The end of the paradigm in image optimization for the web

Image optimization has always been one of the most relevant aspects in developing a website and sometimes it can require some difficult decisions. How much quality should be sacrificed in the name of a lighter file size?

Pedro Completo
Dec 14 2021 • 1 min reading
The end of the paradigm in image optimization for the web

When it comes to improving the performance of a website, web designers do everything in their power to achieve the lowest possible loading time. Since the early days of the internet, this has been a key issue in the development of a website, and nowadays this theme is especially related to a better user experience.

We've certainly all heard of JPG and PNG, the most common image formats on the web, but evidently these formats have compression limits that have remained unchanged for many years. In this sense, Google developed a new format WebP which intends to shake this paradigm in image optimization. Google claims that this format manages to be 26% lighter than a PNG and 25% to 34% lighter than a JPG without losing quality and maintaining the possibility of transparency in the images.

This new WebP format seems to do magic. In the vast majority of situations it manages to obtain significantly lighter files while maintaining a high visual quality. Browser support is very comprehensive and according to the website Can i Use 96% of browsers support its use, with the remaining 4% belonging to completely outdated browsers.

As the MP3 format started to change the way we listen to music, WebP will progressively become the rule of thumb for use on the web, enabling faster browsing without compromising the quality of images that are essential for any website nowadays.

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