How to Automatically Compress Images for Website Speed

Last Update: Sep 11, 2018

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Google has many things that it looks for when deciding where your website ranks within their search results. It is important that you to focus on all of these. One of Google's top ranking factors is website speed. To understand and simplify the many complexities of understanding website speed, it is easiest to look at what is actually slowing down your website.

Why Website Speed Matters.

I think that you can appreciate the fact that anything that hurts your rankings in search engines, hurts your business. Your website speed is obviously one of these.

The reality of this is much deeper than 'Google not liking it' though. Google makes decisions based on their users. If their users suffer from a lower quality experience, it hurts them. Thus, they punish websites for a variety of reasons.

The Main Speed Traps to Watch Out For.

With Wordpress websites (which you are building here), there are only a few main culprits to speed lag. They are as follows.

  1. Poorly Optimized Images. The most common load issue is images. People tend to use images in their exact state, and then upload them directly to their website. The problem is that many of these are not optimized for websites, high resolution files which can take a long time to load (and prevent the rest of your website from loading). Thus, images need to be compressed before you put the on your website or they will cause load issues, ranking issues, and hurt your overall potential.
  2. Low Quality Hosting. Also, known as budget hosting, you typically get what you pay for in the hosting world. Most "cheapo" web hosts will actually throttle your service if you get any amount of traffic to your website, or require you to upgrade to a new server.
  3. Code/JavaScript Loads. Many websites/software platforms will require you to install code so they can verify ownership of our website or in many cases, for tracking purposes. This is common place in the affiliate marketing space for verification, but is also very common with analysis and tracking tools like Google Analytics, Google Console, and various other specialized tracking and linking platforms.
  4. CPU Intensive Plugins. There are many plugins out there that are complete CPU hogs, some so much so that they can drag an entire hosting server down. Also, each plugin that you put on your website will incrementally add load to your website, so be careful about "overuse" of plugins, in particular if you are using plugins for the sake of "cool", not practicality. The plugin world is not a controlled one
  5. Theme Issues. Although rare, themes can be a culprit for website lag. Sometimes a theme can be poorly designed and have "required" widgets that cause a lot of servers lag. If you have an issue with a theme, it will be apparent.
  6. Serving Videos Directly on Website. You should NEVER be putting videos on your hosting, you should be using a specialized video hosting service to serve videos on your website (like Amazon AWS), or you should be uploading your videos to Youtube/Vimeo and then embedding them. It is not good practice to upload videos directly to your website.

SiteContent Compression Technology.

We have solved most of these plugin issues for you here at WA through advanced technology that we have developed, as well as training and creating awareness platforms that let you know where your website speed issues are, and why it is happening.

The first thing we have done is created a platform that is internal to SiteContent that compresses all of your images using some most advanced compression technologies available. When you publish your content through SiteContent, all images within your content will automatically be compressed in several sizes and formats, which will then be rendered appropriately according to the type of page your website loads (mobile, tablet, desktop). This is bleeding edge stuff and there are companies out there charging JUST for this technology, but it is completely integrated and included into SiteContent's publish feature for all Premium members.

*Note: When you upload content directly within your back-office, you are not leveraging the state-of-the-art compression technology available to you within SiteContent. As a result, your website speeds will slow drastically. I don't recommend uploading images directly within Wordpress as they inherently do a bad job of compressing images on their own.

Some Good Plugins if You Are Going To Directly Upload

Image compression plugins are NOT required if you are publishing your content through SiteContent, but you certainly should be leveraging them if you are uploading images directly through your Wordpress back office.

There are plugins that can help you with your load times of images on your website, but you need to be careful about the plugins you choose because some can add a significant load to your website. It is counterproductive to choose a plugin that will actually slow down your website, when you are using the same plugin to speed it up. Thus, I have a few recommendations.

1. EWWW Image Optimizer

From all of our testing, this was the best plugin. We actually install this plugin with ALL website installs here at WA. It is a good plugin.

This plugins is very easy to install, set-up and use. It will optimize your images as you upload them, so there isn't an independent process to do that with every image upload.

You can also "bulk" optimize feature if you install the EWWW plugin after you have published pages, and it will optimize all existing media files on your website. There are "up sell" features associated with this plugin, but they are certainly not a requirement.

