How ShortPixel plugin works

how shortpixel works
We are often asked how ShortPixel plugin works. That’s why we decided to write this small article to explain how our service handles your images.

ShortPixel functions on the SAS model (software as a service). It may sound complicated, but it basically means that the algorithms used to compress your images do their job in the cloud.

How image optimization is done

SortPixel copies your images on our servers, it compresses them keeping the originals in the backup folders, and then it replaces your images with the optimized ones. Simply as that!

The whole process goes through the following steps:

– A list of images is sent to ShortPixel servers.
– ShortPixel pulls the images from your site, copying them in the cloud.
– Our algorithms process your images.
– The plugin checks if the optimization process is finished and it copies the images back to your server.
– At the same time, your original images are moved to a backup folder.

As you could see, the optimization needs three components: your WordPress website, the ShortPixel plugin, and our servers. Your website stores the images either in the Media Library or in custom folders. ShortPixel plugin is the interface between the WordPress site and our cloud. It has over 40,000 active installations and the user-base is growing fast. Finally, there are the ShortPixel servers which run powerful compression algorithms tested on over 180 million images.

One important note is that ShortPixel optimizes the last added images first.

ShortPixel image compression solutions for other CMSs

We have different tools which can help you to connect your site with our servers even if you don’t use WordPress. ShortPixel Website Optimizer is the second most used tool after our plugin and it brings automate image optimization to other CMSs than WordPress.

We will show you how ShortPixel Website Optimizer works with some popular CMSs in a series of articles. The first tutorial is available, and shows how image stored on Joomla websites can be compressed.

If you want to test ShortPixel optimization before installing our tools, then go to the online image compressor and reduce the sizes of some pictures.

Image compression for WooCommerce powered stores

Image Optimization for Woo Commerce

Image compression is fundamental for any website, but this is especially true for e-commerce websites. Over 3 million sites are built with WooCommerce platform, the competition is fierce, and any weakness could kill a business.

 

Why is image compression so important for online shops?

WooCommerce is one of the best things happened to WordPress community. Millions of users can open their own shop within their WordPress site in an easy and reliable way. But, no matter how small or big such shops are, they will have a lot of images on the same page. This means that your nice looking online store has huge webpages.

If your images are not compressed, then these huge web pages will be painfully slow for visitors and they will leave your shop in a big hurry. Lost visitors = Fewer customers.

So, unoptimized image means lost money.

 

ShorPixel Image optimization for WooCommerce powered stores

ShortPixel works well with WooCommerce solutions and it optimizes the product images served by it. If you don’t use ShortPixel yet, go and sign-up for a free monthly account. It comes with 100 free image optimization credits per month.

Image compression for Woo Commerce

But, if you have a lot of images, then a paid plan could be a better solution, and we have monthly plans and one-time plans. Before deciding which plan is the best for you, give ShortPixel plugin a try!

Here is how you can start to use ShortPixel right away:

1. Sign-up for a free account, and get your API key.
2. Install ShortPixel plugin from your WordPress dashboard. In order to do this, go to the Plugins section, click Add plugin button, search “ShortPixel” and click Install. All this process takes only a few seconds.
3. Open ShortPixel settings panel and validate your API key. After that, you are ready to compress images either from the Media Library (use list view), either from ShortPixel bulk.

Happy sales! 🙂

How to optimize images for Joomla websites

shortpixel webiste optimizer for joomlaDo you have a Joomla site and want to optimize its images? ShortPixel Website Optimizer compresses images for sites built with different CMSs than WordPress. We will show you in this article how to optimize images for Joomla websites.

ShortPixel is an online service who optimizes your images in the cloud, and replaces the original files with their compressed versions. In order to use this service you need a ShortPixel API key. It links your account with our image optimization service. Just sign-up here (it only takes 10 seconds!) and you will get a monthly plan with 100 free credits.

Read more about how Shortpixel credits work.

 

1. ShortPixel Website Optimizer Installation

Download the archive from the Website Optimizer page, unzip it to your Joomla installation, and check that shortpixel-web folder has the right permissions! For Linux servers run this command:
sudo chown -R www-data:www-data shortpixel-web

You are ready to test if the ShortPixel Website Optimizer installation is successful. Type in your Browser address bar:
http://[[your.website.domain]]/shortpixel-web/webroot/index.php

Our tool interface looks like this:
webiste optimizer

Validate the API key to finish the installation. If you happen to encounter any issue don’t despair! 🙂 Just contact our friendly support team.

 

2. ShortPixel Website Optimizer Settings

First step is to choose the folder where your images are stored.Your images
Our tool guesses the base URL of your images, but we recommend you to check if it is correct by typing the address of one of your images in the browser address bar, something like this:
http://your-joomla-site.com/images/YourImages/picture-name.jpg

 

ShortPixel settings explained

Check if the default settings are good for you before starting the optimization process. An important feature is the Backup Image. Don’t forget to set it up!

website optimizer api

 

Optimization method

You can choose between two optimization methods: Lossless or Lossy. There are a very few situations when you need lossless optimization.

optimization method

By default, ShortPixel eliminates the images metadata, and it converts CMYK profile to RGB. You can choose to opt-out for these transformations.

website optimizer settings

ShortPixel can freely generate WebP versions of your images, but you will need to find a way to deploy WebP files for the compatible browsers. If you don’t know what WebP files are you could read some if here, here and here.

If you believe that WebP images could be useful for you, then check this option:

website optimizer webp

Resizing large images is a way to speed-up your site and reduce your hosting storage. Keep in mind the ShortPixel keeps the aspect ratio of the images.

website optimizer resize

The last fields are also important, and we advice you to pay attention to them. At first, you can choose a folder to exclude from optimization. Assuming that inside Your Images folder there is another folder (or folders) which don’t need image compression, here is where you tell ShortPixel to skip it.

