Image Compression with Kraken

Image Compression with Kraken

Image compression is an important tool in avoiding bloat and helping your site to load quickly.

We run a service called to compress images on all sites on Performance Foundry servers after the images have been uploaded. Since this does such a great job, it's no longer necessary to  compress images before you upload them, though you can if you like!

What is is a robust, ultra-fast image optimizer and compressor with best-in-class algorithms. It saves you bandwidth and storage space and can dramatically improve your website’s load times.

In short, when you upload an image to WordPress, it will send the original plus all the new thumbnail sizes off to be compressed by using different image compression tools than your camera or photo editing suite.

How do I install it?

You can see if it is installed by going to Plugins > All Plugins page on your site. If it's not there, file a support ticket asking for it to be set up.

Why a support ticket? Because Performance Foundry runs an account for all our clients to use, meaning you don't have to pay for it separately. If we set things up, we can add the right API key and test it for you.

Is Kraken free for me?

We are able to keep Kraken included in the hosting price for most Performance Foundry clients -- saving you at least $9 a month! If your domain is generating an unfair share of the total cost, we may ask you to create and manage billing of your own account.

How do I use it?

Once the Kraken plugin is set up, it will work automatically on all new images that can be compressed (like jpg and png files). No action is needed on your part: it's automatic.

You may notice that images take a little longer to upload than they used to, since they are also being compressed. 

How can I improve older images?

Kraken won't run through all your old images by default. That needs to be done manually. In some cases, we can do this compression from the command line (on the server), so ask before you start!

If that's not possible, or you don't want to wait for us, you can...

  1. Go to your Media Library.
  2. You will need to switch the Media Library from the Thumbnail view to the List view. 
  3. In the "Kraked Size" column, you will then see the "Optimize This Image" button for unoptimized images, or the results of the optimization where the image has already been optimized by the plugin.
  4. Use the "select all" toggle to choose everything on the page, then the bulk "Krak 'em all" tool. Be sure to hit the start button on the pop-up.

#Protip: You can increase the number of items per page in the image library in the "Screen Settings" dropdown. Making this 100 should be fine on Performance Foundry servers. If you have a lot of images to do, try 250 while you're doing the optimisation. We recommend switching it to a smaller number again afterwards.

Want even better image loading times?

One of the additional benefits of our Publisher and Publisher Plus hosting packages is additional image compression using Thumbor, which makes your site load even faster. It's great for image-heavy sites, especially blogs with lots of photos. Check out our hosting packages, and if you're interested in upgrading, you can follow the instructions here.

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