Optimize WordPress Images With WP Smush

Learn in this usage guide how to optimize & compress your WordPress website images with the WP Smush plugin by WPMU DEV & gain load speed

By Claudio Pires
Updated on August 10, 2023
Optimize WordPress Images With WP Smush

If you are using WordPress and want to improve your website performance, optimizing your images is one of the easiest ways. Learn in this usage guide how to optimize & compress your WordPress website images with the WP Smush plugin by WPMU DEV.

You can scale your images manually, and this tutorial covers it. You can optimize your images and scale them automatically using a WP Smush plugin.

WP Smush is a free WordPress plugin that optimizes images. It helps you resize, optimize and compress any or all of your website images. It has a generous unlimited & free plan that allows you to optimize all of your images up to 5MB in size at an unlimited time, which is why it has over 1+ million active installations and is not showing any signs of slowing down.

What Can You Do With WP Smush Plugin?

Here is exactly what you can do with this plugin: Lossless Compression: Unused data in the images removed without affecting image quality. Support All Image Types: PNG, JPEG & GIF. Bulk Smush: Optimize multiple images (up to 50) with 1 click.

Image resizing: Resize large images to max-width and height, so you get a smaller size as they are compressed. Directory Smush: Optimize all images, even if not in the media library.

Automated Optimization: Want to auto-compress images you upload? The tool can do so for you. Gutenberg Block Integration: View all Smush stats in image blocks directly.

Compatible with any Media Library Plugins: If you use a different plugin to manage your WP media library, WP Smush can also optimize images there. Incorrect Size Image Detection: If you can’t find the images that are slowing down your site, WP Smush will find them for you and highlight them

Lazy Load Built-in: So you don’t worry if you have a lot of images to display. And more. Finally, there is a reason why they have been at the top for many years now. Their unlimited free plan, combined with their ability to compress any image type in any location and automatically in bulk, is like a dream come true for most bloggers.

How To Optimize Images With WP Smush

Let’s get to the nitty-gritty of how to optimize your images with WP Smush using their free plugin.

Install the Plugin Free Version

If you have been using WordPress for a while, this should be a piece of cake. But I’d like to show you the steps. Go to WordPress Dashboard > Plugins > Add New. Secondly, search for ‘WP Smush’. Click on the Install Now button. Finally, the button will change to Activate. Click on it. And you are done to compress site images WP Smush Plugin with this usage guide.

Using The WordPress Plugin To Optimize Images

After the WP Smush install, go to the Smush tab. A quick setup popup appears to help you at the start. There are 3 settings on it:

Automatic Compression: The plugin will automatically optimize new images if you enable this. And, of course, we want this to enable. In addition, EXIF Metadata: Keep it enabled — you don’t want this info unless you have a photography blog for photographers who care about such data.

Lazy Load: You may consider enabling lazy loading to reduce the load on your server and speed up the page load time. Usage Data: You don’t need to enable this.

Now you quickly setup the plugin. Click on the button to remove this popup. After that, click on the “Bulk Smush Now” button. This will start bulk optimizing your images, so you don’t need to optimize old images one by one.

Step-by-Step How to Optimize WordPress Images With WP Smush.It

  1. Install and Activate WP Smush:
    • Go to the WordPress dashboard.
    • Click on ‘Plugins’ and then ‘Add New.’
    • Search for ‘WP Smush’ and click ‘Install Now.’
    • Activate the plugin by clicking ‘Activate.’
  2. Configure the Settings:
    • Navigate to the WP Smush dashboard.
    • Configure the settings according to your preferences.
    • Select options like auto-compression, resizing, and more.
  3. Choose the Image Compression Type:
    • Opt for ‘Lossy’ or ‘Lossless’ compression.
    • ‘Lossy’ will reduce the file size significantly but may reduce quality.
    • ‘Lossless’ maintains quality but might not reduce the size as much.
  4. Bulk Smush Existing Images:
    • In the WP Smush dashboard, click on ‘Bulk Smush.’
    • This will optimize all existing images on your site.
  5. Enable Automatic Smushing:
    • Turn on automatic smushing to optimize images as they are uploaded.
    • This helps in maintaining a consistent image optimization process.
  6. Use Lazy Loading (If Available):
    • Activate the lazy loading feature to load images as users scroll.
    • This can enhance site speed and user experience.
  7. Resize Images:
    • Set the maximum width and height for images.
    • WP Smush will automatically resize images to these dimensions.
  8. Monitor the Progress:
    • Regularly check the WP Smush dashboard for statistics and improvements.
    • This helps in understanding how the optimization process is performing.
  9. Keep WP Smush Updated:
    • Regularly update the plugin to ensure optimal performance and compatibility.
  10. Consult Support if Needed:
  • Contact the support team or consult online tutorials if you face any issues.


Optimizing images with WP Smush is vital in improving your WordPress site’s speed and performance. Following the above steps can enhance the user experience, improve SEO rankings, and keep your website running smoothly.

Adjust settings per your website’s specific needs, and don’t hesitate to consult professional help if you run into any complexities. Happy smashing! I hope that this article helped you to learn this usage guide how to optimize & compress your WordPress website images with the WP Smush plugin by WPMU DEV

Claudio Pires

Claudio Pires is the co-founder of Visualmodo, a renowned company in web development and design. With over 15 years of experience, Claudio has honed his skills in content creation, web development support, and senior web designer. A trilingual expert fluent in English, Portuguese, and Spanish, he brings a global perspective to his work. Beyond his professional endeavors, Claudio is an active YouTuber, sharing his insights and expertise with a broader audience. Based in Brazil, Claudio continues to push the boundaries of web design and digital content, making him a pivotal figure in the industry.