What is Lossy Compression & How to do it Effectively?

lossy compression

Sometimes, image compression is done aggressively by compromising somewhere with the image quality to reduce the file size. This quality-compromised image compression is known as ‘Lossy compression’.

It dramatically improves your website speed and reduces image size on your website.

You can compromise on the quality of the image as far as they don’t impact your business performance.

Lossy Compression Example

lossy compression
Uncompressed (528 kb)
lossy compression
Compressed (336 kb) 36% reduction

You can see that there is no major change in the above two pictures. Both pictures can easily be seen, and are not distorted. The only difference is in their file size.

Now the question is why is lossy compression important, and do we really need it?

Who Should Use Lossy image compression?

It is totally up to you whether to use lossy image compression or lossless compression.

You can implement this powerful compression method if your ultimate target is to serve your website’s pages at the fastest speed and rank better than your competitors.

Who should use Lossy images?

If you’re a blogger and use such pictures, or screenshots inside your blog posts to explain something to your readers, lossy compression is great for you.

You can choose the level of compression so that you’re able to reduce the image’s file size to the optimum extent. Optimum level compression means the image is clear and smallest in file size at the same time.

Who should not use Lossy images?:

We don’t recommend lossy image compression for fashion bloggers, food bloggers, and photographers. We suggest they go for lossless compression.


Because with lossy image compression, you lose the high definition quality of the images.

And being fashion, food, or photography experts, you must rely on pixel-perfect photographs to attract prospects.

Why use Lossy Compression?

1. It helps your images load faster

Of course, the heavier the web page assets are, the more time it takes to load as a whole. You’ll be able to make your web pages load faster than your competitors.

It is a major ranking signal for SEO in 2018.

2. It saves your disk space on the server

Modern business is using SSD disks and that is costly as well. You can not afford to overspend for hosting your oversized images.

So, compress JPEG images every time you use them on your site and save disk space on the server.

3. You save on bandwidth when traffic spikes

Bandwidth is consumed every time an image is loaded from your servers. If you get 100 page views with 1024 kb of images on the page, it consumes 100 MB of bandwidth on your server.

A very small number of page views are consuming 100 MB of bandwidth, what if you’ve more traffic. If not today, occasionally, you may get a spike in traffic for any reason.

4. Google says compression is nice

If you check your website speed insights in the Google page speed tool, you will find the section saying “Optimize Images”.

This is actually asking you to compress and resize the images. As a tip, using 1000×500 images for a container 300×150 of size is not a great idea.

lossy compression

How to do Lossy Compression?

You can use tools like photobook or compressor.io to optimize your images in bulk with maximum reduction in size and minimum reduction in quality.

A photobook is an offline photo compressor/software that works with your MacBook or Windows-powered laptop. Compressor.io is another web application-based image compressor that works on any device you have.

You can also do lossy compression online with Optimizilla that’s an amazing online image optimizer. Just drag and drop your image to enjoy compression.

For example, consider this image. With the help of Optimizilla photo optimizer, we reduced the image size by up to 85%. The image still looks fine.

lossy compression

P.S. You can also make use of some graphic design software for picture compression. Use the Save for web command to save the image in JPEG format, and then choose the optimum reduction level.

Before Lossy Image Compression

1. Take a backup of your website

To stay on the safer side while doing any major change to your website, Taking a backup is very important. You can also try things on a staging website and then push it to the live site in Breeze Panel.

I recommend making major changes always in a staging environment because it may affect your business negatively if you lose any content/functionality of your website.

2. Do a quick scan of your website images

Not only to analyze the images on your server but also to track the performance and statistically measuring the effect of lossy compression, do a quick scan and see how much storage existing images are using.

This way, you would be able to figure out how much have you saved after performing the lossy picture compression.

Lossy Compression in WordPress

WP Smush

With the premium version of WP SmushIt by WPMUDEV, you can choose to lossily compress your images when they are uploaded.

You can also do a quick bulk optimization to speed up and optimize your existing images on the website.


Imagify, by WP-rocket, is yet another WordPress plugin that helps you optimize website images. You have the freedom to choose the level of compression you need.

The free quota per month to optimize existing or new images is 50 MB.

You can upgrade your plan and see results on your website. It simply justifies with your web hosting bills. While you save on your cloud storage usage, you pay for optimizing the images.

Trust me, this will result in a profit in long run.

Explore more awesome image compression plugins that help in optimizing images on your site, and improve WordPress performance.

Page Speed Tests

Lossy compression really speeds up your site by helping images load faster. You will realize this after the page speed test.

Compare the results before optimizing your images and after doing lossy compression, there’ll surely be a difference in your website performance.


Lossy and lossless compression, are amazing methods to reduce your image file size.

However, lossy compression is a more effective way to surprisingly speed up your website by reducing images size.

As a result of lossy image compression, the web pages get smaller in size and it takes lesser time to load the web page as a whole.

However, if you are a photographer, or travel, fashion blogger, you must make your way towards lossless image compression to reduce file size without compromising on image quality and clarity.

Let us know which image compression method do you use.

Also, tell us your favorite image optimization plugins in the comments.

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