Optimize images 300% in wordpress with 17 free tools and plugins

Ultimately, the physical space your images occupy on your WordPress site will be determined by which device your visitors view it from. There really is no ideal, especially if you’re using images for different purposes. For instance, an image used to complement a blog post might only need to be medium-sized whereas you would want a full-width image for your home page’s hero image.

DPI (or dots per inch) is the reference to look for when assessing the resolution of an image. 72 pixels per inch is the standard resolution output you’ll see on most images whereas 300 dpi is what you’ll likely get when you use stock photography. So long as the image looks sharp at the preferred size, you shouldn’t have to stress too much about what the exact number is.


While there are no specific recommendations from WordPress on what types of resolution your images should be saved at, they do advise you to be careful about using higher-than-needed resolutions, especially for large file sizes. The greater the resolution, the greater the file size. If your image looks crystal-clear at a lower DPI, then you may want to keep it there so as to spare your server the unnecessary strain. File Type

JPGs are the ideal file type for photographs. While this format does not support transparent backgrounds, its native ability to compress files into more manageable sizes without compromising quality is ideal for large-sized and high-resolution photographs. JPGs use the lossy compression method which basically means that unnecessary background data is stripped out to create a greater reduction in file size.

A progressive JPG, on the other hand, consists of multiple layers. When a visitor attempts to view a slow-to-load page with a progressive JPG, the image will fully populate within the frame it needs to exist in. However, it’ll be somewhat blurry at first as the other layers come into view on top of it, eventually rendering the image in full.

Like JPGs, PNGs do utilize a form of compression to make image sizes a bit more manageable, but this kind is known as lossless. Lossless compression is unlike lossy compression in that it keeps all original data impact. Since it cannot reduce your file’s size in that manner, it instead looks for ways to break your images into smaller pieces that will make it easier to serve to visitors.

An SVG is a scalable vector image, which makes it perhaps the most flexible of all the image types. It’s also super lightweight which means you won’t have to feel guilty if you use a bunch of these on your website. That said, it’s really only ideal for small elements that you want to scale well. This means that SVGs are usually relegated to logos, favicons, regular icons, and more simplistic visual elements.

You can, of course, also use GIFs in WordPress. These are a nice alternative to video content as they’re much more lightweight (if you were planning to store video files on your server, that is) and they’re generally quicker animation-type clips. With the proliferation of social media, GIFs are definitely a user-friendly file type to use in WordPress, though you’ll want to use them sparingly. 9 Best Free Online Image Optimizer Tools

As noted above, the size of an image can really put a damper on your site’s performance, so if you can reduce any amount of it before uploading to WordPress, that would be ideal. The same goes for reducing the number of bytes the image carries around with it. It might not always be necessary–especially if your images are smaller to begin with–but it’s important to know you have the option to easily do so with the following online tools: 1. Stock Photo Sites

What these values do is define what the default image sizes are for the three image sizes WordPress will automatically generate. If you want to save yourself time in resizing images outside of WordPress or adjusting them to your site’s height and width specifications, you can update the dimensions here. This is especially helpful if you intend on using consistent sizing for images across the entire website.

Of course, when you’re working in WordPress, you know that there are WordPress plugins to help you do, well, pretty much everything. So, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that there are some awesome image optimization plugins you can use for free. Let’s take a look at the top picks and what you’re able to do with them: 3. Smush Image Compression and Optimization

Aside from a handful of premium features you’ll get when purchasing a WPMU DEV plugin membership, there isn’t really a whole lot of difference between the free and premium versions of this plugin. This is fantastic because Smush on its own accomplishes everything you need in the way of optimization. Fun Fact: WP Smush comes with WP Buffs plans! Here are some of the features you’ll enjoy when you use this plugin:

The great thing about the Imagify Image Optimizer plugin is that it makes the process of bulk optimizing your images a really simple one. As with other image optimization plugins, this one accomplishes two feats: it first will bulk optimize all of the images currently sitting in your Media folder; it will then automatically optimize images based on settings you’ve pre-defined.

If you want to use a high-quality image optimizer plugin and know your site is going to be low on monthly image uploads, then this might be a great choice for you. There are no file size limits to deal with. The plugin optimizes JPGs, PNGs, GIFs, and WebPs. It also will go deep inside your site and optimize things like e-commerce product sliders, photography image sliders, and more.

Ultimately, you want to use a tool that gets everything done as quickly and seamlessly as possible. Also, don’t forget to think about what something like a WordPress plugin will do to your server space. My personal recommendation? Use the JPEGmini resizer tool in conjunction with the Smush plugin. They’re both highly reliable tools and, when paired together, will give you high-quality image optimization results.