New Support in WordPress for WebP Images

wordpress webp images

WordPress Developer

WebP images are a type of image file designed for smaller file sizes and faster loading times than JPEGs and PNGs. With the upcoming release of WordPress 5.8, WebP images will now be supported by WordPress. This is great news for increasing website speed without losing the quality of photos. As of now, WordPress 5.8 is scheduled to be released on July 20, 2021, so you can look forward to this upcoming change soon.

While WordPress 5.8 won’t automatically make all websites faster, it will support WordPress developers who choose to convert to WebP images. Google first introduced the WebP file format in 2010. Today, 95% of web browsers support WebP files, and about 1.6% of the world’s top 10 million websites currently use WebP files according to W3 Tech.

Should I Use WebP Images?

Why go through the trouble of converting from common image formats to WebP? WebP files are 26% smaller in file size than PNGs and 25-34% smaller than JPEGs. WebP also allows for both lossy and lossless compression of images, offering important options for the visual quality of the photos on your website. Over an entire site, using WebP images can make a huge difference in bandwidth and speed. As we’ve discussed recently, Google is now prioritizing page speed as a key factor for Search results rankings.

WebP Image FAQ’s

WebP Image FAQ’s

WebP images are a modern file format created by Google in 2010 to compress images in both lossless and lossy formats. WebP images are considered superior to other file formats because they use predictive encoding to create an image that is 25 to 35% smaller than a comparable JPEG image or PNG. WebP supports animation, alpha transparency, and millions of colors, combining the best of PNGs, GIFs, and other popular file formats. WebP images are now supported by 95% of browsers worldwide, including Google Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Opera.

WebP is pronounced “Weppy” and stands for the file type create by Google for faster loading web images. While there’s no official statement on it from Google, the P in WebP might stand for “photo”.

WebP is better than JPEG for web image formats, because it offers images that are 25-35% smaller in file size, with the same SSIM quality index. Also, in addition to supporting millions of colors like JPEG, WebP supports animation and transparency, making it an all around better choice than JPEG for web images.

WebP is better than PNG for online images as well. Like PNG, WebP supports millions of colors and transparency. Additionally, WebP supports animation like GIF files. WebP files are also 26% smaller than PNG files with the same image quality.

Yes, WebP can be animated. WebP supports animation like GIF, but is not limited to just 256 colors like GIF. WebP supports millions of colors and lossless and lossy compression, making it an excellent choice for animated images.

WordPress WebP Plugins: How to Convert Images to WebP in WordPress

You have two options for converting your images to the WebP format. You can either use a conversion tool before uploading them to your WordPress website, or you can use a WordPress  WebP plugin that converts files already in the site to WebP files.

WebP Express

One example is the WebP Express plugin, which uses the WebP Convert library to convert images from JPEG to WebP.

WebP Express delivers WebP images to browsers in different ways, including the following options:

  • By routing JPEG/PNG images to the corresponding WebP, or to the image converter if not yet converted.
  • By altering the HTML, replacing image tags with picture tags. Missing WebPs are auto generated upon visit.
  • By altering the HTML, replacing image URLs so all point to WebP. The replacements are only made for browsers that support WebP.


Meanwhile, Imagify has a feature that can bulk convert all existing images on your WordPress website to the WebP format with one click.

Imagify offers the following three optimization levels – Normal, Aggressive and Ultra.

  • Normal, a lossless compression algorithm. (No alteration to image quality).
  • Aggressive, a lossy compression algorithm. (Stronger compression, small loss of quality that is usually not perceptible).
  • Ultra, their strongest compression method. (Uses a lossy algorithm.)

EWWW Image Optimizer

The EWWW Image Optimizer plugin also has a feature that allows bulk conversion to WebP files.

Some of the features the EWWW Image Optimizer boasts are:

  • No speed limits and unlimited file size.
  • Intelligent conversion option selects the right file format for the image in question (JPG, PNG, GIF, or WebP).
  • Lets you optimize images using tools on your own server (cwebp for WebP images).
  • Optimizes all existing images on the website and automatically optimizes new uploaded images.

WordPress WebP Updates

For future WordPress updates, WordPress developers are considering having conversion to WebP images take place automatically when an image is uploaded to a website. WebP would be included as the default for small size image output.

WordPress Website Development

At M5 Design Studio, we are expert WordPress developers with over 15 years optimizing websites to increase speed, traffic, and conversions. If you would like to speed up your website by converting JPEG or PNG images to WebP images, we can assist you. Get in touch today by filling out our online contact form or call us at (407) 968-6296.

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M5 Design Studio

We are a small, but creative and passionate team of designers and developers specializing in web design, graphic design, branding & digital marketing.

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