Optimizing the heavy images that you have on your website is one of the ways you can increase the speed of your site. Many times, the images on your site contain a lot of irrelevant data that are not needed.
These irrelevant data can be removed so the size of the image can be reduced. There are two basic ways to reduce the size of an image; we have Lossless compression and Lossy compression.
The Lossless compression reduces the size of the images on your site without any effect on the quality of your images. The Lossy compression is a more aggressive way to reduce the size of the image, and it has effects on the quality of the images.
There are several plugins that can be used to optimize images on a site, and one of them is the WP Smush image optimizer. The WP Smush plugin is one of the easy-to-use images optimizing plugins for WordPress.
The plugin has been installed by over 1 million users and they are active. It is one of the most popular image compressing tools. Now, this is the big question I will be answering; what is WP Smush, and what made it so popular for WordPress users?
What is WP Smush Plugin?
The WP Smush tool was designed by some guys from the WPMUDEV. These guys are developers who develop different plugins for different areas of WordPress. Each of the plugins developed by them is targeted towards a particular area of the WordPress site.
Some of the plugins they developed include WP Hummingbird; the plugin helps to increase the speed of a site by performing some optimization to the site. Another plugin produced by them is WP Defender; this plugin helps to protect the site from malware that can cause harm to the site.
With that said, it is right to say that WP Smush is also a reliable plugin for the compression of images on a site. The plugin will work under any situation, but it comes with a price. The developers of the plugin currently charge a fixed amount for all the paid versions of the plugin.
You might find this expensive if you don’t need all of them. In this article, I will give an in-depth review of WP Smush. This will help you decide if the Pro version is worth paying for or you will just stick to the free version or you will find an alternative.
Review of WP Smush
1. Why Should You Use the Tool?
I’m sure at some point; you have wished that you had a faster and better performing website. This is easy to achieve; all you have to do is delete all the images that you have on your website.
However, images are important on a website and you might not be able to do away with them. Then there should be a better way to increase the speed of your site and its performance without doing away with the images on the website.
Let’s be more practical and realistic in this review; no one would ever like to revisit a site without media content. The size of the image is important on a website. Your audience will like to view beautiful pictures alongside the high-quality content you have on your website.
When you optimize the images you have on your website, this will help you optimize the content you have on your website. Large images slow down a site, and the loading speed of the site will be greatly reduced.
We are aware that the search engine has its own way of detecting sites that have a low page loading speed. So the big question is how do we solve the issue of low page loading speed? To bring a balance between the beauty of your site and the SEO part of it, you will need an image optimizing tool that can help you compress the images on the website.
When I say Compression, this means reducing the size of the images on your website without affecting the quality of the images. When you try to do this on your own, it can be very stressful and time-consuming.
How can you carry out this process in the right way without any form of stress? The WP Smush plugin is the solution to this problem. The tool is capable of compressing all the images you have on your website in an automated way.
It also compresses the images you have on your site earlier; it then modifies them in a way that will suit your site. You don’t need to bother about the many options that you have on the site, the default options are good and you might not need to change them.
2. How to Install and Configure the WP Smush Image Optimizer
If you want to install the WP Smush Image optimizer, the easiest way to do this is to go to the admin tab of your site. Click the plugin button and select add new, and then type the word Smush into the search box and you will find it there.
Once you have installed and activated the plugin on your site, you can start using the plugin immediately. You will find a Smush button at the sidebar of your screen; click the button so you can access the dashboard where you can modify the settings of the plugin.
To start compressing images with the tool, you will find the “Bulk Smush Now” button on the right side of the screen. If you click on this button, all the images you have on your site will be optimized by the tool.
When this process is going on, at the top of the screen, you will be able to see the statistics of the process – the total number of images that have been optimized and the space size that has been saved by the tool.
One of the things you should note about the free version of the WP Smush plugin is that you can only bulk-optimize the process for 50 images at once. This means that once the first set of images have been optimized, you will need to start the process all over again for the new set of images.
The WP Smush plugin is a classic compressing, optimizing, and cloud image resizing tool for WordPress users. The plugin uses the server of WPMUDEV to remove the irrelevant things from your images.
Every image that is compressed with the Smush plugin is resized without affecting the quality of the image in any way. The interesting part of the plugin is that it has the ability to optimize more than the image you have in your media library.
