ShortPixel Image Optimization Plugin for WordPress: Honest Review

In How to get 99/100 Google pagespeed score article I mentioned many ways to optimize images on your WordPress blog. Photos are very important especially in the Tourism industry so I write a dedicated blog post for optimizing images. ShortPixel is a free tool to optimize images in order to get higher Pagespeed score and performance.

What is ShortPixel? It’s a free WordPress image compression plugin. In this article, I’ll guide you how to install and config it to make your website faster.

shortpixel free account
Get Free ShortPixel account by clicking this

First, head to shortpixel website by click here then CHOOSE FREE button to grab your FREE API of their service. After signing in at the left-hand click on menu API Key, copy your API (the one I blur).

free wordpress image compression plugin API
ShortPixel API Key

Install ShortPixel WordPress plugin

Now login your WordPress Dashboard > Plugins > Add new then search “shortpixel” to install plugin will help you optimize upload images.

how to install ShortPixel plugin WordPress dashboard
Click Add New to find and install a plugin
install images optimization plugin ShortPixel
Type “shortpixel” then click Install Now button.

Activate it and go to plugin’s setting page to config your images processor first time. Submit your email which registered Shortpixel service before and press Request Key OR you can paste your API key from Shortpixel dashboard which copied in the previous step.

ShortPixel settings best config
ShortPixel settings page.

Present photos with the best quality possible while maintenance appropriate file size and file dimension are critical for any website, especially in the Trave industry. So config and test thoughtfully with these compression type.

Config ShortPixel for best performance

In Settings page, tab General choose Compression type Lossy, Glossy or Lossless up to you. I recommend starting with Lossy then check your site to see how it compress photos. If didn’t like the output quality of Lossy just go to next level of compression.

Make sure these following options have been checked:

  • Also include thumbnails
  • Image backup
  • Remove EXIF

In Advanced Tab: check options you would like to optimize.

ShortPixel settings page advanced tab config screen

Press Save and Go to Bulk Process to confirm settings and plugin will process your uploaded photos. Just wait for process finish, after that go to frontend website to see how it affects your thumbnails, images on blog posts/sidebar.


Lossy, Glossy or Lossless

Lossy Compression

Lossy is the best option for most users. The images processed with Lossy algorithms are the smallest optimized images you can get. So, if the speed of your site is paramount and you want the best balance between optimization and picture quality, we recommend you to continue to use Lossy optimization.

Glossy Compression

Glossy is the best choice if you still care about Google Insights but you believe that a slight loss of page speed is an acceptable compromise for a top notch image quality.

Lossless Compression

Lossless optimized images are pixel-by-pixel identical with the originals, but they offer a smaller size reduction compared to either Lossy or Glossy processed files. If you want your images to remain untouched, then select this option.

* according ShortPixel describe on their website.

Compression mode test result

Here is my test save time for you: compare quality output between Lossy – Glossy – Lossless

In this test case, I used a 1920×1080 px photo took in Sapa (famous place in my country). Download it from here. It’s a saturated color image so worth to test compression algorithm of ShortPixel. Here is the result:

compare lossy lossless glossy shortpixel mode
Compare 3 mode of compression in ShortPixel plugin. View full size screenshot here.
Original Image Lossy Glossy Lossless
Size 0.9 MB 0.2 MB 0.4 MB 0.8 MB
Save 0% 75% 54% 6%
View photo click here click here click here click here

As you can see, Lossy save a lot of space compare to Lossless mode but with human eye not different overall look. So take a test and make your decision which compression type you would like to use.

Common problems with ShortPixel

Conflict with other plugin like JetPack

If you are using Jetpack, go to setting and uncheck Photon module because it’ll cause blurry images output by double optimized with JetPack Photon and ShortPixel API.


Feel free to ask questions about optimizing WordPress images with ShortPixel below!

2 thoughts on “ShortPixel Image Optimization Plugin for WordPress: Honest Review”

  1. Hey there,
    Awesome tutorial. I have been using shortpixel for over 2 years and it works like a charm. The good thing is, it doesn’t mess the quality of the image.

    • Agree with you! @Bhawna
      Recently I found a new solution event better than Shortpixel. Still test with it and write a blog post when I sure it works for all!


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