Here at BrowCo, we get excited about SEO and love to make our websites that we design compliant with what today’s search engines are looking for. One of the biggest challenges to overcome is page speed. Not only do search engines favor a fast loading site, but human interaction is really important as well. Nobody enjoys a slow loading site!
To check page speed, one of our favorite tools to use is GTmetrix. It is actually embarrassing to show this, but check out the results on our first test before optimization below.
Wow, those are horrible page speed results! After a few tweaks, we were able to get the score a little higher but our images still needed help. Immediately, we started looking around for a WordPress plugin that would do the dirty work. After trying a few plugins, we found that most were outdated and some simply just did not work.
Searching further, we came across a WordPress image optimizer plugin that finally saved the day. ShortPixel to the rescue! To our surprise, this plugin had it all. Its lightweight, very easy to install and most important of all, its free! The service is in Beta now, but a free subscription will be available after the official launch as well. On top of those features, we also were attracted to other promises from ShortPixel such as: image quality stays the same, automated compression, absolute data privacy, compresses all types of image formats, bulk optimizing, back and restore originals.
Say no more, this was the plug in for us. The first step was to sign up for a free account and wait for the API key to be emailed to you. While waiting on the email, we downloaded the image optimizer WordPress plugin and installed it on our site. The API key promptly arrived in our inbox and we applied it to the plugin. After that, it was time to choose our options. We decided to go with “Lossless compression” as we didn’t want to risk loosing any details in some of our images in our photography portfolio.
After the required options were chosen, we ran the bulk image tool. Because we had so many images that were in need of help, it took some time to run through the process. We knew that it would be worth the wait.
Once all the images were compressed, we ran another page speed test and the results are displayed below along with the ShortPixel stats that the plugin provides. As you can see, there was huge difference. I am sure that our server was wiping its brow and saying “Whew! Thank you!”.
Now that all of our existing images are optimized, the work is done. Any new images uploaded to the site will be automatically optimized and the bulk tool is no longer needed. Now, we can sleep at night knowing that our page speed is so much better thanks to the ShortPixel WordPress plugin! This is an excellent plugin for those that care about page speed, SEO and optimizing their sites to the fullest potential.