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

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.
a. Image compression.
b. Picture quality.
a. Monthly plans.
b. One-time plans.
(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
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.

– 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.


* “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

* 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.


Each plugin can automatically optimize images on upload.^


f. Image processing options

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



g. Special features

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

Free for
Lossy for


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:

Original2641.4 kB

160.7 kB

5.6 kB

126.3 kB

ShortPixel215.6 kB

53.2 kB

1.64 kB

43.3 kB

67.3 kB

2.3 kB

47.53 kB

EWWW2317.78 kB

140.9 kB

5 kB

38.8 kB

TinyPNG250.8 kB

71.6 kB

2.9 kB

38.8 kB

Kraken335.8 kB

74.9 kB

5.08 kB

41.2 kB


* 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.



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


Improvement: 91.84%

Improvement: 87.29%


Improvement: 90.51%


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

JPEG compression test ewww crop


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

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


(full sized images)

Improvement: 70.71%
Improvement: 58.93%
EWWW (lossless)
Improvement: 10.71%
Improvement: 9.29%
Improvement: 48.21%


(200px x 150px cropped images)

Original Image
Size: 126.3 kB


Improvement: 65.72%


Improvement: 62.37%


Improvement: 69.28%


Improvement: 67.38%


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:

Monthly Quota5000 images12000 images55000 images
Monthly Quota*5000 images12000 images55000 images
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.

Monthly Quota*1GB2GB5GB15GB50GB
Monthly Quota*500 MB2 GB5 GB15 GB60 GB
*per additional GB


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



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: (Resized 2%)
Brooke Lark
Image: (Resized 10%)
Lauren Lester (Resized 50%)


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.


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
(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

Is my site serving WebP images?

We assume that you learned already about WebP image format Google created. You generated WebP versions of your files with a smart tool – we assume that it was ShortPixel 🙂 And, finally, you employed a plugin (like wp-webp)to deliver the WebP images to users who visit your site from a compatible WebP-compatible browser (Chrome and Opera, mainly, a full list is to be found here).

What’s next? Of course, you want to test if everything works as expected. The easiest method to see if your website has WebP images has three simple steps:

Step 1: Open your site in Chrome browser.

Step 2: Right-click on an image and choose Open in new tab.

Open image in new tab
Google WebP Samples page:


Step 3: Check the image extension.
If it is .webp, then we only could congratulate you.  And Google will love your site a bit more!

webp image


How to generate WebP images with ShortPixel

ShortPixel freely generates WebP files if you optimize your images with our WP plugin, and you have checked WebP versions option in ShortPixel Settings – Advanced section:


WebP images conversion


For more info about how to create and use WebP images, please read this ShortPixel blog article: How WebP images can speed up your (WordPress) site

And a few more resources:
– Google:  A new image format for the Web
– Smashing Magazine: Using WebP Image Format Today

Great, you know more about WebP format than some SEO specialists!


WebP – to use or not to use?

If you SEO is almost an unhealthy obssesion, then you surely need WebP images 🙂 For the rest of the folks, the answer is Maybe. The ability to serve WebP files is a nice to have feature from a SEO point of view.

There is a “but”: please remember that WebP is not a universal format. Firefox, Safari and Edge don’t understand it, and you need enough hosting storage to keep JPEG/PNG versions of your images alongside the WebP ones. Moreover, you depend on a cacheing or special  plugin to deliver the right images to the right browsers.

More storage and more plugins, this is the price for having WebP files. You should decide whether if it’s worth it. The good news is that ShortPixel can freely generate the WebP version of your images and at the same time compresses your pictures. It is not bad to have your JPEG/PNG images optimized alongside WebP 🙂


What image format does use?

ShortPixel preferred formats are: PNG for screenshots&logos and JPEG for the rest of the images. Of course, SEO is important for us too. That’s why we developed Lossy optimization, which generates compressed images at a very good quality, and Glossy optimization for images looking almost identical with the originals.

Right now, we use Glossy*, because we want to have optimized images with the best picture quality, instead of stretching a few more bits for Google.

