If you try searching for the best image CDN on the WordPress plugin directory, the results will probably leave you with even more questions than answers.
What you’ll find as the top suggestions are image optimization plugins instead of CDNs for images. This can be pretty confusing – especially when you consider the basic fact that, whereas all image CDNs are image optimization solutions, not all image optimization plugins would qualify as image CDNs for WordPress.
Typing in “best WordPress CDN” wouldn’t help either. The system will only change its results into generic CDN and cache plugin options, without explicitly pointing out the best CDN for images.
Now, to clear up all that mess, we’ve put together the ultimate image CDN comparison guide for WordPress users.
But, before diving into the nitty-gritty, it’s only right we agree on the basics. At least then, you’ll get to understand the fundamentals our editors considered in identifying the five best image CDN services.
What is an image CDN?
CDN stands for content delivery network. This is a series of remotely linked servers that are distributed across different locations, with each data center caching a copy of your website’s static files.
Their job is to speed up site loading by minimizing the content delivery distance. They monitor each content request coming in, upon which cached files are relayed from the server that’s geo-positioned closest to the visitor’s location.
Image CDNs, on the other hand, refer to a subcategory of CDNs with specialized features that are dedicated to processing images.
The best image CDN services can, for instance, reduce the size of your images in real time based on each visitor’s device screen. For example, someone browsing on a Retina screen will receive a higher resolution than someone browsing on a low-resolution smartphone screen.
The same images may also be converted into lighter formats, scaled to optimal quality, and then delivered progressively as the visitor scrolls down the page. All these measures are meant to increase your page loading speeds.
Five best image CDN services for WordPress optimization
Here are our picks for the best image CDN for WordPress users:
Optimole sells itself as an all-in-one image optimization service. And that’s because it provides not just a CDN, but also automated tools for resizing, compressing, lazy loading, formatting, and converting your WordPress images.
The CDN here is powered by AWS CloudFront CDN, which has so far set up ultra-fast edge servers in more than 200 cities across the globe.
Once Optimole copies your site’s images, the extensive infrastructure allows it to perform cloud-based optimizations in real time on a case-by-case basis. That means that when content requests come in, the system automatically adapts the images to each visitor’s device.
🎯 Key features
- Powered by AWS CloudFront CDN.
- Serves images from over 200 edge servers.
- Draws image auto-compression intelligence from machine learning.
- Image optimization is fully automated.
- Scales images without reducing their quality.
- Converts images to next-gen formats.
- Lazy loads images according to the visitor’s viewport.
- Option to apply smart cropping to images.
- Option to offload images to S3, which can help you save space on your hosting server.
Optimole also happens to be one of the best free image CDNs, as it’ll hold and optimize all your WordPress site images at no cost.
The bills only start coming in if you exceed 5,000 monthly visits, upon which you’ll be charged at least $19.08 per month.
2. Bunny CDN
Riding on an 80+ Tbps network, Bunny.net CDN is a WordPress plugin that comes packaged as an all-inclusive CDN for images and standard content files.
Once you’ve installed and activated it, you’ll be connected to over 112 data centers across the globe – all of which utilize SSD servers for caching and content optimization.
The CDN image optimization operations are driven by a built-in feature known as the Bunny Optimizer. This is what pulls the images file from their storage location, and then proceeds to automatically resize, adjust, compress, and convert them to WebP format.
🎯 Key features
- Customizable caching.
- Edge rules can be configured.
- Automated WebP compression.
- Adapts images to device type.
- NVMe+ SSD servers.
- 100% cache HIT ratio.
- Real-time log forwarding.
- 112+ data centers across the globe.
If you choose Bunny.net as the best image CDN for your WordPress site, you’ll be incurring two different service charges.
There’s a CDN bandwidth charge, which starts at $0.01 per Gigabyte per month. Then for the Bunny Optimizer, you’ll be paying $9.5 per month.
Third on our list of the best image CDN for WordPress is ImageKit, which is yet another service that is built on the AWS CloudFront infrastructure. It even utilizes 200+ edge servers, just like Optimole, along with six image processing regions across four continents.