Note: This field is case sensitive.

website optimizer exculde

The last field is for setting the location of your backups. If you don’t select a folder, you will not be able to restore the originals if the compressed images don’t suit your needs or taste.

We recommend you to choose the folder where your images are stored. ShortPixel will create a backup folder there called ShortPixelBackups. This way, you can restore your images by simply copying the originals back in Your Images folder.

website optimizer backup

 

3. ShortPixel Website Optimizer process

Now you are ready to click Optimize now button and start the Bulk processor.

webiste optimizer bulk

The bulk processor works if you don’t close the browser tab. If you accidentally did it, then no biggie, just re-open the Website Optimizer page:
http://[[your.website.domain]]/shortpixel-web/webroot/index.php

After the optimization is done you will get a page with an optimization summary, but if you want a more detailed report go to your ShortPixel account and download the full Optimization Report where you will find all images you optimized in the last 40 days.

website optimizer results

If you add new images in your folder, then restarting the Website Optimizer is all you need to do for compressing them too.

 

4. ShortPixel Website Optimizer tips

As we told you above, you can secure your Website Optimizer installation by changing its default folder name from shortpixel-web to something else.

Moreover, we recommend you to add basic authentication to ShortPixel folder. For the most cases, it is enough to read and apply the method described here: https://wiki.apache.org/httpd/PasswordBasicAuth

You could optimize the images within your templates folder simply by choosing the right folder as we did above with our directory called Your Images. Remember to also set the backup folder.

So, if you are ready to test ShortPixel on your Joomla site get Website Optimizer and sign-up for a free account!

Why optimizing images for Your website is extremely important?

Creative agency websites optimizationIs there anything more annoying that waiting for a website to load? For website visitors, it can be very very irritating and for sure the longer they wait, the higher the percentage of lost potential customers. If it’s the fault of images on your website, you will not remove them; you will not leave the content itself. Every internet user knows that images are an indispensable part of the website because they explain much more than words, they are much easier to receive and can be very useful for social media shares. Besides, that images are playing a key role in driving traffic to your website. So now it’s time to ask a question – what role do the pictures on your website have? Are they useful or rather disturbing?

 

Optimize images for a better page loading and SEO

A fast loading website is an important element. A professional WordPress website that loads fast brings more traffic, customers, and revenues! If you want to improve the website’s loading speed it’s highly recommended to find and use compression that will make your website easier to load.

As we mentioned earlier, the page loading can frustrate visitors and for sure will have a negative effect on search engine rankings. When they read your articles or blog posts, but instead of images, they see a white spot that is not a good prognostic. Loading times are also key for SEO. The faster site is easier to visit and to index. Despite the fact that WordPress provides the image in multiple sizes after upload, that doesn’t mean the file size is optimized!

 

Types of websites that absolutely need an images optimization

Below I’ve listed a list of websites that require image optimization most. Examples are based on WordPress themes.

Let’s focus on them:

 

Business websitesWhy Optimize Images

Currently, the web standard is to display attractive sliders and galleries on the front page. The same applies to the blog site. This results in a huge number of images to display. This especially works for sites that offer specific services and need to show their customers exactly what they are doing or present their achievements. It is also worth mentioning the one page type of sites that are now very popular in business and for them, it is required to load page as quickly as possible. As the name implies, the whole content is displayed on the one page only, so image densification of photos can be really huge. Look for business WordPress themes to build a successful website for your company.

 

Creative agency websitesBlog websites optimization

This type of site forces you to have a rich portfolio and an extensive blog. Modern blogs present not just an empty content. Each post contains the title picture and additional images in the content. Running a professional agency website is not a playground so photos must be large and in good quality. Look for portfolio WordPress themes and create a professional and modern portfolio website.

 

Hotel websitesHotel websites optimization

It’s easy to imagine that the hotel’s website presenting its offer is a place where we will find a whole lot of pictures. Starting with the pictures of the hotel itself or its location, to apartments, rooms and their equipment. As you can see from the example in the link this page of the hotel is extremely rich in pictures of rooms for rent. Download hotel WordPress theme here.

 

Blog websitesbusiness sites optimization

Modern, typical blog websites offer primarily blog posts and photos attached to them. Modern blogging is largely based on photography. We recommend you to take a look at our example – the cooking blog site. There is plenty of dishes or food available and people want to have quick access to recipes. This website makes it easier for them. Download blog WordPress themes and monetize your business.

 

Optimize images to attract visitors

The main reason to optimize images is your site visitors.

It’s also very important for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to optimize images for better page speed results. Images that are eye-catching encourage visitors to interact. (share, write comments etc.) Using images make viewers more active, they get attracted and may make a reaction.

Another positive aspect is a growing traffic. You need to know that using blog posts without images is not recommended. It causes that visitors do not think about your website as a professional one and their involvement decreases. They are also less interested visit your website again.

Image optimization is basically a process of encoding images to increase a website’s traffic as much as possible. Images improve your site’s presence and make it more interesting. They also always take space over your WordPress website (every image needs to be downloaded from your server to user’s device), so it’s absolutely necessary to compress them. This results with faster loading content. Summarizing – Optimized images contribute to the improvement of the website performance. There some main rules according to proper image optimization. It’s an appropriate file name (important for Google and Bing robots), using alt text and reducing the size of image files. If you keep these rules in mind then images will not underestimate your website’s loading speed but should boost traffic. Remember that it’s important to optimize all images that you are currently using on your website.

 

Conclusion

The network is becoming more advanced, faster, and technology is growing. It’s time to meet standards because images play an increasingly important role in SEO strategies.

