Optimus Review – Lossless Image Compression for WordPress

Optimus Review

As many of you know, I am pretty OCD when it comes to speed and am always trying to optimize WordPress so that it can deliver its best performance. Today I will be reviewing a newer WordPress lossless image compression plugin called Optimus. The plugin is developed by the team over at KeyCDN. These guys live and breathe web performance on a daily basis.

As we all know the speed of a website is very important. But how important is it really? Well here are some great stats pulled from Kissmetric’s article on “How Loading Time Affects Your Bottom Line.”

  • 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.
  • 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
  • A 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.

Lets say your website loads in 3 seconds, you are making 1,000 sales per month, with an average lifetime customer value of $500, at an ROI of $500,000 (before expenses). If you were to reduce your website down to a 1 second load time, this potentially means you could increase your ROI to $570,000 per month.

Even Matt Cutts from Google has said…

Accelerating websites is extremely important. Faster websites mean satisfied customers. PageSpeed becomes significant for rankings.

slow website

Image Compression is one area I see a lot of bloggers and businesses slacking on. Sometimes it is because they don’t know how to properly implement a good compression tool, and others because they are simply too busy or don’t even realize how important load speeds are to their website’s success.

What is Lossless Image Compression?

There are two main types of image compression, lossy and lossless. Lossy compression actually removes data from the original file, which results in a significantly reduced file size. However you are then also suffering from quality loss as well. Optimus focuses entirely on lossless image compression, which means it reduces the images without any loss of quality. It basically rewrites the data in a different way by removing unnecessary metadata. Even if you are using Photoshop “Save to Web” (which I do every single day), it can still be reduced.

You won’t end up with the highest compression, but you will maintain the quality of your images while also reducing them significantly.

Optimus Features

  • JPEG and PNG Files
  • Maximum File Size: 5MB
  • Unlimited amount of images
  • Progressive JPEGs
  • Reduction of file size with no change in image quality
  • Automatic optimization of original and preview images (yes this includes thumbnails!)
  • Compatible with WordPress Multisite and WooCommerce
  • HTTPS connection
  • Images aren’t stored on Optimus servers
  • Bulk optimization (optimize existing images)


Optimus has three different plans. A free model which allows up to a maximum file size of 100KB. Then there is a the Optimus HQ plan for $29 a year which gives you everything and a license for all of your own projects. And then there is the Optimus HQ Pro plan which is $149 a year and will give you access to everything but also allow you to use it for all your own projects as well as customers and clients.

Optimus Setup

You can download the Optimus plugin for free from the WordPress repository.

If you purchased a premium plan from them you will receive your key via email and under the plugins section in WordPress you can enter the key to activate it.

optimus plugin key

Under the Settings for the plugin you will find the following:

optimus compression settings

  • Images sizes: Here you will see the different image sizes being compressed. This is pulled based upon your theme and plugins you have installed. For example, I have the WP Review Pro plugin installed (which I am using for this post) and it generates thumbnails.
  • Original images: You could use this option if you want to preserve the original image and only compress thumbnails. I don’t advise using this as you won’t be taking advantage of all of the compression.
  • Image metadata : Keeps EXIF, copyright and photo information in images. Again I don’t recommend using this.
  • WebP Files: WebP is a sophisticated alternative method for convenient image compression that is now entering the market. JPEG vs. WebP: reductions in file size of up to 80% are commonly achievable.
  • HTTPS connection: If you are worried about security they do have an option to enable an HTTPS connection so that all communications between the Optimus server and yours is secure.
  • Optimize during upload: If you don’t want any delay or latency you can disable auto-optimize and simply do it in bulk after you finish writing your post.

