The file formats used by you on your webpage have a major impact on its promptness, performance, and quality.
Although, reckoning what types of image formats to use can be a little troublesome.
WebP is a comparatively new, next-generation image file format developed by Google. Understanding its meaning and how one can utilize it on WordPress can assist in enhancing user experience (UX) and decreasing loading times.
One need to convert existing images to WebP format before using it. This can be performed in innumerable ways. From something as simple as exporting from your preferred design program to cloud services, etc.
In this article, we’ll introduce you to WebP and its various aspects.
Therefore, let’s get started!
An introduction to WebP Image Format
This Format provides rich and appealing images, but in a smaller size than PNG or JPEG. It joins and enhances the finest qualities of the PNG and JPEG formats by offering advanced lossless compression.
Some of its main features are as follows:
- Due to its smaller size, a site that includes many images becomes SEO friendly.
- WebP lossless images are 26% smaller in size compared to PNG and 25-34% smaller compared to JPEG.
- WebP supports both Lossy and Lossless compression.
Webp utilizes “predictive coding” to reduce the file size. Predictive coding uses the values of neighbouring pixels in an image to guess values and then encodes the difference. It depends upon VP8 key frame encoding.
Lossless WebP utilises a complex set of methods that were created by the WebP team.
As optimizing image files sizes is crucial to improve the site’s performance, WebP can come in handy to do so without affecting the image’s quality. This makes WebP a preferred choice for many website designers.
Benefits of using WebP Image Format in your Website
Here are the several benefits of using WebP.
- Saves bandwidth: Bandwidth refers to the rate at which your server can transfer data to your users within a certain time. WebP can free up bandwidth space, letting your websites provide more content.
This is especially critical for websites that incorporate many images, such as in photography, food, or travel blogs.
- Improves SEO (Search Engine Optimization): Lightweight images increase page speed, which in turn, positively impacts website ranking in search engines results.
- Showcase high-quality images: With WebP, one doesn’t need to sacrifice image quality for swift loading speed. You can have the best of both and enrich your site’s user experience.
- Display various types of images: WebP allows you to get both transparent and animated images.
- Improves site’s performance: The WebP format is more lightweight than JPEG or PNG. Lighter and smaller images will enhance the performance of your website.
How to convert to WebP format?
Various softwares support WebP. Hence, you can create them directly from the source (such as Adobe Photoshop Sketch). However, if you possess pre-existing images or they come from a place that doesn’t support WebP, then you’ll require an image converter.
There are plenty of image converters that succeeds at the primary task of converting a file to WebP. A few examples are XnConvert, Ezgif, and so on.
Do check them out!
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Web browsers that support This Imag format
If WebP images have to work, they need to be supported by the browser. However, while browser support has developed massively, WebP compatibility is still not universal.
Here are a few browsers that support WebP format.
- Firefox (Desktop and smartphone)
- Chrome (Desktop and smartphone)
- Windows Edge
- Opera (Desktop and smartphone)
- iOS and macOS Safari (macOS 11 Big Sur and later only)
Internet Explorer does not support WebP. However, the total number of users of internet explorer have shrunk to less than 1% of total internet users. So, it is not much of an issue.
How to utilize WebP images in WordPress?
Generating WebP images isn’t as easy as getting a JPG/JPEG image. This is the default image file format on most cameras, smartphones, etc.
With WordPress plugins, converting PNG or JPEG images to WebP can be fast and easy. In addition, you won’t have to directly edit any of the website’s files, as the plugin will do all the work.
Besides ease of use, one benefit of this system is that you won’t have to worry about visitors who are reading your website from a browser that doesn’t support WebP images.
If you upload a JPEG file to your website, the plugin will:
- Convert the JPEG file to WebP and serve the WebP version of Chrome, Firefox, etc.
- Showcase the original JPEG file to visitors browsing with safari (older macOS versions) and other browsers that don’t support WebP.
A few examples of WordPress plugins that can help you achieve it are- ShortPixel, Imagify, Optimole, etc.
In this manner, everyone can see your image, and everyone gets the best experience possible.
A picture is worth more than 1000 words. Hence, one must utilize images to engage with prospective leads, and get more people on your side.
However, a quality picture is also worth 10,000 bytes. Thus, such large image files directly impact the website load time, causing many of your visitors to bounce off the page.
Considering the immense impact on loading times, fundamentally any website can significantly benefit from WebP format.
WebP is the next in line image format that improves significantly upon its predecessors, like JPEG or PNG. It provides advanced compression technologies that can preserve image quality while having smaller sizes.
However, since it’s still a modern technology, there is considerable room for improvement for its software compatibility.
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