Plugin Highlight: Smush
We install Smush for WordPress on all our sites. This powerful plugin provides image compression, lazy loading, and so much more!
Free or paid version?
Smush is a free plugin that provides image optimization, and so much more. While they do have premium upgrades available in our opinion the free plugin is the way to go! Smush has been benchmarked and tested number one for speed and quality. It is also the award-winning, back-to-back proven crowd favorite image optimization & image compression plugin for WordPress.
What does it do?
The single, most important function Smush provides is increased website load speed. By optimizing and compressing your photos (without sacrificing the quality of the photos!) smush allows your website to load faster while maintaining the high-quality photos on your site! Large photos are a drain on web resources and can even cause pages to not load or produce time out errors.
Slow-loading websites are frustrating for everyone! The average load speed of a website is expected to be under 5 seconds nowadays. Smush is one of the plugins we use to speed up our sites. Want to know more? Check out this post!
Lazy Loading and Page Speed
Smush also enables the ability to lazy load your images. Normally when a user opens a webpage, the entire page’s contents are downloaded and rendered in a single go. While this allows the browser to cache the web page, there’s no guarantee that the user will actually view all of the loaded content.
For example, if an entire photo gallery is loaded but the user leaves after only viewing the first image, then the result is wasted memory and bandwidth.
Instead of bulk loading all of the content when the page is accessed, content can be loaded when the user accesses a part of the page that requires it. With lazy loading, pages are created with placeholder content which is only replaced with actual content when the user needs it. This means faster load time for the initial page visit!
But wait, there’s more!
Smush doesn’t just optimize jpg files, they optimize jpg, png, and gifs too! Even Pod Creative’s beloved image optimization site, tinyjpg.com can’t do Gifs. While this plugin may not seem like it does a lot, the boost in website load speed it provides is incredible. Recently when testing new plugins for their effectiveness in speeding up our site’s load speed, Smush knocked 5 seconds off the measurable website load speed. 5 seconds! That’s pretty darn incredible in our books.
One of the best features (Hannah may be a little bias) is the ability to bulk optimize photos. With the free version of Smush, you can optimize up to 50 photos at once saving time and improving load speed. Efficiency for the win!
We add Smush to all our sites! It’s an amazing plugin we can’t stop singing praises about. The incredible lossless compression technology is astounding, and the ability to smush up to 50 photos at a time makes batch smushing a dream!