November 27, 2019 • 3 MIN READ
Every website needs to load as fast as possible to rank high in search engine results, all while offering customers a great experience. With that in mind, traditional image formats like PNG, JPG and even GIF can take quite a bit of time to load. You usually need to focus on image compression, which is not really ideal since you might lose some of the quality. But there’s an alternative here, and that comes in the form of the WebP format.
WebP is an image format that offers lossy and lossless compressions for images all over the internet. This is a format very good for web developers and webmasters since they can create small images that would load extremely fast. The thing that makes WebP stand out is the fact that these lossless images are 26% smaller when compared to a PNG image and up to 34% smaller when compared to a JPEG.
Lossless WebP comes with transparency by adding just 22% more bytes. Lossy RGB compression is great, and you are also getting transparency while having 3 times less the filesize of a PNG file. That really makes quite the difference and you might really want to give it a try.
The way WebP works depends on the image. The lossy WebP compression, for example, relies on predictive coding to encode an image. That means it uses the values in neighboring bricks to predict the block values and then only the difference is encoded. In the case of lossless WebP, you get to use the image fragments to reconstruct pixels. Sometimes even a local palette might be needed. Also, a regular WebP file tends to have VP8L and VP8 image data, as well as a RIFF based container.
Most of the popular browsers are supporting WebP natively, and developers also get to use it in a plethora of image editors too. The thing to note here is that Safari is not supporting it, although they are experimenting with it at this time. It’s said that WebP might even be a GIF alternative since it offers the 24-bit color transparency. And on top of that, you also have the lossless and lossy compression in the same animation while having a 64% file reduction when compared to GIF as well.
The WebP format is extraordinary and it comes with a very good quality and a really low file size. That’s what makes WebP so distinctive, the fact that it gives you so much control and a tremendous value while eliminating the file size issues. Since most browsers are supporting it anyway, it’s a very good idea to give it a try to begin with.
WebP has the potential to become the next big thing in the image world just because it’s one of the simplest, yet most dependable image file formats to use. If you’re not using it already, you should consider giving it a shot as it helps bring in great image quality for your website!
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