I hope that you are now fully convinced that optimizing images is something to think about seriously and put it into practice. You should do everything in your power to implement our tips and suggestions. It is worthwhile to use ready-made solutions like WordPress themes mentioned earlier. They are subordinated to modern standards and are built to show as many photos as possible.

You will see for yourself that this will give you a great effect and the traffic on your site will increase.

A simple rule for the PNG or JPEG dilemma

PNG or JPEGPNG or JPEG? Some bloggers know the answer to this question, and some don’t. The former are not necessarily better than the later, but knowing how to choose the correct image format gives you a competitive advantage.

This article could have been one sentence long: PNG is for text, JPEG is for the rest, but let’s get into some details.

 

Pictures with text

We recommend you to use PNG format for pictures containing text or graphics/drawings with fine details. Usually, JPEG images are blurrier, and the contours of the letters appear less sharp. The fine lines from graphics could be also altered.

Let’s see two examples of the same image in both formats:

 

PNG or JPEG - Example 1
Image 1 size: 22.4 kB
PNG or JPEG - Example 1
Image 1 size: 70.2 kB

 

The first image is clearer, but the text from the second image is also readable. If you decide that the JPEG format is good enough for displaying images containing text, please check their sizes. You will be surprised to find that in these cases the JPEG images are bigger.  Check the bellow table to see the size comparison for all images.

Important: Use PNG for logos and technical drawings too! This advice is specially true for the logos with gradients.

 

Regular images

On the other hand, JPEG images are usually smaller and better for the web. In other cases than banners or images with a lot of text, using PNG images slows your website, and in the most of the situations there are not visible differences between these formats. We recommend you to use PNG only if the text within an image is not readable.

 

PNG (351.4 kB)

PNG or JPEG - Example 2

 

JPEG (153.2 kB)

PNG or JPEG - Example 2

As you could see, there are not obvious reasons to use PNG in this case. JPEG format is just fine and it is smaller as you could see bellow.

 

PNG vs JPEG size comparison

We like tables, and we made a new one with the sizes for all above images and their optimized versions.

 PNGJPEG
Image 1
(with text)
22.4 kB70.2 kB
ShortPixel
Optimized
6 kB25 kB
Image 2
(without text)
351.4 kB153.2 kB
ShortPixel
Optimized
103 kB44 kB

As you could see, PNG is the best format for images with text not only because it has a better picture quality, but it also produces files with smaller sizes. If your images don’t contain mostly text, then go with JPEG format.

If you are interested in image optimization tips and tools, give a try to ShortPixel image optimizer.

 

Image credits: Artur Rutkowski, and Patrick Tomasso

Why you need an image optimization plugin for WordPress

Image optimization

On user came to us and asked why he needs an image optimization plugin. He used to compress his images with an image editor, and he was genuinely interested to find what advantages an automated solution has. To be more precise, he asked “why my way to compress images isn’t the best option?”

Read bellow and find what we answered.

 

Why compress images with a WordPress plugin

 

1. Optimized Thumbnails

If you use a tool to compress your images before uploading them to WP Media Library like our used did, we will tell you that this method isn’t enough.

Each of these images has a number of thumbnails automatically generated by WordPress upon adding a new picture. WordPress saves these thumbnails using the 90% quality setting, which isn’t enough for having compressed images.

Let’s give you an example. This 300 x 200 thumbnail was generated by WordPress when we uploaded this image to our Media Library.

The original thumbnail had 14.07 KB, but ShortPixel reduced it to 9.86 KB which represents a 30% improvement.

What happens when we don’t use an image optimization plugin, and we compress the image before upload?

Optimizilla online compressor was able to reduce our original image with 58%. Not so good as ShortPixel (83%), but not bad either. We uploaded the compressed image to our Media Library, and we compared the 300 X 200 thumbnail generated by WordPress with the one compressed by ShortPixel.

The 300 x 200 thumbnail has now 14.06 KB. It is obvious that using an image optimization plugin is more efficient when you want to have smaller thumbnails.

 Original
Image
Optimized
Image
300 X 200
thumbnail

ShortPixel optimizer plugin

1. Upload original image.

2. WP generates thumbnails.

3. ShortPixel optimize all images.
3.2 MB522.61 KB9.86 KB

Without an image optimization plugin

1. Compress original image.

2. Upload the compressed image.

3. WP generates thumbnails.
3.2 MB1.31 MB14.06 KB

The thumbnails are the images displayed most often on your site. So, if you don’t optimize them, then the benefits of uploading compressed images will be limited. And sometimes 0.

 

2. Productivity

Productivity wise, you need automated solutions for all those tasks which eat your attention and time. For each new blog post you have to:
– research and write,
– take pictures OR find the right images,
– optimize the pictures,
– upload them,
– edit your final article.

If you take out one of these steps, then your productivity will increase tremendously.

Of course, you could continue to manually compress each image, but it is a time-consuming task and it fragments your work. Wouldn’t be better for you to have more time for the tasks you really enjoy?

 

3. Fewer Errors

Image optimization services deal with millions of images, tens of thousands of users tested their compression results. These services can miss the quality/compression ratio from time to time, but much less often than a regular user.

Of course, the professional photographers can say with confidence that their eyes are better trained than any algorithms. It’s true, but we noticed that even the best photographers choose to automatically optimize their images for the web.  Moreover, we built a special optimization method called Glossy. It seems that we nailed it and the photographers using ShortPixel are happy with it 🙂

 

4. Upload images right after you take them

We showed you that automatic image optimization saves time, but it is also important to put your images online in a timely manner. You see something nice on streets or when you travel and you want to tell your readers about it right away. Take the snapshot, write a few words and post it. The image optimization plugins will reduce your images almost instantaneously.

