8 Best WordPress Image Optimization Plugins in 2023

Last Updated on September 11, 2023 by 15 Comments

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First Pick

EWWW Image Optimizer

Pricing: $7 per month
Standout Features: Automatic New Image Compression, Bulk Existing Images Optimization, Image Conversion to WebP

Visit EWWW Image OptimizerRead Overview
Second Pick

ShortPixel Image Optimizer

Pricing: $8.25 per month
Standout Features: PDF Files Optimization, Lossy, Lossless, and Glossy Compression, PNG to JPEG Conversion

Visit ShortPixel Image OptimizerRead Overview
Third Pick


Pricing: $49 per year
Standout Features: Multifunctional WordPress Optimization, Uses ReSmush.it Engine, Website's Script Minification

Visit WP-OptimizeRead Overview
Blog / WordPress / 8 Best WordPress Image Optimization Plugins in 2023

Most sites don’t skimp when it comes to images. A single blog post can have dozens of photographs and screenshots since media makes content more engaging and scannable. However, the more images you add to each page, the longer it may take to load. That’s where a quality WordPress image optimization plugin can come to the rescue.

This kind of tool takes your images and “optimizes” them so they take up less space. In this article, we’ll give you our list for the best WordPress image optimization plugins available. We’ve chosen them based on their feature sets, ratings and reviews, update histories, and pricing.

What is an Image Optimization Plugin?

A WordPress image optimization plugin is a tool that can help you reduce the size and optimize the quality of the images on your website. This is important because large images can slow down website loading times, which can negatively impact the SEO and your website’s overall user experience.

When an image is uploaded, the plugin will automatically compress the image file size while maintaining its quality. This is usually done by stripping out unnecessary data, reduce color depth, and other optimizations to reduce the overall file size. By using a WordPress image optimization plugin, you can improve your website’s performance and ensure that your images load quickly.

Best WordPress Image Optimization Plugins

When checking image optimization plugins for WordPress, we thought about several important things. First, we checked if the plugins made the images look good even after being optimized. Second, we checked if the plugins could handle different types of image files, like webp which is important for Google. Finally, we thought about the plugin’s safety, updates, and what people have said about it because these things matter for how well the plugin works and how trustworthy it is. With these things in mind, let’s look at our list.

1. EWWW Image Optimizer

EWWW Image Optimizer plugin

EWWW Image Optimizer is one of the most powerful WordPress image optimization plugins you can use. Once you enable this tool, it automatically compresses any new images you upload to your website.

You can also use its Bulk Optimizer to compress existing images in your Media Library:

Using the Bulk Optimizer feature in EWWW

Using EWWW Image Optimizer, you can automatically resize images as you upload them, and remove metadata from your media files to save space. The plugin also includes lazy-loading functionality and enables you to convert image files to the WebP format for increased compression ratios.

The free version of EWWW Image Optimizer compresses images on your server and doesn’t have a file size limit. You can also opt for the plugin’s premium version, which uses a cloud service for image optimization and boasts higher compression ratios.

Key Features for EWWW Image Optimizer:

  • Compress image files as you upload them to your website
  • Optimize existing files in your Media Library
  • Automatically resize new images
  • Enable lazy loading
  • Convert images to WebP

EWWW Image Optimize is for you if…

…your server can handle the additional load from image compression tasks. That shouldn’t be a problem unless you’re using a very basic shared hosting plan or you routinely upload hundreds of images to your website.

Price: Free, with a premium version available starting at $7 per month.

Get EWWW Image Optimize

2. ShortPixel Image Optimizer

The ShortPixel Image Optimizer plugin

ShortPixel Image Optimizer enables you to automatically optimize images and PDF files, as well as resize images. While this is a standard offering, one new feature this plugin offers is the choice between lossy, lossless, and glossy compression.

Few WordPress image optimization plugins offer glossy compression. From a technical standpoint, it provides a middle ground between lossless and lossy compression types:

Enable glossy compression in ShortPixel

ShortPixel Image Optimizer also lets you back up your original image files after they’re optimized. It can help you remove metadata from images, and automatically resize them after the upload process. In addition, this plugin can automatically convert PNG files to JPEGs, as well as optimize Retina images and thumbnails.

Despite all of its advanced functionality, there are a few downsides to using ShortPixel. First, the plugin requires you to share your email address to get an API key for activation. Second, the plugin’s free version limits you to 100 image optimizations per month, which may not be enough for some users.

Key Features for ShortPixel Image Optimizer:

  • Automatically compress new images on your website (up to 100 per month)
  • Use bulk optimization to compress existing images
  • Choose between lossless, lossy, and glossy compression
  • Create backups of your images before compression
  • Remove metadata from image files
  • Automatically resize images
  • Convert PNG files to JPEGs
  • Optimize Retina images and thumbnails

ShortPixel Image Optimizer is for you if…

…you can work with the 100 image optimization limit per month, or pay for the plugin’s premium version. In terms of features, ShortPixel Image Optimizer offers more functionality than most WordPress image optimization plugins.