2. is also a great plugin for image compression, on the scale of effectiveness I would say this plugin goes hand-in-hand terms of quality with EWWW. It also allows you to automatically optimize your images (post install), and it has the same bulk feature to optimize older images that you had uploaded to your website.

It doesn't offer different compression sizes, which can be a downfall. This is something that is offered to you within the SiteContent image technology, as we offer various sizes depending on the device that is used.

3. Compress JPEG & PNG images

Compress JPEG & PNG is a plugin created by the team over at TinyPNG. The instant downside to this plugin is that you need to create an account with them in order to use it. You are also limited to 100 images each month to optimize, which is sufficient for most websites, but for those that create image intensive content it won't be adequate and you will be required to upgrade.

A few of the features that I like are the image size settings (which you can control) and you can set that maximize upload size for your original uploads. Images that are larger than the max size, will automatically be sized to an appropriate size by the Compress plugin.

It is still a great plugin option, but the image compression limits can really be annoying if you are actively building out your website.

PageSpeed Insights, Find Out Load Issues

I have you are having loading issue with your website or you are finding page speed lag, then you definitely want to consider leveraging the PageSpeed Insights platform that you have access to here as a Premium member.

The PageSpeed Insights platform allows you to pinpoint your load issues on your website on a per page basis. It will outline which images are representing the biggest issues, as well as provide you with an instant look into your "Google" rankings.

If you go to the Websites => SiteManager tab:

You will notice that there is a "Details" button. You will want to click that (as shown below) and this will take you to the page where you have all sorts of features related to your website, including the PageSpeed Insights platform.

If you scroll down to the PageSpeed Insights section, you will be able to 'Check' (if you haven't done a check before), or you will be able to "Refresh" to check again.

If you click the "G" it will take you to Google where you will be able to assess the issues.

My problem with this particular post is in fact images, because I added them after the fact! If I added them through SiteContent, they would have been compressed and much more optimized.

So it is very important and beneficial to create your content within the SiteContent platform here. Not only is it an amazing writing too, it is going to allow you to fully optimize your images and your website load speeds (which help with rankings, as well as conversions).

Anyways, there you have it. I wanted to open up a conversation on the major culprits of a slow loading website and how to automatically compress images on your website using the tools and services that you have access to as Premium member here at WA.

I would love to hear your comments, feedback or questions. Please leave them below.

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Recent Comments


This is a great post Kyle thank you. I was not using Site Content most of the time and now I will.

I just thought I would add some further advice to fellow WA members since we are talking about images. This is to title your images BEFORE uploading them to site support or directly to the wordpress gallery. I thought re titling them in the gallery area was enough. But google still see's the old file name, whatever it was before you upload it. If it's nicely named already, then your golden.

Please save yourself a lot of grief from my mistake of not titling my images ahead of download! In my case, on one of my websites, I sell product, Antique books to be exact. My theme is store front, woocomerce. It allows you to have a lot of gallery images next to your product description. I uploaded about a dozen books, each with about 15 - 20 images without pre- titling them.

I asked the WA community why my images were not showing up in google image searches. I found out that the problem is that google doesn't like images that are not titled. If it see's long-number file name then that isn't SEO friendly. Google detects whatever the file name is of the image prior to your upload, even if you re title it in the wordpress gallery title and alt text section. In my case, it was a long string of digits for each image, AGAIN, NOT SEO-friendly!

Unfortunately, the only way to fix this was to delete each image one by one, re title them prior to upload, and re upload them.

I had two choices, I could have left them like that and just made sure in all future posts I uploaded correctly, or fix each image one by one. The latter is a huge pain in the ass but then google will rank my page better. Also a lot of people use google images to search for product, I do with antique books, this way my books will show up in google images and that may draw more people to my site.

Since we were talking about images I thought this might help a few folks. I'm still going crazy re titling and re uploading all mine, so thought throwing this out there was on subject and perhaps helpful.

I'm not someone with really any website building background skills, so i have to ask the WA community for a lot of advice and constantly have questions as I learn, so please if anyone else has anything else to add with this post, feel free! I just wanted to help prevent someone else from possibly making my mistake.

Thank you great and wonderful leader. Now how about bringing your wife, daughter and of course yourself for a wonderful dinner. Meal of choice, drink of choice, and favorite food and toy for young lady. Just give me a call or e-mail. I need a week to prepare an exquisite meal. Oh and by the way, could you spend some time on my computer, just a few, ok a lot of things I need fixed on my website.

