With all the different image formats available for your WordPress site, it can be a little confusing when deciding which one is the right option. While most users have stuck to the tried and tested PNG or JPEG formats, a revolutionary new image format called WebP is now available.
WebP provides superior lossless and lossy compression for any images you add to your WordPress site. By using WebP, WordPress users can create image files that are not just smaller, but also allow your site to run and load faster.
When comparing WebP to other popular image upload format options, we can see how much of an improvement can be achieved by switching to this new format:
If you upload an image using WebP, its lossy compression algorithm uses predictive coding when encoding the image. In using this predictive coding, it uses the values of the block of pixels next to each other to predict the value of the block and encode only the difference. For more detail of the compression technique, please check out this link.
WebP in WP-Optimize
While there may be existing plugins already on the WordPress market that enable you to upload in the WebP format, WP-Optimize uses a different process that is not only much quicker, but also much easier to carry out. With other plugins, you have to go through the complicated process of having to select the converter (to convert from JPEG/PNG to WebP) and the method to serve the WebP files. With the WP-Optimize WebP upload method, we offer a simple one click solution. So when users select the WebP format for their images, conversion can be done there and then automatically when uploading or compressing images.
Given how important the loading speed of your site is for your SEO score, WordPress users cannot afford to miss out on the big savings that can be made by using the WebP format with WP-Optimize. Download and install WP-Optimize today to start using this feature and improving your WordPress site.
The latest update for WP-Optimize 3.2.1 has now been released. As you can see from the list below we have been hard at work making changes, and as such – this latest update comes with a huge number of tweaks and fixes. As part of the new update, we have made changes so that WP-Optimize helps improve the performance and user experience in some very important areas of your WordPress site, including caching, image compression and minifying.
Try out he new and updated version of WP-Optimize today and see the difference.
FIX: Apply different image compression levels
FIX: Cache – Purge WooCommerce product page after stock update
FIX: Database errors after adding a new site
FIX: Flatsome theme compatibility with google fonts
FIX: Image compression advanced settings, display default backup days instead of empty value.
FIX: Image compression was not working when the image extension used capital letters
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).