There are plugins for WordPress that are just too good to be true sometimes. One of my all time favourite coders, Alex Dunae, has written a plugin called WP Smush.it. I was pointed at this plugin by my WestHost buddy, Nick Nelson, who found it while working on optimizing a site on Tehran News.
The plugin didn’t work for him, and it only worked for partly for me, which turned out to be because of some new stuff in the WordPress 2.9 branch. I had an email back and forth with Alex, who then fixed and updated his plugin, isn’t open source great?
Anyway, what this plugin does is run any image you upload through a service called Smush.it. It uses, and I’ll quote the site directly, “image format specific non-lossy image optimization tools to squeeze the last bytes out of your images – without changing their look or visual quality”.
Basically, it’s “save for web” on Steroids. And when you have this plugin enabled, you don’t even have to think about it anymore, as it’s taken care of when you upload the image.
The plugin also adds another column to your Media Library, where you can Smush images you’ve uploaded before you’ve installed the plugin as well. It looks like this:
This will now become a default install plugin for me, as it offers a very easy optimization for your images. Because of how fluently it’s been integrated with WordPress, this plugin will work great with the WordPress CDN plugin I’m working on.