Accelerating websites is extremely important. Faster websites mean satisfied customers. PageSpeed becomes significant for rankings.Matt Cutts, Google Search Quality Team
Optimus targets a lossless compression of PNG images and a slightly lossy compression of JPEG images of media uploaded to WordPress — while focusing on protecting your data. In plain terms: the visual appearance of treated images does not change in any way.
The plugin slims down the original image and all preview images of an uploaded motif. An important difference to desktop and online optimization tools: Photoshop, ImageOptim, JPEGmin and TinyPNG only treat the original images, since thumbnails are only generated when that image is uploaded to WordPress. Optimus compresses all preview images as well (=thumbnails).
Instead of only altering the quality of the photos, the plugin goes even further by removing unnecessary metadata from JPEG or PNG files. This includes EXIF and IPTC data that are saved in image files by image processing programs. That metadata is not however necessary to display the graphics in a browser.
Eliminating superfluous information allows for generous file size reductions: depending on the structure and size of the initial images, reductions of up to 70% are possible – while maintaining similar quality. Even images exported with the "Save for Web" function in Photoshop can be reduced by several percent using Optimus. Another advantage: Optimus generates progressive JPEGs and WebP images.
Since the reduction process cannot be conducted directly in WordPress for technical reasons, the plugin transfers each image uploaded to the media library to the Optimus server — discreetly in the background, while ensuring privacy.
Remember: Optimus only compresses images that are uploaded to the WordPress media folder after the plugin has been installed. See FAQ for details.
Through the coloring of the circles in the media library list (careful, not the grid view of the WordPress media library), the plugin signalizes its correct functioning. There is one circle per file. If the circle is missing, the file size was not reduced.
If a circle is filled out completely in green, all thumbnails as well as the original image could be optimized without exception – the ideal case.
Different scenario. The circle is only partially coloured in. This mean: not all variants of the current image were optimized by Optimus. This can be caused by the size of the file as well as the format. See Optimus vs. Optimus HQ.
The percent value in the circle displays the achieved optimization rate.
There is no doubt that the loading speed of a website factors into the ranking (keyword "WordPress SEO"). Optimizing is worth it just to ensure a better customer experience. The goal is to deliver elements of a website to the browser as quickly as possible. Optimus takes care of "reducing" the uploaded images and preview images.
Even for analytics tools such as Google PageSpeed Insights, the reduction of image size is an important factor that is mentioned in the analysis of website: "By optimizing the following images, you can reduce your size by XY kilobytes."
Furthermore, the traffic savings achieved by reducing file sizes can be enormous and should also be considered.
Optimus removes all types of metadata from images by default. That way the maximum possible compression can be achieved. In the settings you can however find an option called "No deletion of image metadata" which disables the extraction of EXIF and IPTC information.
While the reduction of file sizes is minimal when this option is activated, the stored image information will not be removed.
Since Optimus only employs slight lossy image optimization, the optimization value depends on the amount of (unnecessary) metadata saved in the image. The more metadata can be removed from an image, the higher the reduction that can be achieved through optimization—this could for example be 16%, but also as high as 60% or more. For more information see "Optimizing images always makes sense, no matter how little…"
Bonus: even when the optimization rate ends up being low, JPEG images are automatically converted to advantageous progressive JPEGs.
The level of JPEG compression cannot be changed in the plugin, but you can change this in WordPress. Tutorial: change JPEG quality directly in WordPress.
Yes, that is possible via the Bulk Optimizer (Tools -> Optimize all images).
Note: Optimizing existing images (file name, file size, etc.) can influence the ranking and the position within the google image search. See the study for more information.
The only difference between Optimus HQ, Optimus HQ PRO and the free version of Optimus are additional file formats and increased limits. If the free Optimus Plugin runs in WordPress without any errors, but does not optimize all types of images (see installation), you can purchase Optimus HQ (PRO) without thinking twice in order to get rid of the limitations of the free version.
After the payment process is completed successfully, the customer receives his license key over e-mail.
Activation in WordPress: in the list of active plugins in the Optimus area (same line as "deactivate") you can find the link "Activate Optimus HQ". Clicking it opens a field for entering and saving the Optimus HQ key.
In the same spot a new Optimus HQ key can also be entered, for example if a new license was ordered after a year of usage. The field for entering the license key will be labeled "Enter other Optimus HQ key" in this case. The expiry date of your license will also be displayed here.
Optimus HQ = private projects. Optimus HQ PRO was introduced so that you can use the Optimus plugin on customer websites. This license also expires automatically after a year. It can be—but does not have to be—renewed and entered in the WordPress instances.
More information on the support page: Which license is right for you?
If the Optimus HQ license is expiring after a year of usage, a new license can be ordered—using the same procedure as previously. The key can be purchased here on the official Optimus website, and entered in WordPress. All done.
Thank you for your purchase!
The image optimization as such is done by the WordPress plugin on the Optimus server. Fast, reliable servers cost a lot of money. Financing the service through voluntary donations unfortunately did not work out. Switching to a very fair yearly fair was thus unavoidable.
The annual fee of 29 $ - an approximate net amount of 2 $ each month - is a fixed fee for using Optimus HQ for a year. Competing services such as TinyPNG, Kraken and WP Smush charge a similar monthly amount.