Optimizing Images in Bulk (Media Library)

When you install the plugin it will only start compressing images that are uploaded after the fact. But they have an easy way to bulk compress your images. In the media library simply select the images you want to compress and in the drop down you will now have a new option called “Optimize images.” Simply hit Apply and let Optimus do its magic.

optimus bulk compressing images

You will see a new page come up with the status of optimization. Feel free to open up a new tab and continue working while this goes.

optimus bulk optimizer

After the images have been compressed you can easily see them in the media library as the plugin adds an “Optimus” column with the compression ratio achieved on the image.

already compressed images

Compression Results

I was very impressed with the compression results from Optimus. As a blogger I don’t work with a lot of original photographs, what I am optimizing is web images and things created in Photoshop. This means I won’t see as big of compression results like those say of a professional photographer uploading photos. I pulled a list of 50 images and my average compression ratio was 39%. Which is impressive!

This image below was something I created in Photoshop for my tutorial on how to automatically post from Facebook to LinkedIn. And it got compressed by a whopping 57%! The original file size was 38kb and the compressed image is 16kb. And it still looks pixel perfect. You can’t argue with those results.

facebook to linkedin

Optimus vs Kraken

Before switching to Optimus I had been using Kraken for the past year and a half. While the compression is great they have had a lot of problems with HTTP timeout errors, which caused huge delays.  This was even brought up in the WordPress forums. I was pleasantly surprised with Optimus after first installing it that the delay was reduced by 75%. I can now upload images without having to bounce between different tasks. Obviously with any image compression plugin there will always be some delay because it has to be processed by their server.

Optimus is also a lot cheaper than Kraken simply because they don’t charge by the amount of data used. If I was to use Optimus to compress 5GB of images per month across all my clients I would be paying $99 a year, vs Kraken at $190 a year.

If I was compressing upwards of 60GB of images per month I would still be paying the same $99 a year with Optimus vs $790 a year with Kraken.


I highly recommend you give Optimus a try! If you are serious about speeding up your website then this is a must have plugin. Also I can’t stress enough how important it is to implement a quality CDN, as well as a good caching plugin. Don’t let the speed of your website hold back your sales.

Visit Optimus

As always feel free to leave your comments below. I would love to hear your feedback or maybe a personal experience you have had with another image compression service.


Brian Jackson

I craft actionable content and develop performance-driven WordPress plugins. Connect on Twitter or subscribe to my newsletter (twice a month, no spam).

36 thoughts on “Optimus Review – Lossless Image Compression for WordPress”

  1. Nice article Brian. In your opinion, why is this a better option than free plugins like smush.it or EWWW? Is it speed? or is the compression better?

    • Thanks for your comment Sam.

      I have found that the compression lag is much faster with Optimus. I was comparing against Kraken which is a premium plugin, and Optimus is much faster. Also if you look carefully with EWWW they actually don’t give you the full compression quality options unless you subscribe to their cloud IO version. So really your back at comparing premium services again.

      Optimus offers additional features such as HTTPS connections, a no data store policy for protection, and progressive JPEGs + WebP conversion. The EWWW cloud actually charges you per # of images. Optimus is a yearly fee and doesn’t care how many images you compress. If you work with a lot of clients, Optimus could save you a lot of money. EWWW utilizes TinyPNG which uses lossy compression, and that leads to quality loss. Always stick with lossless compression.

      If you look at smushit, they also don’t give you the full benefit unless you pay for PRO. The free plan has rate limits on bulk compression, and they limit the quality of your compression until you pay.

      Hopefully that helps a little bit.

  2. I’ve been searching around for a better image optimizer plugin so this could not have been better timed. I’ll check this one out and see if some of my numbers can improve! Thanks so much for all the detail you always put into these reviews

  3. I’m finally going to optimize my images. It’s been on my blog to-do list for too long. I’ve heard a lot about WP Smush, but your review of Optimus makes me want to give that a try. Are you familiar with WP Smush, and if so, what are your thoughts on it compared to Optimus?

    • Hooray, Nicholas. So I get asked this question a lot now. I have plans to update this review with the differences, just haven’t gotten around to it yet.

