How to Optimize Images For WordPress [Complete Guide]

Looking for a way to optimize images for WordPress and speed up your website?

Images are an important part of any website, providing visual appeal and enhancing user engagement.

However, when starting a blog, many beginners just upload images without optimizing them. As a result, these unoptimized images can significantly slow down your site’s loading speed, affecting user experience and search engine rankings.

You can correct this by implementing image optimization best practices in your regular blogging work.

In this comprehensive guide, we will show some easy ways to optimize images for WordPress, ensuring fast loading times and improved performance.

What is Image Optimization?

Image optimization is all about minimizing the size of image files while balancing any loss of quality. The ideal feature is to display high-quality images on your website without slowing down the pages with huge files.

Everyone should pay close attention to image optimization because it is one of the common ways to speed up a WordPress site.

What’s good about image optimization is that it doesn’t require any development skills. As a result, it is simple for any website owner to do.

You may either keep track of every image you upload to your site and manually edit and resize it. Or you can use image optimization plugins that can optimize images for you.

Benefits of Image Optimization

Optimizing images on your WordPress website can offer several benefits. The following are some main benefits of WordPress image optimization:

  • Optimizing images offers faster page load times.
  • Offer a better browsing experience for your visitors.
  • Help you in improved your SEO rankings.
  • Reduces bounce rates.
  • Lower your bandwidth costs and reduce the strain on your hosting resources.
  • Optimized images are more likely to load quickly and display correctly on social media platforms.

8 Easy Ways to Optimize Images for WordPress

The ultimate objective of image optimization is to reduce the size of an image while preserving its quality. Although images can make or break a website. Too many or large images might slow down your website and affect its performance.

Here is what you need to do to optimize images for the web without compromising their quality:

1. Compress Your WordPress Images

You may reduce the file size of images by compressing them. A compressed image file will load faster on your WordPress website, increasing its overall performance.

The easiest way to compress images in WordPress is to use an image compression plugin. Such plugins usually do more than just compress images.

Some best image compression WordPress plugins include:

Alternatively, you may use image editing software or a free tool like TinyPNG to manually compress your huge images before submitting them to WordPress.

TinyPNG doesn’t only work with PNG images. Other image file types, such as WebP and JPEG, are supported. Simply upload the image you wish to compress, and the tool will automatically reduce its size. The tool may also compress multiple files at the same time.

A Image Compression by TinyPNG

2. Resize Images

Another easy way to optimize images for WordPress is to resize their pixel dimensions. Fortunately, this functionality is built into the WordPress core.

WordPress, by default, uses four different sizes of the same image:

  • Thumbnail (150 x 150 pixels)
  • Medium (up to 300 x 300 pixels)
  • Large (up to 1024 x 1024 pixels)
  • Full Size (the original image size)

Having said that, you may change them to suit your needs.

Here is how to change the default WordPress image sizes via the media library:

  1. Open the WordPress dashboard and go to Settings » Media.
  2. Enter your preferred maximum width and height for each size.
  3. Click Save Changes.

WordPress Media Setting

3. Host Images on a CDN (Content Delivery Network)

Hosting your images on a CDN allows them to load faster on web pages.

A CDN saves your cached content across multiple geographical locations to help minimize delays in loading online content. It does this by cutting the distance between the visitor and the server.

For example, if your server is in America and a user from Sweden accesses your website, the CDN will serve them from the nearest server to them, not the one in America.

Cloudflare, KeyCDN, and are some examples of the best WordPress CDN providers.

4. Use Lazy Loading

Lazy loading means deferring the loading of images until you get close to the image. It improves page load times and overall performance by only showing images when they are visible or soon to be displayed on the screen.

Normally, when a web page is loaded, all images are fetched and loaded simultaneously. As a result, it can slow down the page load time, especially if there are numerous or large-sized images. With lazy loading, the images that are initially off-screen or below the fold are not loaded right away. Instead, a placeholder or a low-resolution preview image is displayed in their place.

We recommended using WP Rocket to lazy load your images. It also helps you with WordPress cache-related problems. In this way, you can fix two problems using a single plugin.

