PAGE 1 – What happens when you upload an image to your WordPress website

PAGE 2 – What the default WordPress Media Library Settings mean to low performance

PAGE 3 – How to change the WordPress Media Library Settings for faster performance

PAGE 4 – Results of change and how the EWWW Image Optimizer recognizes it

When you upload a picture into the WordPress Media Library on your website, by default WordPress will save up to 4 different sizes of the same image. This means that though you uploaded only 1 image, WordPress is saving 4 images all at different sizes.

WHY IMAGE OPTIMIZATION IS IMPORTANT

When doing the Google PageSpeed Insights the one common culprit to slower website speed are the images saved and used on your website. If you are using a plugin like the EWWW Image Optimizer you will notice that after you optimize an image it will say how many sizes were compressed, see image below.

These sizes indicate how many images WordPress has saved in your Media Library. So when you optimize an image you are actually optimizing all 4 images. What are these 4 images and why are they created by default in WordPress?

In the top image above it said that 4 sizes compressed, reduced by 6.2%, for a total size of 9.4 KB saved. But what does that really mean? In the above image you can see the 4 image sizes that were compressed, and when you add their final savings, 5.6 KB + 2.6 KB + 731 B + 402 B, you get 9.4 KB.

Now fortunately before I upload images to my Media Library, I always reduce the size in Microsoft Paint. For this particular image it was already down to a memory size of 74.4 KB before EWWW optimized it by 7%. But there are 3 other image sizes WordPress has saved that were also optimized.

Nowhere on my website do I use these other sized images, so these 3 duplicate images of different sizes are taking up space in my Media Library and contributing to a less efficient overall website performance. How can this be easily resolved, especially if I have no intentions of using the other sizes of the image I uploaded? Read on.

NEXT UP = Why the default WordPress Media Library Settings contribute to slower website performance



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Joy3 Premium
Thank you for this. Never thought of this before but I am certainly going to need this as I continue to upload to me media library
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome. I have changed these settings for all of my websites so now I will not have all of those excess and unwanted images on my websites.
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nudge1969 Premium
Great trainng Robert.

Can you tell me something. I also size my images to 800x500 for feature images before uploading. However, I use Divi theme and the featured images on a blog roll are large by default. I have some code to make these images reduced by 40% on my home page blog roll.
So, I suppose they become thumbnails. I set my 'Media' sizes to 0,0,0 as you suggested. But I want these thumbnails created at the 40% size, which is approximately 320x200. So, do I set this size in the 'Media' setings or 'EWWW Image Optimizer' settings?
I also have all these sizes in my EWWW 'Resize Setting' tab.
et-pb-post-main-image - 400x250
et-pb-post-main-image-fullwidth - 1080x675
et-pb-portfolio-image - 400x284
et-pb-portfolio-module-image - 510x382
et-pb-portfolio-image-single - 1080x9999
et-pb-gallery-module-image-portrait - 400x516
et-pb-post-main-image-fullwidth-large - 2880x1800

I assume I should also tick 'Disable Creation' checkbox for all these.

Any advice would be grateful.
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boomergp08 Premium
Wow. I do not bother to resize so many different images. I just optimize the images as much as possible using MS Paint prior to uploading into the Media Library.

Then I let the default EWWW Image Optimizer plugin settings further optimize what I upload. It's a simple approach and does an effective job.

But if you feel that what you are doing in needed for your website, I would set the image sizes in EWWW and not the Media Library.
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nudge1969 Premium
I think you misunderstood. I don't want all these image sizes. They appear under 'EWWW'. I think my Theme chooses these sizes. See attached image. There's the option to disable them.
I only want the original size and the thumbnail size. I just want to know which section I'd add the image size in. 'Media settings' or 'EWWW settings'?
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boomergp08 Premium
Oh.

I do not bother with those settings and leave all of the check boxes blank.

When setting up the EWWW Image Optimizer plugin it is not necessary to make many changes to the settings.

