If you want to speed up your WordPress site, it offers significant returns for your investment by reducing the file size of your images. The pictures represent about half the size of a webpage, on average, so that even minor improvements can produce humiliating results. WebP images can help you enormously!
WebP is a Google-developed Web image format that can be similar in quality to existing image formats in smaller image sizes. In this post, we’ll explore further the “What’s WebP?” question and share more about the format. We also talk about the advantages and disadvantages of WebP images and how you can use WebP images on your WordPress website.
What is WebP image?
The WebP image format is a new image format for the web. It provides lossless and lossy compression for images on the web. WebP lossless images are 26% smaller in size compared to PNGs. WebP lossy images are 25-34% smaller in size compared to JPEG images at equivalent SSIM index. This means that you can make your pages load faster by replacing the JPEG and PNG formats with WebP, and in most cases, you will not be able to visually distinguish between the original and the WebP version of the image.
WebP is a format developed by Google to reduce image file sizes while maintaining an acceptable visual quality. This format is based on two other formats: JPEG/JFIF and PNG. Its primary advantage is image size reduction while remaining fully compatible with all major browsers. Of course, one should not take this for granted! Adobe Photoshop has its WebP plugin to help you get started with WebP easily!
WebP delivers better quality, better performance, same or smaller file sizes compared to other popular formats. WebP is supported by Google, Twitter, Facebook, Alibaba, WordPress.com, and many others. This article will show you how to use WebP images in your WordPress website.
There are file types that you can use to save images for web use. PNG, JPEG (or JPG), and GIF are the three most common options. Each one has its special advantages, even if these formats are popular:
– JPEGs can display very detailed pictures in many colors, making them ideal for photographs. At the same time, the files are often very large and are not always compressed well.
– PNGs are ideal for pictures that do not involve a lot of data, like logos or screenshots. They maintain quality when compressed and promote transparency, although for photographs they don’t work well.
– GIFs are great for animation, but not good for the storage of static images.
Advantages and drawbacks of your website using WebP images:
Now that we’ve answered ‘What is WebP?’ let’s talk about why it matters when talking about the advantages and disadvantages of WebP images.
WebP pictures pros:
As we mentioned earlier, the main purpose of this picture format is to offer both PNG and JPEG a web-focused option in most situations.
Image files take up space – regardless of how saved they are. The more images and media you add to your site, the more likely it will be that it will be lagging. It is incredibly important to keep your pages loading rapidly, as slow speeds drive visitors away before they even see what you have to provide.
The compression of image files makes them smaller and more efficient but often leads to quality loss. Generally speaking, the more a picture is compressed the worse. The particular type of file you use does however affect the extent to which the effect is extreme.
Images that are stored in WebP format can be made of much less quality than JPEGs and PNGs. Again, lossless WebP images replace PNGs and the files are approximately 26 percent less. Lossy WebP images are 25-34% smaller than JPEGs, on the other hand.
It is also noteworthy that both WebP image types support transparency. Transparent images are unbelievably useful on the web – you can use them as one example for logos and another branding. As a function, JPEGs do not provide transparency but Webp pictures loss do.
WebP pictures cons:
If WebP provides many advantages, why are not more people using it? The main drawback, though more and more browsers add support, is that currently webp images are not supported by all browsers.
Should you use WordPress WebP images?
You can help speed up your WordPress website by using WebP images. The best practice with a WordPress plugin, CDN, and more is recommended. It is recommended to use. WordPress supported WebP images by default since WordPress 5.8. This means that your WebP images can be saved and uploaded without using a plugin on your WordPress Web Site.
But after this, you may still want to use your WordPress image compression plugin. If any of your users are using non-supported browsers, then a compression plugin is needed. Image compression plugins can convert your existing images to a WebP format and show JPEG or PNG images in browsers that still don’t support WebP as a backup option.
You should consider using WebP images if your website uses a lot of images and slow down your WordPress blog.
What Web Browsers support WebP?
The web browser of a visitor needs to support WebP images. To work. Unfortunately, WebP compatibility is still not universal while browser support has grown significantly.
Popular browsers like WebP images are supported by:
Chrome: Chrome (desktop and mobile)
Fire focuses (desktop and mobile)
macOS and iOS Safari (macOS 11 Big Sur and later only)
Opera (desktop and mobile)
A total of approximately 95% of Internet users use a WebP-enabled browser. Thus, although it certainly has majority support, 5% is a minor hurdle, especially for Safari users on older macOS. We show you how to handle it so all of your visitors will enjoy a great experience in our WordPress WebP tutorial below.
How to use images from WebP on your WordPress website?
Of course, the question of “what is WebP,” as a WordPress user, isn’t enough? You must also know if this type of picture can be used with WordPress. As with browsers, the WebP format is not supported by each website builder and content management system (CMS).
About 5% of those use a Web browser that does not support WebP (primarily Safari users of older macOS). Converting and using WebP images directly into your content would prevent those visitors from seeing your images, which would ruin their browsing experience.
In addition, generating WebP images is not as easy as getting a JPG/JPEG image, the default file format for the majority of cameras, smartphones, and online photo libraries. WordPress doesn’t automatically support webp image conversion.
If a WebP browser doesn’t support a visitor, you can use a WordPress plugin to convert your original images into a WebP format and also return the original image.
For instance, when uploading a JPEG file, the plugin will:
– Convert the JPEG to WebP and serve the Chrome WebP, Firefox, Edge, and so on.
