how to optimize images in wordpress

How to Optimize Images In WordPress Manually: Add & Edit Image to Improve Site Speed & Loading Time

According to Wikipedia, WordPress supports more than 60 million websites online. The ability to allow full customization is the reason for its popularity. Are you a blogger? Do you know how to optimize images in WordPress?

The less strain on your site, the better. Knowing how to add and edit images in WordPress goes hand in hand with knowing how to improve site speed and loading time. Site speed is huge when it comes to Google ranking. So if you’re learning how to use Google for profit and build an online business, this is a big deal.

In this article (and video), I’ll show you how to add images in WordPress, how to edit images in WordPress, and how to optimize images in WordPress manually to improve site speed and loading time.

how to optimize images in WordPress

How to Optimize Images in WordPress

In this quick video I’m going to show you exactly how to manually optimize images in WordPress. Adding images and editing them to bring down their file size greatly reduces the strain on your site. Using WordPress makes this easy, and this video will show you just how simple it can be.

How to Add an Image in WordPress

From your post editor, go to Add Media. Here you have the option to choose an image already in your media library, or add one from your computer. To pick one from your computer choose Upload Files then Select Files.

A window will open where you can choose the image you’d like to insert into your post. Once you pick the image you like, WordPress will begin uploading it into your media library.

how to optimize images in WordPress
how to optimize images in WordPress

How to Edit an Image in WordPress by Rotating & Flipping

Sometimes the orientation of an image can change during the uploading process. This doesn’t happen often, but if you need to make some basic edits to the image here is where you can do it.

You are able to rotate the image 90 degrees at a time to fix orientation issues. You can also flip the image on its x axis or its y axis as well.

Note that flipping an image on its axis is not the same as rotating it twice. An upside down text image, for example, that you flip on its x axis will be right side up but with reversed letters. To fix an upside down image you would need to rotate it twice.

How to Optimize Images in WordPress by Scaling Them

While rotating or flipping an image will fix orientation issues, these don’t reduce its file size or scale. To understand how to optimize images in WordPress manually, simply reduce the scale of the image.

Reducing the scale of the image not only changes its visual representation on your site, but it reduces its file size as well. Even if you are choosing a size of the image using WordPress’s sizing options (thumbnail, medium, large, full size), your site still has to upload the image before resizing it.

how to optimize images in WordPress

Scaling the image down allows your site to upload a much smaller file before resizing it. Think of this as reducing the strain on your site behind the scenes. Reducing the strain on your site helps to improve your site speed and improve your loading speed as well.

If you upload photos to your blog taken from your iPhone, then you know that these photos are natively high quality and usually larger in file size. By knowing how to optimize images in WordPress, you can make the necessary edits within WordPress and still have a very fast loading time and improve your site speed.


how to optimize images in wordpress

WordPress is a great platform to build your website on. In fact, in 3 easy steps you can have your own free WordPress website live and ready to build on.

Understanding how to optimize images in WordPress manually is one piece of building a successful website that creates a great user experience. Additionally, you can further optimize your images with plugins like Smush Image Compression and Optimization and Ewww Image Optimizer. I use WP Smush to further optimize all my images automatically.

I have another recent post detailing my top 10 places to visit in Tokyo that is filled top to bottom with both images and video. By manually optimizing the images and scaling them down as I uploaded them, and then having the plugin optimize the images further, the post isn’t bogged down. Take a look for yourself!

Knowing how to optimize images in WordPress will improve your site speed and loading time, but what about keeping people engaged? Did you know there is a perfect blog post structure that keeps your audience on your page longer?

And now that you understand how to optimize images in WordPress, what about learning how to embed YouTube video in your WordPress blog? Incorporating both images and video just like I’ve done with this post is a great way to build a better user experience. People. Love. Video. Take advantage of this.

Further, if you’re looking to build traffic and build revenue, did you know there’s a tool available that will tell you exactly what keywords your target audience is looking for?

how to optimize images in WordPress

I hope this article has opened your eyes to these possibilities. With the right training, you can learn how to use the internet as a resource instead of a time waster. I wish I could take more credit for passing on this knowledge, but I owe it all to the online community where I got my training. If these topics interest you, I highly recommend you create your free account and get started with this training as well. You won’t regret it.


Do you have a better understanding of how to optimize images in WordPress? What sites do you use to find your images? Do you upload your own? How long have you been building with WordPress? Have you used other platforms in the past? Leave your comments and questions in the comments below. I’m always interested in responding to your questions and would love to hear what you have to say.


  • Dan says:

    Hey Great beginner guide to adding photos! You covered everything which is nice because images give me the most grief when building a new post

  • Mila says:

    Hi Eric,
    Your post is very insightful and informative! My blog sometimes takes a lot of time just to load. Maybe it is because of the images all over my post. I’ll try and optimize the images using the helpful techniques you have provided.
    Thank you!

