Autoptimize 2.9 “Fountainbel” just released

Autoptimize 2.9 was released earlier today. It features:

  • New: per page/ post Autoptimize settings so one can disable specific optimizations (needs to be enabled on the main settings page under “Misc Options”).
  • New: “defer inline JS” as sub-option of “do not aggregate but defer” allowing to defer (almost) all JS
  • Improvement: Image optimization now automatically switches between AVIF & WebP & Jpeg even if lazyload is not active (AVIF has to be explicitly enabled).
  • Improvement: re-ordering of “JavaScript optimization” settings
  • Misc. other minor fixes, see the GitHub commit log

This release coincides with my father’s 76th birthday, who continues to be a big inspiration to me. He’s a mechanical engineer who after retirement focused his technical insights, experience and never-ending inquisitiveness on fountain pen design and prototyping, inventing a new bulkfiller mechanism in the process. Search the web for Fountainbel to find out more about him (or read this older blogpost I wrote in Dutch). Love you pops!

Autoptimize Image Optimization to be less “lazy” with pictures

Up until now Autoptimize, when performing image optimization, relies on JS-based lazyloading (with the great lazysizes component) to differentiate between browser that support different image formats (AVIF, WebP and JPEG as fallback).
As JS-based Lazyload is going out of fashion though (with native lazyload being supported by more browsers and WordPress having out-of-the-box support for it too), it is time to start working on output in Autoptimize to serve “nextgen image formats” where different tags offer the AVIF and WebP files and the tag (which includes the  loading=”lazy” attribute) with JPEG as fallback.
For now that functionality is in a separate “power-up”, available on Github. If you have Image Optimization active in Autoptimize (and you are on the Beta version, Autoptimize 2.8.1 is missing a filter which the power-up needs so download & install the Beta if not done yet), you can download the plugin Github and give it a go. All feedback is welcome!

AO image optimization: transparent .png to avif issue

if “Load WebP or AVIF in supported browsers?” is on, .png files with transparency will loose that transparency in browsers that support AVIF due to a recent technical change in Shortpixel’s AVIF toolchain.
Shortpixel is looking at alternative solutions, but until then as a workaround you can either:

  • add .png to Autoptimize’s lazyload exclusion field
  • or to use below code snippet to disable AVIF images;

add_filter( 'autoptimize_filter_imgopt_do_avif', '__return_false');

Autoptimize with support for AVIF images

You probably have heard about AVIF already, but if not; it is a new image format which is based on the AV1 video format and generally has superior compression than the better-known WebP, JPEG, PNG and GIF formats. Avif is currently supported by Chrome & Opera and can be enabled by setting the image.avif.enabled flag in Firefox.
So now you know what it is you may want to use it on your WordPress site? In that case -and the title kind of gives it away- the freshly released Autoptimize 2.7.8 now has support for AVIF if you have image optimization active. Just as for WebP Autoptimize hooks into the lazyload JavaScript to detect if your visitor’s browser supports AVIF and will switch the requests to the ShortPixel CDN to that format if so. If AVIF is not support but WebP is, the requests will be for WebP images and if those are not supported old-fashioned JPEG’s will be loaded.
So there you have it, AVIF is now available in WordPress!

Want to test AVIF images with Autoptimize’s Image Optimization?

So AVIF is a new(ish) image format that promises even better optimization then WebP and is supported in desktop Chrome & behind a preference in Firefox; go to about:config and set image.avif.enabled to true.
If you are using Autoptimize to optimize your images and you want to test AVIF images, you can use below code snippet to do so;

add_filter('autoptimize_filter_imgopt_webp_js', function(){return '';});

Use the the code snippets plugin to add this (easy and safe) or if you’re adventurous add it to your theme’s functions.php.