      If you look carefully at smushit terms, they don’t give you the full benefits unless you pay for PRO. The free plan has rate limits on bulk compression, and they limit the quality of your compression until you pay. Optimus offers additional features such as HTTPS connections, a no data store policy for protection, and progressive JPEGs + WebP conversion. This entire blog is compressed with Optimus :)

      • Haha, and now I realized that you replied to a similar question in another comment. My bad! Okay, well, Optimus is clearly the winner. Thanks for the great review and additional info.

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  5. I think optimus should have another feature. That is Controlling image quality. Lossy and lossless. I don’t wanna mention the name. A new comer in image optimization tool is allowing users to optmize images in 3 qualitys. Normal, Aggressive & Ultra. I liked this feature. As i’m optimus HQ user, So i can expect this kinds of feature from optimus, What do you think?

  6. hai Brian Jackson this is My First Comment on your website i am very happy after purchasing optimus plugin on blackfriday this plugin done their job well.Reduction of file size with no change in image quality
    i really love this plugin highly recommended to all the bloggers.

    Santhosh Veer

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  8. Hey Brian I just downloaded Optimus HQ and I’ll let you know how it goes. Your other recommendations on increasing speed have worked great. I took a hobby blog, my eponymous blog, from over 4s on Pingdom to 1.5s using Inmotion + the KeyCDN caching plugin and Gonzales. Also using MTS’s Schema as you do. Totally clean and easy for a non programmer. Lets see how much more Optimus brings me from 1.5s

    • Awesome, glad to hear it! Yes, if you click into your media library you can bulk optimize all your existing images. And then it will auto-optimize all your images on upload in the future.

      • oh yeah I did that…also cleaned up some linked images and took something off my home page that got no clicks (something I was fond of but ditched for cleanliness). thanks again

    • ok did some tests right after compression and time didn’t change much. Waited a little bit for changes to settle in. got 858ms, 1.21s, 1.41s and 959ms on last 4 tests. getting better! Was a bit worried at first:)

  9. Thanks for the comment Traian. I have added to my tasks. I can’t promise that I will get time, but remember that Optimus also offers WebP conversion, which will pretty much beat any other compression out there.

    • Thanks for your comment! I have not Manasi. Imagify is run by the creators of WP Rocket which in itself is a great plugin! However, the big reason I am using Optimus is because of WebP conversion. WebP is just blazing fast because of how small you can get your images.

        • WebP is only natively supported in Chrome, Opera, Opera Mini, Android Browser and Chrome for Android. But what you can do is switch to WebP images for those that are supported and serve up JPG/PNG to Firefox/IE. I do this on my all my sites. It is all done automatically. You can see more about that here: https://optimus.keycdn.com/support/configuration-to-deliver-webp/

          Also, if you are curious, I just looked. 72% of woorkup.com traffic comes from Google Chrome. So definitely the huge majority of my visitors are getting that extra speed boost. And then Firefox/IE visitors are still getting the compressed JPG/PNG version. So win win.

          • I like that option then! I have to check which browser majority of my visitors use. Thank you, Brian! Have a great day.

  10. Have you compared the compression quality between optimus and tinypng ? I’ve tested tinypng vs imagify few months back and tinypng won the compression size (while retaining quality).

      • Yes I completely agree with you on that. But if TinyPNG does better compression than Optimus do you really think that it is wiser for going with Optimus just for WebP? I Know WebP is awesome and I’ve been using them since it’s launch (through ngx_pagespeed). But don’t you think the 1st priority is better compression then comes WebP support. As most browsers don’t use WebP and for them a better compressed image file will be more helpful. What’s your thought on this?

        • It really depends on your traffic and your audience. For example, most of my sites get over 70% of their traffic from Chrome. In that case WebP is almost more important than other optimizations. Although both are still important. However, I have seen other sites with not as much Chrome traffic as well. But definitely agree both are very important.

          Also, remember not everyone out there is as technical as we are :) A typical user won’t have access to ngx_pagespeed, which means they usually have to rely on a plugin.

          • Very true indeed. I wish OptimusHQ provided high quality lossy optimisation like TinyPNG. At that point I would have ditched TinyPNG and moved to OptimusHQ. I wish….

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