Media

Media Library » Optimize Your Images

To give your website visitors the best experience, it’s important for your site’s images to load quickly. Two factors affect the load speed of images: the size of the file and the quality of the image.

This guide will show you how to optimize your images by decreasing the size of a file while retaining the quality of the image.

Table of Contents

A WordPress website can have any number of themes, layouts, and other factors that determine the recommended image size. Therefore, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach we can recommend here. Generally, you can set your image sizes to be as big as they need to be, and no bigger than that.

Nowadays, digital cameras and even smartphones take high-quality images with large file sizes. If you wish to display these images on a website, the file size typically does not need to be so large. You can often resize the image down by 50% or more while still retaining the quality expected by website viewers.

Take a look at an image on your site. Does it appear in high quality, but load slowly? If it’s 5000px wide, try uploading a smaller version that is 2500px wide and observe the result. If it’s still looking good, try going down to 2000px or 1800px wide until you find a balance where the image size is small while the image still looks good. The following sections in this guide will show you how to reduce the image size.

↑ Table of Contents ↑

Reduce Image Sizes With Free Software

There are lots of methods you can use to resize images. In the following sections, we’ll cover tools available on your computer, online programs, and more advanced software.

Windows

On a Windows computer, you can use Microsoft Paint. Open your image with that program, then click on Resize. You can find this option on the middle-right side of the “Image” section at the top of the Paint window.

Mac

On a Mac computer, you can use the app called Preview. Open your image with the app then click on Tools then click on Adjust size.

Online Tools

If you’re looking for a quick way to reduce the image size, you can use one of many free online tools, such as:

With these services, you can upload your image, choose a new size, and export the new version. Please note that these services are not affiliated with WordPress.com.

WordPress Mobile App

If posting to your site using the WordPress App, the app has the option to optimize images.

In the WordPress app for iPhone, you can set the Max Image Upload Size so the original file is resized automatically when you upload it. This option can be found by going to My Site and clicking the profile icon in the top right, then choosing App Settings.

In the WordPress app for Android, click on your profile icon in the top right corner and choose App Settings. There, enable Optimize Images to resize and compress images on upload.

GIMP Image Editor

If you want more control over how the image is optimized, you can reduce the image size using GNU Image Manipulation Program (GIMP), a free alternative to photoshop that can be installed on Windows, Mac, Linux, and more operating systems.

To reduce the image size using GIMP:

  1. Open image in GIMP.
  2. Click on Image in the toolbar, then select Scale Image.
  3. In the image size, change the width to 1920px (or your own width).
  4. Click Scale.
  5. Select File in the toolbar. Then select Export As.
  6. Name your file ending with a “.jpg”.
  7. Select Export.
  8. In the dialog box that opens, change Quality to 60 (or your desired level).
  9. Click Advanced Options.
  10. Change Subsampling to 4:2:0 (chroma quartered).
  11. Click Export.

Here’s a comparison of the results. Use the slider to view each image in full:

The left image has a file size of 1,072KB. The right image has a file size of just 384KB yet there is no noticeable loss of quality!
Other Image Editing Software

Other image editing software tools may have easy options to size and compress a batch of photos very quickly. Packages such as Photoshop / Paint Shop Pro will also work, but there are a few more options including:

There are also web-based services you can use:

↑ Table of Contents ↑

Plugin-Enabled Sites

If your WordPress.com plan supports plugins, you can take advantage of our built-in Jetpack Site Accelerator to automatically speed up image load times. Go to Settings → Performance to enable this option:

The option to speed up image load times is highlighted.

↑ Table of Contents ↑

Retina Displays

Retina displays have a much higher pixel density than regular displays, which can cause images with a regular pixel density to appear fuzzy. To prevent this, if we detect a Retina display we serve the image at double the size so it displays with maximum sharpness. This only works if the image that appears in your Media Library is larger than the size that appears on your site.

Even at double the maximum display size on your site, an image file should still be significantly smaller than at the full resolution used by your camera, so you can optimize your images and have them look good on Retina displays.

Still confused?

Contact support.

Not quite what you're looking for?

Get Help