*You could read more about the new ShortPixel image optimization algorithm for photographers here: Glossy, image optimization option for photographers


How to optimize images that are not in Media Library

A usual WordPress installation has all media files stored in Media Library, and that’s where our image optimization plugin looks first.  But there is not such thing as usual WordPress installation, and we all know some cases when images are stored in other places than Media Library. In this short article, we will show you how to compress those images too, using ShortPixel image optimization plugin.

We took some beautiful images from Unsplash and put them in a custom folder called extra. These images are not visible in Media Library, they are not automatically optimized on upload, and they are not accessible to our Bulk processor.

Fortunately,  you could tell ShortPixel to look for images in other folders than Media Library. For this, you need to go to Settings / ShortPixel, and click on Advanced tab.

Additional media folders

Additional media folders field will do the trick. Click Select button and choose your folder with images. In our example,  it is the extra folder. 

Navigate to your folder

Select custom folder

Optimize images that aren't in Media Library

The magic is happening,  and your files are being compressed by ShortPixel.

Under the Media section from your WordPress dashboard you will notice a new menu item called Other Media. Click on it and see which images not included in Media Library were optimized by ShortPixel.

Please note that you need to go to Other Media page after you upload new images in your custom folders and click Refresh folders button.

Other Media section - Images outside Media Library

You could use the same approach for optimizing images in themes or plugins, or images from folders created by image gallery plugins or you could simply use WordPress as image optimization platform.


Compress files and generate WebP images

Please note that you can also choose to have WebP version of the files generated by ShortPixel when optimizing these images in your extra folders.

The option is in ShortPixel Settings – Advanced section:

WebP conversion

If you don’t know what WebP files are and why they are good for your site, here are a few references:
– Google:  A new image format for the Web
– WikiPedia: WebP
– ShortPixel blog: How WebP images can speed up your (WordPress) site

You could find a lot of quality documentations about WebP format, but these links are a good start.

Install ShortPixel and optimize images outside WP Media Library

Now that you know how to compress images which are not stored in your WordPress Media Library, and speed up your site even more, go ahead and install ShortPixel! 🙂

Glossy, image optimization option for photographers

Glossy - optimization for photographers
Image source: Cameron Kirby

ShortPixel introduces a new image optimization option called Glossy. The new feature is a lossy optimization algorithm calibrated for the photographer’s needs. We still recommend Lossy for the most user cases, because it has the best balance between image optimization and picture quality.

Why we built Glossy?

We added the new optimization option because some professional photographers asked for it. For them,  image quality comes first,  before page speed .

Photographers are able to see details in images which most of us might miss. Many of these users always preferred lossless optimization to lossy.  But, web standards, mobile popularity and visitors expectations changed in the last years, and lossless optimized images became too big for the present market standards.

The images optimized with Glossy look identical to the human eye with the original images, but they comply with the present criteria regarding the web applications.


Lossy, Glossy or Lossless – which one is the best for me?

Lossy is the best option for the most users. The images processed with Lossy algorithms are the smallest optimized images you can get. So, if the speed of your site is paramount and you want the best balance between optimization and picture quality, we recommend you to continue to use Lossy optimization.

Glossy is the best choice if you still care about Google Insights but you believe that a slight loss of page speed is an acceptable compromise for a top notch image quality.

Lossless optimized images are pixel-by-pixel identical with the originals, but they offer a smaller size reduction compared to either Lossy or Glossy processed files. If you want your images remain untouched, then select this option.


Lossy, Glossy, Lossless – a comparison

The best way to choose the proper optimization for your images is to see how they look with your own eyes. Here is an example, but you could make your own tests using your own images.

Original image

Original image

Please compare the cropped images or click on them to open the full versions, and see how they suit your needs.

Original (cropped)

Original Image cropped.
Original image cropped. Full sized image has 2.32 MB.

Lossless (cropped)

Lossless image cropped
Lossless image cropped. Full sized image has 2.30 MB.

Glossy (cropped)

Glossy image cropped.
Glossy image cropped. Full sized image has 514,4 kB.

Lossy (cropped)

Lossy image cropped.
Lossy image cropped. Full sized image has 407,9 kB.

How to glossy-optimize your images?

Go to ShortPixel settings panel, General tab, and change the optimization method to Glossy:

How to choose Glossy image optimization.
How to choose image optimization type.

