ShortPixel Image Optimizer vs. Autoptimize's "Optimize images" option

Do I still need ShortPixel Image Optimizer (SPIO) if I installed Autoptimize and enabled its "Optimize images" option? Should I deactivate SPIO? Which one is better?

These are some of the questions we receive regarding these two plugins, and here's an attempt to make things clearer.

Note: Autoptimize is a plugin with a lot of optimization features. In this article, we only talk about our plugin ShortPixel Image Optimizer vs "Optimize images" option in Autoptimize settings. All the other Autoptimize features and settings do not overlap with ShortPixel Image Optimizer and can be used to your liking.

ShortPixel Image Optimizer (SPIO)

SPIO optimizes your physical image files on your server. It only works locally. To learn more about how SPIO works, click here.

Who is it for?

  • If the audience of your website is local and your website is hosted in the same city or small country, then we would generally recommend using SPIO. Just optimize all the images once and this should make the images of your site load faster for your audience.
  • If you need to free up disk space from your server, then you should use SPIO with the backup option deactivated. This is the only way to reduce the physical used space of your server.
  • If you need to create WebP files and you prefer to have them on your server alongside your original images, SPIO can do this. To learn more about this, click here.
  • If you are on a budget, SPIO is usually cheaper in the long term, as you only need to optimize your images once. SPAI usually incurs ongoing costs due to offering a CDN service, while SPIO does not: it only requires new credits for the new optimized images.

How are the credits counted?

SPIO uses 1 credit for every image optimized. Here you can read how SPIO uses your credits.


Autoptimize downloads your images, optimizes them, stores them on ShortPixel's CDN, and it replaces the image URLs when your front pages load, on the fly. It doesn't edit any of your original image files. To learn more about how Autoptimize works, click here.

Who is it for?

  • If the audience of your website tends to be widespread (e.g. whole US, North America, Europe, South America, or global), then Autoptimize is likely to be the best option as it will considerably speed up the image delivery via the ShortPixel CDN.
  • Images are the heaviest component of a website, so even if your audience is local, you can still use Autoptimize if you'd like to offload the image delivery to our CDN servers. This is useful in shared hosting when usually one has a certain bandwidth limit and the server doesn't have a lot of resources available.
  • If you want to serve WebP or AVIF files, but you don't want to create additional files on your server, with Autoptimize you can serve, on the fly, images in "next-gen formats" like WebP/AVIF, regardless of the CDN you are using. This means you can make Google happy with a click of a button! :-)

How are the credits counted?

Autoptimize usually requires new credits on a monthly basis. Here you can read how Autoptimize uses your credits.

Can I use both plugins?

Yes, you can use both plugins at the same time. And you can even use SPIO and the "Optimize images" option together, as they won't conflict with each other, but we would generally recommend to have just one plugin active.

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