Price: Free, with a premium version available starting at $8.25 per month for unlimited optimizations.

Get ShortPixel Image Optimizer

3. WP-Optimize

WP-Optimize plugin

WP-Optimize is more than just a WordPress image optimization plugin. This plugin also includes tools that enable you to clean your database, modify your caching settings, and minify scripts. In short, it’s an all-in-one solution for WordPress optimization.

WP-Optimize is more than just a WordPress image optimization plugin, it is a total caching plugin powerhouse. This plugin also includes tools that enable you to clean your database, modify your caching settings, and minify scripts. In short, it’s an all-in-one solution for WordPress optimization.

When it comes to image optimization specifically, the plugin relies on the reSmush.it engine to compress your images. You can automatically optimize new images after uploading them, or compress files from your Media Library:

Compressing an image using WP-Optimize

WP-Optimize gives you full control over your image optimization settings. However, it doesn’t include an option to compress existing files in bulk, so it’s best suited to new websites.

Key Features for WP-Optimize:

  • Automatically optimize images after uploading them to WordPress
  • Compress images from your Media Library
  • Optimize your WordPress database
  • Configure your website’s caching settings
  • Minify your website’s scripts

WP-Optimize is for you if…

…you want a one-in-all performance optimization solution for your website. WP-Optimize helps you tackle multiple key tasks using a single plugin. However, if your website’s speed is already strong, you may be better off using a dedicated image compression plugin.

Price: Free, with a premium version available starting at $49 per year.

Get WP-Optimize

4. Optimole

Optimole WordPress plugin

Optimole is a free image optimization plugin that serves as an all-in-one solution for image optimization. Images are processed in real time using a cloud-based server so that your server remains fast during the process. Optimole goes further than other optimization plugins by picking the right image size from a visitor’s viewport and using lazy loading to display your images.

Key Features for Optimole:

  • Cloud-based image optimization
  • Images served by CDN
  • Automatic image sizing for visitor viewport
  • 5000 images per month for a free plan

For those seeking advanced optimization, upgrading to a premium plan will provide unlimited image conversions. In addition to this, you’ll benefit from features such as high-quality image compression which maintains the original image quality while reducing its size, and automatic creation of Retina and WebP versions of your images, resulting in faster loading times and enhanced image quality on modern devices and browsers.

Optimole is for you if…
…you need WebP and Retina image support and the ability to optimize unlimited images for your websites. Optimole can be installed on multiple websites, making it suitable for freelancers and agencies who have more than one website.

Pricing: Free to starting at $19.08/month (billed annually) for a premium license.

Get Optimole

5. WP Smush

The WP Smush plugin

WP Smush is part of WPMU DEV’s family of plugins. This particular tool enables you to automatically optimize images after uploading them to your website. Just like our previous pick, WP Smush includes a bulk optimization option (up to 50 images at a time) for compressing existing images.

What stands out about WP Smush is its User Interface (UI). As with most of WPMU DEV’s plugins, the display is sleek and easy to understand:

The WP Smush dashboard

WP Smush also includes resizing and lazy-loading functionality. Plus, you can configure the plugin to strip image metadata after you upload new files.

This particular plugin supports images up to 5 MB. If you want to go over that limit, you’ll need to use the premium version, which also lets you integrate a Content Delivery Network (CDN) for even faster loading times.

Key Features for WP Smush:

  • Automatically optimize image files (up to 5 MB) after uploading them
  • Compress existing images in your Media Library (up to 50 files at once)
  • Strip metadata from your image files
  • Automatically resize images as you upload them
  • Enable lazy-loading

WP Smush is for you if…

…you don’t regularly use image files over 5 MB. This plugin offers the most user-friendly interface you’ll find among WordPress image optimization plugins. We’ve also tested WP Smush with Divi, and the two make for a great combination.

Price: Free, with a premium version available starting at $7.50 per month.

Get WP Smush

6. Compress JPEG & PNG Images

The Compress JPEG and PNG Images plugin

Compress JPEG & PNG Images is a straightforward tool for image optimization in WordPress. By default, this plugin compresses images aggressively using a lossy approach. It lets you resize images automatically, and compress every size that WordPress generates when you upload new files:

Selecting which type of image optimization to use

One downside of using Compress JPEG & PNG is that you need to register for a free Tinify account to get an API key. Plus, the service limits you to 500 free image optimizations per month. Every additional image size that you want to compress takes up another slot.

Key Features for Compress JPEG & PNG Images:

  • Optimize images as you upload them to WordPress, or in the background after they’re on your server
  • Resize images automatically

Compress JPEG & PNG Images is for you if…

…you want a easy plugin that optimizes images aggre. In our experience, the files that Compress JPEG & PNG Images generates still look great for most purposes.

