Honestly…there are only 4 good ones (ShortPixel, WP Compress, LiteSpeed Cache Plugin, and Imagify). The rest are junk to me. Either poor compression quality, lack of features, hard to use, or don’t offer anything unique that these 3 don’t already do.
Let’s go over them!
Current WordPress image compression market
Image compression seems to be a “cheap business” venture for many plugin developers. Simply copy whatever open-source image compression algorithm out there and sell it at a monthly/yearly subscription. It’s all the rage and for as long as you’re helping users, everyone will be happy. The service is easy enough to implement and despite the abundance of image compression plugins out there, the market is still “under-served” (many sites still not optimizing their images).
The only turnoff for me is that many of the compression plugins act like they’re the best when the numbers show me that they aren’t. I’m extremely against gimmicky marketing and roll my eyes when I see another copycat plugin on there. Being that I speed-optimize WordPress sites for hundreds of clients every month, it’s my business to know which image compression truly is the best.
First choice – ShortPixel (PAID, but free for 100/month)
- Better compression rates, offers WebP format, offers GLOSSY format (high quality compression for photographers), good pricing. This is my default go-to if you need serious compression. Try their (free) compression test.
- Get ShortPixel
Second choice – WP Compress (PAID)
- Excellent ratio, super small file sizes, and very sharp. If anything, sometimes even sharper than the original.
- Get WP Compress
Third choice – LiteSpeed Cache plugin (FREE)
- Super awesome free service. Can do unlimited images but your available quota starts small and increases slowly with each (batch) optimization request.
- Incredible option to optimize tons of images for free.
- Get LiteSpeed Cache plugin
Fourth choice – Imagify
- Another high-end image plugin that was formerly the first place. High quality and fair pricing.
- Some compression settings may be better than ShortPixel. Very easy to use. From the creators of the highly-acclaimed WP Rocket cache plugin.
- I’m starting to hate it. Several client sites running slow with it on! 8/24/18
What about the others?
- EWWW, WP Smush, Kraken, etc…. they are not as good IMO. You get uglier images with artifacts and/or the image size is not as small. Ugly UI and also difficult to use. Some are also bloated. With that said, some clients actually like them!
- EWWW – leaves settings/items in your database when you install.
a 'C' student
Thank you Johnny for another helpful, informative review. Would love to know your thoughts on the image optimize feature of Litespeed Cache.
Image optimization on LS cache is under-going constant improvements so there’s no doubt in my mind it will ultimately get to a great place where it rivals my favorites (like ShortPixel). With that said, I don’t use it at all but it’s quite affordable when you think about it.
What about Optimole? Any tests done on that one?
I personally have not. If you tell me it’s absolutely better than Shortpixel, I’ll take a look.
If you are not running a site that allows user submitted images (or posts with images) and you are the only one uploading images at your media library, you really don’t need any of those plugins but rather optimize your images BEFORE uploading them.
In such cases, there is only one that beats them all (PC only):
Haven’t tried Riot but I do like Photoshop’s save-to-web feature.
Have you tried Swift Performance’s own image optimization?
Not so much, to be honest. But I’m sure it works fine.
What about FREE solution from https://statically.io
And with https://wordpress.org/plugins/nazy-load
I reduce more than 50% page size load in 5 click for free.
Yes, those are nice options as well.
Any 2020 update ? As for lscache i think it not that good and its pretty slow.
Indeed, LScache can be annoying for image compression you have so many thousands of images but the price of free is tough to beat. I still feel the same image compression plugins in general.
Yes. Do you have a recommendation for the fastest way to optimize 127.000 images?
Sounds to me you need a developer to get rid of unused media sizes. Then after that, probably need a server-level component if you still have that many images. I suspect you won’t.
WP Compress LTD is on AppSumo now. I think is good to jump on it. They do more than just resize images.
I am a huge fan of ShortPixel and Imagify but prefer Shortpixel (Good to know you do as well :D)
I have a question tho.
I see ShortPixel have two (2) image optimization plugins…
ShortPixel Image Optimizer – The one you´re referring to on the article and…
ShortPixel Adaptive Images
You’re confused on the difference between them?
I haven’t had a whole lot of experience with the image optimizers aside from Kraken.io (which I’ve been a happily paid subscriber to for a few years now) and after seeing the AppSumo deal for shortpixel, I figured I should look around at a few other options and see if there were really any good comparisons out there. I think your review here is super nice and simple to read but I would have liked to have seen a few more scientific comparisons between them showing maybe a starter image and then the results of that same image through the various optimizers as well as pointing out any problems that you see (maybe by zooming in on the same spot in something like photoshop to point out artifacts, for example)
thank you soo much wp johnny I was following you since 2019 I love your detailed explanation.
lite speed cache image optimizer vs swift performance image optimizer
Do you advice live or local version of wpcompress?
I already have very fast CDN from cloudflare (enterprise level)
If you already have Cloudflare proxy, then you don’t need another CDN in my opinion. I would definitely prefer Cloudflare enterprise over WPC’s.
thanks for quick reply.
So I can use it as local mode, which makes it same as imagify as far as I understand, right?
I am using imagify right now but It creates cron error 3-4 time in an hour. Support team couldn’t help with that. It drives me crazy 🙂
Yes, local mode wouldn’t be too different from what many other top image compression plugins are doing.
Hi Johnny u know what about Robin image optimizer from Creative Motion?
Not at all. Do you like it?
No but i have a good user case to test it soon. Cause i need free one for a low budget project. And maybe it works better like the other free one.