Image Compression Tools

The Best Image Compression Tools (Real World Testing + Comparison)

Our attention spans are shrinking at a startling rate. In fact, statistics show that we now have an average attention span of just 8.25 seconds, compared to a goldfish’s 9 seconds!

None of us likes to wait, even if it’s just a few more seconds for a website to load. If your website doesn’t load quickly, you’ll lose a lot of potential customers. 1 in 4 visitors abandons a website if it takes longer than four seconds to load.

Fortunately, you can fix this issue by using an image compression plugin

In this post, you’ll discover the best image compression plugins that will speed up your website and capture more visitors.

Quick Rundown – WordPress Image Optimization Plugins

Looking for a TL;DR or don’t have time to read the whole post?

Here’s a quick comparison of the most important aspects of the image compression plugins we’ll be covering today.

NamePricingReduction PercentageWP Plugin
WP SmushFREE. Pro plans starting at  $15.63 a month.~94%Yes
OptimoleFREE. Pro plans starting at $19.08 a month.~80%Yes
ShortPixelFREE. Pro plans starting at $3.99 a month.~96%Yes
TinyPNGFREE. Pro plans starting at $0.009 per image for over 500 images~74%Yes

For those who want to really dive in and pick the best plugin, stick around!

Smush the most popular image optimization plugin

WP Smush is one of the most popular WP image compression plugins.

Their FREE image compression plugin is fantastic for simple compressions of JPG and PNG image formats. You can also compress images directly in the WP media library, which saves a lot of time – something not every compression plugin supports.

Smush bulk image compression

The compression is very decent – resulting in a 94% reduction of image size.

If you were to compress a PNG image, WP Smush would also convert the PNG image into WebP – a next-generation image format recommended by Google.

what is webp image format

Plus, WP Smush can detect wrong-sized images.

If you activate this feature, your images will be highlighted with smart tips to let you easily resize them. You can then quickly locate the images keeping you from getting the perfect score on your Google PageSpeed test and fix them.  

Smush resizing options

If you’re looking for a broader range of features, you’ll need to upgrade to the PRO version, which offers:

  • Ultra Smush with 5X compression
  • Unlimited bulk and auto smushing
  • Convert JPG & PNG to local WebP
  • Compression of large images up to 32MB

But, keep in mind that to have those benefits you will need a WPMU DEV membership.

WPMU Dev costs $15.83 per month but it comes with several useful WP plugins for making your website faster and more appealing – which makes it a great deal.

WPMU Dev pricing

#2: Optimole – The Most Easy-To-Use Image Compression Plugin

Optimole image optimizatio plugin

Optimole is an all-in-one image optimization solution for WordPress.

What makes Optimole stand out is that instead of compressing images locally and then replacing them in your media library permanently, Optimole does everything in the cloudso there is no slowing down of your website.

This also enables Optimole to perform image compression in real-time. When a visitor lands on your website, Optimole gets information about the visitor’s device and optimizes the image specifically for them to fine-tune the user experience. 

You can also add a nice animation for lazy loading of images on your website. Doing so will elevate the experience for your visitors and make your site look more professional.

Optimole lazy loading animation

However, all these fancy features do lead to a lower image size reduction.

Compared to most image compression plugins that have around 94%+ size reduction, Optimole has only an 80% size reduction – although this is still pretty solid.

If you’re looking for configuration and more options, you can head to their Settings page. In there, you can set a bunch of image optimization settings, including compression level, image resizing, and JavaScript replacement. 

Optimole configuration options

Not sure about the compression level of your images?

Optimole includes an interactive demo of what different levels of image compression look like, so you can make the right decisions. 

Optimole interactive demo of what different levels of image compression look like

Optimole is the most clean and easy-to-use plugin in today’s list. If you’re looking for unlimited images and multisite support, check out their pro plans starting at $19.08.

Optimole pricing

#3: ShortPixel – The Biggest Image Size Compression Plugin

ShortPixel Image optimizer for WP

ShortPixel is a lightweight plugin that can help you solve your website’s image-related problems within minutes.