Hi Kyle, I am currently building a new site, I usually use SiteContent but decided to give Gutenberg a shot, so I am creating content in the backend of the website. Will SiteContent catch up to Gutenberg so I can return to it?

In what respects do you like Gutenberg. What is on your wishlist for SiteContent?

I have not had a lot of experience with Gutenberg but I do really like how easy it is for adding titles, paragraphs and photos. As you write out your content the choices are to your left constantly, you don't have to go back up to the top. Another feature, that I have not tried, is if you write a special paragraph in one post, it is easy to include it in other posts. That is all I have learned to date. I would love to still write out of SiteContent because it keeps track of your writing goals, but I think I like the Gutenberg editor. I guess it is like "having cake and eating it to" dilema.

I have to go over things more than twice anyway, so thanks for the revision.

I don’t use Site Content as my theme is Divi, which uses modules to build post content. I took advantage of a lifetime deal through Appsumo for using ShortPixel. I find the largest compression type losses too much quality, so I use their Glossy compression (intermediate). Seems to do a decent job. Anyone else had experience with ShortPixel?

Proper compression should be able to retain quality and should export in many different sizes so your website doesn't load a bigger size than it needs to (depending on the device). This is what SiteContent handles for.

If your PageSpeed scores are good, and you are using the Glossy compression, not to be concerned.

Thanks Kyle. Just another question. You mention not to upload videos to WordPress, totally understandable. What about GIF files? Say I record a 10-15 second video of how something is implemented and then convert this to a GIF. I assume this has to be uploaded to WP?

I now do more in Site content so it is great to know the images are optimized best there. Great to know as always, you guys have the best intent and tools for us all to have the best websites!!
Thanks Kyle

We surely do and you are likely to see many more significant advancements on the hosting side of things as we move forward.

The SiteSpeed and the security elements just got a huge upgrade last week, but we are never going to be content. We know we can continue to push the boundaries of technology and lead the industry in the hosting space.

Great info! Thank you!

I don't know if it's just me but I think you might have copy and pasted twice because it seems your content is repeated in this post.

I do most my writing within Site content and it is great to know this happens automatically - Really great and so is my site speed
Thanks for sharing

Yes, and it is important to note that it much better to create a process to compress pictures along with every post you publish. Instead of having to go back edit hundreds of published posts just to reduce the image.

I personally use photoshop to compress my images to start with really small sizes before they are optimized in SiteContent.

Just a quick note Kyle about the post - I think you have duped content here. Looks like your post is repeated twice from top to bottom.



Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Kyle!

I have a question - when adding images through SiteContent, do these images still appear in Google images?

I think that even though images were in the post itself, there weren't shown in media section of Wordpress so I thought that they won't show up in Google's images search.

P.S. Just a friendly feedback: your text was pasted twice.

You know, I have noticed that Zarina. I have had to go and re-upload all photos in WP backend to actually show the images hosted on my domain and not on AWS, which is what WA uses. I'll be interested in feedback here.

I do not use SiteContent but just checked, added an image in a post within SiteContent and published. Then checked in the media library and it was there and it was optimized automatically as Kyle was saying. Not sure what you mean by media section.

To your question - if you have images in settings for indexing, then they should be indexed by Google.

Well, I didn't see those images when SiteContent just rolled out maybe now they do appear in the media library. (Or maybe it was my theme or something).

Generally my images do get indexed but again when I first published through SiteContent a while ago, I didn't see those images get indexed (it's very possible I just missed it).

Just wanted to confirm with Kyle/WA members. Thanks your response Jovo!

It hasn’t always been that way. I had previously published posts with no photos showing in my site map but yet did have images uploaded via SiteContent. Perhaps they fixed it.

Seems like it, Kim, thanks for your input!

Cannot say more as I do not use this feature.

Cannot say more, I do not use it in general. But just try it now, that is what I did out of curiosity.

Good to know thanks.

Until recently all the pictures I used in site content transferred over to WP media library automatically when published.

I'm currently experiencing issues with that not happening! Perhaps they're going through a problem at the moment.

Kyle might be able to clarify?

Might have to ask this question again so that it comes on top. (My comment was one of the first ones and I doubt Kyle will have time to scroll all the way down.)

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