What is a webp? And how it can speed up your website

The .webp file extension represents an image file, just like .png, .jpeg or .gif. This file extension is fairly new and was released by google in 2010. The .webp file format was designed to reduce image file size over standard jpeg while still maintaining the same quality.

What is a webp? And how it can speed up your website

Due to the smaller file sizes the images can be downloaded quicker therefore speeding up the loading time of your website. We have typically seen a reduction of over 1/3 in file size when switching to the .webp file format.

Another benefit of using this file type is the wide multimedia support it has, this one format can handle transparency, animation, lossy and lossless compression.

So why doesn’t everyone use it?

Well actually a lot of people do use webp file format, one example can be found on YouTube where every thumbnail is displayed using a webp file. According to google “YouTube’s page loading time decreased by 10% when they decided to make the switch from jpeg to webp”. Facebook has also been implementing webp files into their android app.

As with most modern technologies, browser support can be an issue. IE, safari and IOS devices are among some of the software to yet support .webp. This means developers need to spend time building in a fallback image when the webp file fails to load. 

If you are interested in improving your website load speed, then contact us today


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  1. Simon

    Great article Ben In internet terms, I wouldn’t say 9 year is relatively new, so it’s surprising that it’s taken so long for this compression technology to be implemented. I’m also surprised it’s not been superseded yet. Is there other image compression technologies on the horizon? Also, as this is a Google born technology, do you think the Google search algorithm will take its use into account and give sites a push up the listings? Thanks.

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