Short Pixel Review

Short Pixel Review

ShortPixel Review

Millions of users have given ShortPixel a try since its inception in 2014 owing to its incredible image optimization. ShortPixel Adaptative Images was launched by a company based in Romania after seeing the importance of web speed optimization in the near future.

The plugin is not only easy to use but also helps resolve any image-related warnings that Google Page Speed or GTmetrix insights usually report with a click of a button. This helps improve your website’s loading speed as well as the SEO. How does the plugin achieve all these?

Let’s explore the details in this ShortPixel Adaptative Images Review.

What ShortPixel Adaptative Images -SPAI Does

Here’s a highlight of some of the things that ShortPixel Adaptative Images, otherwise known as SPAI does:

It helps serve different images from the Content Distribution Network (CDN). ShortPixel Adaptative Images usually takes the images the visitors of a particular website view and then serves them from the CDN.

The Content Distribution Network is a group of servers containing different copies of a website that are distributed across the globe. This means that the user has excellent loading times irrespective of the location of their country and area. You’ll be increasing the loading speed of a particular page by loading images from the CDN of ShortPixel.

In addition, CDN tends to load faster as compared to other standard hosting providers since they have servers across the globe. It also helps save resources from the main server since all the images will not be requested from the same location but from ShortPixel’s CDN.

It helps compress images. The images that are served from ShortPixel’s CDN are usually optimized thanks to its robust optimization algorithm. ShortPixel’s optimization algorithm comes in three different levels including Lossless, Glossy and Lossy. We’ll get into the details later on in this review.

It helps serve adaptative images. This is where the name of the plugin was derives from. For instance, when you upload a high-quality image then add it on a particular page without compromising the full-size version in question. Users visiting the page using their phone don’t necessarily need to see the image in the same size as their counterparts’ using computers. And this is where the plugin comes into play.

The plugin helps serve the images in the size that the smart device requests. You are probably conversant with this if you’ve used GTmetrix before and received the “properly sized images” error. ShortPixel Adaptative Images solves this problem with a click of a button.

It helps solve different image related problems that you might come across. Save for serving images and compressing them to the right size, ShortPixel also helps improve the images further in many different ways. The plugin allows you to carry out different tasks relating to images including:

  • Lazy-loading images
  • Serve different images in WebP format
  • Remove any EXIF information
  • Excluding images from lazy-loading – best suited for preloaded images
  • Crop the images with ease

How ShortPixel Adaptative Images Works

As earlier mentioned, anytime there’s a visitor on the website, ShortPixel Adaptative Images helps analyze its code then replaces the real unoptimized images with optimized and right sized images. The replaced images are usually served right from ShortPixel’s CDN.

ShortPixel Adaptative Images doesn’t come in contact with the files on the server. Instead, the plugin helps optimize the images. This means that you can deactivate them when you want to go back to the original images. The process is quite detailed albeit transparent to every user.

The user can visit the page with the images.

ShortPixel Adaptative Images looks for the URL of the image in question on the code as the page loads. For instance,

Once SPAI detects the URL of the image, it sends the image to the servers which in turn, optimize and store it on the CDN. This process can only be done once – the first time you request an image size.

After that, SPAI replaces the image URL with the new one that points to the ShortPixel CDN containing the properly sized and optimized image.

At this point, you’ll have to wait for the page to finish loading and your images will be served from ShortPixel’s CDN fast.

Installation and Setting Up of the ShortPixel Adaptative Images


The installation process is quite easy because it’s just like installing any other plugin. To install the plugin, look for this page – ShortPixel Adaptative Images-

Setting Up ShortPixel Adaptative Images

Onboarding Wizard

You won’t be redirected to onboarding wizard if its your first time using ShortPixel Adaptative Images.

Here’s an easy 4-step wizard to help you configure the plugin properly to ensure all the images served from ShortPixel’s CDN are fully optimized. For instance, if the user is already using an updated version of SPAI, they can choose to restart the wizard by simply going to settings option then clicking on ShortPixel AI search.

Once you’re done, select the “setup wizard option” on the righthand size of the main menu at the top.

However, ShortPixel Adaptative Images doesn’t require the API key to work as opposed to the optimizer version. In this case, you’ll need to associate the website or domain to your main account to allow the ShortPixel credits to be used. This is usually done automatically by onboarding wizard.

Ensure you clear cache of your site once you’re done with onboarding wizard so that the optimized and properly sized images can be displayed.


As earlier mentioned, SPAI is quite easy to navigate since it starts working as soon as you activate and set it up with the onboarding wizard. This means that you don’t need to click on any buttons. However, ShortPixel Optimization features a few settings that allow the user to tune image optimization to different levels.

To access the settings, log into your WordPress account on the admin area and you’ll see the settings option. Click on settings then select ShortPixel AI. Let’s go over the details of some important settings beginning with the compression tab, shall we?

Compression level. It allows you to choose the compression level of the image in question.

  • Most users prefer lossy. The images that are usually processed with the Lossy algorithm are the smallest images you can get after optimization. So, if you are looking for a perfect balance between picture quality and optimization, then Lossy optimization would be an excellent choice especially if the speed of the website is paramount.
  • Glossy is an excellent choice for those who care about Google Page Speed and GTmetrix insights. However, for one reason or another you believe that a little loss of page speed is a compromise you are willing to take for high-quality images.
  • Lossless, on the other hand, offer small size reduction as compared to Glossy and Lossy processed files. This is because the images are usually pixel-by-pixel identical to the original ones. It would be an excellent choice for those who prefer using the images as they are since they are bound to remain untouched.

