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Interview with Alex Florescu of ShortPixel

Alex Florescu ShortPixel Interview

Meet Alex

Hello, I’m Alex Florescu, co-founder of ShortPixel – a service devoted to image optimization in particular and offering WordPress website speedup solutions in general.

We started ShortPixel over 10 years ago, and during these years we have optimized over 21 billion images. Our WordPress plugins are actively used on over 1 million websites.


Can you provide an overview of what ShortPixel does and its key features?

ShortPixel’s plugins are focused on solving image-related problems. The most popular plugin is ShortPixel Image Optimizer, which is used on over 300,000 websites. 

It quickly and automatically addresses all image-related issues faced by any WordPress website:

  • Automatically resizes and optimizes any image or PDF uploaded by the admin or editors of a website.
  • Converts files from PNG/GIF/BMP/TIFF to JPEG and also supports PNG, JPEG, GIF, and animated GIF optimization.
  • Generates optimized WebP and AVIF versions of the originally uploaded files. Many other options and features are listed here: https://wordpress.org/plugins/shortpixel-image-optimiser/

What makes ShortPixel different from other image compression tools on the market?

There are many things that set ShortPixel apart from the competition, such as stellar 24/7 support and multiple optimization options that cater to any possible WordPress use case. However, the most important differentiator is the image optimization algorithms themselves.

ShortPixel comes with SmartCompress, a smart way of optimizing images. Each image is optimized up to 20 different times in various ways until the sweet spot is reached. This means the image looks visually the same but has the smallest possible size.

A longer explanation of how this works can be found here: https://shortpixel.com/blog/introducing-smartcompress/

How does ShortPixel ensure minimal quality loss during compression?

We have three different optimization algorithms to simplify the user’s experience:

  • Lossless: The optimized image is pixel-identical to the original image.
  • Glossy: Preferred by photographers, it optimizes the images significantly, yet even a trained eye using a magnifying glass would have a hard time noticing any pixel differences 🙂
  • Lossy: Offers the best compression for cases where the image needs to look similar to the original, but minimizing size is important.

For both Glossy and Lossy, we use SSIM algorithms to ensure the optimized picture is visually indistinguishable to the human eye from the original: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Structural_similarity_index_measure

What are the main benefits of using ShortPixel for SEO and website performance?

Images constitute the bulk of a page’s size for most websites, usually around 70%. ShortPixel addresses this problem by reducing the size of images on a website by approximately 75%, making it faster to load for visitors. Additionally, ShortPixel Adaptive Images offers CDN support for any website, ensuring that all images and CSS/JS resources are served from our global CDN with minimal latency.

What are the common challenges users face when using image optimization tools, and how does ShortPixel address them?

Properly optimizing images requires both knowledge and time, and sometimes even this is not enough. Even if you optimize an image before uploading it to WordPress, the thumbnails automatically created by WordPress will still not be optimized.

https://shortpixel.com/blog/why-not-compress-images-before-uploading-them-to-wordpress/

Thumbnails are usually the images most of a website’s visitors will see. Additionally, larger websites with multiple editors often have huge images uploaded directly from their phones.

Having ShortPixel take care of this solves all these and other related problems in an elegant and automatic way.

How has the demand for image optimization tools evolved over the past few years?

When we started 10 years ago, image optimization was still in its infancy – people didn’t know much about how images impact SEO and the speed of a website. Nowadays, the public is generally much more educated about this, and I would guess that having an image optimization plugin like ShortPixel is probably on the must-have list for any WordPress website owner.

What advice would you give to new entrepreneurs entering the SaaS market?

Choose a niche where your experience or expertise can make a difference, come up with a product that solves a problem, and then stay focused long-term on improving the solution you’re offering to that problem.

How do you foresee the future of image optimization evolving, and what role will ShortPixel play in it?

We see image optimization as having nearly reached its potential in terms of WordPress – every website will have an image optimization plugin. In this very competitive market, ShortPixel strives to continue offering the best products and optimization possible, as it has been doing for the last 10 years.

Did you enjoy our interview? Do you have anything to say to our community?

Thank you for the questions! It is always nice to have a chance to share what I know about a subject I have been passionate about for years. Thank you for using ShortPixel products, and don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or features you’d like to see added to any of ShortPixel plugins.

Who we are interviewing today? Alex Florescu

Which product are you part of? ShortPixel

What is the focus of the interview? Image optimization and his role in ShortPixel company

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