Smush vs short pixel: which is best

Hi I’m Praneeth Kumar.

In this blog post you will learn which image optimization plugin is the best between Smush and shortpixel.

I have compare both of the plugins in 7 

different factor starting from features, ease of use, performance, pros and cons, customer support & reviews, pricing at the end I will let you know which is the best plugin in my opinion as the final verdict.

Hence I believe this is the most comprehensive guide on this topic you can find.

So without further ado let’s get started.

Here is a 30000 Foot view of the blog post.

Smush vs Shortpixel: which is best & why?

This is the ultimate breakdown and test between the two most popular image Optimisation plugins where Smush has more than 1 million + active installations and shortpixel has 3 lakh plus active installations on wordpress websites.

Considering the numbers and statistics of both the plugins you would believe that WPsmush is more popular because it has more than 1 million + active installations compared to shortpixel which is very tiny but numbers are sometime does not reveal the whole picture so,

 we will take a look at all the other parameters and then decide which is the best image Optimisation plugin between the two.

So let’s dive right in.

1. Features

Let’s first start with learning the key features of Smush image optimization plugin and then learn features of shortpixel.

Features of Smush;

Here are some top features of the plugin worth mentioning.

  • Lazy load images 
  • Automated image compression when you upload images 
  • Without Monthly Limits – Optimize all of your images up to 5MB in size, free forever (no daily, monthly, or annual caps).
  • Convert to WebP (Pro Only) – Upgrade and automatically serve images in Next-Gen WebP format.
  • Lossless Compression – Strip unused data and compress images without affecting image quality.
  • Bulk Smush – Optimize & compress up to 50 images with one click.
  • Image Resizing – Set a max width and height and large images will scale down as they are being compressed.

Features of shortpixel;

Here are some top features of the plugin worth mentioning.

  • Option to convert any JPEG, PNG or GIF (even animated ones!) to WebP and AVIF for more Google love.
  • Easily test lossy/glossy/lossless versions of the images with a single click in your Media Library
  • Bulk’ optimize all the existing images in Media Library or in any gallery with one click
  • Direct integration with CloudFlare CDN, either by using an API Key or a Token, for more information related to content delivery network and its benefits you can read my guide.
  • you can run ShortPixel plugin on multiple websites or on a multisite with a single API Key, this is especially important if you have multiple websites but you can use 1 account for many sites.
  • 30 days optimization report with all image details and overall statistics
  • Option to automatically convert PNG to JPG if that will result in smaller images. Ideal for large images in PNG format.

Which is the best plugin in features?

Purely when we consider 2 plugins from apples to apples perspective, In my opinion, Smush is better in terms of features compared to shortpixel for 1 main reason,

  • There are no limits to how many images Smush compresses for free unlike shortpixel which is 100 images per month.

So Smush is better than shortpixel interms of pure features, but that does not mean Smush is the best image Optimisation plugin over shortpixel, there are lots of more parameters which we need to test to decide which is the best image Optimisation plugin between the two.

2.    Ease of use 

In this section we will take a look at how easy to use both the plugins are comparing the plugins dashboards and interface and the settings that are present and how easy it is to configure the settings from a beginners perspective.

First let’s start with short pixel ease of use and then with Smush.

Shortpixel ease of use;

Here are some screenshots of shortpixel dashboard.

 

In order to use shortpixel plugin on your website you first have to create a free account on shortpixel website and then enter the API key on your shortpixel plugin which is available from your shortpixel account and that is where you can connect your account with short pixel and start using the plugin for free.

As you can observe from the images above of the shortpixel dashboard it is one of the most easiest and user-friendly dashboards you can find for image Optimisation.

Smush ease of use;

Here are some screenshots of smush plugin dashboard and UI.

 

Unlike shortpixel plugin you do not need to enter any API key on this plugin, all you need to do is to install the plugin and activated from your wordpress plugin section and get started.

Even compared with shortpixel the dashboard is more easier and clean to use in this plugin.

Who triumphs in ease of use?

In my personal opinion I think, Smush is more easier & faster to setup and use compared to shortpixel with so many features and configurations you need to manage.

Despite the fact is that both plugins dashboard and user interface is very easy to use and beginner friendly but,

Purely on the basis of setup and getting started, Smush is the winner, you can get started with using this plugin under a couple of minutes and start optimising your images because you don’t need to worry about entering the API key or managing other configurations of settings like in shortpixel.

3.    Performance (how they work)?

In this section we will take a look at the performance of 2 plugins and see which one is better.

This is the most important feature of the both image Optimisation plugin because all the plugin does is compressing the images.

Let’s start with Smush and then shortpixel.

