Why use an image optimization plugin?
There are of course many online tools that allow us to upload our images online and then to WordPress: it’s a double effort that can take a lot of time if we are working with a large number of image files.
A WordPress image optimizer such as Imagify, not only compresses our images on load, but can also perform bulk optimization for all files already in our WordPress media library.
Another aspect to consider is the cost of using an online tool: most of them are free, but sometimes the best features are only available to premium users. However, if the tool is 100% free, the possibilities for optimization are minimal.
Another advantage is that Imagify can work and optimize our images in synergy with WP Rocket, thanks to a partnership between these two companies. It is therefore particularly effective to use the Lazy Load feature to improve the performance and SEO of our website.
1. Create a free account
We can create an account for free by going to the Imagify site. It is also possible to go directly to the WordPress administration panel, then click on Plugins, then Add New. We must type “Imagify” in the search field, and we can then install and then activate the plugin.
It is also possible to download the plugin directly from the wordpress.org site. All that remains is to go to the WordPress administration panel, then click on Plugins, then Add New, and download the ZIP file without decompressing it.
For those who have the WP Rocket plugin, you can install Imagify by going to the “image optimization” tab.
We then see this notification appear:
We only need to enter an email, no other personal information will be requested. Once the email address has been sent, we will receive a response containing our login information. After clicking on the activation link and logging in, we will have access to the Imagify control panel.
2. Enter your API key
Authentication is done using an API key. This can be found in the activation email we received.
After copying the API key, we can go back to our original page and click on the I HAVE MY API KEY button. This brings up a dialog box with an entry to add our API key. Once this API key is entered, we should see a note that says “Congratulations! Your API key is valid. You can now configure Imagify settings to optimize your images.”
It is possible to optimize 20MB of images per month for free, which is around 200 images per month, and if you want to be able to optimize more images, there is only a paid plan: the price is $9.99 per month for unlimited access. In case of annual payment, this option provides 2 months free: the plugin will cost $99.9 per year, or $8.33 per month.
Now we have access to the general Imagify settings, and we can note that we have credit for being able to optimize the images on our website.
1- Three image optimization options are offered to us: Normal, Aggressive, Ultra. If we don’t want any drop in quality, we have to choose the Normal mode. However, Aggressive mode is the recommended one as it will work in most situations. It will be really very difficult to notice the slightest difference in quality. Ultra mode uses a maximum level of optimization, allowing a massive saving in image size, but there will be a small loss in quality in return. It is possible to use a visual comparison tool directly on the Imagify website.
2- Option to automatically optimize each image that we will send to WordPress. If we want to save space on our server, we must also uncheck the “Save original images” box. It should be ensured in this case that we always store a copy of the original image on our computer because it will be impossible to recover these images afterwards.
3- Option “Keep all the EXIF data of your images”. EXIF data is information stored in photos such as: lens aperture, exposure, ISO, etc.
4- Options “Optimization in WebP format” and “Create WebP versions of your images”. These are the two settings that will allow images to be displayed in WebP format on our website (unless you use a specific WordPress plugin for this). The first option adds rewrite rules to the site configuration file (.htaccess) and does not alter the code of your pages. The second option replaces tags by beacons
5- Then we go to the “Resize larger images” parameter, which allows to automatically resize large images, by setting a maximum dimension. To avoid a drop in the quality of the images, it is generally advisable to set this value to about twice the dimensions that we will use for the images. You can also disable this feature by unchecking the box if necessary.
6- Optimization of the WordPress theme in use.
7- Finally, it is possible to choose to optimize certain formats generated by WordPress and to exclude others. Each additional image format will affect the monthly usage quota.
Once these settings have been made, click on “Save & go to Bulk Optimization”. Then we just have to check the information and click on the “IMAGIF’EN ALL” button to optimize the images.
what are the results?
In a previous article, I tested WP Rocket. Here are the performances obtained after configuring this plugin:
And now here is my website performance after installing and configuring Imagify:
These results are really excellent, knowing that we are talking about an already optimized site. In conclusion, I can only recommend the use of Imagify, especially since it allows you to easily create an account and optimize a number of images for free.
What is the WebP format?
The WebP format offers superior compression and image quality and is a way to optimize images and speed up their loading times on websites.
Why optimizing images improves SEO?
Images are one of the primary factors Google considers when measuring Core Web Vitals. Image compression will ensure that your images load faster and improve the overall performance of your website.
What is Lazy Loading?
Thanks to Lazy Loading, the videos and images will only be displayed gradually following the navigation made by the user, when necessary. This way, your website performance is improved, especially for websites with multiple embedded videos and high resolution images. This feature, complementary to image compression, is offered by WP Rocket.