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WebP: the future successor of JPEG for your images?


If you are a bit interested in the world of the web, WebP format should not be totally unknown.


Developed by Google, it is an image format that aims to eventually replace the JPEG which is considered obsolete and inefficient.

To achieve this, he intends to rely on its main advantage: it reduces the size of an image up to 80% without loss of perceptible quality.


Here is an article where we will present you everything you need to know about the WebP format.


WebP, a format already adopted by some web giants


While the first version of WebP was launched by Google on September 30, 2010, the Mountain View company justified the creation of this format by the desire to reduce the amount of data circulating on the web. Indeed, when consulting a website, you must know that 65% of the data received are linked to images.

However, the adoption of this format by web browsers has been long since if we exclude Chrome and Opera (and of course mobile browsers on Android), it was not until 2018 that it is supported.


Since the end of 2018, the Edge browser has supported the WebP. At the beginning of 2019, Firefox, in turn, adopted the WebP even though Mozilla had strongly criticized it for its launch ... because it was also working on a new format called MozJPEG.


Several big names on the web already use the WebP and intend to contribute to its democratization. This is the case of the social network Facebook, the YouTube online video platform or the eBay auction site.


Why use the WebP format for your images?


If you are wondering why having images in WebP format can be beneficial to your website, reducing their size up to 80% compared to JPEG and up to 30% compared to PNG should be enough to convince you.


Do you actually say that the mere fact that they are less "heavy" gives you two real benefits:


> Your server will be less congested.

> Your web pages will take less time to load on the user's screen.

> The user experience will be better and your SEO will benefit because the speed of loading a page is among the criteria of the algorithm developed by Google for its search engine


Suffice to say that adopting WebP is a rich idea, especially at a time when it is gradually supported by all web browsers.


Some rewrite rules to serve WebP files


When it comes to serving WebP files, some people just change the MIME type of the document concerned.


Thus, image / jpeg or image / png is transformed into image / webp. This method is easy to implement but it is not recommended to use it since it can cause conflicts, especially if you use a content distribution network.


Good to know

If you are a WordPress user, there is a plug-in that will help you. Called Cache Enabler, it allows you to serve WebP files with ease.


Another method is to set a rewrite rule in the system's .htaccess file. Thus, it is a file in the right format that will be distributed to the user, regardless of the browser used.


Tools to easily convert files to WebP


There are various free tools to convert, view and even edit your image files in WebP. Some of the possibilities available to you are:


- GIMP

- Photoshop,

- ImageMagick,

- Konvertor,

- IrfanView

- Paint,

- or even XnView.


It's up to you to choose the one that suits you best.


That's it, you now know everything about the WebP format. All you have to do is adopt it for your web projects in order to fully take advantage of the benefits it provides.

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