It can also be used to optimize Amazon S3 images, NextGen images, and images from other sources. WP Smush also works well with other plugins that we have, for example, the Elementor.
Let’s talk a bit about the different plans we have for the plugin. We have the free and paid versions of the WP Smush image compressor. The free version of the plugin can be used to optimize images that are about 1MB in size.
However, with the paid plan that we have on the plugin, you can add a lot of things that need to be optimized. The paid version also comes with a lot of additional features that make the compressing process interesting.
The Pro Version of the Plugin
- You will be able to optimize an unlimited number of images
- You can perform the Super Smush on it. This feature is twice what we have in the free version
- You can optimize the image on your site with the limits you have set for the plugin
- There is the Restore Original button on the pro version where the original copy of the optimized image can be restored
- The version also comes with the Auto Smush feature; the feature automatically optimizes the images on your website upon upload
- The version can keep the EXIF data of a picture. This feature is useful for photographers who will like to keep some Metadata about the image
- The Pro version is 200 times faster than the paid version
- There is the WebP feature that converts the images to the modern image format
- Convert PNG to lossy JPEG
Pros and Cons of WP Smush Plugin
- The plugin offers an unlimited number of image optimizations for free
- The plugin can automatically optimize the images you have on your site
- The plugin is capable of removing the irrelevant information about images like the focal length, date and time, etc
- The plugin grants you access to the image compressing statistic of the process
- For the free version of the plugin, the maximum file size that can be optimized is 1MB. The pro version of the tool allows the addition of up to 32MB images
- You will need to become a member of the developer (WPMUDEV) if you want to access some extra features that the plugin has. This membership goes for $49 every month. When you are a member, you will also enjoy some other plugins that are developed by the developer
- The free version of the plugin doesn’t retain the original version of the images that are optimized on it. Other image optimizers have this feature
- You can only compress 50 images at once with the free version of the plugin. This means you will need more time if the images you are compressing are many
- The free version has a lot of ads from the developer. They are trying to tell you about the pro version of the tool
- A photographer will have to use the Pro version of the tool because of the Metadata he has to keep intact in his images
Alternatives of the WP Smush Tool
There are other WordPress plugins and other tools out there that you can use to optimize the images you have on your website. These tools grant you total control over the optimization process of your images, as you will be the one telling it what to do.
This can help you reduce the size of the heavy images on your site, and this will increase the page load speed on your site.
- EWWW Image optimizer
The EWWW image optimizer is also a WordPress image optimizer that helps you resize the images on your website. The tool automatically compresses the images as you upload them on the WordPress site.
It also gives you the option to optimize the images you have uploaded previously. There is an option to select the format you want to optimize your image to. This will help you choose the format that will help you reduce the size of the image and suit your site.
For example, if a PNG screenshot is optimized to JPEG, the size of the image will be reduced.
The main feature of this tool is bulk-optimizing. The tool allows its users to bulk-resize the heavy images they have on their site at once. It allows you to choose the default maximum size you want for the images on your site.
There is also an option for you to choose by default for the compression of JPEG images. You can use this tool to convert images to different formats like from PNG to JPEG, and from BMP to JPEG.
- Adobe Photoshop
The software is a standard tool for editing images; this is a bit costly. The tool has a feature that comes with it called the save for web option. This option allows you to save the images that have been optimized for web purposes.
The interesting part of this tool is that you will get to choose the amount of compression you want to perform on the image. You can choose the number of colors for a PNG file and the compression level for the JPEG ones.
Once you are done choosing the parameters you want, the image will show the size of the new image and the preview of it. There is also an option to adjust the parameters of the image if you are not satisfied with the image.
There is a free alternative that you can use in replacement of Adobe Photoshop. This is called Gimp; the performance of the tool might not be as good as that of Adobe Photoshop. However, the tool can also optimize images for web purposes.
Reducing the size of the images on your website is an easy way to increase the speed of your site. Increasing the speed of your site is also a great way to increase your ranking on the search engine.
WP Smush is a plugin that can help you achieve this effortlessly; the tool comes with a lot of amazing features. It has a free plan and you can do a lot with it, but if you want more features, you can upgrade to the paid plan.
Are you intending to start a WordPress blog in earnest? You want to build an online business genuinely? Read my in-depth review of Wealthy Affiliate. Do not forget to drop your comment after reading. And I will be glad to get back to you in due time.