Optimize WordPress Blog Images using WP

Do you know that the images you upload in your blog’s posts and pages can be further optimized by using a simple WordPress plugin? If your answer is NO, then let’s check out in this post how a webmaster can optimize and compress his hosted images, so that bandwidth can be saved and image loading time can be improved.

smush it

WP allows you to optimize your blog images in following ways:

  • Compression with minimum quality loss.
  • Removing Metadata from images. The “data about data” may include information about the owner of the image, camera used, exposure value etc.
  • Removing unused colors from indexed images (files that support indexed color mode).
  • Conversion of GIF file to PNG file.

The plugin is based on the concept of Yahoo! Just install the plugin for your self hosted installation and all the images that you are going to upload in future will be optimized using above mentioned optimization techniques.

Older images, that you uploaded before installing the plugin, can be optimized from WordPress’s Media Library. All you need to do is to click on Now link present under those images whose status says Not Processed:

smush it now

You can also smush multiple images in media library by selecting Bulk under Bulk Actions. Keep in mind this may take lots of processing power of your hosting server and may generate errors. If you are getting too many errors, then try to smush all your images one by one.

Update: A new tool of this plugin allows you to run all the images present in your media library through web service. When processing images, the tool will skip images that are already processed and will try to process only those images which are new and unprocessed OR failed to process earlier.

bulk smush it tool

The plugin will provide a public URL to each of your images to Yahoo and the web service will download all your images to its server using the provided URL. The service will now process your images and provide your server with download URLs, so that the original unprocessed images can be replaced with optimized ones.

Keep in mind the web service has following limitations:

  • Images that are larger than 1 MB in size will be skipped permanently. These images will never be processed.
  • The service will never process any images that are served via HTTPS:// URLs. It can only process those images that are served via non-HTTPS URLs.
  • The images must be publicly accessible on the server. If you provide private image URLs, then they can’t be processed as your web server will send an Access Denied error to the web service.
  • The images must be hosted on your own site only. If they are hosted directly on some third-party web server like of Photobucket, Flickr, Picasa OR on some Content Delivery Network like MaxCDN, Amazon CloudFront etc., then they will never be processed.

Click on Run all my images through WP right now button and the plugin will start processing all your images present in the media library. It may take some time depending on the total number of images present in your blog.