WebP Support. This is an image format that’s created by Google with incredible compression results and little to no loss when it comes to image quality. Here’s an insight of how WebP works:

If you take an image from the internet, and use any random JPEG or WebP converter, it might go fro something like 1.05MB to 344Kb. The reduction is size is 67.93% while the quality of the image is virtually identical. So, when you check the “WebP support” option, you should ensure SPAI knows that the image served from ShortPixel’s CDN is in WebP format provided its compatible with the browser.

Remove EXIF. ShortPixel Adaptative Images allows users to remove any extra information that’s embedded on the image including the model of the camera, author and location among others. All these information is usually irrelevant and eliminating it helps reduce the image weight a little. You should enable the feature at all times.

Behavior Tab. You’ll find the following features among other important tweaks:

  • Smart Crop – SPAI helps identify different cases when the image is not displayed fully and crops it accordingly.
  • Low-quality Image placeholders otherwise known as LQIP – They are relatively light since they are typically low-quality images and can be loaded with a single page load. Once the page finishes loading, the images are replaced with the original ones to help speed up the load time.
  • Logged-in Users – ShortPixel AI by default optimizes and serves images once you log in. However, you can always disable the option especially if you are looking to save CDN credits and traffic. In such scenarios, SPAI only works for the visitors, that is users that are logged out.

Areas Tab. Here’s you’ll access different types of settings that lets SPAI know the images that should be optimized and parsed:

  • SVG Images – These images can only be stored on ShortPixel’s CDN and neither can they be optimized.
  • CSS Images – In this case, the CSS file is stored on ShortPixel’s CDN.
  • JS blocks images
  • JSON data images

Exclusions tab. This tab features a few fields that allows you to exclude images from being optimized.

Excluded selectors – At this point, you can enter the CSS exclusions that you want ShortPixel Adaptative Images to exclude from the optimization process. For instance, you can write “don’t lazy-load” and the excluded selector will be resized and optimized accordingly and not lazy loaded.

If you type “don’t resize”, the plugin will do exactly that and instead optimize the image only. Writing “leave out completely” on the other hand, means that ShortPixel Adaptative Images will ignore them completely without resizing or optimizing.

Excluded URLs. This is where you need to exclude the images if you want the plugin to ignore them by URL. In this case, you can use regular expressions for instance, to exclude PNGs or GIFs or paths to exclude one image. The best thing about this feature on the plugin is that it comes with a detailed guide on how to use the field.

Ensure you check out the new image checker tool once the settings are in place. The image checker tool is quite simple and straightforward when it comes to checking the optimized images status on any website page. Log in and visit any page on the toolbar and you’ll see the ShortPixel robot.

You can turn on the image checker by clicking on the icon. Once you’re done, a tag for each of the image appears: ORIGIN or CDN. The latter means that the served image is optimized from the famous ShortPixel’s CDN while ORIGIN means the image is served right from the server. In layman terms, the image is not being processed by SPAI.

What’s more, when you click on the image, the cursor will change to a cross to give you additional actions and information.

Plans and Prices

At the beginning of this review, I mentioned that SPAI usually works on the fly. This means that the plugin helps process the images viewed more than once at the front-end. Prior to that, the image remains unprocessed hence doesn’t spend credit.

Processing images typically means smart cropping, optimizing and resizing if chosen. When the image is processed, its stored on the servers and will be served to anybody using the traffic quota you bought. The optimized images will be served to everybody from the CDN as long as the CDN traffic quota available is enough.

ShortPixel provides credits that users can convert to CDN quota. As a rule of thumb, 1 credit is equal to 5MB CDN traffic. You can use monthly or one-time credits to process the images. Here’s a breakdown of the pricing plans:

Monthly Plans

  • Free plan – 500MB CDN traffic = 100 credits and 500 visits monthly
  • 99 dollars monthly – 25GB CDN Traffic – 5000 credits and 25000 visits monthly
  • 99 dollars monthly – 80GB CBD Traffic -16000 credits and 80000 visits monthly
  • 99 dollars monthly – 275GB CDN Traffic – 55000 credits and 275000 visits monthly
  • 99 dollars monthly – 1TB CDN Traffic – 220000 credits and 1 million visits monthly

One-Time Plans

  • 99 dollars – 50GB CDN Traffic – 50000 visits and 10000 credits
  • 99 dollars – 150GB – 150000 visits and 30000 credits
  • 99 dollars – 250 GB – 250000 visits and 50000 credits
  • 99 dollars – 850GB – 850000 visits and 170000 credits
  • 249 dollars – 5TB – 2.5 million visits and 500000 credits


ShortPixel is totally worth it. This is because the most important part of a website is the images and every second counts when it comes to loading results. It’s a plugin that you can easily install and forget about it. Plus, you can always uninstall it if you want to return to original images.

In addition, they have an excellent support team. This plugin will not only help improve the speed of your website but also increase your Google position as well as the visitor count. You’ll get amazing results when you combine it with quality hosting like Cloudways.

I hope this ShortPixel Review helps you make your website super fast!

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