Using WP Smush.it To Optimize Your Wordpress Images

  • Posted on: 29 October 2014
  • By: davis

Wordpress features an easily navigable image upload interface. While the default image uploader is fine, it lacks one key feature - optimizing your images. When images are pushed from your server to the client, an unnecessarily large image will slow down load times and affect your PageSpeed score. Large image files also take up unnecessary space on your server's drive, leading to increased server costs, increased hardware requirements, and less storage area for other media.

WP Smush.it is a plugin developed for Wordpress image optimization. Smush.it runs on the Yahoo Exceptional Performance API, and will losslessly compress your image files via the following methods:

  • stripping meta data from JPEGs
  • optimizing JPEG compression
  • converting certain GIFs to indexed PNGs
  • stripping the un-used colours from indexed images

Download WP Smush.it and install as usual - or just install it from your Wordpress administration menu. You will be able to run "Bulk Smush.it" from the "Media" tab on the administration menu. Bulk smushing will take quite a while if you have many images. Be advised that smush.it will not handle image files larger than 1Mb - you will have to manually compress those images!

WP Smush.it has a feature that is enabled by default - Automatically Process On Upload

I recommend disabling this feature unless you really hate your users. As a site admin, you may think that automatic processing is the bees knees - and it is - for you. Anyone actually trying to upload pictures will run into lethargic upload times. I personally had this plugin installed across a network of sites, and promptly disabled this feature after our writers were stuck uploading images for unreasonable amounts of time.

Long story short - disable the Automatic Processing On Upload. You can find this setting under Settings -> Media

I would recommend creating a weekly smushing routine in place of the automatic processing. After you've decided how to handle processing uploads, you are all set!

Happy smushing!