Image & PDF Optimizer Plugin – ImageRecycle Review PROS & CONS



Easy to use






Overall quality



  • Affordable price
  • PDF optimization
  • Ability to revert image to original
  • Use on unlimited number of sites
  • Filter media


  • Cant set different type of optimization per image

How many times have you visited website which loads more than few seconds? Those seconds in your mind probably last like minutes. What do you do? I think the answer to that question is very obvious. You leave! Image Recycle Image and PDF Optimizer plugin can help in this cases.

Now think for a moment if your site has the same problem. Maybe you are too losing visitors and valuable leads and conversions. What’s the point of spending all the time and effort of doing SEO, if your site takes too much time to load?

Images take up to 80% of website page weight. This is why good optimization can speed up your page loading. Google has openly stated that websites which load fast have a better chance of getting a higher search engine rank.

Not only is a fast loading website good for search engines, but it is also an important factor for user experience. Studies has proven that a slow website can cause you more harm than good. It is known fact that about 25% of users leave your website after 4 seconds of page loading.

Since most websites rely on images, uncompressed and large images play a big role in slowing down a website. This is why optimizing and compressing your images should be your major concern.

There are many tools available that let you compress and optimize images and other related media on your website. One such tool is ImageRecycle.

ImageRecycle lets you optimize not just images but even PDF files. It also supports many CMS, including our beloved WordPress from which standpoint I will dissect this tool.


Image And PDF Optimizer Plugin – What’s So Special About It?

ImageRecycle is not anything new or innovative. There are many image optimization plugins available. Like Optimole (see Optimole review), WP Smush and EWWW. Basic idea of those plugins is to optimize and compress your images, so that file sizes are reduced, page load times improved, and the quality is not compromised.

ImageRecycle comes with basic features like most other image compression plugins for WordPress. But it also posses its own set of unique features that are not found in many of its competitors.




Most importantly, ImageRecycle is also PDF optimizer. Yes, it can compress PDF files too. Now this is something you don’t seen often. As a Pro user of ImageRecycle, you can also resize images and optimize entire pages with the help of CSS parsing.

Pro users also get to restore original images if they want (with a one month retention period). ImageRecycle has a WordPress plugin, and is integrated with various other platforms like Joomla, Magento and Shopify. If also offers integration API for languages such as Python, Node.js, Ruby and JAVA.


ImageRecycle vs WP Smush vs EWWW vs Kraken

  • Plugin   
  • Free Version   
    Does the plugin have free version.
  • Auto-Compression On Upload   
    Automatic compression of images on upload to site
  • Lossy Optimization   
    Reduces a file by permanently eliminating certain information, especially redundant information. When the file is uncompressed, only a part of the original information is still there
  • Lossless compression   
    Every single bit of data that was originally in the file remains after the file is uncompressed.
  • Backup Original Images   
    Can you restore original images if wanted
  • Bulk Image Optimization   
    Option to automatically optimize more than one image
  • Free Version Limitation   
  • Convert Files To Different Extension   
  • Optimize Images Outside Of The Media Library   
    Examples: theme images, BuddyPress, WP Symposium, and any folders that you have specified on the settings page.
  • Remove Metadata   
  • Offload Image Optimization   
    Let third-party server do optimization to reduce impact on your server.
  • Setting Image Optimization Level   
  • Scheduled Optimization   
  • Disable Automatic Optimization   
  • Disable Resizes For Certain Image Sizes   
    Wordpress, your theme, and other plugins generate various image sizes.
  • Filter Image Optimization By Folders   
  • Skip Images Based On Size   
  • Disable Image Optimization Based On Image Format   
  • PNG Optimization   
  • JPG Optimization   
  • GIF Optimization   
  • PDF Optimization   
  • Maximum Filesize   
  • Resize Feature   
  • Price Of Pro Version   

