A Short guide to ShortPixel image optimization service and tools

guide shortpixelShortPixel is an friendly and fun way to compress your images, but we want to make it even more easier for you. That’s why we wrote this short guide so you could start optimizing right away.

You need just an API key, and one of our image optimization tools: the WP plugin, the API tools or the online image compressor.


How to get your ShortPixel API key

(if you already have an API key,  skip this step)

1. Access this page: https://shortpixel.com/free-sign-up
2. Add your email address and click Sign-up.
3. Copy your API key and keep it safe.

The free account allows you to reduce the sizes of 100 images and thumbnails per month. If you need more image optimization credits, you could purchase monthly and one-time plans accordingly to your needs.


Tools for using ShortPixel image optimization service

1. ShortPixel WordPress plugin.
2. API tools for sites built with other PHP solutions.
3. Online image compressor.

Remember:  All of these tools are connected to our online image optimization service, and you will need the ShortPixel API key to connect to it (except for the free version of our online compressor).


1. ShortPixel WordPress plugin

How to install and activate ShortPixel WordPress plugin:
– Please login into your WordPress dasboard.
– Go to the Plugins section and click on the Add New button.
– Search for ShortPixel.
– Click Install and Activate afterwards.
– You need to add your API key to validate your ShortPixel plugin installation.


How to use the our plugin and its settings

The recommended settings are already checked, but you can change them according to your needs. Please read the instructions near each option. We advice you to keep the Image backup function active, in case you will want to re-optimize your images with a different compression method.

We have three levels of image optimization:
Lossy offers the best balance between image size reduction and picture quality. Unless you compressed your images before or if you are a photographer, this is the option to go.
Glossy is also a lossy image compression method, but its focus is on high resolution pictures that need to look as crisp as the original.
Lossless compression method doesn’t touch the pixels of your image. The resulting image is pixel-by-pixel identical with the original.

Read more: Glossy, image optimization option for photographers


Bulk optimization for your existing images

If you have  a large collection of uncompressed images, you can optimize them all at once with our bulk processor. You can find it under the Media Library.

Important: Bulk processor speed depends on factors like the size of the images, type of images, your hosting resources or your own site’s traffic spikes.

Tip: We don’t recommend to over compress your images, but if you wish to do so, you can do it by deleting the WP metadata (from ShortPixel bulk page). ShortPixel will forget that it compressed your images and it will try to squeeze a few more bytes from them.


ShortPixel button in Media Library

By default, images are compressed on upload (you can deactivate this feature in the plugin settings – Advanced tab). This way, you don’t need to worry about image compression.

But if you like to get your hands a bit dirty, go to the Media Library and check the column added by ShortPixel there. You can find details about the optimization or you can restore/re-optimize an image.

Something like this:

2. ShortPixel API tools for PHP sites

Our main market is WordPress community, but we also developed tools for sites built on other PHP solutions. There are six such tools, and we suggest you to visit the documentation page for more details:

The most popular tool within this category is the ShortPixel Website Optimizer. You can use it to compress images on any PHP based website, either custom coded or using a free platform like Joomla or Drupal.

Important: You need to have writing permissions for the images and the folders containing the images for the web tools to work properly.


3. Online image compressor

If you don’t have a site but you want your images to be compressed, then use our online image optimizer. It is free when you are not logged in, but there is a 10MB size limit.<

In the near future, we will add the zip download for the logged in users.



That’s not all. You can find more by reading our FAQ.
If you need help, please contact us for support.

Happy optimizing!