Can I Smush It, Yes You Can!

Can I Smush It, Yes You Can!

Large images slow down the load speed of your WordPress site.

Clients and Google don’t like slow sites, clients get impatient and click away, Google will affect your rankings if you have a slow site.

There is a way to compress your images and make them smaller so they load more quickly.  You can do this with the plugin WP Smush https://wordpress.org/plugins/wp-smushit/

We were asked to tune the performance of one of our maintenance clients sites and one of the things we did was optimize his images.

How Do I Know If I Have The Issue

A quick test to see if you have image load problems is to go to the Google page speed insight page and test your site

https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/

If you are told to optimize your images, WP Smush will help.

pagespeed

What It Does

WP Smush losslessly (is that even a real word) compresses your images files.

Say again; WP Smush removes all the unnecessary stuff contained in your images files such as date and time stamps, device used to take a picture etc, there is a lot of meta data in an image that can be stripped out without affecting image quality, that is why it is lossless compression.

How It Does It

Once you have installed WP Smush a new menu item is added under media -> wp smush.

In there you can batch smush your existing images.

It’s a pretty slow process, so settle down for the long haul with a nice cup of the beverage of your choice.

The free version smushes 50 files per pass, the pro version smushes everything in one go.  I’m cheap so I just clicked the smush button 16 times.

Ongoing Smushing

As you add new image into your site, they are smushed automatically on upload so the initial bulk smush is a one off process.

The Result

Our clients site load speed increased a lot.

Performance tuning WordPress sites is a bit of a dark art not a science, with a mixture of cache plugins, CDNs, smushed images and decent hosting you can get great speed gains.

WP Smush is definitely now part of my tuning tool box.

Wrap Up

If you need help speeding up your WordPress site check out our maintenance plan, as a matter of course we optimize our clients site speed.

Photo Credit: Dorsetfella via Compfight cc

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  1. Maureen Storey
    September 13, 2015

    Really useful article Neil, thanks for sharing!