The WordPress 5.8 version, which was supposed to be published in July 2021, is now available, and it includes complete support for the (relatively) new picture format WebP, as stated in the announcement. While web development firms and site administrators alike are still getting used to the newer version, we’ve compiled a list of key takeaways from its support for the sophisticated WebP image format, as well as the results that users and developers may expect.
What is WebP image format?
WebP is a new picture format that may be used to replace images in the JPG, PNG, and GIF formats. WebP has the advantage of being able to create higher image quality at far smaller file sizes than PNG and JPEG. This is a significant distinction since it significantly improves the speed and performance of any website.
Because the WebP image file format allows both lossless and lossy compression, the amount of compression you get will vary depending on whether you choose lossy or lossless compression. Lossless pictures are 26% smaller than the originals while maintaining the same quality. WebP lossy pictures, on the other hand, can be 25% to 34% smaller than the original image, with somewhat worse quality but still more than adequate.
How does it work?
According to WordPress.org, WebP pictures may be used in WordPress today in the same way that JPEG or PNG images are. That is, you can store and upload WebP pictures directly to your WordPress site without the need for a plugin. Furthermore, working with pictures in the WP media library will be identical to working with any other currently supported image format.
The sole stumbling block with WordPress 5.8’s WebP support is if the web host does not support WebP. If you’re using a browser that isn’t supported, you should utilise an image compression plugin. Image compression plugins can aid in the conversion of pictures to WebP format, with JPEG or PNG images serving as a fallback alternative.
A new health alert section in the newer version of WordPress will include data that will show if the web server can handle the WebP format. This tool allows publishers to quickly determine whether they are eligible for WebP image support and, if not, to request it from their web hosting provider.
Outcomes of the WebP image support
Smaller picture sizes need less bandwidth to download, leading in improved speed and a faster page load time, ensuring that viewers do not have to wait long to see the site. Search engines prefer fast websites, therefore it’s a useful element for SEO as well.
Web developers may now provide the browser both a jpg and a WebP for each picture using this capability. It will utilise WebP if the file format is supported, and jpg if it isn’t. This helps to ensure that all users can access the information, regardless of the technology they use to view it. This technique may make it easier to incorporate other image formats in the future, such as the AVIF picture format, which is even smaller than WebP.