For a long time now JPEG has been one of the most popular formats used for images on the internet. The reason for its popularity was simple: It provided very good compression that allowed images to be served in smaller file sizes, and improved the time that it took to load websites.
However recently a new format has emerged as a contender to JPEG – WebP. But is it really better to use WebP than JPEG?
Essentially WebP is an image format that uses both lossy and lossless compression to create images. By doing so it is able to compress images more effectively while keeping their quality good.
When compared to JPEG, WebP can offer a 25% to 34% reduction in size on average for images that are of a similar quality. In other words the exact same images could take up a significantly smaller file size, which will allow them to load faster on websites too.
On top of its compression, WebP has two other key advantages over JPEG: Animation and transparency. Both are not present in JPEG, which is why other formats such as PNG and GIF are used for transparency, and GIF or APNG are used for animation.
Despite its advantages however, JPEG is still a very relevant format for one reason in particular: Compatibility.
As good as WebP is, it still is not as widely supported as JPEG – which is practically universal. It has had support on Google Chrome and Opera for some time, but Firefox only recently began to support WebP, as did Microsoft Edge. Other browsers such as Safari and Internet Explorer do not support it.
From a practical standpoint that means that you will still want to have JPEG images present as a fallback option for browser that can’t display WebP. That is likely to continue to be the case unless WebP support is introduced on Safari, at very least.
Make no mistake WebP is already used extensively throughout the web on platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, and many others.
Considering the significant benefits that WebP provides it is safe to say that it is the ‘better’ format. However you may still want to convert WebP to JPG in some cases in order to provide a fallback for browsers that don’t support it. That can be done easily, and for example you can use Movavi Video Converter.
While estimates vary it is safe to say that anything from 50% to 70% of internet users are on browsers that can view WebP images. That means that by using the format you’ll be able to reduce the file size of the images that you’re serving to a large number of users – and that can make a big difference.