Smush performance;

In order to check the performance of the Smush compression I have tested compression on image before and after the compression and the results are these,

 

Here are links to images before and after compression on WPsmush;

  • Before compression.
  • After compression.

Shortpixel performance;

I have taken the same image I used to test WPsmush and compressed it in shortpixel using lossy feature at maximum compression as we have with WPsmush lossy and here are the results of image size before and after compression and the percentage of savings.

 

Here are links to images before and after compression in shortpixel.

  • Before compression.
  • After compression.

Which is the winner in the performance parameter?

 

Both the image formats are in png formats.

4.    Pros and cons

You can also call this as the benefits and drawbacks of using both the image Optimisation and compression plugins for wordpress websites.

Let’s first start with comparing the pros and cons of using short pixel and then consider the pros and cons of smush which is its rival.

Pros and cons of shortpixel:

Pros,

  • It converts PNG to JPEG and other images files to webp format for free.
  • It helps you connect with cloudflare cdn & boost your website speed.
  • It optimises all types of files from JPEG, PNG, gif, webp & PDF format.
  • This plugin will take a backup of all of your original images and you can easily restore them with a single click for free.
  • all the images processed by ShortPixel are optimized in the Cloud
  • It has no file size limit unlike Smush with only 5 MB limit for optimization.
  • It has different levels of compression depending upon your different criteria like losseless, glossy and lossy

Cons,

  • It only compresses 100 images per month & you will have to pay money to make more images compressed.
  • In the free version, left over credits of image optimization don’t move to next month, so even if you save a few credits for the next month image compression, it doesnot matter, since it starts from fresh 100 credits every single month in the free plan.

Pros and cons of smush.

Pros,

  • There is no limit to how many images you can compress every month as long as each file size is less than 5 MB.
  • It will also help you compress more than 50 images at once on bulk.
  • Image Resizing – Set a max width and height and large images will scale down as they are being compressed.
  • Incorrect Size Image Detection – Quickly locate images that are slowing down your site.

Cons,

  • To convert PNG and JPEG images into webp you need to upgrade to pro version.
  • You need to upgrade to pro version for cdn support, backup images, auto-convert PNG to JPEG.
  • Unlike shortpixel, if you want to optimise your PDF file with this plugin, you will have to upgrade to the premium version.

Which is the best plugin considering the pros and cons of both.

After reading and learning the pros and cons of using both the plugins, I would say that shortpixel is better than Smush interms of features and benefits even though it has limited image credits in free plan, some key features that highlight shortpixel better are,

  1. It has unlimited file size support.
  2. It has cdn support, all the images are optimised and compressed on cdn to reduce load on your servers from free to paid plans.
  3. It converts PNG to webp format for free.
  4. It also optimized pdf file for free.
  5. It gives you control over image compression with different levels of features for free.

All these important features are kind of missing in WP Smush.

Hold on, it is not over yet since we still have to consider the customer support and reviews of both the plugin and then look at the price and decide which one is best and why.

5.    Customer support & reviews 

In this section we will take a look at the customer support and the customer reviews of the both plugins in WordPress plugin directory, WordPress plugin forum and also consider the support options both the plugins offer in the premium plans.

Let’s first start with shortpixel and then move to smush.

Customer support and reviews of shortpixel.

 

As of the time I am writing this blog post shortpixel has an overall rating of 4.6 out of 5.

And if you post any problem or any plugin review in the wordpress plugin directory then the plugin customer support team will instantly reply you back helping you solve your problem for example here is a plugin review of a user and he has received the reply from the plugin customer support within a couple of hours.

 

This shows that the plug-in team cares about its users and it’s reviews and it is a good thing that more often than not you can instantly get a reply back from the plugin support team within a couple of hours of posting the review and sometimes it can delay for a couple of days which is completely fine, because in majority cases you can get your reply back instantly and there is no problem with a few delayed response here and there.

I really appreciate that.

Now, if you purchase the premium version of this plugin you can get additional customer support by email which is 24 by 7, there is also a detailed the documentation of all the frequently asked questions related to the plugin on its official website so that you can read those pages and get your problem solved.

Although there is no live chat support available but just for a simple image Optimisation plugin for compressing images, the available customer support features are totally sufficient for majority of the users and you should keep in mind that you can instantly get your problem solved by posting a review on wordpress plugin directory of this plugin which is like a live chat support but it is a forum thread.

Customer support and reviews of WP Smush.

 

As of the time I am writing this blog post this plugin has a rating of 4.8 out of 5 in WordPress plugins Directory which is really amazing to see, you can also see the reviews of this plugin on trustpilot which is 4.9.

This is definitely better than shortpixel which has 4.6 rating in WordPress.

Now let’s talk about the customer support in the wordpress plugin directory.

