Using WebP Images
WebP is a new image type, which allows the size of an image to be much smaller than JPG or PNG. Despite the reduction in size, it’s hard to notice a reduction in quality.
Although already widely supported, WebP isn’t fully compatible with all web browsers or older versions of the main web browsers. For this reason, WebP is not ready to be a replacement for JPG or PNG images.
KWD IT use the Ewww Image Optimizer plugin to optimise the images uploaded by customers. There is a setting within this plugin, which will automatically generate WebP versions of the images. As of 2022, KWD IT have been turning this setting on, for newly built websites.
WordPress are keen to make this a core feature, but the problem with generating alternate versions of images is the disk space required. The amount of disk space a website requires is mainly defined by the amount of media that the website contains. If you duplicate every image, you’re almost duplicating the amount of disk space that the website requires. The WebP versions of the images are roughly 25% smaller than the originals. Therefore, you’re not quite doubling the amount of disk space required, when duplicating the images. However, the disk space required for backups also needs to be taken into consideration.
Using WebP Images for Existing Customers
If you’re an existing customer, who had their website built before 2022, get in touch to discuss WebP images on your website and how it might effect your hosting costs.
If you haven’t got a large amount of images, it would make sense to generate the duplicate versions. However, if you do have a large amount of images, based on the SEO benefits, you should still consider this option. This would provide even more reason for offloading media to a Content Delivery Network (CDN), as detailed on the WordPress Website Additional Storage page.