Most of the time, sites are encouraged to use many images in their posts, as they tend to keep the reader’s attention for longer and make them more likely to stick around. Why? Well, because they’ll be reading shorter bits of text broken up by images instead of being overwhelmed by a large piece of written content.
This all seems fantastic, add more images to your site, and you are way more likely to keep visitors. However, the entire situation ends up being a double-edged sword; yes, it might keep people on your site, but having many images is also most probably going to slow your site down.
Most of the research done over the past few years has shown that the vast majority of people are highly likely to click off a page if its loading time is longer than 3 seconds. You can prevent this issue by using an image compression tool that’s going to help you get more clicks and prevent your site from slowing down to the point of losing visitors and engagement.
What Is Image Compression?
Image compression is the same thing as image optimization, but a common mistake people make when talking about it is assuming that compression changes an image’s dimensions. This is actually not true at all. The only thing being reduced is the image size (from 15MB to 10MB, for instance).
Images contain a lot of data that make them larger than they should be; however, the more you compress it, the more you run the risk of making changes to the image itself. But fear not, there are tools designed to help you keep the most while getting rid of everything unnecessary.
To fix up your images, all you have to do is choose the ones you want to compress, upload the files, and place them onto your WordPress site. It’s as simple as that. The only thing left to do is choose a tool that will help you make that happen.
So take a look at ShortPixel and how it can help you achieve the golden mean, great-looking images in a much smaller size.
The ShortPixel Tool
You don’t have to use bad quality images to make your website fast and working properly; with this tool, you can use the highest quality images and compress their size up to 90%. That way, you will never again have to choose between quality and quantity because with ShortPixels, you can easily have both!
You can compress any image format, whether it be JPG, PNG, GIF, PDF, or WebP.
The tool offers three different types of compression that they call: Lossy, Glossy, and Lossless.
Lossy is the recommended one and compresses your images the most. With this setting, you do run a slight risk of reducing the quality a little bit, but when you’re browsing through a site, that won’t be actually noticeable.
Glossy is geared more towards photographers or people who generally need to preserve their images’ crispness on the site. The images are still compressed, but you will never lose any of the details.
Lossless does the least amount of compression, and if you choose to use this particular setting, there will be virtually no difference whatsoever between the two versions of your image.
You can easily customize how everything operates and let this plugin do the work on its own. This is arguably the best feature of ShortPixel since you only need to choose what you prefer once. From that moment onwards, all you have to do is upload images to the WordPress Media Library, and ShortPixels will do the rest for you.
You can also configure this tool to optimize your thumbnails if you so desire so that nothing will be left undone in this department.
ShortPixel offers two plugins for optimizing your images, both of which you can directly install through the WordPress dashboard.
The first one is called ShortPixel Image Optimizer. This tool will optimize your images automatically, and you can even have it compress the images that are already on your website.
The second plugin is called ShortPixel Adaptive Images. What makes this plugin interesting is that it will automatically detect the subject of an image and intuitively crop, resize, and optimize around it.
This particular feature is going to make your website a whole lot faster.
Installation and Getting Started
The first thing you have to do, if you want to use this tool, is to download the plugin for WordPress. After you have done that, you have to activate the API key in the settings.
Once you’ve installed the plugin, it’s time to configure it and make it do exactly what you want.
First, choose between the three compression options. This is easy since the entire setup is quite intuitive and easy to navigate. Also, you can follow most of the recommended settings, as long as you don’t have any special desires.
The General and the Advanced Tab
When you open the settings, there will be a General and an Advanced tab among other ones; in the General tab, you’ll find common things such as the API key, the option to pick your compression type, the option to decide whether or not you want to compress thumbnails, the backup option and the option to resize larger images.
The Advanced tab is going to let you customize your experience even further. When you open it, you’ll find the option to optimize additional media folders, optimize PDFs, convert PNG to JPEG, optimize Retina images (if you have the Retina plugin installed), and a few other things that can make this tool truly something that you have always wanted.
ShortPixel offers 3 different versions of their product.
The Single version includes all of the features mentioned in the review, 15,000 image optimization credits per month, and 125GB of CND traffic. This version is going to cost you $49 for a one-time purchase.
The Double version also includes all of the features listed, but it doubles the amount of image optimization credits and CND traffic; its price is $98.
The last version is the Multiple, which ups the number of optimization credits to 45,000 and the amount of CND traffic to 375GB; it comes around to $147. All of these are special offers currently available on AppSumo.
ShortPixel is extremely intuitive and easy to use. It’s also packed with many customizable options, so no matter what you need, you’ll be covered.
Considering the quality of the tool itself, all of its price plans are an absolute steal, especially when you take all of its unique features into account.
With it, you can make your images look just as good compressed as they did in their original state. What more could you need? So download it today and get yourself this SEO powerhouse of a tool.