Optimize WordPress Website Images for SEO using the Autoptimize Plugin

by | September 22, 2022 | Website Development

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Next-generation website images aren’t coming soon — they’re already here. Whether it’s WebP or AVIF, progressive web browsers are already supporting the new formats. The new formats render your same images, but have smaller file sizes and load faster — which helps optimize your website for search engines because search engines love websites that load fast (the faster the better). The catch is even though browsers support nextGEN images you still have to create your images in that format, so your website can serve up the new file-types. If you’re using WordPress it’s easy to optimize your website’s images for SEO using the Autoptimize plugin.

Autoptimize WordPress Plugin Image Optimization

Autoptimize is a WordPress plugin that helps optimize your website for speed. It does more than optimize images — like minifying and concatenating javascript and CSS code — but one feature it has for improving your website’s images is seamless integration with an image optimization tool called Short Pixel. Using Shor Pixel, Autoptimize knows when to serve a JPEG or when to serve a nextGEN image format, so you can progressively enhance your website into the future, as nextGEN image support becomes more available in modern browsers.

Short Pixel Image Optimizer

Can you use Short Pixel alone with your WordPress site? Yes, Short Pixel offers it’s own stand-alone freemium WordPress plugin. Essentially, Short Pixel’s stand-alone plugin offers the same features as you’ll get through Autoptimize, but chances are you’re going to benefit from the entire suite of Autoptimize’s website optimization features and it’s easier to install 1 WordPress plugin than installing 2 WordPress plugins that overlap in functionality, so I recommend checking out Autoptimize first.

Enabling SEO Optimized Images in WordPress

Make your WordPress website significantly faster by ticking a couple of checkboxes. Optimize and lazy load your images using modern image formats.

Autoptimize WordPress plugin image optimization settings form

To enable nextGEN WebP and AVIF SEO optimized image formats on your WordPress website:

  • Add New Plugin: Autoptimize
  • Activate Plugin: Autoptimize
  • Visit Autoptimize’s settings (WP Dashboard -> Settings -> Autoptimize)
  • Click into the Images tab within Autoptimize’s settings page
  • Enable Optimize Images option (checkbox)
  • Save your changes
Floyd Hartford is a website developer from southern Maine. He's focused on creating and building WordPress websites and loves spending time digging into code like HTML, CSS, scss, jQuery, PHP, and MySQL.


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