Having a fast loading website has many benefits for both you as a website owner and your visitors. Slow site speeds have been shown to not only degrade the user experience, leading to reduced conversion rates and higher bounce rates, but it can also negatively affect the position of your website in the search engines results pages.
While upgrading to a high performance web host is a quick and effective way to improve website loading times, there is also a free plugin you can install on your WordPress website which can help your pages load faster.
That plugin is WP Smush.it and in this post we will be taking a look to see how it can help you effortlessly optimize your images to avoid frustrating your visitors with slow loading content.
Why Use WP Smush.it to Automatically Optimize Your Images
As mentioned, WP Smush.it is a free plugin for WordPress. This plugin integrates your WordPress website with the Yahoo Smush.it service to ensure that any photos and other images you upload to your website are as small as possible in terms of file size.
This results in web pages that load faster, without any reduction in image quality. This is all achieved without you having to do anything beyond installing the free plugin.
Now each time you add a new image to the WordPress media library, it will be run through the Smush.it service for a reduced file size, without any visible loss in image quality. One of the other great things about this plugin is that it can optimize all of the existing images on your site without you having to re-upload them.
How to Use WP Smush.it on Your Website
As the WP Smush.it plugin is free to use, it can be installed on your site directly from the WordPress plugin directory
To do so, log into your site’s admin area (http://yoursite.com/wp-login.php) and then navigate to Plugins > Add New using the sidebar menu.
From the Add Plugins screen, enter ‘wp smush.it’ in the search field and then install the first item listed in the results.
Once the plugin has been installed and activated it will run in the background and whenever a new image file is added to your website, it will be optimized to load as fast as possible, without any loss in quality.
The settings for the plugin can be found on the Media pages under the Settings menu on the WordPress admin dashboard. From there you can choose to use the default setting of automatically processing images on upload or not.
If you would like to optimize any of the existing images that have been previously uploaded to your WordPress website, you can do so from the Bulk Smush.it page, located under the Media menu on the admin dashboard area.
From this page you can choose to run all your existing images through the Smush.it service to reduce their file size and therefore improve their loading times.
By using this free plugin and image optimization service you can ensure that all existing and future images that you use on your website will be as fast loading as possible.
This can not only make your website and its pages load faster, but it can also help reduce the amount of bandwidth your site uses and how much data your visitors need to transfer in order to view your content.
While there are many ways to speed up your website, the free WP Smush.it plugin is one effortless way you can do so.
If you have any questions about using this plugin, please leave a comment below.