The what and why of optimizing your images:
We are looking at ways to improve your WordPress speed. By optimizing your images you will see great improvements in site speed. High-resolution images that are large in file size can drastically slow down page speed. It is possible to reduce image size without losing image quality. The plugin we are going to be looking at, does this for you. All you have to do is to click a few buttons.
Set a benchmark before you start
I think it is important to know where you are starting. That way, you will have a clear picture of how optimizing your images improved your site speed. I love GTMetrix for this purpose. They offer a free service. Simply follow the link I provided, enter you URL and click Analyze. You will receive a comprehensive analysis of your site, which includes useful tips about the factors that are slowing down your site.
Below, you can see this site’s score before optimization. You can see that it is quite slow and obviously D is a poor grade. So let’s do something about that.
About WP Smush
WP Smush.it is by the great team at WPMU DEV (You will know them if you have been around WordPress for a while). This plugin is very easy to use, and you can optimize your images as you upload them to your WordPress site. For the images already on your site, you can bulk smush 50 images at a time.
Install and activate WP Smush
You can download the plugin from the link I provided above, or by going to Plugins–>Add New and searching for WP Smush. Once it is downloaded and installed (and network activated, if you have a multisite), you will be taken to its dashboard which will look something like this:
If you want to invest in the pro version WP Smush Pro, you can smush all you images in one click. With the free version, I can smush all 69 my images with 2 clicks. Go ahead and smush yours, by clicking the blue BULK SMUSH NOW button. It is important to keep the page open while the bulk smushing is going on. You can also individually smush images via your Media Library.
The image below shows my results after the smushing completed: 1.6MB saved!
According to my GTMetrix analysis, you can clearly see how much smaller my page size is, which went from 1.1MB to only 880KB. My PageSpeed score is now above average. So, in all, a pretty successful experiment!
You may see even better results. Try it and let me know.
Have fun with WordPress!