A website without images is like a movie with no sound. Images form a crucial part of the website designing process. A good website has the right amount of content along with images that are visually appealing to the user as well as informative about the brand.
In this post, I’ll walk you through why you should be using image optimisation tools and will also introduce what I think are the 6 best tools for your WordPress website to ensure a hassle-free optimisation process.
Why you should Use Image Optimisation Tools
- According to a survey, by HTTP Archives dated February 2018 images consumed most bytes per page with 1824 kB followed by video at 1099 kB. Thus, it becomes increasingly important to cut down on image file size to optimise your WordPress website.
- Another important aspect of compressing images is, they are effective when it comes to increasing your SEO. The reason being high-resolution images affect your website’s load speed as they take more time to load this, in turn, affect your search engine ranking. Image optimisation helps in effectively compressing the image so the page load speed of your website is faster thus, indirectly boosting your website SEO.
- Smaller image files require less bandwidth, thus the overall bandwidth usage of your website is reduced and in turn, this also reduces the website hosting cost.
- Also, smaller image files mean your website backups are also less bulky. Thus, backups are created faster and storage space is reduced.
6 Best Image Optimisation Tools
Now that we’ve seen the importance of optimising an image, let us check out the 6 best tools that can help you with the optimisation process for your WordPress website.
- WP Smush
Smush Image Compression and Optimization is a plugin developed by WPMU DEV that helps in automatically resizing, optimizing and compressing the images. It is available in two forms – free using lossless compression technique and premium where it optimizes an image multiple times using lossless compression as well as super smush lossy compression with minimum loss of quality. It can be used for JPEG, PNG and GIF file formats.
To use WP Smush you need to install and activate the plugin on your WordPress website. After that all you need to do is set a max height and width, once this is done, the images are automatically scaled as they are being compressed. One feature of WP Smush is that it Asynchronously auto-smushes the attachments for fast compression when uploaded.
It is one the top rated plugins having over 1+ million active installations and compatible with WP All Import, WP Offload S3, WP Media Folder, WP Retina 2x, NextGen Gallery, WPML, WPML Media Translation Add-on etc
- EWWW Image Optimizer
EWWW Image Optimizer helps you optimize your images the moment you upload them to your website. It supports images in the following formats, JPGs, PDFs, PNGs and GIF formats. By default, EWWW Image Optimizer uses lossless compression though it allows you to use lossy compression if the file size is too big.
One of the best featuresof this plugin, is that converts the image to the best possible format should you enable this feature and also, the conversion is done on your own private server. Another feature is that it is secured using SSL encryption.
It is quite a handy plugin with over 6 lakh active installations.
Imsanity is another Image Optimisation plugin by Shane Bishop. It is available in several languages and automatically scales larger images to a more ‘sane’ size.
It is available in the free format and allows resizing of bulk images. Imsanity is highly suitable for images that do not require high-resolution. One feature of Imsanity that sets it apart from the rest is that it allows the user to convert a BMP image to JPG before scaling it.
Imsanity is an open-source software that is easy to setup, install and activate with over 2 lakh active installations.
- Imagify Image Optimizer
With over 1 lakh active installations, Imagify helps in automatically optimising your images without any loss to its quality. It can be used to optimise 25 MB of images in the free version of the plugins, should you wish to optimise more, you can switch to its premium version.
Imagify is that it is compatible with WooCommerce and NextGen and completes optimisation with just one click. One of the features of Imagify is that along with lossless and lossy compression technique it employs Ultra compression, an advanced version of lossy compression.
Imagify supports PNG, JPG and GIF formats. Additionally, it can be used for any number of websites, the only limit being size allowed.
- Compress JPEG & PNG images
TinyPNG is a popular online image compression tool that helps compress images without affecting its quality. Whereas Compress JPEG and PNG Images plugin, as the name suggests it is used for compressing just JPEG and PNG image and uses lossy compressions.
One of the features of this plugin is that it’s compatible with WooCommerce, WP Retina 2x and WP Offload S3 and there is no limit on the file size. Since there are no other compression techniques available, Compress JPEG and PNG plugin automatically applies the best optimisation based on the max height and width that is set.
It has over 1 lakh active installations and you can optimise around 100 images per month for free.
- ShortPixel Image Optimizer
ShortPixel Image Optimizer is a freemium (free plus premium) plugin that optimises a wide array of picture formats like JPG, PNG, GIF and WebP along with PDF files. It allows you to choose the compression technique viz. Lossless, lossy or glossy JPEG and optimise the image/file by either resizing it or rescaling it.
One feature of ShortPixel is that it works with any hosting type be it Shared, VPS, Dedicated or Cloud. It is compatible with WP Retina 2x, WP Engine hosted websites, WPML and WPML Media plugins, WP offload S3 and WooCommerce. it allows converting one image format to another automatically.
ShortPixel Image Optimizer has around 60 thousand active installations and allows compressing 100 images per month on the free account.
To summarize, image optimisation tools are used to compress images in such a way that they don’t lose their quality and at the same time, their size is reduced thus, ensuring that your WordPress website loads faster. Choosing the image optimisation tool solely depends on you on what you like, and how much you would like to invest.
On a concluding note, when choosing the tool, keep in mind the requirements you need, the pricing of the product as well as the analysis of whether you need to upgrade to the premium plugin or does the free one fulfil your website’s needs. Overall choose the one that is most user-friendly to you.