Making your website’s image files smaller isn’t the most exciting SEO activity. You want it done quickly and effortlessly. That’s what image optimization plugins are for, and they can all help your WordPress site load faster. Among them is ShortPixel, a freemium solution available in two versions.
ShortPixel is Designed to be Automated and Flexible
The ShortPixel Image Optimizer automatically resizes and compresses your images.
The Adaptive Images version does the same but serves images from a global CDN and resizes images to match the user’s device.
That means that dynamically adjusted images are served on-the-fly to support your users’ web experience, regardless of their devices’ screen size.
The plugin also automatically resizes images to the maximum dimensions you set before they are optimized.
This, in turn, helps you save bandwidth and increase your overall page load speed.
ShortPixel Credit Usage – 100 Credits/Month for Free Users!
Of course, site owners must note that both plugins will consume 1 credit per image, where CDN traffic for ShortPixel Adaptive Images will not be metered.
Putting into perspective, an image with multiple pre-configured image sizes (thumbnail, medium, large & any other themes/plugins related image sizes) will burn up your credits pretty quick on the ShortPixel Image Optimizer!
This would not be ideal for free users, and a good way to prevent this is by excluding any unused image size from optimisation.
Pro tip: You can access the exclude setting by going to Settings > ShortPixel > Advanced > Exclude thumbnail sizes and check the sizes to be excluded.
Optimizes all types of image files
ShortPixel compresses JPEG, PNG, GIF, WebP and PDF files. It also automatically converts (or serves if you are using Adaptive Images) images in the WebP format, a much faster format for the web.
The WebP image format will only be served on supported browsers, which is about 80% of existing browsers, including Chrome, Firefox and Edge.
WebP will not use up additional credits, so make full use of it!
Additionally, ShortPixel can optimize images outside the WP library. It’s a cool functionality because you may save images in places other than the media library, and image optimization plugins generally won’t upload them.
Bulk compression comes in handy
Just downloaded the plugin but already have thousands of images on the site?
You can easily bulk compress existing images which would save a lot of time. All you have to do is to leave the tab on and you can carry on with your work in another tab.
This is especially useful if you need to send several images to print or rescale all images on-the-fly as part of your website optimization process.
Easy to use
ShortPixel is a lightweight plugin connecting to a cloud service that does the grunt work.
Using the WP plugin is a breeze.
Once you have installed it, use your email address to generate an API key and validate it on your plugin settings page.
Upon successful validation, be sure to configure the settings to your liking. We would strongly recommend testing out with ShortPixel’s free image compression tool first before deciding on which compression level to stick with on WordPress.
Which Should I Use? ShortPixel Adaptive Images or ShortPixel Image Optimizer?
Theoretically speaking, there wouldn’t be a plugin conflict if you have both plugins activated.
Nevertheless, the Guidesify Team would recommend choosing only 1 active plugin at a time as there are minor tradeoffs for getting greedy, i.e., making WordPress slow and bloated.
As a general rule of thumb, use Adaptive Images if your traffic is diverse and comes from numerous geographical locations and Image Optimizer if your traffic is localised.
There are other factors to be considered as well, which you can read more about them from ShortPixel themselves.
Still Not Convinced? Use Their Website Optimization Quick Test Tool!
How much smaller can your existing images be?
The web app will tell you exactly that!
It is designed to scan any URL and displays a list of images that can be further optimised if ShortPixel is activated.
Not willing to spend at all and don’t mind doing some manual work?
You can definitely use this tool to download the optimised images and replace them one by one in your media library if you ran out of free credits for the month.
Verdict – A Must-Have Plugin For All!
On the free version, you can optimize 100 images a month.
As ShortPixel has all the right features that make image optimization easy and user-oriented, you should definitely consider a move up to the paid plans (both monthly and one-time credit purchase plans are available)
Alternatively, you can recommend ShortPixel to your friends too, where each successful referral would grant you an additional 100 credits per month, free forever.
Even better, ShortPixel’s team is very active and transparent with all their future developments. You can view their roadmap here, which includes cool work-in-progress items like extending the app to Shopify and WebP delivery optimisation.
Make your WordPress site faster today!