The WordPress.org team’s Adam Silverstein announced that WebP image format will be supported beginning with WordPress 5.8. That means you can now upload and use WebP images in WordPress in the same way you would a JPEG or PNG image (as long as your hosting service supports WebP).
WebP Image Format
The WebP image formats are the next generation image formats that can be used to replace the current PNG and JPG image formats. WebP format improves lossless and lossy compression for web images.
WebP format is 30% smaller in size than JPEG or PNG format and retains slightly lower image quality than the original but is suitable for web use. Using this image format will help sites load faster and take up less bandwidth without compromising too much quality. And modern browsers support WebP format, so the websites can start using this format and take advantage of it.
WebP and WordPress
You can use WebP images on your WordPress website in the same way that you would any other format. The use cases would be identical. WebP is a one-format-fits-all format that supports lossy and lossless compression, animated formats, and transparent formats.
According to WordPress.org:
“From WordPress version 5.8 forward, you can upload and use WebP images in WordPress like you would a JPEG or PNG image today (as long as your hosting service supports WebP).”
The only limitation you may encounter right now is that the lossless WebP format is only supported. If your hosting server uses Imagick until LibGD adds support.
Added by WordPress.org:
“WebP images support lossy and lossless compression, as well as an animated format and support for transparent images. In WordPress, the lossless WebP is only supported when the hosting server uses Imagick until LibGD adds support. In addition, animated and alpha formats are not yet supported for resized images (lossy images are created instead when you upload in these formats).”
WebP support in the media library is dependent on your web server’s image processing library (WordPress supports both Imagick and LibGD). Fortunately, these libraries have been supporting WebP for a long time, so it is widely available. When you try to upload a WebP image and your web server does not support it, you will receive an error message.
There was also a comment in the announcement that added:
“5.8 also adds new fields to Site Health to help determine if a site is capable of processing WebP image files.
…The following fields are new in WP 5.8:
ImageMagick supported file formats
When WebP is not listed as a supported file format, the site owner will need to reach out to their hosting provider.”
Hints about Image Conversion Feature
There is a chance that WordPress will include image conversion features in future updates. It will assist users in uploading images in PNG or JPG formats and later converting them to WebP format.
WordPress.org described the project:
“The media component team is also exploring the option of having WordPress perform the image format conversion on uploaded images – using WebP as the default output format for sub-sized images.”
WordPress.org is still working to make websites faster. WordPress support for WebP is fantastic news for that project. And it will undoubtedly benefit many websites that use this platform. With such features and updates, it will remain at the top of its game.
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