Do you want to make your sites faster and improve the user experience? If so, then this is a must-read for you. In fact, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that if you are reading this article right now, chances are good that you have already heard of Google PageSpeed Insights. If not, it’s time to get familiar with PSI because it will help you understand how to optimize your site in ways that can really impact its performance.
The first thing you should do when optimizing a website is to compress the images on it. This will help reduce bandwidth usage as well as speed up page loading times. The best way to accomplish this is by using an image compression tool like EWWW Image Optimizer or Shortpixel. Both of these plugins have a free plan and can be used with WordPress.
They’ll automatically detect which files need optimization and resize detection then apply their respective algorithms to them making your site load amazingly fast.
Slow-loading pages require more patience. At best, you’re dealing with frustrated customers, and at worst, high bounce rate leaving you with no customers at all.
Not every image compression tool is made equally. Some image compression tools destroy images with as much as a 30% loss in quality.
Here are the best ones I’ve personally dealt with and recommend you to check out.
- Shortpixel (Currently Using)
- EWWW Image Optimizer (Probably Going to switch over to them)
- WP Smash It (Used in the past but liked Shortpixel better)
- Squash (MacOS – Offline)
Each Image Optimizer reduces file size without affecting the appearance. It helps ensure every image is in the best format with automatic GIF to PNG, PNG to JPG, and even JPG to PNG for those odd edge cases.
Compress Image While Preserving Image Quality
Shortpixel, EWWW IO & Smash IT all can scale and optimize images for you. Before adding them to your media library, and already uploaded images can be done with a click of a button. It works in the background without affecting performance at all.
Compress any Image in any Directory
Compress any image in any folder, directory, including custom folders. So that you can optimize your images on your website, plugins and theme packages. WP-CLI can be used to run the optimizer if it’s more your style.
Incorrect Size Image Detection
It’s difficult to get images to fit every visitor’s screen size. Auto-scales images on your site to the most ideal sizes for any screen.
- Saves bandwidth and dramatically reduce the load time of your site by enabling this feature. Image scaling also saves storage space and speed up the site.
- Find images that are keeping you from a perfect 100 on the PageSpeed test.
WP Offload Media is recommended for uploading to Amazon S3 and Digital Ocean Spaces, and Google Cloud Storage and works out of the box with EWWW IO.
EWWW Image Optimizer Advantages
I help manage over 150 websites that vary from single-page sites to blogs and e-commerce stores that have 100,000’s pages using elastic search. Each uses different hosting solutions, shared hosting, managing WordPress servers, and others on AWS, Google Cloud, and Digital Ocean.
We’ve been satisfied using Shortpixel for years, but this is why we might make the switch over to EWWW Image Optimizer for some sites.
I’ll be keeping this post updated with The Good, The Bad and The Ugly as I start to do a couple of site migrations.
WP Rocket & Perfmatters plugin replacement
I’m starting to recommend SWIS for making WordPress sites faster, so if you don’t already use Perfmatters or WP Rocket, this is a great bonus and cost saver!
- Page caching
- WebP mode that works with next-gen WebP images created by their EWWW Image Optimizer plugin.
- This can be disabled if you already have server-side caching and let your server take care of things.
- Defer JS and CSS resources
- Strip out all the whitespace in your JS/CSS files so they are as small as possible.
- Has a handy text field where you can drop in your critical CSS.
- Add gzip compression to all your JS/CSS assets, which can make a big difference in size, sometimes saving 90% or more.
- Set expires headers on supported servers to make sure browsers cache these “static” assets as long as possible.
- Disable unused JS/CSS files on any page or site-wide.
- Handy admin-bar menu to show all your JS/CSS resources. Find everything loading on a page, along with what plugin or theme it comes from.
- Shows you JS/CSS dependencies to help keep you from breaking your site by disabling a JS file that might be required.
Why we are making the switch from Shortpixel to EWWW Image Optimizer
You can get lifetime access to EWWW IO Infinity Plan only for a short time on Appsumo.
- All future Infinite Plan updates
- Optional add-on: $10 for an additional TB of storage per month
- 60-day money-back guarantee, no matter the reason
- Unlimited images
- Site speed audits
- Lazy load
- JS/CSS optimization
- SWIS performance
- Custom domain
- Global CDN delivery