Boost site speed by converting images to WebP

22nd October 2021 | | Uncategorised

The file formats you use on your website have a major impact on its speed, quality, and performance.

WebP is a modern image format introduced by Google, created specifically for online images. The format essentially allows webmasters and web developers to create images with a smaller file size without loss of quality. This contributes to improving loading times which, in turn, enhances the user experience (UX) whilst on the site.

WebP images display based on their pixel values. Essentially, only the core fundamentals are included, without distorting the appearance of the photo. As a result, the file sizes are small, yet the image quality remains high. It was first introduced back in 2010 and has since been upgrading and improving until its current state. This file format is currently supported on Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Opera, and Safari.

It’s designed to use a more aggressive and better-optimized compression algorithm than JPG and PNG with the objective of reducing file sizes more than other image formats. This contributes to better performing websites that consumes less bandwidth. It also makes Google happy as they favour fast websites in their search rankings.

The three main benefits:

  1. Improving site speed.
  2. Compression – One of the best and most effective ways to optimize images is by reducing their file sizes through compression.
  3. Versatility – The format combines features that haven’t been combined in a single format before. It incorporates both transparency and animation. This is a huge milestone because typically you don’t find those features in the same format: before WebP, you’d have to use PNG for transparent backgrounds and GIF for animations, and nothing supported both at the same time.

A bit more on the compression benefits of WebP. There are two main types of compression: lossless (the image quality stays the same as the data size goes down) and lossy (the image quality goes down slightly as the data size goes down significantly). According to Google’s own data, WebP lossless compression is 26% smaller than PNGs and its lossy compression is 25-34% smaller than JPEGs. So for sites that use a lot of images, switching over could make a significant impact and shave valuable milliseconds of loading time, especially on mobile.

Can you notice the difference between these two images? I bet you can’t!

JPEG

WebP

How to convert to WebP image format?

A lot of software supports WebP so you can create them straight from the source but if you have pre-existing images or they come from a place that doesn’t support WebP, you’ll need an image converter and there’s plenty to choose from by simply searching on Google.

WebP’s performance, combined with the vote of confidence from Google, really paves the way for it to become the new default web file format.

If you would like any further advice then give the Dental Design team a call on 01202677277.

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