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I've been using the outdated Imgsizr plugin for ages, but now I'm looking to update to something more efficient, etc. It's worth mentioning that I'm using Assets 2 for all uploads, and would eventually like to move all images to an s3 bucket.

I've played around with the native EE image manipulation settings. It seems that it would be much easier to control various image sizes through the native method, especially since I would be able to resize and regenerate all of these thumbnails at once from a centralized location, rather than rely on the first pageview from a user.

What are some pro/cons of using the native method vs using CE Image?

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I'm the author of CE Image and a long-time EE user. I'll try to be impartial in my response, as both methods definitely have pros and cons.

Native Pros

  • The manipulations happen 1 time, up front.
  • You can regenerate the images anytime you need.
  • You can set up multiple sizes.
  • It's free (well, you get it with the EE license).

Native Cons

  • If the sizes ever change, or the images need to be used at a different size, you will need to regenerate the images.
  • Not as powerful or flexible as CE Image.
  • All of the images in an upload location will be resized to the specified sizes, whether you need them to be or not.

CE Image Pros

  • You and your clients don't ever need to go into the control panel setting to generate (or regenerate) images, or segregate lots of different upload locations in order to only size specific images. This is particularly nice when some images may be used in different parts of the site, and you don't want to have to upload them to multiple upload locations.
  • Works with remote images (image URLs from other sites).
  • You can customize and resize images only when/where they're needed, as opposed to which upload directory they happen to be in.
  • You can manipulate the image names, cache directories, etc.
  • Automatically resize images inside WYSIWYG fields (and HTML) using the Bulk tag. So if your clients insert a large image into a WYSIWYG field (or an image from a different site that is large) and scale it down, it will be resized and compressed into a more manageable size.
  • More customization than the native settings. For example, on a photo gallery site, you may want to crop your images from the top, instead of from the center (so you don't decapitate people in the photos).
  • Great image handling and compression.
  • Images are cached, so the image manipulation only has to happen once.

CE Image Cons

  • There will be a slower page load the first time an image is manipulated.
  • Will be run on each page load and can result in slightly slower page speeds. This is not too big a deal if you use native tag caching cache="yes" refresh="600", and virtually eliminated if you use a more robust caching solution.
  • It costs money.

Notes

There are probably more pros and cons than I have listed here. Ultimately, the native solution shines because it resizes the images up-front. CE Image shines because of its flexibility and power.

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  • Thanks for the detailed response! How does the compression quality compare to the native method and also imgsizr? I've noticed that with the quality set at 90 on imgsizr, there are tons of artifacts in the compressed image. – Jon Horton Feb 2 '13 at 18:25
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    Neither ImgSizer or ED ImageResizer are being actively maintained, so IMHO, that's enough reason to move to a well-supported plugin like CE Image. – Derek Hogue Feb 3 '13 at 21:59
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    I can't recommend CE Image highly enough. Unless your budget is incredibly tight (or your needs are super vanilla and unlikely to change down the road), CE Image is worth every penny and miles head of the functionality available via EE's native image handling. It's a really, really well built add-on and Aaron is as good as they get (both from a development and support standpoint). – Brett Burwell Feb 3 '13 at 23:58
  • @JonHorton Compression for jpg format (which is generally the most used format for websites) will most likely be the same as the alternatives, as they all use the PHP imagejpeg compression method. I believe image compression for png images is more advanced using CE Image, as it takes advantage of compression filters. There's also a CE Image extension that handles lossless image compression. It can interface with server-side technologies to maximize image compression without visible image quality loss. The savings aren't as big as lossy compression, but they can add up in aggregate for a site. – Aaron Waldon Feb 4 '13 at 18:19
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I'm using CE image for serving up thumbs and and main images that populate a slider on each of my main single page views. I have played around with the settings and adjusted the quality of the thumbs down to 60, with default sharpening. They look really good on both 27" screen and retina devices. After the initial "call" they serve up nice and quickly. The only thing I've ever been a big concerned over is the fact that all images get made into one single folder, but I've been running my site for almost a year and not had any problems.

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  • Although the images all cache to /images/made by default, you can actually cache to as many different directories as you'd like. Simply change the cache_dir= parameter in the opening CE Image tag. You may want to use that parameter in combination with the hide_relative_path="yes" and unique="no" parameters, depending on what you would like to accomplish. – Aaron Waldon Feb 4 '13 at 18:26

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