Similar to shortpixel even this plugin has excellent customer support in the wordpress plugin directory as you can see in the image below from one of The Users of the plugin who had a bad experience with the plugin and the response from the support team of the plugin which is very detailed and useful quite instantly.

 

Now if you purchase the premium version of the plugin let’s see what are the customer support options you will get,

They offer, ticket support through emails and support from community forums.

You can definitely expect the customer support to be much better because even with the free support on wordpress forum they are answering your reviews quite instantly.

Which is the best plugin in customer support and reviews?

So, unlike shortpixel, WPsmush has a little advantage with better customer support through community support forum in the premium version & ticket support & also 4.8 rating compared to shortpixel as 4.6 rating in WordPress plugins.

So Smush is the winner in the customer support parameter of the plugin.

But, if you just consider the free version of both plugins, both have fast response rates from support team and good customer reviews in WordPress plugin directory.

6.    Pricing

It does not matter which plugin has the most features and benefits but at the end of the day price is the key factor for most people’s buying decisions.

So, let’s start with price of shortpixel and then move to WPsmush.

Shortpixel price;

There are three different pricing categories of shortpixel, monthly, yearly or one time.

Here are prices of monthly plans starts from,

  • 4 dollars a month for 9500 images credits.
  • 8.3 dollars a month for 24000 image credits.

There are more plans like this, price increases with increase in image credits.

There is also a yearly plan and prices start from,

  • 4.9 dollars a month for 9500 image credits.
  • 9.9 dollars a month for 24000 image credits

There are more plans which more prices and more image credits.

The disadvantage of monthly plan is that the image credit expire each month and you will have to renew the subscription every month to continue using the premium version of the plugin and image credits that you have saved in the previous month will not roll out & add to the next month in both yearly and monthly plans.

To tackle this issue they have a one time subscription plan as well.

In one time subscription, image credits do not expire and you can use them as long as they completely exhaust.

The plans are,

  • 10$ for 15000 image credits.
  • 20$ for 30000 image credits.

There are more plans with increase prices and more image credits.

To get the most of using this plugin, I would recommend you to purchase one time plan of this plugin for best ROI, for just a basic normal wordpress blog, 10$ plan is enough.

WPsmush price;

Before you know the pricing of the plugin, you should know that.

This plugin is created by wpmudev.

In order to use this premium version of plugin you need to get the membership which you can get with both monthly and yearly features.

Btw there is also a 7 day free trial available.

The price of smush pro starts from,

  • 6$ a month for 1 site 
  • 14$ a month for 10 sites
  • 29$ a month for unlimited sites

There is also a yearly subscription and the prices start from,

  • 60$ a year for 1 website
  • 140$ a year for 10 sites
  • 290$ a year for unlimited sites

These are all the pricing plans of purchasing Smush pro from wpmudev.

Which is better & affordable in pricing plans?

Even though both the plugins pricing is quite different, shortpixel sells image credits whereas Smush sells based on time period and you can compress & optimize unlimited images in that time period.

I believe compared to WPSmush, short pixel has better pricing, in short pixel you have one time plan where you can purchase the plans starting from $10 for 15000 image credits and your image credits do not expire unless you exhaust them.

But, even WPsmush is very affordable in prices with unlimited image credits based on time periods starting from $6 for one website for one month.

But I would say, it is a tie between both WPsmush and ShortPixel, there is no clear winner, both are equally good and highly affordable in pricing.

My verdict 

So, after testing both the plugins in various different parameters and factors I would finally conclude that short pixel is definitely a better option compared to WPSmush for optimising images, there are 7 main reasons why it is shortpixel is better image Optimisation plugin than WPSmush.

  1. It will help you convert JPEG PNG and other image formats to Webp format for absolutely free of cost which is very important to improve your website loading speed and fix core web vitals.
  2. It also helps with connect your site to cloudflare cdn for free.
  3. It will also backup your website unoptimise images so you can easily restore them within a single click
  4. It gives you better options depending upon how you want your images to be compressed.
  5. It performs better in compressing images compare to WPSmush.
  6. It has unlimited file size Optimisation unlike Smush with just 5 MB limit in free plan.
  7. It supports all types of files from PNG, JPEG, GIF, and even PDF for free.

Amd even the prices and customer support along with UI is good.

So, Shortpixel is the winner.

With that being said let’s conclude the blog post.

Ending remarks;

This is the most comprehensive and complete comparison between two of the most popular image Optimisation plugins Smush and shortpixel you can find on the wordpress plugin directory.

Share this blog post with your friends to let them know which plugin is best for image Optimisation for their wordpress website. Sharing is caring.

Also comment down your opinion on which image Optimisation plugin you like the most and use on your website, I would love to know that.

I will catch you next time till then keep learning and keep growing.

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