WebP images are a by Google created image format especially meant for web use. If you are unfamiliar with this format, you might want to read our previous blog about WebP first. It’s a format that was created in 2010 but it’s still not widely used after all these years. In this blog, we’ve listed the pros and cons of WebP.
Smaller file size
WebP images are much smaller in size than other formats like PNG and JPEG. Google’s data shows that WebP lossy files are 25% to 34% smaller than JPEG files and WebP lossless files are 26% smaller than PNGs.
WebP is very good at compressing images while preserving image quality. It significantly reduces the file size without visible loss of quality.
Increases page speed
Since the file size of WebP images is much smaller than other formats, it can significantly improve the website speed. The website takes less time to load because the files are smaller in size. This will lead to a better user experience of your website and also positively impact the time that visitors stay on your website.
Increases Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Using WebP images on your website will speed up your loading time. A fast website ranks higher in search engines such as Google. Therefore, using WebP can help with improving the SEO of your website.
Saves bandwidth space
Bandwidth is the speed at which your server can transfer data to your end-users within a certain amount of time. WebP can free up space, allowing websites to offer more content. This is especially important for websites with a lot of images like webshops or photography blogs.
Animation and alpha transparency
Another nice thing about WebP images is that it supports both animation and alpa transparency. Your image is no longer limited to PNG and GIF formats for transparency and animation. Besides, it offers more benefits compared to PNG and GIF, you can read it at Google’s page.
One of the downsides of WebP is that the format is not supported by every browser. The image below shows which browsers support and which do not support WebP. As can be seen in the image, there are also browsers who partially support the new format. With that said, throughout the years more and more browsers are supporting WebP, this is also why the format has gained more popularity. Now, 94.08% of the total users on the internet can see WebP images. When using WebP images, it’s important to know which browsers your users mainly use.
In addition, there are also software tools that still do not support WebP. For example, Photoshop does not support this format and this tool cannot work with WebP files. For some softwares there are workarounds available, like using a plugin with WebP support. Find the WebP support for Photoshop here.
At first glance, there is little quality loss when an image is converted to WebP format. However, it’s shown that a WebP file can lose its details and textures. This flaw is likely more visible in images that are already very small in size. Thus, it is recommended to only convert very large files to a WebP format, so the loss of quality is less visible.
WebP in short
In short, WebP has some benefits but also some disadvantages. It can save a lot of storage and can make your webpages way faster which increases the user experience. However, the format is not supported by every browser yet and there is a risk of quality loss. Since more browsers accept the format, it’s getting more and more popular. If you would like to know more about WebP images, read our previous blog.