As beautiful as high-quality images are, they often slow down your photography website. Image optimization plugins compress your files, making your site faster, lighter, and more user-friendly. However, with so many plugins available, it can be challenging to choose the right one.
Fortunately, this decision is much easier when you know what you’re looking for. For example, some plugins offer varying optimization levels, while others provide automated resizing tools. Once you know the most important features, you can find the best plugin for your photography website.
In this post, we’ll introduce you to image optimization plugins and share their benefits. Then, we’ll discuss some features to consider before diving into five of the best plugins for photography websites. Let’s get started!
An Introduction to Image Optimization Plugins
Websites with many images are prone to slow loading times that can harm your User Experience (UX) and search rankings. Here are some of the advantages of optimizing your images:
- Faster loading times: Unoptimized images can make your site slow and heavy, reducing its overall performance and UX.
- Higher conversions: Websites that take longer to load have higher bounce rates, resulting in missed conversion opportunities.
- Better Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Core Web Vitals scores: Many search engines consider site speed a ranking factor. Plus, you can deliver more visual stability and responsiveness with optimized images, boosting your overall UX.
- Free up storage space and bandwidth. Optimization plugins reduce your file sizes, placing less stress on your web hosting server.
Image optimization is particularly essential for photography websites because they contain lots of images:
Due to photos’ large file sizes, you can easily end up with a slow, heavy site. For more speed optimization tips, check out this article!
How to Choose an Image Optimization Plugin
Knowing what you’re looking for in a plugin makes it easier to find the best match for your photography website. Here are some questions you can ask:
- Can you restore your original image? Some plugins will make a copy of the original image or offer an option to fix it quickly.
- Can you enable EXIF data? Most plugins remove copyright data, creation dates, and GPS locations. However, as a photographer, you might prefer a plugin that preserves this information.
- Is it compatible with other tools? Consider whether your plugin can integrate easily with other essential tools like NextGen Gallery and WooCommerce.
- Does it offer multiple compression levels? There are times when you might want to create tiny image files. However, when you’re not willing to compromise on quality, it can be helpful to have access to lossless options too.
- What value do you get for your money? Many freemium plugins can leave you with few features if you install the free version. Plus, some providers offer resizing and compression, so verify that you can access the image settings you need.
Finding an image optimization plugin that is affordable and easy to use is crucial. Now let’s take a look at some of the best options for your website.
5 Best Image Optimization Plugins for Photography Websites
Now that you know the benefits of using an image optimization plugin, here are five of the best image optimization plugins for photography websites!
Smush is one of the most popular image optimization plugins available for WordPress, with over one million active installations. You can improve your page performance by taking advantage of its lazy load and auto-resize features for quick and easy editing.
Additionally, Smush automatically optimizes your existing images and each new photo you upload. It’s handy for photographers, with the option to preserve EXIF data. Plus, you can expect excellent performance from Smush with very high ratings and glowing customer reviews.
- Reduce image size by up to 5 MB individually or in bulk.
- Use the reSmush API to optimize images and choose the ideal optimization level for your uploads.
- Choose lossless compression so that no quality is lost from the file.
Smush offers a free version restricting you to 50 images with file sizes under 1 MB. Alternatively, you can access the Pro version for $7.50 per month to remove file size limits.
TinyPNG automatically optimizes images while uploading them and features advanced background optimization to speed up your workflow. Plus, you can preserve all the EXIF data in your original photos.
It’s not surprising that TinyPNG has over 200,000 active installations. For example, when you upload an image, it’s analyzed so that the best possible optimization is applied based on the content of the photo. On average, JPEG images are compressed by 40-60%, and PNG images by 50-80% without a visible loss in quality.
- Display JPEG images more quickly with progressive JPEG encoding.
- Translate color profiles to standard RGB format automatically.
- Convert CMYK to RGB to save space and increase compatibility.
With the free plugin, you can optimize roughly 100 images per month. Alternatively, you can switch to a paid account, where you’ll be charged a small fee for additional photos.
3. EWWW Image Optimizer
With EWWW Image Optimizer, you can optimize all existing images on your site plus any new ones you upload. A unique bonus with this plugin is that it supports unlimited file sizes.
Plus, the plugin can go beyond your Media Library and work with any image. With stellar customer support (even with the free version), it’s easy to understand why over 900,000 users have installed EWWW.
- Access lazy load with the premium plugin to improve your page load time.
- Easy IO automatically compresses and scales images to fit the page and device size.
- Optimize images using tools on your server, such as jpegtran and cwebp.
There is a free version of EWWW. However, if your site has multiple images and high traffic, you can benefit more from the paid plans. For a single website, these start at $7 per month and support unlimited photos.
Imagify is an excellent plugin for sites with many images because it includes automatic optimization, and you can resize photos on the fly. Plus, it integrates with popular plugins like WooCommerce, making it ideal for photography websites with online stores.
With over 600,000 installations, Imagify is a widely-used image optimizer. It also includes a backup option to restore your original photos.
- Choose from three optimization levels: lossless, lossy, and strong lossy.
- Optimize images in one go with the bulk optimization setting.
- Convert your images to WebP, a next-gen format for lighter images.
With a free account, you can optimize 20MB per month (roughly 200 images) on unlimited websites. However, the maximum upload size is 2MB. Alternatively, paid plans start at $4.99 for 5000 photos.
5. ShortPixel Image Optimizer
Finally, with ShortPixel Image Optimizer, you can start compressing JPG, PNG, WebP, AVIF, or PDF files without size restrictions. Plus, the plugin keeps copies of your original image if you need to restore it.
ShortPixel can be a great addition to a photography website because it’s compatible with most gallery, slider, and e-commerce plugins. Moreover, you can optimize images that aren’t in your Media Library, like those in NextGen, Modula, or pictures you’ve added directly via FTP.
- Choose from lossy, lossless, and glossy JPEG compression (a very high-quality lossy optimization designed explicitly for photographers).
- Convert PNG to JPG and vice versa with one click.
- Access easy CMYK to RGB conversion and image rescaling.
ShortPixel enables users to optimize 100 images for free each month. You can upgrade to a paid plan to work on additional photos, starting at $3.99 for 7000 pictures.
With so many image optimization plugins available, choosing the right tool for your photography website can be challenging. For example, you might want a plugin that can preserve EXIF data or optimize multiple image types.
To recap, here are five of the best image optimization plugins for photography websites:
- Smush: Provides the best overall premium service.
- TinyPNG: Offers a flexible option to pay per image.
- EWWW Image Optimizer: Has the best free version.
- Imagify: Provides varying optimization levels.
- ShortPixel Image Optimizer: Offers quality glossy optimization for photographers.
Do you have any questions about using image optimization plugins for photography websites? Let us know in the comments section below!