Resizing Oversized Photos in Wordpress

If you find your Wordpress site is getting overweight with oversized original photos, the Imsanity plugin can trim them down to more sensible sizes.

Text & Photos By David Coleman
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The fastest website hosts often have pretty limited storage space available. And it can get very expensive to expand the storage space. Hosts that use SSD storage from Google or Amazon AWS are often limited to 20GB even for their high-end plans. That might sound like a lot, but if your site is getting larger and you use a lot of images, you can fill that up surprisingly quickly.

But even if you’re not using one of those high-end premium hosts, there can be very good reasons to keep the storage footprint of your site small.

And among the biggest offenders to taking up lots of storage space are large images. It’s not uncommon to upload images that are far larger than your site actually displays. After all, that’s why WordPress has sits built-in thumbnails settings for display sizes.

So what can you do if you want to reduce those originally uploaded versions to a more manageable size? It’s possible but messy to do it manually. Which is why I’ve found this plugin to be an especially useful option.

Imsanity Original Image Resizing Plugin for WordPress

The Imsanity plugin for Wordpress takes oversize photos and scales them to a more suitable size for display on a website. While there are several other ways this problem can be tackled, Imsanity provides a simple and reliable option.

One option for resizing images is to set the three media sizes under Settings > Media. You can add extra resized versions by using Wordpress’s add_image_size function. You can find more about that here. But that means messing with your functions.php file. And then to actually generate those new sizes on images already in Wordpress, you’ll need something like the Regenerate Thumbnails plugin.

You can also run into other quirks with this. I find that often the new sizes are not available for selection in the Wordpress dashboard embed features. And none of these options changes the original file–it just applies to resized derivatives. If you have users uploading high-resolution images directly from a camera, Wordpress’s built-in features won’t shrink them.

The most basic way to tackle the problem is, of course, to resize the images before uploading. But that adds extra steps, and if you’re running a site with other users, not every user will know how to resize reliably.

The Imsanity plugin takes out the guesswork, simplifies the workflow, and saves you from ending up with enormous images in Wordpress hogging your bandwidth and slowing down your backups. It’s designed to resize the original master images uploaded to Wordpress. It does not serve as a replacement for resizing derivative versions.

Imsanity works only on pixel dimension resizing. If you’re looking to optimize your images, take a look at EWWW Image Optimizer Cloud or one of the other image optimizing plugins for Wordpress.


You install the Imsanity plugin the usual way. The settings/configuration page is under Settings > Imsanity.

There’s not much to configure except to set the maximum image size you want and the JPG quality. The Convert BMP to JPG option is especially useful if users are posting screenshots.


Bulk Resizing

If you’re installing this plugin, there’s a good chance you’ve already run into the problem of having huge images in Wordpress and are looking to resize existing images. That’s where the Bulk Resize tool comes in. To access it, just scroll to the bottom of the Imsanity settings page (Settings > Imsanity).

There’s only one button, but there are some warnings to take note of. One is that there’s a limit of 250 images per run in order to prevent the server from coming to a grinding halt. The other is that resizing is irreversible. Read the warning in the red box before proceeding.


After you hit the Search Images button, you’ll get a list of the images that the plugin has proposed for resizing. You can check or uncheck images individually.



That’s about it. Imsanity is a one trick pony. But it’s a very handy trick. You can find the plugin here and support forum here.

Profile photo of David Coleman | Have Camera Will Travel | Washington DC-based Professional Photographer

Text & Photos by David Coleman

I'm a professional photographer based in Washington DC. Seven continents, up mountains, underwater, and a bunch of places in between. I've been shooting for 30+ years, and my my photos and time-lapse videos have appeared in a bunch of different publications from major newspapers to magazines and books, billboards, TV shows, professional sports stadiums, museums, and even massive architectural scrims covering world-famous buildings while they're being renovated. You can see some of my travel photography here and here.

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