Optimizing Images with WP Smush (Pro, Cons, and Alternatives)


Images can significantly slow down your website which is why it is essential to save all your images optimized for web. Recently one of our users asked us about the pros and cons of using a plugin like WP Smush. In this article, we will discuss the pros, cons, and alternatives of WP Smush for optimizing images in WordPress.

Image Optimization in WordPress

What is WP Smush?

WP Smush is a WordPress plugin that allows you to optimize images without losing quality.

Pros of WP Smush

WP Smush is very easy to use, and you can optimize your images on the fly as you upload them to your WordPress site.

For your older images you can go to Media » WP Smush to bulk smush 50 images at a time.

Bulk smush images

For beginners, it is an easy and simple way to optimize their images and improve their site performance.

Cons of WP Smush

The performance difference is not as significant as you can get with other methods.

For example, if you are uploading a 3 MB photograph to your WordPress site, then WP Smush reduces it by 10-20% without losing quality. It is still 2.4 to 2.7MB file, which is huge.

WP Smush gives you no control on how much you can optimize an image. While it does reduce the image file size, it is not the best solution.

WP Smush Alternatives

There are several other tools and WordPress plugins that allows you to optimize your images. These tools give you more control on how you want to optimize your images. This can result into even smaller file sizes and faster page loads.

EWWW Image Optimizer

ewww Image Optimizer

EWWW Image Optimizer is a WordPress plugin that optimize your images as you upload them. You can also optimize your previously uploaded images. It also allows you to convert file format, so that you can choose a format that gives a lower image size.

For example, if you are uploading a screenshot in PNG, then converting it to JPEG may result in a much smaller file size.


Imsanity allows you to bulk resize large images in WordPress. Unlike the plugins mentioned above, Imsanity allows you to choose a default maximum size for your images.

Imsanity plugin allows you to bulk resize large images in WordPress

You can choose default compression for jpeg images in WordPress. The plugin can also be used to automatically convert image file formats from BMP to JPEG, or PNG to JPEG.

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is the industry standard in image editing. It is a little expensive, but totally worth it. It comes with a built-in Save for Web option that allows you to save images optimized for the web.

Saving images for the web in Photoshop

The best part about it is that you can choose how much you want to optimize an image. You can choose compression level for JPEG images as well as choosing number of colors in PNG files.

It will also show you the image preview and file size as you adjust these settings.

Gimp is the free alternative to Photoshop. It may not look as pretty as Photoshop, but it can optimize your images for the web.

Exporting images in Gimp

Final Thoughts

Image optimization is best when done outside of WordPress. We have written a detailed tutorial that shows you how to optimize images for WordPress.

While you can use WP Smush or one of the WP Smush alternatives, you will not get as good results as tools like Photoshop, GIMP, JPEGMini, and TinyPNG.

That’s all we hope this article helped you learn optimizing images with WP Smush and its alternatives.

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