After you set your image optimization method, you could either process images one by one from the Media Library or you could go the ShortPixel Bulk page and re-optimize all your images.


Glossy integration, next steps.

We spent a lot of time tweaking the algorithms for Glossy, and we are confident that it will cover most of the photographers needs. Give it a try and install it from!

Next steps are to add the Glossy optimization to our online image compressor and to make the new feature known to the photography community.

We really need your help to grow! Let your friends know about ShortPixel WordPress plugin and the friendly team that built it 🙂

How to improve your Google Insights score

Why is everybody so obsessed with Google Insights score? Because it matters! The test results are an important SEO factor, and Google Insights is a valuable tool for measuring your website usability.

We will teach you how to optimize and use your images if you want to improve your Google Insights results.


Use properly sized images

Google Insights tool
When ShortPixel users ask us to help them with Google Insights scores we usually answer that “one problem noted by Google is related to using images that are too large for their placeholder”.

For example, if you have a 2,000px x 3,000px image which is scaled down to 600px x 700px then Google will tell you also that “Properly formatting and compressing images can save many bytes of data.”
Here is an example of how such an oversized image appears when you click mouse-right and check “View Image Info” option:


Adjust the size of these images and then your Google Insights score should improve.


Use lossy optimization

There are very few situations when lossless optimization is needed. So, we strongly recommend you to use the lossy option if the speed of your website is important. If there is an image that you don’t like how it was optimized you can always optimize it again as lossless or restore it, if you have Image Backup option active.

image re-optimization


Check the cache issues

Your website sometimes serves old, non-optimized images if you use a cache plugin or if your host provider has a caching solution.

If you suspect that an image is not optimized, the easiest way to see if it is a cache issue is to add “?something” at the end of an image URL, then the caching is overridden and the actual optimized images is read: https://unoptimizedimageurl.jpg?something.

So, after you optimized your images be sure that you refresh your cache and if the issue persists please ask your hosting provider to do the same for your website/webserver.


Images from other sources

From time to time, you use images from other sources like the logos of various services or hot-linked images from other websites. Check if these images are optimized and if they are the reason your page is loading too slow.


Remember: Google Insights is just a tool

Google Insights doesn’t look at your website, and it cannot judge which is the proper image quality of your images. What it does is to automatically analyze your web pages and compare them with some good practices.

We made several tests, and we adjusted  our image optimization algorithms to have the best compression without compromising the image quality. Of, course you can process your media files again and again, and stretch them with few more bytes, but that won’t help much because if an image is optimized multiple times it will start to show visible artifacts. And that’s not something you’d want to happen, right?



We encourage you to use Google Insights and also to apply the advice from this article, but 100/100 points on Google Insights test is not your goal, having a good website, with good content and happy visitors is what matters.

And if you want to relax a little bit here are some scores from the big players: – 65/100
AdWords.Google.Com – 67/100 – 75/100 – 54/100 – 73/100

How to optimize images in WordPress themes and plugins with ShortPixel

You already know that website speed has a tremendous influence on your SEO strategy, but one less known fact is that you can optimize images in WordPress themes and plugins also with ShortPixel, not only the images and thumbnails from the Media Library.

Think for a moment, what images are displayed most often on your website? Usually not the images featured in your most popular articles, but the graphics included in your WordPress theme. They are shown on every page of your site. Reducing the size of these images can give your website a speed boost, and better results in Google Insights tests. Of course, the improvement depends on the theme you use. A heavy graphics theme would benefit more than a minimal one.

Optimizing images in your WordPress theme with ShortPixel is a simple process:

1. The first step is to navigate to the ShortPixel settings menu, and click on Advanced tab.

Image Optimization WP themes

2. Then click on the Select button, and choose the folder where your theme is installed. Or you can select the WordPress themes folder if you want to optimize the images from all your themes.

Select WordPress theme

After you located and selected the theme folder, click on Add folder.

Stop Optimizing WP theme

The theme folder is now accessible for ShortPixel image optimization process.

In case you mistakenly choose a wrong folder then you can click on Stop optimizing to  exclude the folder from optimization.Theme images optimization

3.  The optimization status for each image in the theme folder can be seen in the Other Media list, under the Media menu.

