JPEG and PNG are old school. WebP is the new kid on the block

Ever heard of webp? It’s this relatively new image format designed by Google that makes your images load even faster by making them smaller in size and in this article, I am going to show you how to convert your wordpress images to the webp format.

Every website, hosted on WordPress, should have well-optimized images for it to be able to grab eyeballs and rank on search engine’s image listings. Optimizing WordPress images becomes extremely easy when you have a plugin at hand.

Enter OptiMole, the new WordPress plugin that allows you to optimize images and compress them to WEBP format. This all-in-one solution compresses the weight of images by almost 80 percent, while making them look as appealing as intended. The result of using it is a super-fast website. The best part: it’s easy to use and is completely cloud-based, meaning you don’t have to stress your server.
You can install and configure it in a matter of just a few minutes. Here’s a quick guide to using this awesome solution:

Step 1 – Sign up for a free Account

You need to visit the OptiMole website and create your free account.

Once you have created the account you will immediately be redirected to your account page where you will see the API key that has been created for you automatically.

how to convert wordpress images to webp format with optimole
optimole api key

Don’t forget to validate your email address by clicking on the link contained in the activation email sent to you.

With your account created and API key generated, its time to move on to step 2 which is

Step 2 – Plugin Installation

Navigate your way to the plugins page and search for the optimole plugin. Download, install and then activate the plugin like you would any other.

With the plugin active you will be redirected automatically to the plugin page where you will need to connect the plugin to your free account by using the API key.

Click on the ‘I already have an API key’ link and then paste the key in the box on the next page.

api key optimole

Since you already have an API key, just paste it into the text field and then click on the “Connect” button. This will connect your website to OptiMole’s servers. Some background tests will prepare your website, after which a new dashboard page appears.

Once connection has been established, the plugin will begin to convert your images to the webp format behind the scenes.

OptiMole auto-optimizes every image file in your library and anything new that you upload. As you keep posting your blogs and customizing your website on WordPress, the plugin runs in the background. You can simply sit back while it does its job and enjoy your speedy website.

After a few minutes depending on how images you have, Optimole will finish converting your images to the webp format.

One quick way to check if the conversion has finished is inspect your image using your browser inspect tool. You will notice a change in the way the image files are now titled.

optimole naming

You might also notice a change in the way your images start to load when you refresh your page. It’s something like a blurred effect appearing before the image is fully rendered.

Optimole Settings

In addition to converting your images to the webp format, the optimole plugin also has some other optimization features it offers such as image resizing and lazy loading. You definitely want to keep these two on.

optimole settings

Under the advanced tab, you also have access to additional features including compression, resize and lazy load.

In the compression tab, you will be able to determine just how much compression you would like to apply to your images. I recommend you experiment and find a good balance between the level of compression and image quality.

optimole additional settings

In the resize tab, enable smart cropping and retina images. If you don’t know, retina images are used on devices that will display pixels at a much higher density (usually Apple devices). 

resize optimole

Be sure to enable lazy loading for background images in the lazy load tab.

Finally you can also choose to not optimize or lazy load certain images in the exclusions tab. Unless you have specific and good reasons for the exclusions, I would recommend you optimize and lazy load all images on your website.

Conclusion

Optimizing your images is one of the best ways to ensure good load time speeds and with Optimole you can’t go wrong. 

For additional information on how to further optimize your website, why not check out my super extensive article on WordPress speed optimization.

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