It is important to optimize your images for the web so that visitors don’t have to wait for large images to show. A popular solution for this is the ShortPixel Image Optimization Plugin for WordPress. The plugin is available for free in the plugin directory. You get 100 free credits per month and can purchase more if needed. ShortPixel periodically appears on AppSumo where you can purchase credits that renew monthly.
One thing I really like about ShortPixel is that it is very easy to use. Whenever you upload an image ShortPixel automatically optimizes it in the background. This is one of those plugin which, once you set it up, you can pretty much forget … or can you?
ShortPixel has a number of settings so that you can use the plugin in a manner that works well for your site and workflow. One of the settings gives you the option to save the original image in a separate folder after it has been optimized. It is usually a good idea to have a copy of the original somewhere in case, for example, your logo looks blurry and you want to go back to the uncompressed version.
Recently I was taking a manual backup of one of my sites and I was surprised to find that the backup size was almost 1.5GB. This seemed very high given the the amount of content on the site. It didn’t take me long to locate the source of the issue. The ShortPixel image backup folder contained copies of all of the original uncompressed images, in all sizes.
wp-content > uploads > Shortpixelbackups
Since I hadn’t excluded this folder of original images from my backups, every backup archive was huge.
The solution was to FTP a copy of the ShortpixelBackups backup folder to long term storage and then delete the old original sized images from it. After doing that my backup archive size was decreased to under 700MB. I’ve added this now as a regular maintenance task. If you use ShortPixel and have the option enabled to keep copies of the original images then you may want to check on this.