Create your own website with Wix. We’ve all been there before: You’re browsing a website that has a ton of huge images of delicious food, or maybe that new gadget you’ve been eyeballing. These images tug at your senses, and for content authors, they’re essential in moving people to do things. Except that these images are binary option payoff charts huge.
On a doddering mobile connection, you can even see these images unfurl before you like a descending window shade. You’re suddenly reminded of the bad old days of dial-up. This is a problem, because images represent a significant portion of what’s downloaded on a typical website, and for good reason. Images are expressive tools, and they have the ability to speak more than copy can. The challenge is in walking the tightrope between visually rich content, and the speedy delivery of it.
The solution to this dilemma is not one dimensional. Many techniques exist for slimming down unruly images, and delivering them according to the capabilities of the devices that request them. Such a topic can easily be its own book, but the focus of this post will be very specific: Google’s WebP image format, and how you can take advantage of it to serve images that have all the visual fidelity your images have now, but at a fraction of the file size. What is WebP, and Why Should I Even Care? WebP is an image format developed and first released by Google in 2010.
It supports encoding images in both lossless and lossy formats, making it a versatile format for any type of visual media, and a great alternative format to both PNG or JPEG. WebP’s visual quality is often comparable to more ubiquitous formats. Not as slim as you might think. WebP at the time of this writing. If you had the chance to make your website faster for over two thirds of your users, would you pass it up? It’s important to remember, though, that WebP is not a replacement for JPEG and PNG images. Converting your Images to WebP If you’re familiar with Photoshop, the easiest way to get a taste for WebP is to try out the WebP Photoshop Plugin.
WebP or WebP Lossless from the format dropdown. What’s the difference between the two? Think of it as being a lot like the differences between JPEG and PNG images. JPEGs are lossy, and PNG images are lossless.