Compressing Images For WordPress

A lot of my clients have been getting reports from Google about page speed performance recently.  This tells me Google are taking site performance as an increasingly important factor in their ranking algorithm.

You can get a feel for your site performance by running a test from Google Page Speed Insights.

One of the indicators nearly every site is being flagged with is image optimisation or image compression.  In this post I’ll talk about some options you have to compress your images.

Compression Types

There are two types of image compress lossy and losslessly.  These are not real words I’m 100% sure but they are used routinely when talking about image compression.

Lossy – this is a compression type that will reduce your file size and impact a little on quality.

Losslessly – this compression type removed meta information and compresses the file but retains quality.

Resizing Images

No amount of compression is going to fix a massive image 5000 pixels wide that is uploaded to your site.

Before you add an image into your site, scale it down using your image manipulation software.

Compression Plugins

There are a number of plugins out there which compress images as they are uploaded to WordPress.   I highly recommend you install one to compress files as you upload them automatically.

wp-smush – I’ll not talk too much about this plugin in this post I wrote a full write up Can I Smush It, Yes I Can

kraken.io – this is a new premium service to me, it has a plugin like wp-smush that comprsses images as you upload them, but it also has an online service where you can compress images offline before uploaded.  I’m using this for my clients when I speed up wordpress sites.  This has a free trial plan and starts at $5 per month based on the amount of images compressed per month.

Online Image Compression Services

Sometimes images are outside of your media library and cannot be compressed by plugins.  Examples of this are images held inside of your theme directory or inside of plugins.

For a number of clients I have been using a great free service called Compressor.io.

Simply upload your image, select the compression type lossy or lossless and your image will be compressed.  Download it and re-upload it to your theme or plugin directory.

I’ve been getting some really good results with this tool.

Wrap Up – Compressing Images For WordPress

Google are taking image compression as a ranking indicator, I strongly advise you to compress your images.

I offer a fixed price top to bottom performance tuning service, including image compression,  if you would like a quote please let me know.

Photo Credit: will668 Flickr via Compfight cc

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