Just install and activate. Then the only settings that are worth it is under Basic Settings where it says,

"This will remove ALL metadata: EXIF, comments, color profiles, and anything else that is not pixel data."

and under Advanced Settings where is says "Enable Embedded Help"

Other than those two check boxes, leave all others unchecked, especially if your theme chooses the sizes to use. To enable the sizes you want, set them in the Media Settings.
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nudge1969 Premium
Awesome, thanks.
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome.
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Happy2Learn Premium
Thanks Robert.

I have a question for you.

I am heavy user of images in my posts. I regularly aim for an image every 150-200 words.

I am running All in One SEO and downloaded EWWW image optimiser.

A number of senior members here at WA HATE EWWW and believe that it crashes websites. They seem very strong with their criticisms of this application.

You seem to still be using it. What is your #1 go to image optimiser plug in that you use?
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boomergp08 Premium
I haven't had any problems with EWWW and it is not only recommended by Kyle and Carson, but it is also automatically installed on every website built here at WA.
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Happy2Learn Premium
Thank you for getting back ro me. I appreciate that. Cheers
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome and it was my pleasure to pass that information on to you.
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LaurenCook Premium
So glad I found this information early on in my training! Do you have a favorite size for images? Kyle suggested "large". Everything looks good on my desktop but noticed stretched and missing images on mobile. I have EWWW and recently installed the AMP plug-in but haven't finished setting up anything but the basic settings in AMP. Maybe that's the reason. IYO what are the five plug-ins to have?
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boomergp08 Premium
I agree with Kyle on the size and I will go no smaller than medium. I have not seen any problems with images on mobile with my websites. The problem you might be having could be from your theme.

Fully responsive themes most times will resize the images properly for mobile devices, but some themes tend to be slightly off. I am not sure about the AMP plugin because I do not use it.

As for the 5 plugins, it all depends on your specific needs. But there are 3 that all of my websites have. The All in One SEO Pack, EWWW Image Optimizer, and a Social Media Sharing plugin.
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LaurenCook Premium
Thanks Robert!
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome.
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stawhu Premium
i am just getting started and I saw your article on promotion of WA in niche website that you expanded from sharonwhyte. I then saw that you had other training subject matter the one I went to first was the save image memory to keep site speed optimized. Both very informative and noted in my WA learning references so i can look them up as I get my site going . I checked and on my windows 10 I have paint 3d. Is this much different from paint as you know it? Thank you for your consideration , stawhu
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boomergp08 Premium
I too have Windows 10 but not Paint 3D which I believe came with a Creator Update to Windows 10. From the looks of it Paint 3D looks like it would do the same as regular Paint but with just more options.
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stawhu Premium
Thank you ,i am not up to date with all the apps , and addons that can be used to put things together for a website. Basically i lucky to get out an email. it took me 5 minutes or longer to find where your answer was to the question i asked and now i am sure it will take that long the next time i get an answer, but i will learn.. thanks again Scott
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome. It gets easier the more you interact.
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KGleeson Premium
Hi, this is great training and went to use it straight away but I have the same problem as Tania below. I went to Media Settings and changed all the images sizes to 0 and unchecked the marked box. I deleted a photo, then uploaded it again and when I went to Media Library the new upload had 3 compressions? Anyway around this? Am sure I did it right.
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boomergp08 Premium
Did you save your new settings? And when you deleted the image, did you click the red "Permanently Delete" link for that image in the media library?
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KGleeson Premium
Hello, yes I did, when I go back in, the new settings are still there and I did click the red delete link for the image. What I have since noticed is that there is no longer a choice of sizes - just like you showed us - which is great. When I go into the dashboard then into Media, then library, under the image optimiser column, it was listing the amount of sizes compressed. Have done a few more since then and the size is down to 1 now. Thanks for your training and your help
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome Kim. Happy to have helped.
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StefanieT Premium
Hi and thanks for the training, it's yet another thing I had no idea about. Just one question though, I am now using the images that WA have put onto their content platform. Does this mean I won't need to worry about all of this now, as apparently they are already optimised?
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boomergp08 Premium
This setting change has nothing to do with images being optimized. When you upload an image on to your website, WordPress is saving up to 3 duplicate copies in various sizes.