Keep in mind, however, that whereas Optimole is a master in image optimization and lazy loading, ImageKit tends to focus on image optimization and management.
What this means is, you get to access and tweak the images held in its CDN. ImageKit even provides an S3-based media library just for uploading, organizing, and tracking all the assets.
Then, when it comes to image optimization, the system automatically resizes, compresses, crops, and transforms images with minimal loss in quality.
🎯 Key features
- Delivers images in next-gen formats.
- Powered by AWS CloudFront CDN.
- Rides on 200+ edge servers.
- Performs automated URL-based image transformations.
- S3-based media library.
As a free image CDN for WordPress, ImageKit limits you to 20 GB of bandwidth and 20 GB of media storage.
Upgrading to the premium package, on the other hand, will have you paying at least $49 per month.
KeyCDN is the type of solution that you turn to when you need a CDN with advanced content delivery controls. In other words, you get to configure what, how, and from where your static files are served.
The system itself leverages more than 60 data centers, which are spread out across over 40 countries and six continents. This network leaves you to define your push and pull zones, log forwarding, GZip compression, Brotli compression, TLS, etc.
KeyCDN recently topped that off with an image processing tool, which focuses exclusively on delivering optimized images from its edge locations. Each of the images in your WordPress media library is automatically scaled, compressed, and adapted to your visitors’ devices – based on your pre-defined settings.
You should also be able to blur, flip, enlarge, and crop images, as well as serve them in WebP format.
🎯 Key features
- Supports brotli compression and Gzip compression.
- 60+ data centers across more than 40 countries.
- Adapts images to visitors’ devices.
- Allows you to set up your push and pull zones.
- Performs real-time image processing.
Just like Bunny.net, KeyCDN charges different rates for its CDN service and image optimization.
Having your images on its network will cost you $0.01 to $0.1 per GB. It all depends on the amount of data you’re dealing with, plus the server regions that you settle for.
As for image processing, you’ll be paying an extra $0.40 per 1,000 operations a month.
5. Cloudflare Images
After years of serving WordPress users as one of the best CDNs for images and other content files, Cloudflare rolled out Cloudflare Images to give you an end-to-end platform for building and scaling image pipelines.
What that means is, you can use Cloudflare Images to set different variants of the same image, and then leave the system to deliver the appropriate formats.
Think of it as a means of defining the image optimization attributes, as you’ll be the one controlling the sizes and formats of all the assets in your pipeline. Cloudflare Images’ job, on the other hand, is just to serve the most suitable format.
The image CDN doesn’t even factor in the amount of storage space taken up by the image variants. Only the originally uploaded images count toward your allocated storage quota.
As such, Cloudflare Images is arguably the best image CDN for WordPress users who are looking to scale their media library.
🎯 Key features
- Define your image variants using the Cloudflare Images dashboard.
- No egress costs for resizing and optimizing images.
- Serve images from 365 data centers across the globe.
- Sets up custom image pipelines.
- Resize, adjust, scale, and convert images.
Cloudflare Images charges $5 for every 100,000 original images it stores, plus an additional $1 for every 100,000 images served through its image CDN.
Which is the best image CDN for your WordPress site?
Well, if you happen to be running a small blog or website, you should be comfortable with a standard free WordPress image CDN.
For a good all-around option, you can consider Optimole.
It offers a smart, fully dedicated image CDN service that starts free and is capable of growing with you. This one is very strong on automations, as it optimizes images in real-time while drawing power from the super-fast AWS CloudFront infrastructure. Plus, you’ll appreciate the supplementary lazy loading capabilities.
For very high-traffic sites, you might want to look into a highly scalable option like Cloudflare Images. It’s the best image CDN for setting up and managing a library of many image variants.
If you’re an advanced user who wants the ultimate customization options, you might also like KeyCDN – its highly granular settings are great for A/B testing and extensive customization.
Do you still have any questions about picking the best image CDN for your website? Let us know in the comments!
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