- Editor Rating
- Rated 4.5 stars
- WP Compress
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One of the best ways to speed up a WordPress website is to optimize its images. Once an image has been optimized, its file size will be smaller, and therefore, quicker to load.
When it comes to optimizing the images on a WordPress website, one of the easiest ways to do this is to install a plugin. Thankfully, there are lots of image optimization plugins out there, but which one should you choose?
One of the best options is WP Compress, a freemium plugin that’s not only easy to use but is also very efficient at optimizing images to decrease their file size without noticeably reducing their quality. Once you’ve installed the plugin, you can optimize up to 50 images on your site in just a few clicks. After that, you’ll need to purchase some additional credits, but with prices starting at just $5 a month, it’s certainly an affordable way to improve the speed of your WordPress website.
So if you haven’t sped up your website by optimizing its images yet, or you’ve tried other image compression plugins and not been happy with the results, this WP Compress review should be of interest.
What Can WP Compress Do?
As mentioned, the goal of the WP Compress plugin is to optimize the images on your WordPress website in order to improve loading times. Here are its main features that help you compress your images in many different ways:
- Ability to optimize all existing website images in just one click.
- Auto-pilot mode to optimize new images as soon as they’re added to your site.
- Three levels of compression to choose from.
- Over-compression protection to avoid reducing the quality of images.
- CDN access to store your image files around the world for faster loading times.
- Ability to automatically resize the dimensions of images over a certain size.
- Ability to restore images to their original state.
- Quick preview mode to compare an image before and after optimization.
- Optimize up to 50 images for free with the option of paying $5 a month for more credits.
WP Compress is focused not only on optimizing the images on your WordPress website for faster loading times but also making the process of compressing image files as straightforward and hands-off as possible.
However, as this WP Compress review will reveal, this plugin has lots of features that power users and those who want more control over how their images are compressed will appreciate.
How to Optimize Your Images with WP Compress
Sometimes the best way to understand what a plugin can do is to explore the user experience to see how it works. So with that in mind, let’s walk through the process of using WP Compress to optimize the images on a WordPress website and find out what sort of results you can expect.
Installing and Activating WP Compress
As WP Compress can initially be used to optimize your images for free, it’s available from the official WordPress Plugin Directory and can be installed from inside your WordPress dashboard.
Once you’ve installed and activated WP Compress, you’ll see a helpful banner with a link to start the setup process for the plugin.
Although WP Compress is free to use to compress up to 50 files, you must create an account to start optimizing the images on your WordPress website. Thankfully, registering with WP Compress only takes a few seconds, but you do have to provide an email address which you must confirm.
Once you’ve activated your account, you can get the API key to paste into your WordPress dashboard to start using the plugin.
Configuring the Image Optimization Settings
In its attempt to simplify the process of optimizing WordPress website images, WP Compress comes pre-configured with the recommended settings. This should help the plugin appeal to anyone who wants to speed up their WordPress website in this way but is reluctant to invest the time in learning a new technology, system, or tool. With WP Compress, you simply install and activate the plugin and then let it run on its default settings.
However, if you’d like to change the default settings, or see how WP Compress will be optimizing the images on your site, the control panel makes it easy to do so.
As you can see, the WP Compress control panel is attractively and clearly designed. Thanks to this, it’s easy to understand, and for convenience, most of the settings are accessible from one page. If you’d like to know more about any of the options and settings, they’re all accompanied by a tooltip that provides extra information about each control.
Through the control panel, you can choose from three optimization levels that let you determine how much compression will be applied to your images. While the Ultra compression mode will result in the smallest file sizes possible, the quality of your images might suffer, at least compared to the Lossless compression mode.
However, to try to combat any noticeable reduction in image quality, WP Compress does have an Over-Compression Prevention feature. To help you find the right level, you can preview the different compression levels and undo any optimizations that have had a detrimental effect on image quality.
You can also enable the other features such as lazy loading to prevent images from being loaded until they’re in the visitor’s viewport, the CDN service that uploads your images to a global network for faster page loads, and the option to back up your images to the cloud.
Optimizing Your Images with WP Compress
Whether you accept the default settings or explore the configuration options, the next step in speeding up your WordPress website with WP Compress is to optimize any existing images. For brand new websites, this step might not be necessary, but for sites that have been running for a while, there’s sure to be some images that could benefit from being compressed.
