How To Optimize Images For a Faster Loading Website Using WP Smush

WP Smush Plugin Review

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WP Smush – WordPress Plugin Review

You only have a few seconds to catch the attention of visitors to your site. If your website takes too long to load, customers are going to find something more interesting to do online. You’ll end up losing customers before you even get a chance to wow them. When it comes to the speed of your website, each second counts!

One of the most common reasons for a slow website is large images. It’s a double-edged sword though. You must have graphics on your site to get your customers’ attention, but pictures can slow down your website.

You DO NOT want large images slowing your website and causing your customers to click away!

Depending on your skill level, creating eye-catching images is hard enough, and the last thing you’re thinking about is how to optimize those images.

Luckily for WordPress users, there is an answer.

WordPress plugin WP Smush review

WP Smush is a WordPress plugin that will resize, optimize, and compress all your images on your website. The WP Smush plugin was developed by the team behind WPMU Dev, a popular and well-respected WordPress plugin provider.

Here’s what you get with WP Smush:
  • Automatic image resizing
  • Compresses any image in any location
  • Compatible with many WordPress media library plugins
  • Bulk-compress images already in your media library

Installing WP Smush is simple and installs just like any other WordPress plugin. Once you’ve successfully installed and activated WP Smush, the plugin adds a menu option in your WordPress admin area (dashboard).


Setting Up Smush

Setting the WP Smush plugin up is mostly self-explanatory. If you’d like to compress and optimize images as you upload them automatically, be sure the “Automatically smush my images on upload” option is turned on.

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EXIF Data (Metadata)

Next, you’ll need to choose if you’d like to keep or remove the image’s EXIF data. EXIF data or metadata stores camera settings, focal length, date, time and location information in image files.  This information adds to the size of the image, but if you’re a photographer, for instance, this information is essential, and you may not want to remove it.

You can turn the metadata feature on and off in the settings screen (see below image – “Strip my image metadata”).

Automatic Resize

The third thing you want to do is resize your images automatically. WP Smush will resize an image to the maximum height and maximum width you determine before they’re uploaded to the media library (example above). Large image files take up a TON of space and are slower to load on a website. Smushing (I love this word!) the data will help keep large images from even making it to the media library.


Bulk Smush

If you already have numerous images uploaded to WordPress before you install WP Smush, then you can compress and optimize all those images in one batch!

On the WP Smush settings page, in the top left-hand corner, is a section titled Bulk Smush. In this section, WP Smush will let you know which images in your media library are not compressed. Just click on the Bulk Smush button to start the compression process. The length of time to complete this action will depend on the number of images in the media library, but will usually only take a few minutes.

WP Smush Plugin Review


Go Pro

If you’d like additional features, you can upgrade to the pro version of WP Smush. The pro version is free to try for 30 days, then you pay $49 (for unlimited sites) per month after that. I haven’t felt the need to go pro yet, but here are the are features:

WP Smush Plugin Review


How to optimize images with the WP Smush plugin

So, with just a few clicks of your mouse, you can quickly compress, optimize, and resize the images on your WordPress website. Smushing (😊) will help your site load faster and make your customers happy. A happy customer is a buying customer!

You can check out WP Smush for yourself here.

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