You’re Not Going to Believe the Brand New Image Compression Trick in Smush… It’s TRANSFORMATIVE

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Smush is absolutely established as the best auto image compression available for WordPress by some distance – over 5 billion images smushed and 1,624 five-star reviews certainly do not lie… But we’ve just taken Smush to a whole new level.

Say hello to automated PNG to JPG transformation for your files that need it. Magic.

So let me run that past you again. Not only does WP Smush give you…

  • Super lossy compression that’s better than anywhere else (we even tested it),
  • Auto resizing and scaling unnecessarily massive images,
  • Boosted SEO by making your pages load heaps faster,
  • Smushing of images up to 32MB that saves your server a ton of space, and
  • Totally automated management of your whole library and new uploads,

But it ALSO checks all of your PNG files and, if additional savings can be made without loss of quality, turns them into JPGS!

Woah.

And, of course, you can choose to keep the originals if you don’t trust our magic (although we reckon you’ll turn that off super quick to save even more space on your servers).

Let’s get into the details of this awesome new feature.

Image encoding and optimization is a deeply technical subject. The basics we applied for this update is that PNG files are great for large dimension images with low complexity, such as logos, graphics and icons and, most of the time, screenshots, too. If you save a photo as a PNG, however, you’re usually doing yourself a huge disservice because JPEG is better for compression of high photographic detail.

So what does this all mean? It means Smush has now added transmutation to her list of superpowers, but more importantly it means you don’t have to worry anymore about how you save your images, because if you do it wrong, Smush will make it all better for you!

Smush will save you if your images are the wrong size AND if you create them with the wrong extension.Smush It Better!

Smushing By the Billions

We just celebrated the 5 billionth image to pass through our smushing servers. That’s almost 17 Terabytes of disk space we’ve saved for our members just by reducing the file size of their images.

Just imagine how many times those smushed images have been loaded into browsers, and how much bandwidth on the internet has been preserved for more important things, like videos of cats getting brain-freeze!

Current Images Smushed
5.14
Current Gigabytes Saved
16,811

Expected Savings

To test the potential of this feature, I went to find a huge and correctly encoded file. I chose this puppy because OMG look at its eyes!

This is downsized for embedding - still cute though!
This is downsized for embedding – still cute, though!

So what happens if I take a screenshot of this? It’ll save as a PNG, but with massive photographic detail. Well, even knowing what should happen, I was taken aback!

The original puppy on the left, and my screenshot on the right. More than 5 times bigger!
The original puppy on the left, and my screenshot on the right. More than 5 times bigger!

I won’t dive into the details in this post (Google “how does jpeg work” or “how does png work” for that sort of post). Let’s be clear, though, that saving this image as a PNG was a massive mistake!

This is an extreme example, but it should illustrate that you must exercise caution when embedding screenshots on your site! Is your screenshot primarily graphic or photographic?

 

So what happens when we hand these puppies over to Smush (pun intended)?

I’ll spare you the screenshots, but:

  • Original (massive) JPEG: 9.6% compression. Not bad
  • Screenshot of original: 71.3% compression. Woah, that’s insane!

What Does This Mean For Me?

It means that Smush has your back.

Inevitably, when you take screenshots from around the web, sometimes you’ll include some photographic detail. Most of the time it’ll be a lot less than in the test above, and if it’s very minor there may be nothing to win by converting to JPEG. If there is, however, Smush will know, and Smush will fix it.

Over to You

Did you try out the new feature? What sort of savings did you net yourself? Does this sort of compression power suit your needs? Share your Smush image savings with us in the comments below!

Oh, and of course, if you wanna try this out yourself, entirely for free (yep, you can do all of this for FREE!), with no strings attached, head over and grab your copy today

View @ WPMU DEV

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