 

5. Larger images are automatically resized

Many optimization plugins allow you to resize the images on upload. This feature is very helpful. Think at the difference in size between a 3,000×3,000 px image and 1,024×1,024 px image. All that extra weight will slow your website and will spend your hosting resources.

 

6. Good copyrighters with poor technical skills

Let’s be honest, many amazing copyrighters don’t know how to complete the most common image editing tasks, and for many of them the work with the image editing software is pretty challenging.

When editors don’t know or forget to optimize images, an automatic solution takes care of the job.

 

What an image optimization plugin does

There are two types of image optimization plugins:
– the plugins working on your servers,
– the plugins which optimize your images in the cloud.
The former are free, need more powerful servers, and they are less efficient. It make you site load slower while images are being optimized. The latter have limited free accounts, don’t stress your servers, and offer you a more effective image compression.

Most of the popular image optimization plugins work on SAS model (SAS = Software As Service) which uses cloud computing for solving the needs locally. In our particular case, image optimization plugins copy your images on their servers, compress the pictures using proved algorithms, and replace your existing files with the optimized ones.

image optimization plugins

If you don’t like the results or if you want to try a different compression method, then we have good news. Some of these plugins – ShortPixel is one of them – keep the original files in a backup folder so you could restore the original images when you want.

 

How to compress images without a WordPress plugin

There are a lot of software solutions to compress your images locally, from Photoshop and Gimp to IrfanView.

best photo editor software
Google and the Google logo are registered trademarks of Google Inc., used with permission.

The image optimization process looks like this: you open a file and when you save it you choose the right amount of compression. After saving the image, you need to check it to see if its picture quality is fine. Finally, you upload the images to your WordPress site.

Image optimization has some important benefits: less hosting space, reduced bandwidth, faster websites, happier users and better SERPs. If you chose to not use an automated solution, and you continue to manually optimize your images, we recommend you to do it consistently and don’t upload unoptimized images to your site. Remember that your thumbs won’t be optimized.

 

Try an image optimization plugin!

Once you install a good image optimization WordPress plugin you feel the benefits and you understand why such solutions make your life easier. But if you are new to the image optimization services, check out the image optimization plugin comparison we recently wrote or you just skip it and try ShortPixel! 🙂

Image credits: Helio Ha

How to properly set Retina images for your WordPress

retina images

Retina images can make your site shine on the iPads and iPhones, but they are also larger than the standard images. That’s why is important to optimize your Retina images and serve them only for the visitors with compatible devices. Poorly implemented Retina images will make your site slower for all users and will “angry” the mighty Google.

You could easily recognize Retina images, their naming convention is a bit different than the regular images.

A standard image: http://your-website.com/image-name.jpg
A Retina image includes @2x in its name: http://your-website.com/image-name@2x.jpg

 

Why are Retina images larger?

Retina images usually have twice as many pixels for each side of an image compared to a standard image, but they are displayed as they had the normal sizes. Basically, more pixels are squeezed in the same area which a standard image uses. That’s why images look sharper and brighter.

Wikipedia
In practice, thus far Apple has converted a device’s display to Retina by doubling the number of pixels in each direction, quadrupling the total resolution. This increase creates a sharper interface at the same physical dimensions. The sole exception to this has been the iPhone 6 Plus, which renders its display at triple the number of pixels in each direction, before down-sampling to a 1080p resolution.

 

Or as, Apple documentation states:

Apple.com
When you run a high-resolution-savvy app on a high-resolution device, the text, vector drawing, and UI controls are sharp. This is due to the increased pixel density—pixels are smaller and there are more of them per unit area. Each point in user space is backed by four pixels. The increase in pixel density results in higher details for drawing and text rendering.

 

So, do I need larger images? Yes and No. Yes for Retina users, and No for regular users. Imagine that Retina images are like a big sized thumbnails and it makes sens to display them only on Retina displays. Otherwise, you will have images too large for their placeholder without any real benefit. A non-Apple modern device will not recognize the @2x images and will treat them like bigger images.

 

Optimize Retina Images with ShortPixel

Before generating Retina images, be sure that you did setup ShortPixel to optimize Retina images. You can check this by going to the ShortPixel Settings, Advanced tab.

optimize retina images with shortpixel

You can install ShortPixel plugin from the Plugins section of your WordPress dashboard, and read more about it one WordPress.org!

 

How to have and serve Retina images

The best known tool for generating Retina images for WordPress sites is WP Retina 2X.  It also serves regular images for users with no Retina screens.

WP Retina 2x

The downside of using this WP Retina 2x plugin is that its free version presents some limitations. You cannot see some conversion details in the plugin menu and it doesn’t create the Retina versions of the original files.

 

How to test that your site serves proper images in right conditions?

You are sure that you follow all the right steps, the @2x images are in your library, and your site is looking good on the Retina displayed, but are you sure that the images you see are the right ones? Or, how do you know that the high-density images are served for the dedicated displayed if you don’t have an Apple device to test them?

A easy way to do it is from Chrome developments tools. You need to follow these steps:
– Go to Chrome Menu and select More tools,
– Choose your Developer Tools,
– Click on the Toggle device toolbar button,
check retina images

– choose the proper viewport,
– and use your inspect tool to check the name of a particular image. If it contains the naming convention suggested by Apple – @2x – then congratulations, you have done everything right.

You could watch this demo made by the BrianWoodTraining for a more detailed presentation of this method:


Retina images look amazing on Apple mobile devices, being one of those things which convert regular users in hard die fans. If you implement them well, then Google will not complain that you have Images too large for their placeholders, and Apple products owners will thank your for the better user experience.

Image credits
Tran Mau Tri Tam

WebHostFace – the hosting provider ShortPixel Blog uses

 

WebHostFace

We migrated ShortPixel blog to WebHostFace in march, and our experience with these guys was very good so far. We liked them, they liked us, so we became WebHostFace partners. We also decided to tell you a few things about WebHostFace.