Other media Gallery

All we did was to make the theme folder accessible to ShortPixel from Settings > Advanced. You can optimize any of your WP theme and plugins’ images in the same way.

For this tutorial we used Portofolio Gallery by webdorado. It’s a beautiful theme with a lot of good reviews.

Importance of Image Optimization in Email

Hopefully most of you already optimize the images of your website for better performance. But do you a make the same effort to polish your images for best performance in emails?

You should! Since large images might cause some frustration and disappointment for your email subscribers especially when they open your email on their mobile while they are using slower mobile internet connections.


Email load time matters

The next illustration gives you an idea about how much time it might take for a 1 MB email to load on different connections.


Image source:

It should load seamlessly on modern 4G or 3G connections, but in case of remote locations with limited access to modern networks, the email load time might be simply unbearable for most.
People are always in a rush and are super impatient with websites, apps and email too. According to a recent blog post by your website should load in maximum 4 seconds but 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.

I think, emails should load even faster, since they are definitely less complex than a website. So what happens if your email loads for over 2 seconds on a slower 3G connection?

Your subscribers will simply close the message, and that’s it: a lost opportunity, a lost prospect and a lost conversion for you.


Does image size influence email deliverability?

In case of marketing emails the images you use in your email are not actually attached to your email message, they are only linked into the template from your web storage.

Email deliverability depends mostly on:

– Your IP and domain reputation
– Quality of your list (double opt-in vs single opt-in)
– HTML code quality
– Subject line and email copy

So generally speaking the size and weight of your images don’t influence the deliverability of your emails.

But the number of images do!


Too many images might cause you trouble

A while ago most SPAM emails used to contain just one large image, or many little images with very short text in order to fool SPAM filters that were looking for spammy words in the text of the email.

These days SPAM filters use more sophisticated methods to check the quality of an email message and the senders reputation is the most important scoring factor.

But text to image ratio is still among the SPAM factors and on top of that, if your message consists of purely images, those users who have images disabled by default won’t see a thing from the content of your email (only ALT texts).

When you create a new email template it’s always worth testing the SPAM score of your email. Thankfully there are couple of free services online that you can use.

mail-tester-comImage source:

These tools won’t give you guidance on image optimization but will give you an idea about the text to image ratio, which should be around 80% text compared to 20% image.


Heavy images = higher hosting costs

If you use a web based email service provider that takes care of image hosting for you, the hosting costs are not really a factor for you… rather for them, I admit.

But if you have your own self hosted email software and image server, you’ll need to cover the hosting costs as well.

In case of a cloud provider (like AWS or Cloudinary) you’ll be charged based on the bandwidth your servers use. The larger images you have the more bandwidth your messages will consume.
This is one of the reasons why most email service providers have some kind of built-in limitations when it comes to image size and weight.


What about retina screens?


Image source: Designmodo

Retina screens display double or more pixels in the same amount of space than a traditional display. It makes texts and images sharper and more enjoyable for the eye.

Most smartphones, even the cheaper ones use some kind of retina screens. Some might even add 4K, 8K or even higher resolution screens to their freshest mobile devices. So it’s a question we need to tackle.

The easiest approach for optimizing your images to retina screens is to double the size of your images. What does it mean?

If you want your logo to display in 200 px width on a desktop screen add a 400 px wide image, and size it down to 200 px. This approach will work on mobile screens too.

But yes, this way you’ll end up with significantly larger images buy default, so tools like Shortpixel have an increasingly important role in helping you to reduce file sizes.

Typical image sizing issues in email

– Print quality (300 dpi) emails
– Use of large, 2000 px+ wide images – It’s easy to make this mistake if you upload images right from your DSLR camera or even from modern smart phones with 10+ Megapixel cameras.
– Wrong file format – PNG is not always the best

How to optimize your images for email?

Export web version

Always export web version of your images with max 72 dpi – If you download a stock photo, makes sure you open it with an appropriate image editor and resave in desired quality.

Choose the right format for the right purpose.

– JPG for photographs,
– PNG-8 for simple images,
– PNG-24 for images and photographic elements combined.

