It’s no secret that page load time and Core Web Vital scores matter. These metrics can impact site conversions, dwell time, and even your SEO performance. Optimizing images is one of the most overlooked aspects of improving these scores, and fortunately theres some easy ways to make these improvements on your WordPress site. We’re going to cover some of the ways you can optimize images for WordPress, along with a list of top plugins that can help automate the process.
Methods to Optimize Images on a WordPress Site
There are a variety of ways to optimize images for WordPress, we’ve got some manual tricks as well, some of which may be helpful to do before you upload.
- Choose the Right Image Format
Selecting the appropriate image format can significantly reduce file sizes. Common image formats include JPEG, PNG, and WebP. WebP is the most performant, but may be complicated, for most of us PNG’s are hte most optimal image format to use.
- JPEG: Use JPEG format for photos or images with a lot of colors and details.
- PNG: Use PNG format for images with transparency or those that require high-quality graphics, like logos.
- WebP: This modern format provides superior compression and quality compared to JPEG and PNG. It is highly recommended for websites.
- Resize and Compress Images
Large image files slow down your website, so it’s essential to resize and compress them, some of the plugins below can do this automatically!
- Resize: Use an image editor like Photoshop or GIMP to resize images to the desired width and height. Ensure the dimensions are suitable for your site’s layout.
- Compress: Use an image compressor tool like TinyPNG or JPEGmini to reduce file size without compromising on quality.
- Use CSS Sprites
CSS Sprites combine multiple small images into one larger image, reducing the number of HTTP requests made to your server, thus speeding up your site. This can be a complicated solution, so we’d only recommend this for the truely speed obsessed, or those sites that get an extremely large volume of web traffic.
- Use an online tool like SpritePad or SpriteMe to create a sprite.
- Add the sprite to your site’s CSS file and adjust the background position accordingly.
Top Plugins to Automate Image Optimization in WordPress
- Smush Image Compression and Optimization
Smush is a popular plugin that compresses, resizes, and optimizes images automatically. It offers lossless compression, bulk optimization, and lazy loading. The free version allows you to optimize up to 50 images at a time, while the premium version offers unlimited optimization and additional features.
- EWWW Image Optimizer
EWWW Image Optimizer is a powerful plugin that optimizes images without sacrificing quality. It supports multiple formats, including JPEG, PNG, and WebP. The plugin offers automatic optimization, bulk optimization, and the ability to optimize images on your server or via their cloud service.
Imagify is a user-friendly image optimization plugin developed by the team behind WP Rocket. It offers automatic optimization, bulk optimization, and three levels of compression (Normal, Aggressive, and Ultra). Imagify supports JPEG, PNG, and WebP formats.
Optimole is a cloud-based image optimization plugin that automates the optimization process. It resizes, compresses, and serves images from a global CDN. Optimole supports multiple formats, including WebP, and offers lazy loading and automatic image format conversion.
- ShortPixel Image Optimizer
ShortPixel is a versatile image optimization plugin that supports JPEG, PNG, GIF, and WebP formats. It offers both lossy and lossless compression, bulk optimization, and automatic image resizing. ShortPixel also provides the option to serve images via their CDN for faster loading times.
Image optimization is an easy way to have a big impact on your page load speeds, and with plugins it is incredibly easy to do. While going back through old posts to optimize images seems daunting, plugins can help, and keeping images optimized in the future is going to help give your visitors a great experience, while keeping the Google overlords happy for your search rankings