Image compression is one of the best ways to increase web page load speed. That, in turn, boosts your website’s SEO. Not only that, but you also save a lot of bandwidths. So, today I will be sharing with you the top 5 image compression WordPress plugins with research results.

For the study, I used two images with different extensions, JPG, and PNG. I used the default Twenty Sixteen theme which generates around five different image sizes. So compression results are an average of the six image sizes (includes the original image).

I prefer lossless image compression because I want to give a good user experience to my visitors. So, I am only considering plugins that provide both lossless and lossy compression options or just lossless option.

Here are the top 5 image compression WordPress plugins:

1. Smush Image Compression and Optimization (WP Smush)

Smush Image Compression and Optimization (WP Smush)

WP Smush by WPMU Dev compresses and optimizes images using advanced lossless compression techniques on their servers. It also scales down an image if you set the maximum width and height in WP Smush settings. However, the free version has an image size limit of 1MB. You can also compress images in bulk, but again free version is limited to 50 attachments at a time. WP Smush puts a memory load of around 0.20-0.30 MB on your server.

Type Compression %
JPG 5.92%
PNG 29.64%

 

2. Kraken.io Image Optimizer

Kraken Image Optimizer

Kraken performed very well, and it gives a fierce competition to WP Smush plugin. Although Kraken can compress images up to 32MB, the major drawback with Kraken is that it only provides 100 MB of free image compressions. The free version does offer an option to choose between lossless or lossy compressions. Kraken puts a memory load of around 0.05-0.15 MB on your server.

Type Compression %
JPG 6.06%
PNG 28.26%

 

3. Imagify Image Optimizer

Imagify Image Optimizer

Imagify Image Optimizer is a product from WP Media, the same folks behind WP Rocket (Caching plugin for WordPress). It provides three image compression options “Normal,” “Aggressive” and “Ultra.” Normal is lossless compression whereas Ultra is lossy compression. Imagify offers 25MB of image compression each month for free. Imagify puts a memory load of around 1.00-1.10 MB on your server.

Type Compression %
JPG 4.80%
PNG 24.66%

 

4. EWWW Image Optimizer

EWWW Image Optimizer

EWWW Image Optimizer, the best plugin for image compression? Sorry to disappoint but it wasn’t the case in my tests. EWWW Image Optimizer plugin compresses images on your server which can put a load on the server. There is no image compression limit in the free version. EWWW Image Optimizer puts a memory load of around 0.30-0.40 MB on your server.

Type Compression %
JPG 4.81%
PNG 21.76%

 

5. ShortPixel Image Optimizer

ShortPixel Image Optimizer

ShortPixel Image Optimizer occupies the last place based on the performance. It provides 100 free credits every month. A single compressed image consumes one credit. It comes with a lot of great features, but the compression performance is just not up to the mark. ShortPixel Image Optimizer does not work in the local development environment. ShortPixel puts a memory load of around 0.20-0.30 MB on your server.

Type Compression %
JPG 4.57%
PNG 21.29%

 

Summary

Plugin JPG Compression % PNG Compression % Total Compression %
WP Smush 5.92% 29.64% 35.56%
Kraken 6.06% 28.26% 34.32%
Imagify 4.80% 24.66% 29.64%
EWWW 4.81% 21.76% 26.57%
ShortPixel 4.57% 21.29% 25.88%

 

Conclusion

The main contenders for me are WP Smush and Kraken. They both have their drawbacks, but Smush Image Compression and Optimization (WP Smush) is a clear winner for me. The performance difference between WP Smush and Kraken is only 1.24%, but it can convert into significant savings for large images.

About the author

Blogger, Developer and Web Video Producer.

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