How does ShortPixel Adaptive Images work?

Every time one of your website's pages is loaded by one of your visitors, ShortPixel Adaptives Images analyzes its HTML/CSS and JS code and replaces each original 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. This is the detailed process, all transparent to users:

  1. A user loads a page containing images.
  2. While the page is loading, SPAI checks for any image URLs, for example:

  3. After detecting an image URL, it downloads that image to ShortPixel's servers, optimizes it and stores it on our CDN. This step is done only the first time an image is accessed.

  4. Then, SPAI replaces the URL with a new one, which points to our CDN containing the optimized and scaled, right-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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