPress plugin.

This plugin helps you lazy load images, resize, and compress them. It is a free WordPress image compression plugin but a few features are kept locked for only pro users. It also has a very active support community.

Here are some of the plugin features that you should know:

  • Lossless compression
  • Lazy load – Defer offscreen images with the flip of a switch.
  • Bulk Smush – Optimize & compress up to 50 images with one click.
  • Image Resizing – Set a max width and height. Large images will scale down as they are being compressed.
  • Incorrect Size Image Detection – Quickly locate images that are slowing down your site.
  • Convert to WebP (Pro Only) – Upgrade and automatically serve images in Next-Gen WebP format.

2. EWWW Image Optimizer

EWWW Image Optimizer

You can optimize already uploaded images to your website or also take care of new images uploads automatically. This plugin is free to install but some features are only available to users with premium subscriptions.

With EWWW, images are automatically compressed, scaled to fit the page and device size, lazy-loaded, and converted to the next-gen WebP format.

You can optimize all your images from a single page with bulk optimize options. You can also convert your uploaded images to WebP format.

It also allows you to run all bulk optimization processes from your command line instead of the web interface.

3. Imagify

Imagify WordPress Plugin

Imagify optimizes images in one click. You can convert your existing images into WebP format to speed up your website. You can optimize for free 20MB of images (about 200 images) every month.  However, you can convert an image to WebP for free.

After enabling it, all your images including thumbnails will be automatically optimized when uploaded into WordPress. You can also use Imagify to convert WebP images, which will additionally reduce the size of your website making it faster.

Imagify can optimize all images: jpg, png, pdfs, and gifs. There are three optimization levels available:

  • Normal:  The image quality won’t be altered at all.
  • Aggressive: Stronger compression with a tiny loss of quality most of the time this is not even noticeable at all.
  • Ultra: Strongest compression method using a lossy algorithm.

4. ShortPixel Image Optimizer

Shortpixel WordPress Plugin

ShortPixel is a free image compression plugin that can compress all your uploaded images and PDF documents with a single click.

New images are automatically resized/rescaled and optimized in the background.

Both lossy and lossless image compression are available for the most common image types (JPG, PNG, GIF, and WebP) plus PDF files. Here are more features of this plugin.

  • compress JPG (and its variations JPEG, JPEG 2000, JPEG XR), PNG, GIF (still or animated) images and also PDF documents
    option to freely convert any JPEG, PNG or GIF (even animated ones!) to WebP.
  • Automatically convert PNG to JPG. Ideal for large images in PNG format.
  • Include the generated WebP images into the front-end pages by using the <picture> tag instead of <img>.
  • Optimize thumbnails as well as featured images.
  • Scale down images with 2 different options, which is very useful to automatically resize large images.
    CMYK to RGB conversion

5. Compress JPEG & PNG Images

TinyPNG Compress JPEG and PNG Images

This is a plugin by TinyPNG which is an old image compression web service. This plugin automatically optimizes all your images by integrating with the popular image compression services TinyJPG and TinyPNG. With a regular WordPress installation, you can optimize roughly 100 images each month for free.

To remove image limits you have to switch to a paid account which will allow you to optimize as many images as you like.

Here are some of the features you will get with this plugin:

  • Automatically optimize new images on upload.
  • Optimize individual images already in your media library.
  • Automatically resize huge image uploads by setting a maximum width and/or height for a more reasonable browser display.
  • Display JPEG images more quickly with progressive JPEG encoding.
  • Chose to preserve copyright metadata, creation date, and GPS location in your original images.
  • Supports compression of animated PNG.
  • Select which thumbnail sizes of an image may be optimized.

6. WebP Converter for Media

WebP Converter for Media

This plugin will convert your uploaded images to WebP format. Also, when you upload new image files they will automatically get converted into WebP format.

When installing a plugin you do not have to do anything more. Your current images will be converted into a new format. Users will automatically receive new, much lighter images than the original ones.

Google also recommends using next-gen image formats such as WebP, JPG2000, etc. So, it will also improve your Google page speed Insights score.

When you add images to your Media Library, they are automatically converted and saved in a separate directory. If you have just installed the plugin, you can convert all existing images with one click.

Images are converted using PHP GD or Imagick extension (you can modify the compression level).

When the browser tries to download an image file, the server verifies if it supports image/WebP files and if the file exists. If everything is OK, instead of the original image, the browser will receive its equivalent in WebP format.

I hope you find this post useful. If you want to add Slider to your website then check out these WordPress slider plugins.

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