– Show visitors to Safari and other browsers who do not support WebP, the original JPEG file (on older macOS versions).
– Everybody can see your picture so that everyone gets the fastest possible experience.
Methods of using WebP images in WordPress:
Here’s how we can use WordPress WebP images. We will show several methods for you so that you can choose one that works best for you:
Method 1: Use of WordPress WebP images with EWWW Optimizer:
EWWW Image Optimizer is one of the best image compression plugins for WordPress which can enable you to improve your WordPress images. It supports WebP images and can display them on supported browsers automatically. You must first install the EWWW Image Optimizer plugin. You must activate it. For more information on how to install a WordPress plugin, see our step-by-step guide.
Go to the Settings » Image Optimizer EWWW page for plugin options when you have been enabled. A configuration machine will welcome you, but you can click on the link to exit the wizard to ‘I know what I am doing.’
You’ll see a set of plugin options on the next screen. Click the ‘WebP Conversion’ scroll down and check on the box.
Click Save Changes to save your settings afterward. Next to the WebP Conversion section, you need to scroll down. The plugin will now display rewrite rules with a red preview picture. Clicking on the “Rewrite Rules” button is necessary and the plugin will try to insert the rewrite rules into your .htaccess file automatically.
The red image preview is converted into the green with the text ‘WebP’ if the plugin is successful in adding these rules.
When finalized, return to the settings page of the plugin and again click Save Changes. This means you have enabled successful WebP image delivery on your WordPress site when the preview image turns green.
Alternatively, as your WebP delivery options, you can select WebP rewrite methods from JS WebP rewriting or <picture>. These are somewhat slower than the .htaccess procedure, but the task will be done.
Method 2: Using WebP images with Imagify in WordPress:
Imagify is a WordPress plugin created by the people behind WP Rocket, the best caching plugin for WordPress. It allows easy optimization and conversion of images into WebP image format. Install and activating an Imagify Plugin is the first thing you should do. For more information on how to install a WordPress plugin, see our step-by-step guide.
You must check the Settings » Page to configure the plugin settings upon activation. Click the continuation button ‘Create a Free API Key.’
After you can check in your inbox for an email containing the API key, you will be asked to enter the business email address. Copy and click on the Save Changes button of the settings of the plugin page.
Next, to the optimization section, you have to scroll down. You must search the “Create Webpage image versions” and “Display images on the site in webpage format” options.
Below that, two delivery methods can be chosen to display WordPress webp images. The first method is the <picture> tag and the second method is the..htaccess method. The .htaccess method works quicker, but if you use a CDN service, it does not work. The tag method also works with CDNs, but some WordPress themes might be broken.
One that works best on your website can be chosen. Then click on the bottom button ‘Save & Go to Bulk Optimizer.’
You will find this on the Media » Bulk Optimization page. The plugin automatically starts to optimize all your background WordPress images.
It may take a while if you have a lot of images. Don’t worry, you can close the page and go back to it later because the image optimization process doesn’t stop closing the page.
Method 3: WebP images with SG Optimizer in WordPress:
If you are a user of SiteGround, this method is recommended. SiteGround is the best hosting company for WordPress. They provide your users with a free SG Optimizer plugin to optimize your WordPress performance. There is also an option to optimize images from WordPress.
First, the SG Optimizer plugin must be installed and activated. After activation, your admin sidebar labeled ‘SG Optimizer’ will be added to the menu item. You will get to the settings page of the plugin by clicking on it.
If you want to use SiteGround’s built-in caching system, you can enable cache settings from here. After that, you can change to the Media Optimization tab and enable the “New Images Generate WebP Copies” option.
Below, the ‘Bulk Create WebP Files’ option is displayed. When you click on it, webP copies are generated for all image files in your WordPress media library. Your WordPress site will begin to serve web pictures once it is complete.
Additional tools for WebP Images:
The bad news is that WordPress currently doesn’t standardize WebP images. You can still use the WebP format on your website – only one or more additional tools will be needed.
Optimole is our new solution for optimizing images that features a lot of cool under the hood. You can also experience the benefits of webp images besides being able to automatically optimize all images to be served via the CDN. Optimole is quite clean in allowing webP images.
When the visitor’s browser supports it, the plugin converts your images to WebP automatically. A normal version of the image shall be served if the browser does not support WebP. Also, if you want to experiment more with what is outside, web pictures can have alternative tools.
- The image CDN module Jetpack has a web-picture working module.
- By combining ShortPixel / EWWW Image Optimiser to Cache Enabler, you can also enable WebP. You can convert your JPEGs and PNGs into WebP images using both these picture optimization plugins. Then you can use the Cache Enabler plugin to serve those files to webp-supporting browsers. After you have installed the Cache Enabler, go to Cache Enabler settings in your dashboard, then select Creating an extra cached WebP Image Support version.
Any such methods will do your job, so you can use the plugins that you want. You can achieve a significant improvement in performance in your Website, so one such solution should be set up if you have a picture-heavy site.
What is WebP? What is WebP? It is a type of image file that can accelerate your site even more than with compressed PNG or JPEG. WebP produces a comparably small file size in both losses- and lossless varieties.
While it is growing in popularity, WebP is not supported on all browsers yet. But it can still be useful to upload a lot of pictures with this image format on your site. As a WordPress user, you can set up WebP support – Optimole is one of the best. We hope you learn how to use WordPress WebP pictures in this article.