If you want your WordPress site to load fast, optimizing the images that you use is one of the biggest things that you can do.
Images comprise about 65% of an average webpage. And unoptimized images are something that Google Pagespeed Insights will often yell at you about.
So what’s the easiest way to optimize images on WordPress? With an image optimization plugin!
In my WP Compress review, I’ll give you a look at a relatively new entrant to the image optimization plugin market. In general, it’s an easy to use plugin with a couple unique twists to differentiate it from the other options. And, most importantly, it also does a pretty good job at compressing your images!
At the end, we’ll also share an awesome lifetime deal that we got the developers to extend for WPLift readers.
WP Compress Review: The Feature List
WP Compress helps you optimize your WordPress images in two different ways.
First, it helps you automatically resize the actual dimensions of the images that you upload. This is important because, even with compression, using some massive 3000x3000px image is going to almost always be a waste of space (unless you’re a photographer or someone of that ilk).
All you do is enter a max width and WP Compress will automatically resize any images that are larger than that width.
Then, WP Compress gives you three options for compressing your images to get the file size down even further:
- Lossless – the smallest file size reduction, but ensures that there’s no loss in quality.
- Intelligent – lossy compression but with minimal loss in image quality. This is the level of compression that the plugin recommends for most sites.
- Ultra – a more aggressive type of lossy compression that might have a more noticeable drop in quality.
This three-level approach to compression is pretty standard for image compression plugins nowadays.
Other features include:
- Original backups – unlike many other plugins, WP Compress stores these in the cloud, rather than on your server, which saves you some space. This is one of the plugin’s unique twists.
- Night-time optimization – you can wait to optimize your images during low-time so that you don’t have to wait for optimization immediately after uploading an image. This is a small one – but waiting around is annoying! This is another feature that’s fairly unique, though it’s not included in the basic free version.
- Preserve EXIF data – you can choose whether or not to keep the EXIF data.
- Hide WP Compress from Media Library – if desired, you can hide all traces of WP Compress from your Media Library screen. Another unique feature.
- Manually exclude certain images – you can exclude individual images that you don’t want to be optimized.
WP Compress handles optimization via an external server and API, which means that your server doesn’t need to do any work. Instead, the optimization is powered by Cloudways. That’s pretty normal nowadays, but some plugins – notably EWWW Image Optimizer – do still handle optimization on your own server.
Hands-On With WP Compress: Touring The Interface
Using WP Compress is pretty simple. When you first install it, you’ll need to enter your email address to generate a free API key. Then, you plug in that API key into the interface to unlock the plugin’s functionality.
Once you do that, you get a single settings page where you can configure the core functionality like:
- Choosing your compression level
- Automatically resizing images
If you’re installing the plugin on an older site, you can go to Media → Optimize All Images to bulk optimize all of your existing images:
And a nice thing is that WP Compress also gives you an option to bulk Restore All Images if needed:
Finally, you can also use the list view of your WordPress Media Library for another way to interact with the plugin.
Here, you can manually compress or exclude individual images:
Once you’ve compressed some images, you’ll also see the file savings. And another nice feature is that you can easily restore the original image if needed:
One feature that I’d like to see added here is the ability to change the compression level for individual images on-the-fly. This is something that ShortPixel lets you do, and it comes in handy when sometimes you just want to hit a single image with more or less compression.
Putting WP Compress To The Test: Compressing Some Images
Ok, now that you’ve seen the interface, let’s actually compress some images.
I’ve collected a random assortment of uncompressed images. Now, I’m going to upload them to my Media Library and see how WP Compress does.
For reference, I have the plugin configured like so:
- Intelligent compression – (technically lossy compression, but I can’t see any difference in quality on my screen)
- Max width of 2000px – some of my test images are wider than this, so they’ll benefit from both the resizing and compression.
Image 1 – A JPEG. Originally 740.11 KB and 1920x1280px
WP Compress reduced by 29%. New file size 525.35 KB.
Image 2 – A JPEG. Originally 5.9 MB and 6000x4000px.
WP Compress reduced by 95%. New file size 294.90 KB.
Image 3 – A PNG. Originally 97.7 KB and 1223x748px. This file is already optimized.
No savings. My screenshot tool automatically optimizes images, so this was really just a test to see if WP Compress could do anything different than my tool.
Image 4 – A JPEG. Originally 1.34 MB and 3264x2448px.
WP Compress reduced by 79%. New file size 291.95 KB.
How Does WP Compress Stack Up To Other Image Compression Plugins?
The numbers I posted above look pretty good. But without some benchmarks, it’s hard to see how WP Compress stacks up to the competition.
Luckily, I actually ran some comparison numbers when I put together our post on the best image compression plugins. You can see the exact numbers there, but generally WP Compress had the:
- Highest reduction when using lossless compression. WP Compress reduced the image by 9%, while the second-place plugin only reduced the same image by 5.81%.
- Second-highest reduction when using both lossy compression levels
So all-in-all, it stacks up pretty well, especially if you’re planning to use lossless compression.
How Much Does WP Compress Cost?
Like most other image optimization plugins, WP Compress offers a limited free plan. If you exceed those limits, you’ll need to pay.
WP Compress’ free plan lets you optimize up to 1,000 images for free. Keep in mind that this limit includes different image sizes, which is pretty standard.
To earn additional credits, you can:
- Refer friends to earn more free credits
- Pay for a premium plan
The premium plan also unlocks all the features, like premium servers and automatic/night-time optimization.
Premium plans start at just $15 per year. But we have a special deal for WPLift readers. You can get a LIFETIME plan for just $89. This plan lets you optimize 60,000 images every year FOR LIFE for a one-time fee.
Better yet, you can use these image credits across different sites.
This deal was technically expired, but we got the developers to extend it for WPLift readers, so you can still take advantage of the lifetime plan for a limited time.
Final Thoughts On WP Compress
There are a lot of great WordPress image optimization plugins, and I think WP Compress fits right in. WP Compress was tops at lossless compression and second-place in lossy compression of the plugins I tested.
And beyond that, WP Compress has some nice smaller differentiating features like:
- Backing up your original image to the cloud, rather than your own server
- Night-time optimization for easier workflow
And with the lifetime deal that’s still available for WPLift readers, it’s hard to beat the pricing. Remember – the 60,000 images per year that you can optimize with the $89 lifetime deal can be spread across multiple sites. So (for now at least), you can potentially cover all your sites for life for just $89, which you won’t be able to find with any other plugin as far as I know.
You get 1,000 image optimizations for free. So give it a try. And if you like it, make sure to snag the lifetime deal before it expires.