Since it’s a cloud-based solution, this plugin will automatically send your images to ShortPixel’s optimization cloud, where they will be optimized. After that, they will be minified, converted, and will then replace the images in your WordPress library.

Automatically send images to ShortPixel's optimization cloud

The optimized images will be identical to the naked eye – but there’ll be 96% reduction. This is the biggest image size reduction we’ve seen with any plugin.

Aside from the compression, ShortPixel will also convert images into the right format.

Your PNG images will get converted into JPGs, which are far more lightweight – or you can go even further and convert them into the next-gen WebP format. If you’re a photographer, you can also choose a lossless compression method, as well as whether to keep or remove the EXIF data from the image (GPS, camera, processing software).

Their free plan includes 100 images per month with no limit on file sizes, a plan many part-time bloggers will never grow out of. 

If you’re looking to compress more images, the paid plans start at $3.99 a month.

ShortPixel pricing

#4: TinyPNG – A Free Image Compression Plugin

TinyPNG image compression plugin

TinyPNG is a completely FREE WP plugin for image compression.

TinyPNG uses smart lossy compression techniques to reduce the file size of your WebP, JPEG and PNG files – yes, it’s not just for PNGs. The effect is nearly invisible, but it makes a very large difference in file size – check the images below, do you see a difference?

TinyPNG image shrunking comparison

Even though the images look the same, the one on the right is 74% smaller in size.

TinyPNG also lets you create near-perfect cover images or thumbnails. Their tool resizes images intelligently whenever you change the aspect ratio, and smart cropping removes the parts that are visually the least interesting.  

TinyPNG resizes images intelligently

And when cut out images are detected, TinyPNG will add background space or remove superfluous areas when the aspect ratio is changed. This way the object in your image will remain free-standing and doesn’t get cut-off at the edges when resizing.

TinyPNG will add background space

Your animated PNG images will be optimized as well.

TinyPNG WP plugin is also fully multisite compatible, and you can set the API key for all sites by defining the key in your wp-config.php file. 

You can also connect this plugin with WooCommerce. However, we have discovered that WooCommerce may be trying to regenerate image attachment metadata over and over again on each page visit. If you’re using WooCommerce please follow the tips from the support section. 

With TinyPNG, you only pay for what you use. The first 500 compressions each month are free. You will only be billed if you compress more than 500 images – starting at $0.009 per compressed image.  

TinyPNG pricing

#5: Squoosh – The Most Robust Image Compression Options

Squoosh homepage

Squoosh contains the most options for compressing images, yet it’s one of the most easy-to-use tools on this list. Unlike most tools, this one doesn’t have a dedicated WP plugin for your website. Instead, it acts as a standalone site you can use to shrink down your images.

Squoosh offers countless options you can choose from for optimizing images.

  • Resizing
  • Reducing color palette
  • Progressive rendering
  • Adjusting compression quality
  • Conversion to different formats
  • Smoothening of the image

Also, you can see the before and after image by using an interactive slider – as well as the size and percentage of size reduction.

Squoosh see the before and after image by using an interactive slider

They offer many image formats such as Browser GIF, WebP, Avif, and six more.

Worried about the privacy of your images? 

Images never leave your device since Squoosh does all the work locally. The only caveat we’ve found is that you can only upload one image at a time. Of course, if you have a WordPress website, we definitely recommend looking at other tools on today’s list that have a dedicated plugin for compressing images. 

Squoosh is best used when you have just a few images you want to shrink down quickly.

Conclusion – Optimize Your Images And Capture More Visitors

Website load time is one of the key factors for ranking high on search engines – Google prioritizes speed when it comes to ranking search results.

To make your workflow more effective and improve your site, check out these resources:

Looking to make changes to your website quickly?

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The vast project management capabilities of Atarim is one of the reasons why our clients were able to finish their projects in weeks instead of months. If you want to optimize your website for search engines, make changes fast, and rank higher we definitely recommend using Atarim.

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