Image Recycle is a an automatic image and PDF compression service which can reduce the size of these types of files while keeping the quality the same as the original. This will help speed up your website by reducing waiting times for these assets to download - if you use a lot of images this can make quite a difference to your load times, which in turn keeps your visitors happy and can even help with your SEO efforts as faster loading websites receive a boost in the search results.
You can test out the service yourself by heading over to the site and drag and dropping an image into the box. Here you can see I tested it out by adding one of my featured images from WPLift which was in JPG format and you can see it reduced the file size from 248KB to 101KB which is quite a drastic reduction in file size, reducing it by 59%. You can see how if you did this for all your images, just how much you could speed up your website.
There is a handy feature on the site where you can enter your URL and it will mail you a PDF which shows how much you could reduce the images on your site by if you use the service.
It also gives you a run-down which lists which files could be compressed and how much you could save for each one:
You can use the service on their website or there is a free WordPress plugin you can download here.
WordPress Plugin Features
- Compress automatically new images & pdf
- Compress automatically existing images & pdf
- Launch a full image optimization process in background and get notified by Email when it's done
- Determine whitch folder to optimize or not
- 1 month all original media backup and one click restore
- Image resizing
- Define an optimization quality per media type (jpg, png, gif, pdf) > Lossy/Lossless/No compression
- Define a min and max size to optimize
- Optimize png, jpg, gif
- Filter your optimized / non optimized media by status, date, file name
Using The Plugin
Once you activate the plugin you have to connect it to an account on Image Recycle, you can create a free trial account to test out the plugin which gives you access for 15 days and 100MB of images.
Once you are logged in, your API keys will be added on the plugin settings page. From here you can also choose to include your theme folder so any image used in your theme can be compressed along with images you add via the media uploader.
You can choose min and max file sizes and also choose which sort of compression to use on the images - Best Saving, Original Quality and No Compression for different file types.
Once your options are saved, you can access the plugin under "Media" > "Image Recycle" where the plugin will list every image used on your site including theme image files. You can then go through and click the "Optimize" button next to an image and it will be compressed - the plugin will then show how much compression was achieved in a percentage format.
Once the plugin is active on your site, any images you upload use the post editor will automatically be optimized - When you upload an image, several sized images are created by default and you can see here that the plugin optimized each one :
While it is free to use the website to optimize images individually ( fine for a static site ), if you need to use the main features and WordPress plugin you will need a paid account - these are one time fees and cost as follows:
- 10,000 Images - $10
- 25,000 Images - $20
- 100,000 Images - $50
These prices compare quite favorably to other similar services which you can view on their comparison page, they also offer other plans for High volume usage up to a quart of a million images per month.
Image compression is one way to speed up your website, with a larger percentage of users now browsing on mobile devices it is becoming ever more important to squeeze every bit of speed out of your website as possible - compressing images can have quite a dramatic effect of browsing speeds which in turn will increase usage of your site. I can see this plugin being especially important if you run a site with lots of images such as an eCommerce website or portfolio website.
I was impressed with this plugin and while it's not free to use, at a cost of $10 for a year of usage and 10,000 images it is very cheap to use.
Check it out if you are looking to optimize your site for speed even further.