This means that when you upload 1 image on your website WordPress is saving 4 of them, which takes up more space because you will only use one of the 4.

By changing the media library settings to 0 you will now only save the 1 image you upload and avoid saving 3 duplicates you will most likely never use.

So this settings change will work with the images from WA and anywhere else.
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RD40 Premium
Great training Robert. I have already made the changes to my media settings. Perhaps this will solve an issue I've been having with double urls showing up in the Serps. When people click on this double url link, it brings them to my site with a post of a picture, but no content. So i've been doing 301 redirects to bring them to the original content when they click on it. Are you familiar with this issue Robert?
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boomergp08 Premium
Thank you. I am happy you liked my training tutorial.

That is an interesting problem you are having. Once you get that image fixed, let me know if having only one sized image instead of duplicates, makes a difference. I would like to know.

You will however probably have to do another fetch as Google of that particular post and wait a couple of days to see if the change in the image has fixed the problem or not.
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RD40 Premium
Thanks Robert. I will make the change and monitor it over the next few days. I will definitely let you know when I can. Thanks again!

Ralph
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome Ralph
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Judy-B Premium
I changed the settings in the Media Settings. I have the EWWW plugin installed a while back. So I still have to delete and reload images I already have?

Also do the images added in the new Content feature take care of size automatically or do they need to be fixed too.

Thank you for this training, Robert. Wish I would have known this before I had so many images. :)
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome Judy.

As for images already uploaded there are no up to date plugins I know of that will cleanup the unwanted image sizes in your media library.

So going back and deleting then uploading the image again will fix the issue, but could take some time depending on how many images you have.

For me this is a process I will take my time with because it is not something that needs to get done right away. This is more of a cleanup that can happen over the course of time.

As for all future images you upload, just upload images that are pre-optimized to a size close to how you will use it in your website.

Then if you have the EWWW Image Optimizer installed, or another similar plugin, the image you upload will be further optimized automatically before being saved in the media library.

Did I answer your questions enough?
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Judy-B Premium
Yes, you did. Sounds good to me. Thank you for taking the time. Guess I will do the same and delete and upload as time allows. :)
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome.
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teddae Premium
What plugin do you recommend for Option#1? I have a new site that is almost developed... on a non-template, custom-made WP platform which I have learned is the correct way to avoid guaranteed problems with site performance as your site grows in content and images... and get your site on a VPN Server of course. You don't want your site contaminated by anyone else on your SHARED server like happened to me.

Anyway, I'd like to add a well-known and recommended plugin to my current site as a test to see how it works in removing 2/3 (not actually of course) of my Library. I really don't care what happens to this site version as it will be replaced in a week or so.
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boomergp08 Premium
I only know of one plugin but it is outdated and has not been updated in over two years. WordPress does not recommend its use. Option 2 is still the best option, at least for me.
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teddae Premium
Roger
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teddae Premium
Thanks Boomer! This is what I call an EXTREMELY HIGH IMPACT post. Are you the 1st one in WA history to solve this problem for us? WA should have a HIGH IMPACT medalion for posts like this. Awesome, I've been dealing with Image Library (needs WP re-design) problems ever since I can remember. WHAT A NICE GUY!
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome Ted. I believe that no one else here at WA has done this training before.
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KelseyLim Premium
Hi Rob, Thanks for the informative training on keeping the image size down to a minimum in the WP media library. I didn't realize that the default setting can be set to zero which not only space but also speed. I certainly agree with you that it is better to go through the hassle to resize each image than to install another plugin which may affect the page speed. [Kelsey]
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boomergp08 Premium
You are welcome Kelsey. After using the EWWW Image Optimizer I noticed that it would show that it optimized 3 or 4 sizes of the same image. Then I realized that these were duplicates created by WordPress when we upload images. Changing the settings to 0 worked in stopping WP from duplicating the images.
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