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How to Increase Site Speed and Optimize Images with WP Smush

The speed and loading time of your site is one of the most important factors. It’s not just to make sure your audience has something to act on right away, but also to show Google that you have a super fast loading website. And when it comes to Google ranking factors, site speed is now one of the most important.

With more than a billion active websites and blogs on the internet today, every second counts. If your site isn’t loading almost immediately, people will get frustrated and click away in no time. Even worse, it’s a horrible first impression and they will likely never come back again.

So the question is, is your site currently loading as fast as possible?
In most cases, the answer is probably no.

The good news is, there are many ways to improve the loading time of your site. Such factors include web hosting performance, WP themes and plugins being used, outside scripts running from your site and even image size.

Today we are going to focus on how to improve the speed of your site by minimizing the size of the images loading on your site. This might not seem like a big deal, but when it comes down to tenths of a second, everything helps!

Introducing WP Smush from WPMU Dev

When going with any type of plugin or solution to improve the speed or security of your site, it’s important to go with a well-trusted and proven brand. WPMU Dev is one of the leading WordPress developers online and is currently providing plugins, support and tools for millions of websites and blogs running on the WP platform.

With continual improvement always in mind, WPMU Dev created the WP Smush plugin for site owners to compress, optimize and lazy load images on their site, while also having a hands-free experience in the process. In comparison to other options available, this one has quickly become one of the best free image optimizer plugins for sites running WordPress.

The way the plugin works is incredibly advanced and smart, but all you need to do is add the plugin and it starts work with with your site automagically. In short, WP Smush has the ability to compress all of your images without a visible drop in quality. it’s also been selected as a crowd favorite for image optimization on WordPress sites in back-to-back years.

It’s one thing to read about how a plugin works, it’s another to actually see it in action. Watch the short video below to see how WP Smush can automatically improve the speed of your site, while also stripping out unwanted file size and processing times.

If you like what you see, you can download the free plugin through your WordPress dashboard, or explore the many options available with WP Smush Pro as well.

WP Smush Free vs. WP Smush Pro

As with most WordPress plugins and performance enhancing solutions online, there are two versions available. A free version, and a premium version for larger sites or brands looking to improve speed and performance across the board.

  • The WP Smush Free version allows for auto smush on the upload of new images, and also for the plugin to be used on multiple sites. This can instantly be added to your WordPress dashboard by searching for “WP Smush” within the “Add Plugins” section of your WP dashboard area.
  • The Pro version is loaded with many other features, such as the ability to single smush images or perform the task in bulk. Lossy compression, NextGen gallery integration and auto-backup of all original images are also available. WP Smush Pro can also smush up to 32MB worth of images and is also available for multi-site use.

No matter which solution you decide to go with, they both have the necessary power and features in place to improve your site’s loading time through the use of image and file size optimization.

How to Test and Measure the Current Speed of Your Site

If you are still on the fence about adding another plugin to your WordPress site, or aren’t sure you can afford to upgrade to the premium version–we completely understand. With so many plugins available, it can be tough to decide on which are best for your site.

One of the first things you can do is run a quick speed test through Google and see what type of score you get. Then you can run another test after installing the WP Smush plugin and making sure your images are optimized. Neil Patel currently has a score of 84 on his site… can you beat it?

If you like the results, then you should definitely keep the plugin live, as it will continually improve the speed and performance of your site.

Even better, if you like all the added features that the Pro version has to offer, WPMU Dev is currently offering a free 7 day trial to test it out.

Try it out and let us know what you think.

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