Price: Free, with premium plans available for $39 per year.

Get Compress JPEG & PNG Images

7. Robin Image Optimizer

The Robin Image Optimizer plugin

Robin Image Optimizer enables you to optimize WordPress images using multiple third-party server options. The plugin can help you compress images in bulk, or optimize new files as you upload them to WordPress. In either case, you get to choose whether to use a free server that limits image size to 5 MB, or a second option that works on a credit system (with 300 free optimizations per month):

Robin image optimizer dashboard

This plugin also lets you choose between multiple compression modes, including lossless, lossy, “high”, and custom options.  Robin Image Optimizer includes a feature that lets you create image backups before optimizing them, and you can also use the plugin to remove metadata from your media files. Finally, it provides a handy feature that lets you schedule image optimizations in the background.

Key Features:

  • Choose from multiple image compression types
  • Automatically optimize images after uploading them
  • Choose from multiple servers to manage image optimization
  • Create backups of your image files before optimizing them
  • Schedule image optimizations to run in the background

Robin Image Optimizer is for you if…

…you want full control over how complete your WordPress image optimization plugin is. Robin Image Optimizer also offers an interesting mix of free features, such as enabling you to choose between servers.

Price: Free, with a premium version available starting at $39 per year.

Get Robin Image Optimizer

8. reSmush.it

The reSmush.it plugin

If you’re looking for a plug-and-play WordPress image optimization plugin, reSmush.it should be one of your top picks. This plugin enables automatic image optimization right after you activate it, and it only includes a handful of settings. Among those, you’ll have the option to modify image quality, enable logs, protect metadata, and not save image backups:

Configuring the reSmush.it plugin

reSmush.it also lets you schedule image optimization to run in the background. However, it’s important to note that the plugin can only optimize files up to 5 MB. Aside from that, you can use it without limits.

Key Features:

  • Automatically optimize images after uploading them to WordPress
  • Schedule image optimization in advance
  • Preserve or delete image metadata
  • Create backups of your images before optimization

reSmush.it is for you if…

…you want to use a effortless image optimization plugin. The only downside to reSmush.it is its 5 MB image file size limit.

Price: Free.

Get reSmush.it

Comparing the Best Image Optimization Plugins

Most tools offer automatic image optimization and compression, but in a lot of cases, that comes with a few caveats. With free plugins, there’s often a limit to how many images you can optimize or what maximum file size you can compress.

Let’s take a deeper comparative look at these plugins, starting with the price.

Image Optimization Plugin Price Comparison

There are plenty of free plugin options, but what are the best annual prices for image-optimizing websites?

PluginPriceFree Option
🥇EWWW Image Optimizer$84 per year✔️Visit
🥈ShortPixel Image Optimizer$99 per year✔️Visit
🥉WP-Optimize$49 per year✔️Visit
4Optimole$19.08 per month (billed annually)✔️Visit
5WP Smush$7.50 per month✔️Visit
6Compress JPEG & PNG Images$39 per year✔️Visit
7Robin Image Optimizer$39 per year✔️Visit

Image Optimization Plugin Feature Comparison

Let’s look at how the top three compare with their feature sets.

🥇 EWWW Image Optimizer🥈 ShortPixel🥉 WP-Optimize
Starting Price$84/yr$99/yr$49/yr
Lossless Compression✔️✔️✔️
Lossy Compression✔️✔️✔️
Bulk Optimization✔️✔️✔️
Automatic Optimization✔️✔️✔️
Image Resizing✔️✔️
WebP Conversion✔️✔️✔️
Backup Original Images✔️✔️✔️
Optimize External Images✔️
PDF Optimization✔️✔️
Cache Pages✔️
Active Installations1+ million300,000+1+ million
Community Rating4.7/5
Read Reviews
Read Reviews
Read Reviews
Get EWWW Image OptimizerGet ShortPixelGet WP-Optimize

What is the Best Image Optimization Plugin?

With that in mind, our top picks for WordPress image compression plugins are EWWW Image Optimizer and ShortPixel. Both tools offer a broad range of optimization options and provide good value for the price. Either plugin can quickly get you up and running with a sustainable long-term optimization solution.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Before we wrap up, let’s answer some of your most common questions regarding the best WordPress image optimization plugins. Did we miss one? Leave a question below, and we will respond!