Before reading about plans, features and some surprising goodies, you could go to their Face Us page and meet this young team of friendly professionals.

 

WebHostFace plans and Features

WebHostFace provides a large variety of hosting plans, so you can choose one according to your needs.

 

Shared Plans

The most basic hosting plans, as you know, are the shared hosting plans. They are designed for the small websites with a few visitors per month. You don’t need to pay too much, but your online presence is secured. Here’s what WebHostFace has for this user case. Note that they run a promotional campaign right now, offering shared hosting plans for reduces prices.

We believe that $1.99/month for 30 GB WebSpace is a steal.

WebHostFace shared plans

 

Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosting plans

Here we are talking about another level of web traffic and security. Dedicated IP, more hosting space and processor power, dedicated Ram, increased privacy – if you need all of these and more, go and check the detailed description of the WebHostFace’s VPS plans.

WebHostFace vps hosting

 

If VPS hosting plans are not enough for you, then you qualify for the dedicated WebHostFace servers offer.

 

WordPress hosting plans

Our blog is built on WordPress CMS, we have a popular image compression plugin for WordPress, and most of our users are from the WordPress community, therefore the question: What these guys have in their bags for WordPress? Does WebHostFace have dedicated plans for WordPress installations? Of course, they have.

WP shared accounts have identical prices as the regular share hosting plans, so you could check them above. But WebHostFace has also managed WordPress hosting plans: WP Artist and WP Master.

WP Artist is recommended when you expect ~150.000 visits per month and WP Master for twice as many visits. Both plans include Free CDN & SSLs with HTTP/2, discounts on premium themes and plugins, performance and speed checks, and other $396 value added extras.

WebHostFace managed WordPress plans

An amazing knowledge platform

At the beginning of this article, we told you about some surprising goodies. We discovered the WebHostFace has not only some interesting features and plans, but it also offers an amazing knowledge platform where you can learn about a lot of things: SEO, SSH, SSL, Website Transfer, cPanel, domain management and so on. But that is not all, they have many video tutorials about hosting. We believe that this is a huge plus for WebHostFace, and it shows that they care about their users.

 

Doing business with WebHostFace

If you want to resell or package hosting services together with what service you have to offer, here are the reseller plans from WebHostFace.

WebHostFace reseller plans

 

Support & Uptime & Security

Uptime, Security, and Support – the triad on which the customer trust is built. You need to know that your website is online when you don’t look, that it is protected from the bad guys, and that you can talk with someone when you encounter any issues.

As you could see on their website, the WebHostFace assures you that your website will be guarded with multiple lines of defense.

WebHostFace also promises 99.9% uptime, which is more than decent. So far, we didn’t experience downtimes, and our ShortPixel blog was always online and well.

WebHostFace has more ways to support its users: you can either submit a ticket, send an email, complete an online form, contact them by phone or chat. So, there are plenty of options to get answers to your questions. Talk with them and you will see how friendly they are.

When we needed some caching settings to be changed we contacted the WebHostFace support by email. Our request was solved fast and we hadn’t to touch the code or the admin panel. They just solve our problem fast and professionally.

 

 

Hosting providers: Big or Small?

WebHostFace is not so well known as SiteGround, BlueHost, DreamHost or HostGator but being small is not a bad thing. Sometimes, the big web hosting companies forget that the ultimate customer is not Google, Facebook or New York Times, but the small to medium websites owners, guys like us who pays the same attention to price, futures, professional service and support.

 

 

Conclusion

We use WebHostFace managed WordPress hosting for ShortPixel blog, we trust them, and we are happy with their services. We totally recommend them to you. Just give them a try!

ShortPixel vs Imagify vs EWWW vs Other Image Optimization WordPress Plugins

Image Optimization plugins

We at ShortPixel know that there are some good WordPress image optimization plugins out there. We are constantly keeping an eye on them. Are they better, do they have more features than us, are they more affordable?

So, we decided to do a short comparison between these WordPress plugins. Beside ShortPixel, the most popular ones are Smush, Imagify, Kraken, Optimus, EWWW, and TinyPNG.

Note: EWWW can work on user server for free, but we are testing here the EWWW I.O. version which optimizes the images in cloud, like the rest of the analyzed plugins.

 

WordPress Image Optimization Plugins,
A new user POV analysis

Each of these WordPress plugins has its own vision in terms of pricing, features and design. The comparison is possible only if we set some limits. To simplify the process we decided to do this plugins comparison from a new user perspective, which means:

– We are testing the plugins using their default settings.
– Image compression is done with the credits and features included in their free plans.
– The plugins should offer lossy optimization, even if their authors chose lossless compression as the default compression method.

If you want to know more about why we set these guiding lines, please read the methodology explanations at the end of the article.

 

Table of Contents

1. FEATURES COMPARISON.
a. Online compression tools.
b. Free plans: gifts and limitations.
c. Basic image optimization features.
d. Safe and secure testing features.
e. Plugins flexibility.
f. Image processing options.
g. Special features.
2. IMAGE IMPROVEMENT.
a. Image compression.
b. Picture quality.
3. PAID IMAGE OPTIMIZATION PLANS.
a. Monthly plans.
b. One-time plans.
4. CONCLUSION
(Conclusion, disclaimer, image credits.)

