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WordPress Lossless Image vs Lossy Image Compression

Why say a thousand words when a hundred words do the trick just fine? If you find yourself agreeing with that sentiment, then you will also probably agree with the next one: if two images look perfectly identical, but one takes less space, why not use the smaller image?



There are very few reasons why you would want to avoid image compression, but what you may not know is the difference between the modes of compression: lossless and lossy compression. Choosing between lossless and lossy image compression depends on what you plan on doing with the images. Image Recycle offers both possibilities, and in this article, we will dive into why you would choose one over the other.


WordPress Lossless vs Lossy Image Compression

If you go ahead and compress two WordPress images, one with lossless compression and the other with lossy compression, you will not be able to tell them apart. That is because the difference between lossless and lossy image compression is not in the quality, but the trade-off between size and reconstructability.

Lossy compression, as the name implies, loses some data while compressing images. That data is not noticeable, but because that data is removed, it cannot be retrieved again. In other words, the original image cannot be reconstructed. However, because the compression algorithm can remove more data, the compressed image is much smaller.

1. Compression Types

In contrast, lossless compression removes no data whatsoever. If you want to get the original image and edit it later, you can do it because for all intents and purposes, the compressed image has perfect fidelity with the original one. Although it removes no data, the compression still reduces the size of the image through other means, but not as much as lossy compression.

Which one should you go for then? It depends if you can afford or want to hold on to the entirety of the original data. If you do, you can choose lossless compression and Image Recycle can save up to 20% of the space from your WordPress images. If it is unlikely that you will need to get back to the original image, then lossy compression will suffice, and Image Recycle can compress your WordPress images by up to 80%.

2. Image Recycle Settings

To choose which mode to use in your WordPress blog, head to Image Recycle’s settings, choose the compression type between best saving (lossy),original quality(lossless) and no compression, and save changes. You can change the compression mode for different file types: PDF, JPG, PNG and GIF files. Once more, the choice comes down to how you plan on using the different files.

To optimize images, head to Image Recycle from under the Media menu and click on the optimize button next to the files you want to change, or optimize them in bulk. If you compress images while keeping the original quality, or with lossless compression, optimized images can also be reverted in the same way.

3. Optimize and Revert

There is little reason why you would want your files to remain uncompressed, but that is not the end of the story. Knowing the difference between compression modes is what helps you to get the best out of your files, both in the present and in the future: the compromise between image size and fidelity.

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