How to Optimize WordPress Images with WP Smush

How to Optimize WordPress Images with WP Smush

If you are using WordPress and want to improve your website performance then one of the easiest ways is to optimize your images. You can scale your images manually and it is covered by this tutorial. You can further optimize your images and scale them automatically by using a WP Smush plugin.

What you’ll need

Before you begin this guide you’ll need the following:

Step 1 — Installing WP Smush plugin

Firstly access your WordPress admin dashboard and go to Plugins > Add New section.

Plugin install link

You will be forwarded to a plugin installation window.

Install plugin

  1. Enter “smush” into a search box to easier find the plugin you are looking for.
  2. Click Install Now in order to install WP Smush plugin.

When the plugin is installed installation button will be changed to Activate.

Atcivate button

Click Activate for Smush plugin to be activated. Upon successful activation, you will be forwarded to the Smush plugin page.

More detailed tutorial on how to install WordPress plugins can be found here.

Step 2 — Configuring Smush plugin

Once you are in the Smush plugin page you can change its settings.

Settings page

  1. Automatically smush my images on upload – This option would automatically optimize your uploaded image and images that are created by WordPress.
  2. Preserve image EXIF data – If you need information about your image (for example time and location) then you can select this option so it would not be removed during the optimization process. However, such information takes additional space so if it is not necessary for you, leave this option disabled to better optimize your images.
  3. Resize original images – If you want to save disk space and do not want to store huge images on your server then you can select this option and enter the maximum possible image size values. If your uploaded image exceeds values that you have entered it will be automatically resized.

To save the changes you have made click Update Settings button at the bottom. Smush plugin will check all your current images and optimize them. Once this is done you will receive a confirmation message stating that all images are smushed and up to date .

That’s it, your Smush plugin is now configured and all images you have uploaded and will upload in the future will be automatically optimized. If you want to check how much space was saved by this plugin you can enter any uploaded image and expand Smush Stats option.

Smush stats


After following this tutorial you learned how to improve WordPress performance by optimizing images. It helped to reduce image disk usage and improve overall website performance by decreasing WordPress page loading time.

The author

Elvinas S.

Elvinas is a senior server administrator at Hostinger. He monitors the infrastructure’s well-being and keeps the uptime at a maximum. Besides server management, web development has always been one of his biggest passions.