The 3.5 release focuses on plugin compatibility with some nudges in the plugin settings page related to background and parallel optimization as well as the lossy compression options.
First of all, full integration with MediaPress has been added, so that MediaPress uploads are automatically optimized during upload. That had me thinking about one of the other “social” site plugins, WP Symposium. It had been a long while since I checked compatibility with WP Symposium, but it turns out that WPS stores all images in the Media Library except avatars, which means most WPS uploads are already optimized. So the only thing missing was to add the avatars folder to the scanning routine for bulk and scheduled optimization. WPS uses a custom image cropping library, so it is necessary to use scheduled optimization to ensure continued optimization of WPS images.
More S3 Compatibility
A much larger undertaking was adding compatibility for the S3 Uploads plugin by Human Made. This S3 plugin transfers files to S3 storage as soon as possible, and does not keep local copies of your images, so it requires a bit of work to make sure EWWW IO can work with those images. EWWW IO 3.5 is now able to fetch a copy of images from S3 and update your S3 bucket after optimization. It will do this asynchronously if background optimization is enabled, or during upload otherwise. EWWW IO can include these S3 images in a bulk optimization, and the one-click actions in the Media Library.
Better WebP Rewriting
In some cases, you may need to tweak the default rewrite rules for WebP images. The rule validator is now much more flexible, so that changing the rules doesn’t break the validation. The rules include a fix for some LiteSpeed servers. Lastly, you can add the parameter “type=original” to link to the original image, if you need folks to be able to download that for some reason.
Background and Parallel Optimization
I introduced these features nearly a year ago, but they may not be obvious to many folks. Now, you can view the status of Background and Parallel modes directly in the Plugin Status section. If there is something preventing these performance improvements from working on your site, the plugin will indicate that as well. This will hopefully allow more folks to take advantage of the improved workflow that these features allow.
There are also some updates to the settings page and plugin description to make it clear that the lossy compression used by EWWW IO is not your Grandma’s lossy compression (sorry Grandma!). Unlike Google’s PageSpeed Insights and Photoshop’s “save for web”, EWWW IO uses unique algorithms to make sure the quality of your images is always a priority. This compression sometimes yields up to 80% savings and averages a whopping 50% across the millions of images optimized to date. It may not be right for everyone, but if you are serious about website performance, you can’t afford not to check it out. Yeah, that was a double negative, my bad…