ShortPixel is an online image compression website and WordPress plugin that allows you to compress your website’s images. It offers various levels of compression. You can choose between lossless (no reduction in quality), lossy (a reduction in quality, albeit small reductions), and glossy which seems to be a middle ground between both lossy and lossless compression.
The plugin is available for free and allows you to compress 100 images for free per month, through their API. Or you can purchase more credits through their website. They have multiple levels of packages. Some are subscription based and others allow you to make a one-time purchase for more credits. Therefore, if your website posts content frequently, then ShortPixel has you covered.
If you want to test out their services, you can upload images via their website by visiting this link. However, it has a limit of 10MB per upload. I used this method to test various images to get before and after results. I used the highest compression ratios and the results impressed me. My results can be found below. In the test, I ran 5 different images through the plugin that I downloaded from Pexels, a website where you can get free stock photos. As an alternative, I have used PikWizard in the past when other stock photo sites do not have what I am looking for.
We were given 10,000 free images from ShortPixel and we tested the plugin with various images on this live site and got similar results.
The admin panel is very easy to use and works perfectly out of the box. It has a few settings, but nothing needs to be changed in order for it to work properly after downloading. I recommend that when you start you disable the image backup (if you are running on limited space). Now your configuration is done and we can go into the process of how to optimize your images. If you have not signed up yet, you can sign up for free here.
All images uploaded to your site, after you install ShortPixel are optimized automatically. However, you need to manually optimize the images that are already on your website. To do this, do the following:
- Go to to your Media Tab
- Click on “Bulk ShortPixel”
- Click on the “Start Optimizing” button
You are all set and now the plugin will go through and compress all of your previously uploaded images.
Our ShortPixel Results
We performed our own rigorous tests on ShortPixel with the 5 images below. We list the before size in MB, the after size in MB and the percent decrease.
Image Number 1
Original Size: 2.3MB
After Lossy Compression: 0.12MB (94% decrease)
Image Number 2
Original Size: 2.6MB
After Lossy Compression: 0.40MB (86% decrease)
Image Number 3
Original Size: 5.8MB
After Lossy Compression: 0.80MB (87% decrease)
Image Number 4
Original Size: 1.1MB
After Lossy Compression: 0.50MB (54% decrease)
Image Number 5
Original Size: 3.0MB
After Lossy Compression: 0.40MB (87% decrease)
Overall, I am very satisfied with the results. I noticed no visual difference in image quality and I saved on average 82% of my upload space which was fantastic. This is a case where you win by saving on storage and more importantly your users save on bytes. Remember, compression is a very important part of your website optimization strategy, but image compression plugins like ShortPixel are just a small part of that strategy.