8 Best WordPress Image Optimization Plugins

Posted on May 22, 2021 by in WordPress | 15 comments

8 Best WordPress Image Optimization Plugins

Most websites 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 compression 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 highlight the best WordPress image optimization plugins available. We’ve chosen them based on their feature sets, ratings and reviews, update histories, and pricing.

Let’s get to it!

1. EWWW Image Optimizer

The EWWW Image Optimizer plugin

EWWW Image Optimizer is one of the most powerful WordPress image compression 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 own 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:

  • 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 | More Information

2. 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 really 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:

  • 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 compression 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 $6 per month | More Information

3. 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:

  • 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 compression plugins.

Price: Free, with a premium version available starting at $4.99 per month | More Information

4. 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:

  • 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 hassle-free plugin that optimizes images aggressively. In our experience, the files that Compress JPEG & PNG Images generates still look great for most purposes.

Price: Free, with premium plans available starting at $25 per year | More Information

5. 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):

Configuring the Robin Image Optimizer plugin

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 comprehensive your WordPress image compression 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 | More Information

6. reSmush.it

The reSmush.it plugin

If you’re looking for a plug-and-play WordPress image compression 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, preserve 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 restrictions.

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 hassle-free image optimization plugin. The only downside to reSmush.it is its 5 MB image file size limit.

Price: Free | More Information

7. WP-Optimize

The WP-Optimize plugin

WP-Optimize is more than just a WordPress image compression 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.

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:

  • 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 $39 per year | More Information

8. Image Optimizer by 10web

The Image Optimizer by 10web plugin

The Image Optimizer by 10Web plugin lets you choose between “easy” and “advanced” configuration modes. The easy mode enables you to select what type of compression you want to apply to images, and whether to optimize them automatically.

If you delve into the plugin’s advanced settings, you can choose whether you want to remove metadata from images, create backups for your media files, and even resize them:

The Image Optimizer plugin's advanced settings

One downside of using this plugin is that it restricts you to 100 image optimizations per month. However, it does include an option that lets you exclude images smaller than a set size from optimization. That means you can avoid using up your image quota for files that don’t require compression.

Key Features:

  • Optimize images automatically after uploading them (up to 100 per month)
  • Bulk optimize images in your Media Library
  • Resize images after uploading them
  • Remove metadata from your image files
  • Create backups of your image files
  • Exclude smaller images from optimization

Image Optimizer by 10web is for you if…

…you want something that’s just as customizable as you need it to be, and you don’t mind the 100 images per month limit.

Price: Free, with a premium version available as part of 10Web’s services or in a plugin bundle starting at $85 | More information

Conclusion

There are a lot of choices when it comes to WordPress image compression plugins. Most tools offer automatic image optimization, 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.

With that in mind, our top suggestions for WordPress image compression plugins are EWWW Image Optimizer and WP Smush. Both tools offer a broad range of optimization options, and only a few limitations in the case of WP Smush specifically. Either plugin can get you up and running with a sustainable long-term optimization solution quickly.

Do you have any questions about which WordPress image compression plugin to use? Let’s talk about them in the comments section below!

Featured Image via Andrew Krasovitckii / shutterstock.com

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15 Comments

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

    • 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.

    • 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.

    • Thanks for the suggestion, Will!

  2. 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!

    • Appreciate the recommendation, Emile!

  3. 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!

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

  6. 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.

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