What Does Image Optimization Mean?
We often hear the phrase Image Optimization in the context of site building and maintenance, but what exactly does it mean? Image optimization is the compression of an image’s file size (its weight) without changing its dimensions (its width and height). Some optimizations reduce the image’s quality – that is called a “lossy” compression, and some leave the quality intact, and that is called a lossless compression.
What Will This Article Teach you?
This article will discuss why we would want to optimize images in our WordPress site, which plugins you should use to optimize your site’s images, and we’ll end with a core feature that also addresses the issue.
My quest was to find the best image optimizer in WordPress, and I tried and tested three major free plugins:
I chose these three because they are the most well known plugins focused purely on optimization and nothing else, as opposed to other plugins, that optimize the whole site, and image optimization is only part of their functionality.
Why would we want to optimize images?
Decreasing image file sizes, i.e., optimizing images, has two benefits:
- The first is it increases site speed, since smaller file sizes load faster.
- The second benefit is that it saves disk space, and thus if your hosting pricing plan is based on disk space, you could actually save money.
Now that we understand the motivation, let’s dive into the various options the WordPress’s plugin repository offers us freely.
How I Went About Testing the Plugins
In order to test the plugins, I downloaded images from three sites: Pixabay, Freepik, and Unsplash.
I downloaded images in 2 sizes: a smaller image with a width of 640 pixels, and a larger image with a width of 1920 pixels. When those sizes weren’t available, I resized the downloaded image using paint.net.
Original Image size: 30.4 KB.
|FULL||0 (No savings)||No savings||3.6 KB (12%)|
|436 B (1.9%)||436 B (1.9%)||5.7 KB (22%)|
|212 B (1.5%)||212 B (1.5%)||0 (No savings)|
|Total||3 sizes reduced by 648.0 B.
Total savings 1.3%.
|3 sizes reduced by 648.0 B.
Total savings 1.3%.
|3 sizes reduced by 9.3 KB.
Total savings 13%.
Original Image size: 322.3 KB
This article was written by Lea Cohen and originally published on WPShout.