 

 

1. Features comparison

The first part of this article is where we write down and classify the features. With tables. There isn’t a better way to compare software products than tables 🙂

 

a. Online Image Compressors

Wouldn’t be nice to be able to see how the compressed images look before going to WP dashboard and install the plugins? Four of the tested plugins also have online image compressors:

ShorPixel: Image Compression
Imagify: Image Compression Tool
Kraken: Online Image Optimizer
TinyPNG: Compress PNG and JPEG

We couldn’t find online image compression tools from Smush, Optimus, EWWW. ^

 

b. Free plans: gifts and limitations

 Free QuotaSame features
as for paid plans
No file size limit
ShortPixel100 free credits/monthYESYES
Imagify25MB one-time
25 MB/month
YESMax 2 MB
EWWW500 free creditsYESYES
TinyPNG500 free creditsYESYES
Kraken100 MBNoMax 1 MB
SmushUnlimitedNOMax 1 MB
OptimusUnlimitedNOMax 100 kB
^

 

c. Basic image optimization features

Let’s start with the basic image optimization functions: image formats, optimization modes, bulk processing, backup and restore functions.

Important:
– PRO means that the feature is available only for paid plans.
– NO means that we didn’t find that feature in the plugin settings or on the plugin website.

 LossyLosslessBulkPDFFormats 
ShortPixelYESYESYESYESJPEG, PNG,
GIF
Smush*PROYESPRONOJPEG, PNG,
GIF
ImagifyYESYESYESNOJPEG, PNG,
GIF
Kraken.io**YESYESNONOJPEG, PNG,
GIF
EWWWYESYESYESYESJPEG, PNG,
GIF
OptimusNOYESYESNOJPEG & PNG
TinyPNGYESNOYESNOJPEG & PNG

* “Super-Smush lossy compression” available only for the Pro accounts.
Smush optimizes only 50 images at once with a free account.
** Kraken allows you to select multiple files in Media Library and optimize them, but this is not a full Bulk feature. Users cannot click a button and have all their images optimized.

Optimus didn’t pass the lossy optimization criteria. Lossless compression is the only option even for the paid plans. Optimus has affordable packages, and if the lossless optimization is enough for you, then you could check its website for more info about features and prices.

Smush has lossy optimization, but you could test it only if you take the WPMU DEV trial. Moreover, Smush free version doesn’t optimize the original image, only the thumbnails.^

 

d. Safe & Secure plugin testing

We saw how each plugin can handle the basic tasks of imagine optimization, but new users would like to know that testing these image optimization plugins is safe and they could restore the original images if they are not pleased with the results.

 BackupBulk RestoreHTTPS
ShortPixelYESYESYES
SmushPRONOYES
ImagifyYESNOYES
Kraken.ioNONOYES
EWWW*YESNOYES
TinyPNGNONOYES

* The backup function is available for 30 days.^

 

e. Image Optimization Plugins Flexibility

Every WordPress developer knows that each installation has its own particularities. Some may need a multisite, others would like to use the same API key for multiple domains. And there are also WP sites which have images stored in other folders than Media Library.

 WP
Multisite
Custom
folders
Multiple
domains
ShortPixelYESYESYES
SmushYESYESYES
ImagifyYESNOYES
Kraken.ioNONOYES
EWWWYESYESYES
TinyPNGYESNON/A

Each plugin can automatically optimize images on upload.^

 

f. Image processing options

What does each plugin give you in terms of image processing?

 WebP
conversion
CMYK to RGB
conversion
Conversion
PNG to JPEG
Resize
Original
ShortPixelYESYESNOYES
SmushNONOPROYES
ImagifyNONONOYES
Kraken.ioNONONOPRO
EWWWYESNOYESYES
TinyPNGNOYESNOYES
^

 

g. Special features

Special features which give the particular “flavor” of each tested plugin.

 ShortPixelSmushImagifyKraken.ioEWWWTinyPNG
Free for
Non-Profits
YESNONONONONO
Lossy for
photographers
YESNONONONONO
Retina
support
YESPROYESN/AN/AYES
Optimize
original
YESPROYESYESYESYES
Exclude
thumbnails
YESYESYESYESN/AYES
EXIF
Optional
YESYESYESYESYESN/A
^

 

2. Image improvement

The second part includes an image compression comparison in terms of size improvement and quality. If you are he kind of guy that likes to check the details for himself go ahead and download the archive.

Smush free plan doesn’t optimize the original images. We could, and we will do, compare the WP thumbnails compression from each plugin, but not now. Smush has one of the most beautiful WP plugin interfaces, but it is a pity that it doesn’t give users easy ways to test its lossy compression.

In the end, we have five remaining plugins to test: ShortPixel, Imagify, EWWW, Kraken, TinyPNG.

 

a. Image compression

You can download all images used and produced by our test here. We tested three JPEG images (large, medium, small) and one PNG image:

 IMG-1IMG-2IMG-3PNG-1
Original2641.4 kB


160.7 kB


5.6 kB


126.3 kB


ShortPixel215.6 kB

91.84%
53.2 kB

66.89%
1.64 kB

70.71%
43.3 kB

65.72%
Imagify*
---
67.3 kB

58.12%
2.3 kB

58.93%
47.53 kB

62.37%
EWWW2317.78 kB

12.25%
140.9 kB

12.32%
5 kB

10.71%
38.8 kB

69.28%
TinyPNG250.8 kB

90.51%
71.6 kB

55.44%
2.9 kB

48.21%
38.8 kB

69.28%
Kraken335.8 kB

87.29%
74.9 kB

53.39%
5.08 kB

9.29%
41.2 kB

67.38%

* Imagify max file size is 2 MB.

Please note that EWWW default optimization method for JPEG is lossless. Changing to lossy will produce smaller images.^

 

b. Picture quality

Producing images that are heavily optimized and still look good is paramount. Have a look below and see how images are compressed by each plugin.

 

IMG-1

Imagify doesn’t optimize this image because it’s over 2 MB, the max file size allowed with Imagify free plans. Let’s see how the rest of the plugins optimized this image.