  • EWWW Image Optimizer
    EWWW Image Optimizer will automatically optimize images as you upload them, optimize images that are already uploaded, convert images automatically, and optionally apply lossy reductions for PNG and JPG images.
  • Only in paid version
    Requires a $1 upfront payment (which includes 200 credits) and then charges per image
  • Only in paid version
    Requires a $1 upfront payment (which includes 200 credits) and then charges per image
  • No lossy or lossless optimization
  • Only in paid version
    Requires a $1 upfront payment (which includes 200 credits) and then charges per image
  • 16 MB
  • Requires a $1 upfront payment (which includes 200 credits)

  • Kraken Image Optimizer
    This plugin allows you to optimize new and existing WordPress image uploads through Kraken Image Optimizer's API. Both lossless and intelligent lossy optimization modes are supported.
  • Only in Pro version.
  • Maximum Image Size 1 MB
  • 16 MB
  • Basic plan $9/month, Advanced $19/month, Premium $39/month, Enterprise $79/month.
    There’s also a Micro plan for $5 a month.

  • WP Smush
    WP Smush strips hidden, bulky information from your images, reducing the file size without losing quality. The faster your site loads, the more Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines will like it
  • Only in Pro version
  • Only in Pro version
  • Only in Pro version
  • Free accounts are limited to bulk smushing 50 attachments per request. Cant optimize images greater than 1MB. No lossy or lossless optimization.
    You will need to click to start a new bulk job after each 50 attachments.
  • Only in Pro version
  • 32 MB
    In pro version. In free only up to 1 MB
  • Smush Pro is available as a standalone plugin for $19/month
    Alternatively, with a monthly WPMU DEV membership ($29/month) you can download Smush Pro along with 150+ other plugins and themes.

  • ImageRecycle
    ImageRecycle comes with its own set of unique features, that are not found in many of its competitors. It offers not just JPG and PNG, but also GIF and PDF compression.
  • 15 days free trial
  • 1 month backup/restore
  • Free trial only lasts 15 days. So basically there is no free option.
    After trial ends to continue using plugin, you need to purchase one of available plans.
  • 30 MB
  • 1 GB (1 000 images) 10$/year, 3 GB (25 000 images) 20$/year and 10 GB (100 000 images) 50$/year
    Each pricing plan can be use on unlimited number of websites


ImageRecycle Review – Compress PDF & Images

The mode of operation for setting ImageRecycle on WordPress site is simple. You just install and activate the plugin, enter your API key info, and you are ready to go!

Be noted, you need to register a free trial account ( 15 days) or use and existing account. If you already have an account, just login, your API will be filled automatically.

If you have sub-accounts registered on your ImageRecycle account, you can pickup one of them instead. Sub-account number is not limited. Each sub-account has a dedicated quota you can define. They are good way to use ImageRecycle on more than one site.

You can create one sub-account for each website on which you intend to use ImageRecycle. Under ImageRecycle settings you can specify which folders the plugin should look into for finding images to optimize.

You can also specify maximum and minimum file size for images that the plugin should deal with. For example, if an image size is below 10 KB you may set that it doesn’t need not be compressed further.

Other settings include option to specify the compression type for each file type: PDF, GIF, PNG and JPG. You get to choose from original quality, no compression or best compression saving. If wanted, you can enable option to resize images too.


compress PDF WordPress


Once you set it up, you can just forget it and let it do its work automatically. To access to the plugin optimization interface click on Media > ImageRecycle. You can optimize already existing images and PDF one by one or use the “Optimize all” button to apply a compression on several elements.

The bulk optimization will run the process on all your content in background. It means that you can work with WordPress during this time and you’ll get email once it’s done if you have enabled that option in plugin settings.

All media will be placed in queue and you’ll get an estimation of the time remaining. You can also revert to original if needed during the backup storage time (1 month).

After optimization or during the restoration, images will be replaced on your server automatically. New images are automatically optimized on upload if you’ve set the plugin to optimize this file format.




The plugin includes few ways to find images you intend to compress. You can sort images based on latest uploaded, the heaviest… or use the top filtering tools to filter by status, file type or dates.