As mentioned, you can use WP Compress to optimize up to 50 images for free before you need to purchase any credits. Therefore, if your site is relatively new or doesn’t use many images, this allowance could suffice.
We’ll cover the pricing details in more depth later on, but to give you an idea of how much WP Compress costs to use, the entry-level plan starts at $5 a month and allows you to optimize 500 images a month plus includes an additional 1,000 image credit bonus to help you get started.
Once you hit the optimization button, the plugin will scan your WordPress media library looking for images to compress. The work takes place in the background but there’s a handy status icon to let you know the progress of the optimization. When the job is complete, and the images have been compressed, you can view the stats to see how much you’ve saved in terms of file size.
During testing for this WP Compress review, the plugin was able to reduce the file sizes of our unoptimized images by a good amount without visibly affecting their quality. The plugin dashboard contains a compression report panel that lets you see at a glance what work WP Compress has been doing each time you’ve added new images to your website.
Optimizing Individual Images with WP Compress
If you want to take a more hands-on approach to optimizing your images, you can do so with WP Compress. Instead of letting the plugin do its work in the background, you can navigate to your WordPress media library and optimize the images individually.
As well as compressing any images that haven’t already been optimized, you can also restore any that have. You can also try reoptimizing an image with different compression settings to see how it would look if you, for example, changed from using Lossless compression to the Ultra compression mode.
You can also quickly compare the before and after versions of an image to see what effect the optimization had on the visual quality of the file. As comparing the versions and rolling back any optimization is very straightforward, you can use WP Compress without having to worry if it’s having a negative impact on the presentation of your photographs and other types of images.
As you can see, whether you’re compressing the existing images in your media library or optimizing the new images that you upload to your WordPress website, the process is very hands-off and straightforward.
WP Compress Pricing Details
As covered earlier, you can start using WP Compress for free and optimize up to 50 images without paying a penny, whether that’s the images that have already been uploaded to your site or those you will add after installing the plugin.
However, if you want to optimize more than 50 images, you will need to sign up to one of the monthly plans. Thankfully, they’re not too expensive, with the cheapest option only costing $5 a month and giving you the ability to compress 500 images each month plus a starter bonus of 1,000 image credits.
To give you an idea of how much it might cost you to speed up your WordPress website with WP Compress, here’s an overview of the first three pricing options:
- 500 images a month and 25 GB CDN use for $5 a month plus a 1,000 credit starter bonus.
- 2,500 images a month and 50 GB CDN use for $10 a month plus a 2,500 credit starter bonus.
- 5,000 images a month and 125 GB CDN use for $15 a month plus a 5,000 credit starter bonus.
- Plus higher plans that cover up to 25,000 images each month, individual credit packs, and great-value lifetime access options.
As the plans can be split over multiple sites, if you do want to optimize the images on more than one WordPress website, you can easily do so with WP Compress and a single plan. There are also lifetime options currently available that reduce the price of using WP Compress considerably.
With the 5,000 image plan and above, you also get the ability to rebrand the plugin to match your brand identity, something those optimizing and managing WordPress websites for clients might find useful. In fact, if you are offering a website management service, WP Compress has some agency features to simplify using this tool on multiple sites that are worth checking out.
Thanks to the bonus credit packs that are available when you sign up to a plan for the first time, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to optimize all of the existing images on your site as soon as you sign up with WP Compress.
Hopefully, this review has introduced you to a new way to speed up your WordPress website.
WP Compress is very easy to use while also still having the ability to effectively optimize your images in order to reduce their file size. Thanks to features such as over-compression protection, three levels of compression to choose from, a quick way to compare images before and after they’ve been optimized, and a preview tool, this plugin is a great choice for anyone who wants more control over how their images are modified.
On the other hand, the auto-pilot mode and one-click optimization features of WP Compress make this plugin equally suitable for those who want to speed up their website with very little effort required.
The only issue that might hold someone back from using this plugin is arguably the fact that it’s not a completely free solution. Yes, you can compress up to 50 images for free, but beyond that, you must pay to use WP Compress. However, with prices starting as low as $5 a month, as well as the great-value lifetime options that are available at the time of writing, WP Compress could actually be a very cost-effective way to speed up your website and avoid frustrating your visitors with slow loading times.
If you’re looking for another way to improve the speed of your website and make your images load faster, WP Compress comes highly recommended.
Summary: The WP Compress plugin gives you a powerful yet easy way to optimize the images on a WordPress website for faster loading times.
Rated 4.5 stars