What is the best WordPress image optimization plugin?
EWWW Image Optimizer is the best WordPress image optimization plugin. It offers features like compressing image files upon upload, optimizing existing files in the Media Library, automatically resizing new images, and enabling lazy loading for improved performance. Moreover, it allows converting images to the WebP format, resulting in optimized images and enhanced website speed.
What is the best free WordPress image optimization plugin?
The best free WordPress image optimization plugin is EWWW Image Optimizer. Its free version compresses images on your server without any file size limit. Additionally, the premium version utilizes a cloud service for optimization, providing even better compression for further image optimization.
How do I optimize images for my WordPress site?
To optimize images on your WordPress site, you can utilize WP-Optimize. With WP-Optimize, you can use the reSmush.it engine to compress your images. This plugin allows you to automatically optimize newly-uploaded images or compress existing files in your Media Library. WP-Optimize provides customizable image optimization settings, giving you complete control over the process.
What is image optimization?
Image optimization is preparing and delivering images in the display device's most suitable format, dimension, and resolution. It involves finding the right balance between image quality and file size, ensuring fast loading times and optimal visual experience while minimizing bandwidth usage and page load speed.
Does WordPress automatically optimize images?
WordPress itself does compression images to a degree when uploading, and this compression level can be adjusted in your theme or plugin files. However, you can use plugins like WP-Optimize to improve image compression using better algorythms. With WP-Optimize, you can configure settings to automatically optimize images after uploading them to your WordPress site.
How can I optimize images in WordPress without a plugin?
To optimize images in WordPress without a plugin, resize them to the correct dimensions for your website, compress them using online tools like TinyPNG or JPEGmini, and optimize their file names and alt tags for better SEO. Additionally, implement lazy loading to improve page load times by loading images only when visible to the user.
What is the best way to scale and optimize images with a WordPress plugin?
ShortPixel Image Optimizer is a top WordPress plugin for scaling and optimizing images. It automatically compresses new images on your website (up to 100 per month) and provides bulk optimization for existing images. It offers various compression options (lossless, lossy, and glossy), create backups of original images, removes metadata, resizes images, converts PNG to JPEG, and optimizes Retina images and thumbnails, ensuring efficient image management.
What is the best WordPress image optimization plugin for SEO?
Optimole is the best WordPress image optimization plugin for SEO. It offers high-quality image compression that reduces file sizes while preserving image quality. Additionally, Optimole automatically creates Retina and WebP versions of images, leading to faster loading times and improved image quality on modern devices and browsers, ultimately benefiting SEO efforts.
Can I optimize large images with a WordPress plugin?
You can optimize large images with WordPress plugins like ShortPixel Image Optimizer and WP Smush. ShortPixel Image Optimizer allows bulk optimization of existing images, offers lossless, lossy, and glossy compression options, creates backups before compression, removes image metadata, and automatically resizes images. On the other hand, WP Smush provides resizing and lazy-loading features, allows stripping of image metadata, and supports integration with a Content Delivery Network (CDN) for faster loading times.

Looking for more amazing plugins? Check out our ultimate list of best WordPress plugins, which includes a top recommendation for each plugin type!

Featured Image Illustration via Andrew Krasovitckii / shutterstock.com

Top Picks

Explore Our Top Picks

Here are our favorites! 👇

medal iconEWWW Image Optimizeroutgoing link medal iconShortPixel Image Optimizeroutgoing link medal iconWP-Optimizeoutgoing link
Top Picks

Get EWWW Image Optimizer Today!

With so many great options available, it can be hard to pick one. Find out why EWWW Image Optimizer is our favorite. 👇

Explore EWWW Image Optimizer
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  1. The downside I faced with EWWW image optimizer today is they have discontinued converting jpg to webP images. Now we need to sign up for the EASY IO or get an API key that both costs a minimum $5 per month. It’s no more completely FREE.

  2. Shortpixel and wpsmush works great for me. They significantly compresses images and make your site load faster. If you work with loads of images on your web page then Shortpixel is the best bet. Never tried ewwww. Will check it out.

    • Thanks for your input Deepak!

  3. Are the ranked in 1-7? or is it just 7 tools you recommend?

    We have been using Imagify for nearly all of our clients.

    • Hi Jesper – the plugins are listed in no particular order. Thanks for sharing your recommendation!

  4. Good list, Will. I’ve been a EWWW user for years, but I’m not married to it. Looking forward to trying some of these others to get my sites blazing fast. Thanks!

    • Thanks for the kind words, Steve!

  5. Don’t forget Imagify ( from WP-ROCKET)

    • Appreciate the recommendation, Emile!

  6. Good post, I have tried some with mixed results, the ones that work better like WP Smush are very basic in the free version but they work. I think the great absent in this post is Imagify since it is from the WP Rocket family and most of us use it in WordPress.

    • Thanks for your suggestion, Manuel!

  7. No mention of insanity. Simple and a very effective solution.

    • Thanks for the suggestion, Will!

    • You mean Imsanity? That’s also my goto image optimization plugin. No API key or third party or cloud service needed. Just simple and effective. Includes a bulk optimize tool.

    • Ewww indeed is a great solution. I would stay away from short pixel, since they tend to lure you in with free features, then make you pay for them.

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