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 un-optimized 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 on your server; SPAI optimizes your images on-the-fly, which means that if you want to return to your original images, you can simply deactivate SPAI. 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, for example:

  3. After detecting an image URL, it sends that image to ShortPixel's servers, which optimize it and store it on our CDN. This step is done only the first time a specific image size is requested.

  4. Then, SPAI replaces the 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!

Some common questions and their answers:

  • Question: Do I need to have the ShortPixel Image Optimizer plugin installed as well?
  • Answer: No, there is no need to have it installed. Here's how they compare.
  • Q: Is SPAI able to handle WebP images?
  • A: As long as you activate the option WebP Support under Settings > ShortPixel AI > General, yes, it should automatically detect whether the visitor's browser supports WebP and serve WebP images instead of their original format.
  • Q: Are my image files physically replaced?
  • A: 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.

Have a look at our Step-by-step guide to install and use ShortPixel Adaptive Images (SPAI) to get started!

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