  • Mike Jay says:


    You’re great at giving away some of your secrets while you methodically demonstrate both visually and in print and the package is complete when the article is done. It’s genius.

    Again, I learn great tips from you on content. Love your site. Thanks again and I wish you all of the best!

    Mike Jay

  • Helen says:

    Eric!! Great information. I was scratching my head for forever trying to figure this out!! haha That little red link ‘Edit Image’ is quite evasive. I eventually gave up and went to photoshop. Your site is super helpful and insightful. Also, I love the way you’ve organized your info with the video tutorial and then the written walk through. Really great stuff. Thanks for getting this info out in to the interwebs! Keep that coming.



    • Eric Cantu says:

      Thank you Helen 🙂 Yeah I think this saves a lot of time when you can optimize and edit an image directly in WordPress as opposed to having to do all that outside the platform. I’m glad you like the site. Thanks for the comment!

  • Jacqueline says:

    Thanks for such a great video tutorial Eric!!
    I have been having issues with my WordPress site speed due to the large images I have.

    To reduce the image sizes, I was editing the images outside of WordPress using Canva as Canva allows you to download the newly created image as a .png file which is relatively smaller than a .jpeg file. Once I downloaded them, I then uploaded them back into WordPress. What a palaver!!!

    You have saved me hours of work!! I have quite a few images and copies of the same images and I’m always uploading the wrong ones. I never knew I could resize images within WordPress and it’s so easy to do – once you know how to!!

    Excellent training!!

    Thanks much


    • Eric Cantu says:

      Hey Jackie! Yes I think this really helps save on time by being able to scale images down directly from WordPress. I also use the WP Smush plugin which automatically optimizes all images even further. With that combination, I think you’re good to go. Thanks for the insight!

  • Louise says:

    This is great, recently I have noticed my site speed has slowed down and I think it is partly due to my image sizes.

    Because I have a travel blog, I like to put large images on as they are an integral part of my story. However, it’s made me think I should be reducing them a bit as the speed is only going to get slower otherwise!

    Is there an optimum size you would suggest for uploading or is that like asking how long a piece of string is??!


    • Eric Cantu says:

      How long a piece of string is… I like that, lol. I don’t know that there is a set size to go with, as different themes lay out differently and have different font sizes and spacing so you really just need to go with what works for your site.

      For mine in particular, scaling down large images taken with my iPhone that are upwards of 4000 x 3000 down to 640 x 480 has been perfect. Then on top of that I use the WP Smush plug in to further optimize the images 🙂

      I posted a recent article absolutely filled with images and video and optimizing the photos helped a ton so that it isn’t bogged down. In fact, I need to link to that article in this one to show exactly that. I’m going to do that right now. Here’s the article I’m talking about. Top 10 Places to Visit in Tokyo – Things to Do, Where To Go & What You Can’t Miss!

      Thanks for the great question 🙂 Safe travels!

  • Derek says:

    Hi Eric,

    Thank you for this super informative guide on optimizing images in WordPress! I’ve been having trouble lately when trying to upload new pictures, but your advice has saved me from headaches. I also didn’t know scaling the image reduces the file size and affects the site speed! Thanks for the awesome tips 🙂

  • Cut says:

    WOW! literally was just having problems trying optimize pictures for my site… I just gave up and used other pictures. This definitely helped me out. FOR REAL. I wish you had posted this sooner:)

    • Eric Cantu says:

      Glad to be of help! Sorry the article didn’t find you sooner but atleast you found something to help you in the future 🙂 Thanks for the comment. I appreciate it.

  • Craig says:

    These are excellent tips on image optimization in WordPress so thanks for sharing this information. It’s true that Google is definitely ranking higher for faster sites as user experience becomes more and more important. I try to optimize before I input into WordPress but maybe you can help me with one thing. When you add a custom size to the image in WP, how do you know how wide to make it, so that it suits all browsers?

    • Eric Cantu says:

      How’s it going, Craig. It’s usually larger images that sometimes don’t fit in certain browsers. People will upload a 4000 x 3000 image and use a plugin to optimize it, but they still leave it full size on their site. While their particular theme may responsive and automatically size it to fit the post, another reader may be finding a ginormous image taking up all the space on their screen. I’ve had good luck with the 640 x 480 sizing myself. It’s large enough to look fine standing alone inbetween paragraphs, and small enough to not have a large file size. I also use WP Smush to further optimize all my images automatically. Using them in conjunction allows me to not have to do any optimizing prior to uploading the image to WordPress which saves time. I appreciate the comment! Thank you!

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