Premium users of WP-Optimize can now access a new feature called ‘user-specific cache’. When you activate the user-specific cache option, it allows you to cache specific content for individual users on your membership site, such as a partially completed online course.
How does it work?
If a user has logged into your site and purchased an online course for example, the main content of the site will only be available when logged in. When using user specific cache, the participants of the course will benefit from faster loading pages as the content has been cached to their account. If they were not logged in, this would not be the case.
Studies have shown that using this type of user-specific cache results in a much faster and better user experience, which in turn can potentially lead to further sales and interactions. Many websites that offer courses such as SkillShare and Udemy use this type of caching to help improve the user experience.
User specific cache can be turned on with just a tick of a box.
If you have a very popular site with many users, please be aware that this could result in a large amount of files, which could require a hosting package that can handle the extra demand.
When using WP-Optimize’s cache preloader feature, the user specific cache will not be created. But, the preloader will only cache the pages which non-logged in users see. The user specific content will be generated when the logged in user visits the pages (and they will see that cached page only when visiting that page again)
How to setup WP-Optimize. Once you have installed and activated the free version of WP-Optimize, you can learn how to set it up and for current and future use in just a minute or so. By setting up and carrying out these tasks, it can help your site to improve its speed and ranking score, as slow sites will suffer badly in search engine rankings if they are not routinely optimized.
Just follow the simple instructions in the below video to help continually optimize your site’s databases, images, caching and minify settings using the free version of WP-Optimize.
The latest updates for WP-Optimize 3.1.7 have now been released – including the preload key request feature. We have taken a lot of time and effort to launch these new improvements and hope that they further help improve users’ experience of WP-Optimize.
When aiming to improve the speed of your WordPress site using WP-Optimize, one of the new features we have released with this update is the ability to preload key requests. Preload key works by using an audit to identify which resources to preload on your WordPress site. The browser will then preload resources so they are available immediately when needed, preventing eventual waiting time later on, making your site load faster. Google’s pagespeed insights will often suggest preloading the requests to font files and other assets as a speed improvement:
With the latest WP-Optimize Premium release, you now have the ability to manually add any resource you want to be preloaded:
As can be seen in the Google PageSpeed insight test, preloading key requests can result in massive time savings when visitors are loading your site.
In order to get the URL to add to WP-Optimize, just right click on the resource and copy the URL:
Next, past the URL in the ‘New Asset’ box of the ‘Preload key requests / assets’ section of WP-Optimize and press ‘Add’.
The URL you added you will be added to your preload key requests.
The updates to WP-Optimize 3.1.7 also includes the following:
FEATURE: Premium – Preload key requests (Preload fonts and other assets)
FIX: Detecting Brotli compression issue
FIX: Cache – PHP Warning in URLs to exclude from caching
Many websites can accumulate hundreds, if not thousands of images over time. Having all these images on your site in their original uncompressed format can cause frustratingly slow website loading speeds, which can impact on a website’s user experience, bounce rate and SEO performance.
One of the best ways you can improve the speed of your site is by optimizing your images using WP-Optimize. This process, which is commonly known as ‘smush’ or ‘smushing’ allows users to optimize, compress and resize all the images on a website, potentially saving many MB per image and improving loading speeds. This feature is available on both the free and premium versions of WP-Optimize.
How to optimize your images
Once you have installed the WP-Optimize plugin, click on WP-Optimize>Images in your WordPress dashboard. Now you can decide what level of compression you would like to have for your images. There are 3 options:
Prioritize maximum compression
Prioritize retention of detail
By prioritizing ‘maximum compression’, the more space you can save and the quicker your website will load due to it now having smaller and quicker loading images. However, if you run a wedding photography website for example, you may not want to compress your images fully as there can be a slight drop in image quality the more an image is compressed. While the loss in quality is hardly noticeable for most people and is not a consideration for most websites, if high end quality images are important to you, then you should prioritize ‘retention of detail’. This option will still save reduce the image file size (though not as much as ‘maximum compression’), but will maintain the high quality of the original. You can also select ‘custom’, if you would like to format your images to a level that is not quire maximum compression of best image quality.
Below the settings options, you will see all the uncompressed images that have been uploaded to your website. Here, you can manually select individual images you wish to compress, or press the “Select All” button if you want to compress all the images to the same level. As previously mentioned, if you have high quality images that you do not wish to fully compress alongside other images that may not be so important, you can individually select them and run a ‘maximum retention of detail’ compression. You are then able to run the ‘maximum compression’ option on the remaining images.
WP-Optimize also gives you ‘advanced options’ when compressing your images. Here you can choose option such as:
Preserve EXIF data – Handy for professional photographers that may require the EXIF data at a future date.
Backup original images – Don’t worry if you make a mistake or want to revert back to the original image. WP-Optimize gives you the option to retain a backup.
Automatically delete image backups – Once you have compressed your images, you can set a date for when you want your backup images deleted. This helps prevent your site from storing large original files that are no longer needed.
Delete all backup images now – If you are happy with the results and want to delete all your backed-up images, just press this button and WP-Optimize will do the rest.
Mark all images as uncompressed – Use this option if you want to compress your images again, or make further changes.
Restore all compressed images – If you decide that you no longer want your images compressed or have made a mistake and still the original in your media library, you can restore all of your compressed images to their original state.
Once you have set up and decided what kind of image compression you are happy with, you can tick the “Automatically compress newly-added images” button so that you do not have to go through the process every time you upload a new image. Once you activate this option, every new image you upload will be compressed according to the settings you have chosen (compression or detail).