Here are 100% cropped examples:

Original Image

 

ShortPixel
Improvement: 91.84%


Kraken
Improvement: 87.29%

 

TinyPNG
Improvement: 90.51%

 

EWWW
Improvement: 12.25%
– Remember that EWWW default JPEG optimization method is lossless.

JPEG compression test ewww crop

 

IMG-2
The optimized images are cropped at 200px width so you could see them side by side.

OriginalShortPixel
Improvement: 66.89%
Imagify
Improvement: 58.12%
original image
shortpixel image
imagify image
EWWW (lossless)
Improvement: 12.32%
Kraken
Improvement: 53.39%
TinyPNG
Improvement: 55.44%
ewww imagehraken imagetiny png

 

IMG-3
(full sized images)

OriginalShortPixel
Improvement: 70.71%
Imagify
Improvement: 58.93%
EWWW (lossless)
Improvement: 10.71%
Kraken
Improvement: 9.29%
TinyPNG
Improvement: 48.21%

 

PNG-1
(200px x 150px cropped images)

Original Image
Size: 126.3 kB

 

ShortPixel
Improvement: 65.72%

 

Imagify
Improvement: 62.37%

 

EWWW
Improvement: 69.28%

 

Kraken
Improvement: 67.38%

 

TinyPNG
Improvement: 69.28%

 

While all images look good visually, ShortPixel usually reduces the image size the most. Your final decision could also depend on the features you need, and on the price you pay for optimization.^

 

3. Paid image optimization plans

For the most of WordPress users, free accounts are enough for their monthly image optimization needs, but there are some heavy players which have a lot of images. These users buy image optimization credits, and here is what they can get for their money.^

 

 

a. Monthly plans

Monthly plans measured by the number of optimized images.
TinyPNG and EWWW don’t have monthly plans, they charge instead by the number of processed images. This is a good thing when you want flexibility. But how much does it cost to compress the same number of images as the 3 ShortPixel monthly plans if you use TinyPNG or EWWW?

Let’s see:

ShortPixelShortLargeXXL
Price$4.99$9.99$29.99
Monthly Quota5000 images12000 images55000 images
EWWW
Price$15.00$36.00$165.00
Monthly Quota*5000 images12000 images55000 images
TinyPNG
Price$40.50$89.50$175.50
Monthly Quota**5000 images12000 images55000 images

* EWWW – “1 – 1,000,000 images – $0.003 per image”
** TinyPNG – “First 500 images per month are free. Next 9 500 images per month, $0.009 per image. After 10 000 images per month, $0.002 per image.”

 

Monthly plans measured by the total size of optimized images.

ImagifyLiteBasicStandardPlusEnterprise
Price$4.99$8.99$19.99$39.99$69.99
Monthly Quota*1GB2GB5GB15GB50GB
Kraken.ioMicroBasicAdvancedPremiumEnterprise
Price$5.00$9.00$19.00$39.00$79.00
Monthly Quota*500 MB2 GB5 GB15 GB60 GB
*per additional GB
$1.00$2.00$3.00$4.00$5.00

 

WPMU DEV bundle
Smush has a very different pricing strategy. You need to purchase the entire WPMU DEV plugins bundle even if you only need Smush PRO. The monthly price is $49.00 for the entire package, and it has an unlimited monthly quota.^

 

b. One-time plans

When you don’t know your monthly image optimization needs or when you have a lot of old, unoptimized images, then the one-time plans are the best option.

ShortPixel PricesShortPixel PlansImagify PricesImagify PlansEWWW PricesEWWW Plans
$9.9910,000
images
$5.99500MB$93,000
images
$19.9930,000
images
$9.991GB$3913,000
images
$29.9950,000
images
$19.993GB$9933,000
images
$99
170,000
images
^

 

Conclusion

ShortPixel and Imagify are the best image optimization plugins, but we believe that ShortPixel has better paid plans and it is tailored for more user cases. For example, you can optimize 3 MB images with ShortPixel, but Imagify doesn’t allow you to do this with its free plan.

EWWW is also a good choice, and you could sense the passion of its creator. The main advantage of EWWW plugin is also its biggest weakness: too many settings. Of course, this observation is highly subjective, but we believe that an image optimization plugin shouldn’t force users make a lot of technical decisions.

As WordPress popularity is rising, many WordPress users are looking for the best image optimization solution for their needs. We hope that this guide will help you make a decision.

 

Comparison Methodology notes
“Comparing apples to apples” standard is hard to achieve when you have such different products. Each of these WordPress plugins has its own vision in terms of pricing, features, and design. The comparison is possible only if we set some limits. This is the hardest choice: what do we compare, and what should we leave for the future articles.

We made this the image optimization WP plugins comparison from a new user perspective.

He/She goes to WP dashboard – Plugins section, and searches for “image optimization”. After signing-up for a free plan at one or more plugins, the new user optimizes some images to see how they look and what is the size improvement. Finally, if he/she is pleased with the results and needs more image optimization credits, then a purchase will come.

As we told you at the beginning, we believe that three things are important in this user case:
– using the default setting.
– using the free plans.
– looking to have both lossy and lossless compression.

Why default settings?

Playing with software settings can be fun, but a tool should be ready to optimally work right after it is started. After all, these tools are called plugins 🙂

Why free plans?

When you have to choose from several services, try before you buy principle makes the decision a bit easier. Free accounts are also important because that’s the WordPress spirit, we help each other, not just for the money.

Why both lossy and lossless?

Lossy and lossless is a personal preference, but we believe that any image optimization plugin should let users choose how they compress their pictures. Web standards have changed in the last years, and lossless method became less popular. This trend is more obvious from the end of 2016 when Google PageSpeed Insights started to recommend lossy optimization instead of lossless.

