In this post I am going to review ShortPixel Image Optimizer – a great plugin used for image optimization.
Why do we need optimization
Image optimization is one of the most effective techniques when it comes to speeding up your website. It decreases the overall size of your Webpage thus decreasing its loading time. Here are some reasons why you need to optimize your website for speed
Nobody likes to wait
Let’s face it, nobody likes to wait for a website to load. According to a research, users expect a webpage to load under 2 seconds and around the 3 seconds mark they become anxious. If you have a slow loading website this can lead to visitors leaving it.
Speed is even more important for mobile users
Now speed is pretty important for desktop users but when it comes to mobile users, speed is one of the most important factors. Why is that? Well first the mobile internet is a lot slower than the internet you use on desktop devices. This is one of the main reasons why websites have mobile versions. Second most mobile users have a Monthly Bandwidth limit. If your webpage size is big you are making your visitors pay more – and who likes to pay bigger bills?
Seed is imortant SEO Ranking factor
Google is using speed as a factor in it’s ranking algorithm. The faster your website the better it will perform in the SERP (Search Engine Result Page).
ShortPixel Image Optimizer
Ok, by now you know how important speed is for your website. But what to do? How to speed up your website? And here comes ShortPixel Image Optimizer to the rescue whit it’s staggering compression rates of up to 90%. This means up to 90% smaller images. Considering that images account for the biggest part of your webpage size – well we are on the right track. ShortPixel Image Optimizer supports PNG, JPG and GIF images and PDF documents.
I’ve conducted some tests to see how well ShortPixel Image Optimizer performs. The test website is fairly well optimized for speed and it’s using the Divi theme. I’ve used Pingdom’s speed test and webpagetest.org in order to determine how ShortPixel Image Optimizer performs.
Here are the results:
Pingdom website speed test
Before image optimization:
Load Time – 701 ms
Page Size – 2.0MB
After image optimization:
Load Time – 618 ms
Page Size – 1.3MB
Notice the F mark on Compress Images before optimization
Notice the B mark on Compress Images after optimization
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Install and Active
In order to install and activate ShortPixel Image Optimizer you have to obtain yourself an API key. To do that head over to ShortPixel’s website and register yourself an account- it’s completely free.
You will receive a mail on your Email account containing the API key.
Next you need to install their plugin. You have two options- through your WordPress plugin repository or manually from the wordpress.org website.
Once you’ve activated the plugin a notification will appear. Head over to the settings page in order to enter the API key you received in your Mail.
Enter your API key and click on validate.
Here you have the following settings:
- Compression type – you can choose between Lossy and Lossless. By using their recommended option (lossy) you receive the full power of their product. If you choose Lossless the shrunk image will be identical to the original. Honestly I too recommend the Lossy option because I don’t see any visual difference between the original and compressed image so good job ShortPixel team.
- Also include thumbnails – this is very important because most of the images on your website are in the form of thumbnails.
- Image backup – This is a great feature. If for some reason you prefer your original image you can restore it in the matter of seconds.
- CMYK to RGB conversion – this is important in order for your images to be properly displayed on desktop and mobile screens.
- Remove EXIF – EXIF is an information that is non essential for your image visualization – GPS position, camera manufacturer, date and time, etc.
- Resize large Images – this one is very handy. You can set a maximum width and height for your images. Gone are the days when you needed to resize your images before you upload them to your website. This feature safes a ton of time.
After you’ve reviewed your settings click on Save and Go to Bulk Process
On the next page you can see how many images and thumbnails are going to be optimized. You can turn off thumbnail optimization – again not advisable. To start the optimization process click on theStart Optimizing button. This will optimize all your current images. Any new images that you add through the Media library are going to be optimized automatically. Also you can access the bulk optimization page through Media⇒BulkShortPixel.
Depending on the number of your images it’ll take some time before the process is complete.
After your optimization has finished you are going to see a results page. Later you can see your overall optimization results in the Statistics tab. There you have the option to delete your backup images. This will save you some space. I don’t recommend this because it’s always nice to have a backup.
Note that even though on Saved disk space by ShortPixel it says only 3.11MB actually it is more than 342 MB because your original images are stored as a backup.
Restore backup or Re-Optimize
If for some reason you want to restore your images or want to compress them in a different format head over to Media⇒Library. There you have to change to List View.
Here you can re-optimize your images using the lossless method or you can restore them with therestore backup button.
Your free plan allows you to optimize up to 100 images per month. If you want to optimize more images, ShortPixel offers Monthly and One-Time Plans. Their Monthly plans start from $4.99 for 5000 images per month. The One-Time Plans start from $9.99 for 10000 images paid once. Their prices are great if you consider the value which you receive and the time you save. To see their plans head over to <a href=”https://vscripts.net/go/shortpixel target=”_blank”>their website and click on pricing.
Are you using Image Optimization plugins? Share your opinion in the comments field below.
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