Immediately after setting up your free ShortPixel account, you are given 100 ShortPixel credits. Each credit allows the automatic processing of one image or thumbnail (or PDF) from your WordPress web site (or sites as you will learn below). Each and every month, regardless of whether you purchased a stack of credits from the “one-time payment” section (below the monthly and yearly plans in the ShortPixel.com Control Panel), you are given an extra 100 credits to use for free. In addition, you can get an extra 100 credits per month for every person that you refer.
In your account, even while on a free or paid monthly plan, you can still always buy one-time ShortPixel credits. Important to note is that your monthly credits will always be used first.
It’s worth noting that a credit is used for the optimized image only if the image is optimized by at least 5%. Otherwise no credit is used.
You connect your WordPress blog to your ShortPixel account via your personal API key. This key maintains a secure connection between your site and the ShortPixel servers to keep the credit information in synch and to process your images.
You may, at any time, switch from the Free Plan (of 100 images per month) to any of the larger plans, which now includes a yearly plan. Naturally, the larger the plan, the more savings that you achieve.
On the left side of the screen, when logged into your ShortPixel account, you will see the details of your chosen plan. There will also be an indication of when your credits reset (see the image below). It depends on the date you signed up as to what the renewal date will be. When on a monthly or yearly plan, any unused ShortPixel credits will *not* be carried over, an important distinction over the “one-time” credits discussed below.
Note: All of your WordPress web sites can utilize the same API key, so therefore can benefit from the same pool of credits.
Non-expiring ShortPixel credits for a one-time fee
While the monthly image processing plans offer an essentially set-it-and-forget-it approach because they top up automatically, there is also the option of choosing to purchase a pool of credits for a one-time fee. These credits never expire. You will see your credits and stats for these purchases in the “One-Time Quota” section on the left side of the ShortPixel.com Control Panel, just below the “Monthly Quota” section (see the image below). The information provided includes: Bought, Used, and Remaining. You can top up on your credits at any time and the “Bought” number will increase as expected. And again, all of the web sites that utilize your ShortPixel API Key will take from this pool of credits.
To summarize, you can use ShortPixel for free at a rate of up to 100 images processed per month (or more when referring friends). Or, you can benefit from a monthly plan. Monthly plans do not carry over to future months. Your quota is simply reset. When purchasing one-time ShortPixel credits though, your credits never expire. And, as expected, the more ShortPixel credits you purchase (from either pricing mechanism), the cheaper it is per credit. Appropriately, monthly credits are used before one-time credits.
You can keep track of your plan and credit details either from the Statistics tab (first go to: Settings >> ShortPixel) within WordPress, or from the Control Panel when logged in at ShortPixel.com (Login here: https://shortpixel.com/login)