Today we are going to put the best image optimization plugins to the test. If you are on this page you probably know that image size is important. It’s easy to upload a huge picture to your website and have it bog down your site.
Not only do big images create a slower load time, they also hurt your SEO and require more bandwidth.
All the services claim the same thing, they will compress your images without compromising the image quality. Most offer a free plan, but for most sites it’s worth paying a few dollars to keep all your images in the right sizes.
We only tested services that have a WordPress plugin as that is the main use case. For more info on our methods see the bottom of this post.
For the speed testing I optimized a silly business photos from Pexels. The starting size of the images was quite large for web.
We did not test WP Smush or EWWW because the price makes them hard to recommend. No matter how good their compression is or marketing. We’re here for a deal and quality.
ShortPixel | Grade: A
ShortPixel had some of our favorite features. The UI is easy to use and the the plans are affordable. What was unique was that you can use one API key for multiple sites. This makes your dollar go much farther.
Shortpixel also has the advantage that they can compress PDF files. That is a big win if you have users downloading or viewing PDFs.
There are three compression levels for ShortPixel. I tested the two that save the most as that is what you would usually use a program like this for. Here is the result:
Glossy – Average Compression of 76.6%
Lossy – Average Compression of 84.4
ShortPixel is our favorite choice. You can setup an account here.
Tiny PNG | Grade B+
Tiny PNG is our second favorite service. It gives you 500 free images a month. That is the 400 more than ShortPixel. For the next 9,500 images it costs $0.009 per image. So the cost of compressing 5000 images a month would be $40.50 cents. This is quite a bit higher than ShortPixel which allows you to compress up to 5,000 images a month for 4.99. The biggest difference is TinyPNG is pay as you go where ShortPixel is monthly. So TinyPNG might be a better deal if you don’t update your site often.
Default Compression – 79%
This is interesting because tinypng only has one level of compression. It falls right in between the two tests for Short Pixel. So it comes down to features and cost.
I have used the WordPress Plugin for both TinyPNG and ShortPixel. I tend to like ShortPixel a bit more because again it gives you more advanced features. At the end of the day they both will compress your images but ShortPixel might save you a few bucks and it gives you the option of how you want to compress images.
This is really valuable if you want to compress small images or thumbnails to the highest level of compression but you want to preserve high quality portfolio images.
Other Higher Cost Alternatives:
WP Smush – Grade B-
WP Smush was one of the first to this game. And they have been critiqued for having a poor compression algorithm. Their pro plan costs $19 a month. In my opinion this is still too much to pay for this service. Better to save the money and have a really nice lunch. WPSmush also has the disadvantage that their free plan has a file limit size. Where Shortpixel does not.
EWWW Image Optimizer – Grade B-
These guys have flat pricing at .003 cents a image. That is about ? the cost of Tiny PNG. That still puts the cost of 5,000 images at $15, that is 3x more than ShortPiexel.
We tried to be as fair as possible in this review. You will notice that some items like usability of the app are subjective. Also when we tested the image compression we did so with a relatively small sample size.