In the global configuration you can select which folder you want to optimize. If you’re using 3rd party plugins that store images or pdf in root folder you can force optimization for them aswell. If you uncheck a folder, optimization won’t be applied in the folder.




Quality options can be defined per content type. For example, if you want to disable PDF optimization to keep original quality for print, you can select No compression for PDF compression parameter.


ImageRecycle Features

The plugin is highly configurable and you can choose media from any folder on your server. It will work with all third-party plugins including WooCommerce.

Main features:

  • Compress automatically new images and PDF
  • Compress automatically existing images and PDF
  • Determine which folder to optimize
  • 1 month of original media backup and one click restore
  • Image resizing
  • Define an optimization quality per media type
  • Define a min and max size to optimize
  • Filter your media by status, date, file name
  • Plugin for WordPress but also for Joomla, Magento, Shopify…
  • Affordable pricing plans
  • Multiple sub-accounts
  • API for custom integration


ImageRecycle Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How does PDF image optimization process work?

A: The plugin will send your media on cloud optimizer, then replace the original image with the optimized image.


Q: Do I have a backup of my image and PDF?

A: Yes, backup of your original files will be kept for one month on a dedicated storage server. You can revert your original files in one click during that month.


Q: Should I select best saving or original quality?

A: Best saving has a better compression level than lossless compression. But the resulting image is not 100% identical with the original even if most of the time it’s not visible.


Q: How to exclude some files from optimization?

A: You can exclude some media from optimization with a server folder exclusion.


Q: Can I use the service on multiple site?

A: Yes. From the website you can create free and unlimited sub-accounts with, if you want, a limited quota. Or you can just use your main account key and secret on all your website.


Q: Are my images safe?

A: The ImageRecycle server encryption doesn’t allow anyone to access your media..


Q: Will ImageRecycle optimization work if my website is using a CDN?

A: Yes, the pdf & image optimization will be done without interfering with the CDN.


Q: Will ImageRecycle optimization work with WordPress cache plugins?

A: Yes, there shouldnt be any problems.





ImageRecycle Pros & Cons


  • Price
  • PDF optimization
  • Ability to revert image to original
  • Unlimited websites
  • Filter media

  • Can’t set different type of optimization per image on upload or bulk without changing global settings every time


Image And PDF Optimizer Plugin Final Words

It’s highly important in WordPress to make an image optimization. When you upload an image, 4 images are generated and stored on your server: a thumbnail, medium, large and original sized images.

Some plugins can add their own image size for specific layouts like WooCommerce.

ImageRecycle costs 10$ for 1 GB of content that can be compressed. Bigger plans are available at 20$ for 3 GB, and 50$ for 50 GB. There are other plans too for people who need more or you can request custom quotes.

For even cheaper price on all plans for new members you can use the code IR-PARTNER-20 for 20% discount.

All plans are one time payment for one year and include all extensions and plugins for different CMSs, professional support, and other goodies.

Pricing plans for image optimization are one of the best ones I have ever seen. Especially taking into consideration competition which mostly charges per month.

ImageRecycle does seem like a very unique service, especially because it is one of the very few ones out there that can work with PDFs (I don’t know any other WordPress plugin which can reduce PDF size).




The fact that it integrates well with many different platforms adds another point to ImageRecycle. Existing documentation contains guides with screenshots for integrations with different CMS and usage across other website tools.

ImageRecycle crew says that their jpg, png, gif optimization algorithm is capable of reducing the image size by up to 85% (5x +), while the resulting photos are visually identical to the originals.

And I think there are not far from truth. Taking all this into consideration I recommend trying ImageRecycle for WordPress owners or for everyone that need PDF optimizer.

Price is fair, basic and some unique features are available so there is no excuse to at least take opportunity and try trial version as no credit card input is needed.

If you need efficent way to organize WordPress media library files into folders, then check my FileBird review and if you are looking for all-in-one PDF tool, SwifDoo PDF is great choice.

DISCLOSURE: Posts may contain affiliate links. If you buy something through one of those links, I might get a small commission, without any extra cost to you. Read more about it here.

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