Top 5 WordPress Image Compression Plugins, Free & Paid

When adding images to your domains, you may find that it can chew up and go through your allocated bandwidth quickly.
It can also cause site load times to be slow, and could turn potential visitors away.
An efficient way of stopping this is by using WordPress plugins to compress those images and make it a more bandwidth-friendly domain.
In this guide I will rank in no particular order the top five image compression plugins that you are able to use today. Generally whichever one you pick is going to do a good job at making your domain quicker.

Below is a table showing us using each service and listing the results gained from using it on the same 1.25MB base picture.

Image PluginCompressed Image SizeOptimization Percent
EWWW Image Optimization1.07 MBReduced by 14.3%
(183.9 KB)
Kraken Image Optimizer768 KBReduced by 37.58%
WP Smush It1.07 MBReduced by 14.3%
(183.9 KB)
ShortPixel Image Optimizer194 KBReduced by 75.58%
Compress JPEG & PNG images1.04 MBReduced by 19.2%
(201.5 KB)

#1 EWWW Image Optimizer

Cost: Free version, also has paid plans starting at $9/month using their Cloud-only optimizer

EWWW Image Optimizer is the first plugin that we recommend you use for WordPress domains. It is effective at keeping the file sizes low and your site quick.

EWWW Image Optimizer automatically optimizes your images as you upload them to your domain. It can also optimize images that you have already uploaded to your domain, which can be handy if you are only just looking at these plugins now after having a domain up and running for awhile.

A nice feature of EWWW Image Optimizer is that the plugin has the ability to convert your files to the format that will produce the smaller file size. Whether that be JPG or PNG, it will figure it out for you. You also have the option to apply lossy conversion against PNG images.


#2 Kraken Image Optimizer

Cost: First 100MB free, then plans starting as low as $5/month

Kraken.io is another solid for optimizing your domains. Kraken enables you to optimize JPG, PNG and GIF files, all through their own API.

We put this as second as the setting up takes a bit as you need to register a free account on their site in order to gain access to their API.
This isn’t a real issue however some users may find that they might not want to do this. Speaking of efficiency though, users may also find that this is definitely a plugin that gets the job done. Kraken is able to optimize your images using what they call a “intelligent lossy” profile which is designed to keep your pictures look as good as they did whilst reaping the benefits of small file size.

A super handy feature of Kraken, is that you are able to set a max resolution for the pictures that you optimize, meaning that if your pictures are larger than what you want them to be, you can force them all down the same height and width.


#3 WP Smush It

Cost: Free version, pro version requires $49/month subscription to WPMU DEV

WP Smush It is one of the most well known WordPress plugins that you can use today. This makes an appearance on this list because it is also the most user friendly.

WP Smush It lets you compress JPEG, GIF and PNG images up to 32MB individually or at the same time.
The plugin works by stripping meta data from JPEG files, optimizing JPEG compression, converting GIFs to indexed PNGs and stripping the un-used colors from indexed images.

With WP Smush, it is possible to set up automated smushing, so that all of your new images are automatically compressed when uploaded to your site.
This is especially important when thinking about being bandwidth-friendly.


#4 ShortPixel Image Optimizer

Cost: Free version 100 images per month, then plans starting at $5/month

ShortPixel is a solid performer for those with small domains. Using the free version you can probably get by without hitting their limit. Another perk of ShortPixel is that it has a nicely done user interface.

Once you have installed and activated this plugin, every image you upload from that point will be optimized. There isn’t an option to automatically turn this off as with the other plugins in this list. However this plugin scores amazingly well for compression, and also comes with a tool for bulk compressing.

You will find that this plugin ranks super high in compression, is able to define maximum resolutions for images, and can also create backups of every image you compress.

#5 Compress JPEG & PNG images

Cost: Free version 500 images per month, then costs per images following

Compress JPEG & PNG images is the last plugin on this list that I recommend. It is an easy to use compression plugin and comes with 500 free images per month which is more than enough for people who are just running small blog sites.

The plugin only uses lossy compression methods, however this will guarantee that you have noticeable differences in file sizes. There are not too many user configuration options, however, like a couple of the other plugins you are able to set things such as maximum resolution.


What we use: ShortPixel Image Optimizer