WordPress Image Optimization for Improving Site Speed- A step by step guide

wordpress image optimization

SEO is a rapidly changing environment. With search engines getting smarter and smarter, user experience on a website is becoming a determinant signal deciding your SERP rankings.

Mobile friendliness of a website has already been identified as a ranking factor and everyone knows that Google only ranks fast sites on the first page of SERP.


Slow websites just don’t even make your website less user-friendly but also make you lose your rankings and revenue.

Being aware of this fact, you can’t afford to ignore the slow loading speed of your website.

If you wanna make your website load faster, you need to deal with a lot of things like changing your host, caching your website, minifying and a lot of things suggested by Pingdom or Gtmetrix.

Image optimization is also essential for improving your site speed as large image size can ruin your site speed. You know what? 61 percent of a website page weight on a desktop computer is because of images.

In this post, we are gonna talk about how you can speed up your website with image optimization.

If you can optimize images on your website, your websites loading time would improve for sure as your page size would decrease.

You would not believe but a week ago my website was having a loading time of 12 seconds. That’s too much. And now my website fully loads in 4 seconds. That too is not good but awesome from an improvement point of view. No, image optimization was not solely responsible for this drastic improvement but yeah it played a major role.

Now let’s dive into the main content.


Optimizing images in WordPress- wordpress image optimization

Image optimization is in WordPress means compressing your image for making your webpage less in size thus making your website load faster.

You can achieve this in WordPress simply by using plugins like smush and short pixel.

Image optimization using Smush plugin


image optimization

Smush image compression and optimization plugin is an awesome free plugin by WPMU DEV. The plugin is also available in a pro account too. But for me the free version is ok.

Smush plugin resizes large files and Now with image resizing! Set a max width and height and large images will scale down as they are being compressed.

WP smush plugin compresses images without compromising with the quality.

Smush scans every image on you uploaded or already present on your website and cuts off all unnecessary data and scales it for before adding it to your media library.

Smush not only compresses and optimize your images in media folder but also images in any directory in your site including images stored in theme packages and any plugins folder.


You can optimize only 50 images in a click but don’t worry you can click as many as you want.

Smush free version reduce image size by compressing but the pro version saves much more space than the free version.

With the free version of smush, you can optimize any images in any directory and reduce large images into maximum sizes.

Smush can take care of all your image compression needs, for free! But you can get some extra features and more wordpress image optimization with the pro version.


WordPress Image optimization with shortPixel

image optimization wordpress

You can also use the shortPixel plugin for optimizing images on your WordPress website. ShortPixel is also available in both free and paid version.

With shortPixel, you can optimize images in lossy or losslessly formats. You can restore your original image anytime from shortPixel. Short pixel for free can be a good tool for WordPress image optimization.


With the free version of shortPixel you can only compress 100 images in a month. And by using refer a friend program you can get other 100 compressions.

Paid account (10,000 images):

  • $9.98 for 10K images.
  • Purchased quota never expires.
  • Offers monthly subscription.
  • Supported payment mode is PayPal.

I would not gonna talk about paid plugins to optimize and compress images in WordPress. Why pay if you can do that for free.

I am sure if you will type in google something like “image compressions free”, you would get what you need for free.

Thre are a plenty of online tools available using which you can optimize, compress or resize an image before uploading it to your website. Photoshop can also be used as a tool to optimize images for WordPress.

Image optimization in wordpress

Image optimization is essential for improving your site loading time. But there are other things too on which you should focus on getting your website load under the 2-second mark.

Choose a better host

Cheap shared hosting can seem a great option for beginners. But in the long run, as your website grows bigger shared hosting seems to be the worst hosting plan. As in shared hosting, your site gets affected by other websites on your server and making your server insufficient thus slow.

If you have tried everything for improving your site speed still facing slow loading, its time to switch your hosting.

The hosting which I recommend as an affiliate 🙂 and as a user  is Bluehost, down is my affiliate link to get your fast hosting plan:

Best hosting for fast speed- BlueHost

If you are a WordPress user then you should choose managed WordPress hosting for better results. You can use the link above for getting it from Bluehost.

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As said earlier, on desktop sites images are responsible for 61% of page weight and thus it becomes crucial to optimize images for faster loading.

A web page that loads faster is one that is smaller in size that means you need to reduce the size of your website to make it load fast. For that, you need to minify HTML, Java, and CSS that can be done on WordPress using plugins like better WordPress minify.

For optimizing images you can use free plugins like smush plugin or ShortPixel but if these plugins don’t seem efficient to you. You can always use free online tools for compression and size reduction. Saving is making money for the future.

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Mohit Paliwal

Hello, This is Mohit Paliwal- Fountain-head of dollarsway.com. I am a digital marketer and an SEO. I like to create blogs, rank them high on google and make money from them. I like to write on SEO and Blogging.
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