How does ShortPixel Adaptive Images work?

Every time one of the pages of your website is visited, ShortPixel Adaptives Images (SPAI) analyzes its code and replaces each original unoptimized image with the right-sized optimized image. Each replaced image is served from the ShortPixel CDN.

Unlike ShortPixel Image Optimizer, SPAI does not touch any of your files, their URL or their metadata on your server; SPAI optimizes your images on-the-fly, when one of your pages is loaded by a visitor, which means that if you want to "return" to your original images, you can simply deactivate the plugin. This is the detailed process, completely transparent to all users:

  1. A user visits a page containing images.
  2. While the page is loading, SPAI checks for any image URLs on the code of the page. For example:

  3. After detecting an image URL, it sends that image to ShortPixel's optimization servers, which optimize it and store it on ShortPixel's CDN. This step is done only the first time a specific image is viewed or requested from one your visitors when the page loads.
  4. SPAI then replaces the original URL with a new one, which points to our CDN containing the optimized and properly sized image:
  5. Your page finishes loading and your images have been served from our fast CDN!

Frequently asked questions

Do I need to have the ShortPixel Image Optimizer plugin installed as well?

No, there is no need to have it installed. Here's how they compare.

Do I need to have my images optimized by ShortPixel Image Optimizer before using the ShortPixel Adaptive Images plugin?

No, there is no need to have the images previously optimized, but if you did optimize them, make sure you choose the Glossy or Lossless compression options for best results. Here's more information about this: I already used SPIO for image optimization, what settings should I use with SPAI?

Is SPAI able to handle WebP and AVIF images?

As long as you activate the option Next-gen Images Support under Settings > ShortPixel AI > General, yes, it should automatically detect whether the visitor's browser supports WebP and/or AVIF and serve WebP/AVIF images instead of the original format.

Are my image files physically replaced?

No, your original files will never be touched. SPAI only replaces the URL on each of your pages so they are served from our CDN, not the original URL of the file.

Can I use the same credits that were being used by ShorPixel Image Optimizer?

Yes, you can! Both plugins use the same pool of credits.

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