As mentioned in our previous preview blog, we have been hard at work developing a new image compression tool for the latest WP-Optimize 2.3.0 (free + paid) release. Our image compression service is an easy to use and handy imaging tool that allows you to quickly and easily optimise, compress and resize images on your website.
How the image compression option will look in WP-Optimize
As unnecessarily large website images can cause frustratingly slow website loading speeds, we identified the need for a new image compression tool within WP-Optimize. Large images can impact on a websites user experience, bounce rate and SEO performance, but with our new image compression options you can improve these factors without compromising quality.
How Image Compression Works
By using the best-in-class Lossy and Lossless compression techniques; WP-Optimize can offer massive savings in image file size and saves the new compressed file in your image library.
If you have a lot of images on your website, you can also use our bulk editing option to compress as many images as you want at the same time – or even set-up ‘Auto-Compress’, which enables you to set WP-Optimize to automatically compress your images as and when they are uploaded.
In order to achieve big savings and increase speed, WP-Optimize gives you the option of choosing either Lossy or Lossless image compression. When using image compression methods, you may find that there may be a slight loss in image quality, but rest assured it will hardly even be noticeable. The Lossy compression method can achieve greater space savings when compared to Lossless, but Lossless compression allows you to keep file data and the original image quality.
For more information on the difference between Lossy and Lossless compression and what kind of results you can expect with WP-Optimize, be sure to check out our in-depth recent blog on this subject.
WP-Optimize doesn’t limit you and will let you work with your favourite kind of images, allowing you to compress NG, JPG, GIF, BMP and TIF pictures up to 5mg in size. Our image optimisation service even allows you to backup your original files so you can quickly restore them in case you make a mistake or need the original full quality image.
You can also be assured that should you wish to remove the WP-Optimize plugin for whatever reason, your compressed images will remain unaffected, allowing you to keep all your new and original content and maintain full control over your website.
Be sure to let us know any feedback comments you may have in the comment section below.
With the launch of WP-Optimize’s new smushing image compression feature, many people may be unaware of the advantages and disadvantages of the Lossy and Lossless compression methods. This blog will explain in detail what kind of results and savings you can expect to achieve with each compression format.
The most popular image compression for most users is Lossy, which can be categorized as achieving greater space saving compression (compared to Lossless), but losses some of the data and image quality from the original image in the compression process. While you can save more data with Lossy, the data saving isn’t completely without cost, as with increased compression comes a slight increased degradation in the image quality and the inability to you reverse the compression, which results in the permanent loss of file metadata.
You should choose the Lossy method of compression If you are purely trying to reduce the size of your images and save data. But remember that the advantage of smaller files will be tempered by the small reduction in quality in your images and the permanent loss of metadata.
This isn’t to say that your new compressed image will resemble a digital camera photo from 2002 however. The image will still be very high quality and present as a professional and clear image, but you may start to get some compression artefacts appear with high levels of compression.
With Lossy compression enabled, the below image was compressed from 230.26 KB to 64.92 KB, giving an almost 75% reduction in size.
Original JPEG image
How image looks converted with Lossy compression
Original image zoomed in 300%
Lossy image zoomed in 300% – 230.26 KB to 64.92 KB, a 75% reduction in size
Pro – Can reduce the images to small sizes and save lots of file data, making your website load quicker and perform better. Con – The smaller you make the file size, the lower the quality of your original image. Deletes original image data permanently.
Lossless is a term that refers to a class of data compression algorithms that compresses your image, but allows the original data to be restored and reconstructed from the compressed file data should you ever need it. Lossless compression differs to Lossy by maintaining the original image quality, while reducing the image data size by removing unnecessary meta-data from the submitted files (usually JPEG or PNG files). The main benefit of this type of compression is that the user has the ability to keep all the original data and revert to the original image, but can still achieve a smaller file size, without sacrificing image quality.
As previously mentioned, one of the main benefits of Lossless compression is being able to keep and restore every single bit of data that was within the file after it is uncompressed. This is in contrast to Lossy compression, where metadata is not saved during the compression process and results in data being unable to be restored should you wish to reverse the compression.
As a Lossless image will only temporarily delete the file data, this allows it to be transferred quicker, which results in faster loading speeds for your website. While the amount of space you will save is not as much as if you were to use Lossy compression, it does give you higher quality images and the option to fully restore should you need it.
With Lossless compression enabled, the below image was compressed from 230.26 KB to 172.18 KB, giving just over 25% reduction in size.
Original JPEG image
Converted with Lossless compression. Every pixel is identical to the original image – only the file size is smaller
Original image zoomed in 300%
Lossless image zoomed in 300% – 230.26 KB to 172.18 KB, a 25% reduction in size
Pro – Decreases image file size but maintains original quality of image. Full restoration of data available. Con – Using Lossless compression results in larger files sizes in comparison to Lossy compression, which can result in slower loading speeds.
We understand that some users may wish to decide their own balance between maximum compression and best image quality. With the custom option, you can manually choose which settings your prefer for image compression and save them for future use.
Overall Compression Summary
Making a choice between Lossless or Lossy compression depends on what you want to achieve and what works best for your site and users. In general terms, if you have a website that needs to showcase high quality photographs (such as a wedding photography business), you should stick to Lossless compression as it will still display your images in their original highest quality. But if your site is for a local garage for example, where the highest quality images are not so important, Lossy compression could work best as original high quality photos are not essential to the success of your business.