An optimized image with a reduced file size has so many benefits. Google explicitly made it known and clear that a faster loading web page is one vital factor in their search engine rankings. One major problem on a fast loading page is the presence of heavy and non-optimized images or pictures.
Benefits of a reduced file size on a webpage includes;
- Smaller image sizes mean faster page loads.
- Smaller image sizes gives a faster backup process
- An optimized images will automatically save hundreds of KB per image; and this means that less bandwidth is being consumed.
With the above mentioned benefits, the following lists are summary of top seven free tools and wordpress plugin to reduce image size.
- CW Image OptimizerPlugin
One of the beauties of using CW image optimizer plugin is the fact that your image or picture quality will still be the same; it’s only the file size that will get reduced.
Check it out: http://wordpress.org/plugins/cw-image-optimizer/
- BJ Lazy Load Plugin
Its acronym is ‘Lazy loading makes your site load faster and saves bandwidth’. This free wordpress plugin used to reduce image size has a star rating of 4.6 out of 5, and this means the plugin is quite good. It basically and automatically serve scaled down images in responsive designs. A very good plugin from Bjørn Johansen.
Check it out: http://wordpress.org/plugins/bj-lazy-load/
- Wp Smush.it Plugin
The Wp Smush.it Plugin has a user rating 4.2 out of 5, and this is not really bad, compared to the likes of BJ Lazy load plugin.
It was created by Yahoo developers and it’s quite good if you considering optimizing JPEG compression and converting GIF’s to PNGs image file extension among other things.
Note: Some web hosts do not allow you to use this plugin e.g. WP Engine because it does affect the services of their servers. Since the plugin depends on Yahoo server to work effectively and anytime there is a problem with yahoo servers, then the plugin brings down their own server. Check it out: http://support.wpengine.com/disallowed-plugins/
Get the plugin: http://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-smushit/
- EWWW Image Optimizer
This plugin is also certified, it has a user rating of 4.7 out of 5 and as such, it means it is dependable to use. The plugin automatically and losslessly optimize your images as you upload them to your blog.
Get it: http://wordpress.org/plugins/ewww-image-optimizer/
Free online tools to reduce image size
This is the online version of its plugin, created by Yahoo developers. Infact, I recommend this over its plugin. It is web based, all you have to do is upload your image or its url address and press smush. Ready, check out: http://www.smushit.com/ysmush.it/
Being a free online optimization tool very similar to Ymush. It only supports JPG, GIF and PNG image file extensions. It helps to reduce the file size of your images.
Ready, get it: www.punypng.com
Jpegmini is my favourite free online image reduction program. Its optimized ( reduced size) image still maintains its clarity, sharpness, however with a considerable reduction in the size of the file. I highly recommend the free program above PunyPNG and Ymush.
Check it out: http://www.jpegmini.com/
Now, the conclusion
Which one is the best plugin to reduce image size?
Based on experience of use, and the ratings of these plugins on the wordpress official page, the following are the best in a sequential arrangement:
- EWWW Image Optimizer Plugin ranks top as the best image reduction plugin
- BJ Lazy Load Plugin ranks as number two most popular and reliable plugin
- CW Image OptimizerPlugin is the third best free wordpress plugin
However, I prefer using photoshop to reduce my file size and for a naïve fellow that does not know how to use photoshop, simply make use of jpegmini.