5. Use the Correct Image File Format

For most users, the only three image file types that actually matter are JPEG, PNG, and GIF. Using the correct file format plays an important role in image optimization.

To keep things simple, JPEGs should be used for pictures or images with a lot of colors, PNGs for basic or transparent images, and GIFs for solely animated graphics.

6. Use Image Caching

Image caching refers to the practice of storing and retrieving images from a cache, which is a temporary storage location, to improve the performance and loading speed of web pages.

When a user visits a website, the images on that site are typically downloaded from the web server and displayed in the user’s browser.

However, with image caching, the images are stored in a cache on the user’s device or on intermediate servers, reducing the need to repeatedly download them from the original source.

Image caching is an effective way to address issues caused by unoptimized images, such as slow-loading pages.

You can enhance the performance of your website by keeping local copies of website files that you often or recently used.

7. Optimize Image ALT Text

Alternative text (ALT Text) is a descriptive attribute added to HTML code that provides textual information about an image. It is used to communicate the information and context of an image for users who use a screen reader or when an image fails to load correctly. Alt text is also essential for web accessibility and search engine optimization (SEO).

Therefore, you should provide enough details with relevant keywords in your images’ ALT text to boost visibility.

ALT text is also a crucial component of your on-page SEO strategy.

8. Smart Cropping

Smart cropping involves removing unneeded space or background from an image and retaining only the area of interest.

Cropping can be done manually or with the help of a plugin like Optimole, which detects hot spots in an image and removes the sections that aren’t needed.

Best Image Optimization Tools

Here are some of the best ones.

1. TinyPNG

TinyPNG Best Online Compressor Tool

TinyPNG is the best online tool for optimizing WordPress images without using a plugin. It compresses PNG and JPEG images.

TinyPNG uses the Quantization method to decrease image particles. However, it will not reduce the image’s quality. As a result, the image’s size will be dramatically reduced.

The image size can be reduced by up to 70% without losing quality. TinyPNG may also be used to optimize GIFs.

2. Fastest Image Optimization Tool is the fastest image optimization tool on the market, with a unique algorithm that helps you save space and bandwidth. Your site will load faster and provide a better user experience with optimized images. Kraken reduces the size of the images as much as possible without reducing quality.


Another tool you may use to optimize images without using a plugin is supports a wide range of image formats, including JPEG, PNG, GIF, SVG, BMP, EPS, WEBP, TIFF, and PSD.

You may use the drag-and-drop feature it offers to upload your images. Besides, you may also use Dropbox and Google Drive to save your images. Images that are uploaded will be compressed without losing their size.

4. Compress JPEG

Compress JPEG

Another image optimization tool on our list is Compress JPEG. You may use this tool to upload and optimize up to 20 images at once. Once the process is finished, you may either download them all at once or one by one.

In addition to compressing images, you can also change the format of images. For example, you may convert PNG to JPG or SVG to PNG.

5. Best Image Optimize Tool is a great tool for optimizing WordPress images. It can cut file sizes by up to 90%. It supports lossy compression as well as lossless compression. Further, this tool can save the compressed image to Google Drive and Dropbox.

Final Thoughts

If you aren’t saving images optimized for the web, you should start now. It will make a significant impact on the speed of your site, and your users will appreciate it.

Not to mention, faster websites are better for SEO, and you will most likely see an increase in your search engine ranks.

Aside from image optimization, the two things that can greatly help you speed up your website are using a WordPress caching plugin and using a WordPress CDN.

Alternatively, you may use a managed WordPress hosting service, which usually includes both caching and a CDN as part of the package.

We hope this post helps you learn how to optimize WordPress images.

For your next step, check out these other helpful resources:

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Frequently Asked Questions

Does WordPress Optimize Images Automatically?

Yes. After WordPress version 4.5, WordPress compresses all uploaded images to 82% of their original quality.

How Often Should I Optimize my Images for WordPress?

You should optimize your images for WordPress as often as you upload new images to your website. This will help to guarantee that the loading speed of your website is always as quick as possible.

Can I Optimize My WordPress Images Without Using a Plugin?

Yes, you can optimize your WordPress images without the use of a plugin by resizing them to the proper size, compressing them with an online tool, and optimizing their file names and alt tags.