Always resize images for email

If you obey the limitations of email design, the content of your email should stay under 650 px, most likely at 600 px.

Even if you take into account retina screens the content images in your email should not be wider than 1200 or 1300 px max.

If you want to add stylish full-width background images to your emails, you’re better use repeatable patterns.

If you really insist to use large full-width background images, please thoroughly test for ideal image quality and width, since there’s no “one size fits all” rule to apply here.

Use an image optimization tool

After you made sure that your images are sized properly and are saved in satisfactory quality you should use an image optimization solution like to further decrease the weight of your images with up to 90%!

With the rise of retina displays I believe that image optimization becomes an increasingly important issue not only for websites but for email templates as well.


Author: Roland Pokornyik, CEO / Co-founder @ &
Working on a standalone email builder for teams which brings easy to use – Canva like – design experience into email template production.


Black Friday Deal: optimize x2 more images with ShortPixel Plugin

Black Friday Deal - ShortPixel PluginOn Black Friday, ShortPixel WordPress plugin brings you twice as many image optimization credits! From 24th to 28th of November 2016, for any purchase, you receive x2 image optimization credits  (See all plans).

Different ShortPixel plans for different image optimization needs

This Black Friday deal could cover all your image optimization needs. If you have only a few articles a month, then the FREE account with 200 credits is enough. For medium size websites with a lot of images to optimize, you can buy a $9.99 monthly plan which gives you 24.000 images/month.

ShortPixel Black Friday deal is also perfect for those who have a variable number of images added each month and cannot easily estimate their monthly image optimization needs. For them, we recommend the One-time Plans:

– $9.99 One-time plan would give you 20.000 optimized images.
– $19.99 One-time plan would give you 60.000 optimized images.
– $29.99 One-time plan would give you 100.000 optimized images.

Offer is valid for both monthly and one-time plans. For paid and for FREE plans.
Please also note that monthly plans can be canceled anytime and one-time credits never expire.

How to use optimized Retina images on your WordPress site for top user experience on Apple devices

use optimized retina images on your WordPress website
Retina Display Logo

In this article I will show you how to use optimized Retina images on your website, in order to offer an amazing user experience on Apple devices.

Retina is a special type of display present on Apple devices, having a higher pixel density than usual displays. This display allows images to have an extremely crisp look, as if they were printed, by using double resolution images, instead of the usual resolution images for the same screen space.

When an Apple product has a Retina Display, each user interface widget is doubled in width and height to compensate for the smaller pixels. Apple calls this mode HiDPI mode.

What does this mean for your (WordPress) website?

If you don’t provide images with double resolution on your website, your images will look on a Retina display the same as they look on a lesser pixel density screen. Nothing gained, nothing lost.

But if you provide these images, your website will look more shiny and crisp on these devices, thus being  more appealing to your visitors. This seems like the sensible alternative for a well maintained website, and for this you need to take a few simple steps.

A plugin like WP Retina 2x automatically creates the Retina enhanced images for your WordPress website, storing them alongside your usual images – you can identify them in the uploads folder by their specific @2x suffix – and takes care of displaying them when needed.

There are some downsides, though. Retina images are double the pixels for each size, meaning they can be four times bigger in size which means they take more space on your hosting and, most important take more time to be downloaded to your visitors’ devices thus harming users’ experience with your site.

In order to cope with this downside, optimizing your images is crucial. For this, you can use an image optimization plugin that also optimizes the Retina images, like our ShortPixel Image Optimization plugin.

ShortPixel Image Optimizer features, starting with version 4.1, automatic Retina images optimization. if you activate the option present in the Advanced tab of the ShortPixel Settings. This means that the ShortPixel Image Optimization plugin, while optimizing images, will detect any existing Retina specific (@2x) images and optimize them too. Big images like the Retina specific images will benefit most of ShortPixel’s powerful adaptive algorithms so optimization rates of 80% are quite frequent.

In conclusion, I strongly recommend to use optimized Retina images on your website as it’s good for user experince and quite straightforward too. It boils down to this: install  the two plugins – WP Retina 2x and ShortPixel Image Optimizer – and activate the Retina image optimization in the Advanced tab of the ShortPixel Settings. From then on, the two plugins will do the job automatically for you.