WP Smush.it – Automatic smushing has been disabled temporarily due to an error

Written by Ingmar Verheij on March 1st, 2013. Posted in Other

Yahoo! YSlow Smush.itThe performance (loading speed and bytes sent) of a website can be optimized using Yahoo’s API “Smush.it” by optimizing images in several losless ways:

  • stripping meta data from JPEGs
  • optimizing JPEG compression
  • converting certain GIFs to indexed PNGs
  • stripping the un-used colours from indexed images

The WordPress plugin “WP Smush.it” does an awesome job by automating this process and offering a bulk action to smush all images. Unfortunately the Yahoo service isn’t very reliable nor fast, and that’s an understatement.

A lot of users are experiencing delays causing the plugin to be disabled. The following error is thrown:

Automatic smushing has been disabled temporarily due to an error. Operation timed out after 20000 milliseconds with 0 bytes received


I found out that the delay of 20 seconds is not enough 90% of the cases. After increasing the timeout to 180 seconds (3 minutes) the automatic smushing didn’t got disabled anymore (after 6 months testing).

Currently there’s no setting in the WordPress plugin to change the timeout, I’ve contacted the author and requested this feature. For now you need to edit the file wp-content/plugins/wp-smushit/wp-smushit.php and change the timeout in line 280 from 20 seconds to 180 seconds.

Edit WordPress plugin - WP Smush.it




Keep in mind that increasing the timeout could delay the process of smushing the images and therefor uploading your article.

Smush.it - reduced by

Ingmar Verheij

At the time Ingmar wrote this article he worked for PepperByte as a Senior Consultant (up to May 2014). His work consisted of designing, migrating and troubleshooting Microsoft and Citrix infrastructures. He was working with technologies like Microsoft RDS, user environment management and (performance) monitoring. Ingmar is User Group leader of the Dutch Citrix User Group (DuCUG). RES Software named Ingmar RES Software Valued Professional in 2014.

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Comments (10)

  • Willem
    10 March 2013 at 12:29 |


    Is it also possible to change this rule with functions.php so this change stays available also when there is new version of smush.it?

    Kind regards,


    • Ingmar Verheij
      10 March 2013 at 12:38 |

      Hi Willem,

      Unfortunately I don’t see how this can be implemented in funcions.php, the timeout is directly in the wp_remote_get.

      You could alter the wp_remote_get function and force a longer timeout, but I would seriously discourage anyone to do that. It would affect all functions that use this function.

      Let’s hope the author increases the timeout in the next release and/or make it configurable.


  • Ingmar Verheij
    12 March 2013 at 11:38 |

    Update 12 march 2013

    Yesterday the author updated the plugin to version 1.6.1, the changelog only states “no longer maintained notice”. The proposed solution was not implemented.

    • Ingmar Verheij
      21 March 2013 at 08:13 |

      On 15 march the author updated the plugin to version 1.6.3 and added a setting to configure the timeout.

      Changelog: http://wp.me/a1A0aH-1fc
      Example: http://wp.me/a1A0aH-1fd

      • Willem
        21 March 2013 at 14:09 |

        Yeah! Good thing :-). Thanks for the notice.

      • Ingmar Verheij
        22 March 2013 at 09:16 |

        Version 1.6.3 has a minor bug causing “Error posting to Smush.it” for new images.

        This is easily solved by removing the following code on line #330 in wp-smushit.php:

        $data = FALSE;

        • Ingmar Verheij
          25 March 2013 at 12:54 |

          Version 1.6.4 is released, this fixed the problem mentioned above.

  • 14 March 2013 at 03:25 |

    Is there a way to cache APIs?

    • Ingmar Verheij
      14 March 2013 at 06:50 |

      What do you mean with caching an API? Can you explain what you want to cache?

  • Bob Schmidt
    19 July 2013 at 16:36 |

    Looks like the maximum value that can be set via Settings/Media is 60. Higher values are changed to 60 on save.

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