The smartphones are now production tools. Uploading images directly from the phone camera will be, if it isn’t already, the way to work for the most bloggers.


Images used for this test

PNG format is less popular than JPEG, being used mainly for screenshots and images containing text. That’s why we tested three JPEG images, but only one image.

IMG-1 brooke-lark-96398-50%.jpg
IMG-2 lauren-lester-205923-10%.jpg
IMG-3 aaron-burden-255427-2%.jpg
PNG-1 test-1.png It is a screenshot of ShortPixel Bulk processor.

The images were previously resized, so we could test images having variate dimensions.


Image credits

Aaron Burden
Image: https://unsplash.com/new?photo=mqwcNlWf3II (Resized 2%)
Brooke Lark
Image: https://unsplash.com/?photo=of0pMsWApZE (Resized 10%)
Lauren Lester
https://unsplash.com/photos/Zjgt71k6o4A (Resized 50%)


Disclaimer

We read and compared all plugins settings menus and websites, but it is possible that we missed something or we got something wrong. If this is the case please let us know and we will be more than happy to correct any errors.

^

Google’s Guetzli vs. ShortPixel’s Glossy algorithm

Guetzli vs ShortPixel

Guetzli is the new JPEG encoder developed and released as open source by Google. It is designed to produce ~35% smaller files, without compromising  the picture quality. We, at ShortPixel, had recently our own update: ShortPixel Glossy optimization, the lossy new algorithm for photographers.

Testing Guetzli algorithm was mandatory for us. When you are in the image compression business, you need to get your hands on any brand new innovation and see what it can do.

How does Guetzli compare with ShortPixel’s new Glossy image optimization algorithm in terms of quality and performance? Can we use it alongside our algorithms? Does it have practical value for our users?

 

Testing conditions

Guetzli was tested on a quad-core Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-6700HQ CPU @ 2.60GHz processor. We used Guetzli setup with two parameters: 84 and 95. 84 is the minimum quality allowed by Guetzli, and 95 is the default setting (in this case, a bigger number means better quality and larger files).

As we mentioned before, Glossy is our new image optimization algorithm for photographers. The images optimized this way look brilliant  while being considerably smaller than their Lossless version.  Glossy optimization algorithm runs on ShortPixel cloud servers, where your images are also optimized.

The images compressed in this test are from the amazing Unsplash website. You can find all files, both originals and processed, in the attached archive. At the end of this article, you can also see the complete image credits list.

 

Guetzli VS ShortPixel: test results

Image size improvement, compression speed and picture quality – these are the most important factors we gathered for this comparison.

File size improvement
ShortPixel Glossy produces smaller images than Guetzli at 95 setting for all tested images, and it has an overall improvement comparable with Guetzli 84.

 OriginalGuetzli 95Guetzli 84ShortPixel Glossy
Img-15 MB1.7 MB1.1 MB804.6 MB
Img-29.3 MB2.5 MB1.2 MB1.5 MB
Img-31.4 MB485.1 kB250.7 kB97.1 kB
Img-45.6 MB1.5 MB778 kB1.4 MB
Img-535.5 MB10 MB6.1 MB6.5 MB

Optimization speed
Speed performance is Guetzli’s weakest point. Google encoder needs several minutes to process the images, while ShortPixel takes seconds to optimize the same files.

 Guetzli-95Guetzli-84ShortPixel (Glossy)
Img-19m 01s9m 40s 8.7s
Img-29m 29s6m 30s 6.5s
Img-37m 56s4m 53s 3.2s
Img-47m 02s7m 45 6.4s
Img-531m 33s25m 47 26.8s

Picture Quality
Our users are not scientists, they don’t use image analyzing software, they simply look at images and decide for themselves if they look good or not.

Look at these 100% cropped images and see the differences between Guetzli processed files and the images optimized with ShortPixel Glossy. Remember that WordPress has its own compressing settings and the best way to compare the images optimized with different algorithms is by looking at the full sized pictures found in the attached archive.

Image comparison

 

image 2 - guetzli glossy optimization comparison

 

 

Please click here to download the archive containing the full sized images.

Conclusion

Google has a lot of talent resources, and it is not surprising that their algorithms are smart. Guetzli produces good results.

Picture quality is really good when the encoder is setup at 95, but files are pretty big. Changing the option to 84 brings a decrease of picture quality as you could see in the above examples.

Images optimized with ShortPixel Glossy algorithm have a picture quality close to Guetzli-95, but with a pretty good quality-compression ratio. Remember that we recommend ShortPixel Lossy optimization if you want Google PagesSpeed Insights improved results.

The biggest issue of Guetzli in our opinion is the incredible amount of time it takes to deliver the results. You need a computer with a lot of power to run it, and it is very slow. Developers could tweak its parameters, but we are not sure if Guetzli is a practical solution for regular users.

We are not so happy with this conclusion, because we considered useing Guetzli alongside our algorithms. Currently that is not feasible: it takes too much time and processing power to deliver results that are comparable (if not worse) that those delivered by ShortPixel’s Glossy.

Get your image optimization tool of choice!
Finally, you are the jury, and you decide which tool is the best choice for you.

Get ShortPixel from WordPress.org
(or install it directly from your WordPress dashboard, search for “shortpixel”).
Download Guetzli from the Google GitHub page.

Image Credits

Img-1: andrew-phillips-22066.jpg
Source: Andrew Phillips

Img-2: cloudvisual-208962.jpg
Source: CloudVisual

Img-3: miguel-mateo-212333.jpg
Source: Miguel Mateo

Img-4:  mitchell-hollander-205952.jpg
Source: Mitchell Hollander

Img-5: robert-zunikoff-53898.jpg
Source: Robert Zunikoff