WordPress has directed its efforts to improve its users’ experience by allowing for the WebP image format. It will enhance its lossless and lossy compression for images, as the WebP images are 30% smaller than their JPEG or PNG equivalents.
Up until recently, WordPress didn’t support WebP images. When users tried to upload a WebP image, they got the message “an error”. To fix that, they needed to use an image compression plugin to convert pictures into WebP image format.
WordPress wrote on its blog:
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 web hosting service supports WebP). Switching to the WebP format for your images will improve your site’s performance and your site visitor’s experience.
Until the new WordPress version comes into play, WordPress users will still need to use WebP Converters. They replace files in standard JPEG, PNG and GIF formats with WebP format, freeing up space on one’s site.
Smaller or lighter images load more quickly and take less bandwidth to transmit. So, site visitors will be granted enhanced load speeds, and site owners will use up less bandwidth in total.
WebP consists of VP8 or VP8L image data and a container based on RIFF. Google first announced lossy WebP compression as an open license image format in 2010. It uses predictive coding to encode an image or a local palette if no interesting match is found to reconstruct new pixels precisely.
WordPress promised to deliver this upgrade from its WordPress version 5.8, which is scheduled for release in late July 2021 forward. 90% of users use browsers that support the WebP format.
So, as all modern browsers support the WebP image format, most sites can start using the tool immediately upon release.
WordPress 5.8 Beta 1 is available for testing! https://t.co/djk1LGMxqQ
— WordPress (@WordPress) June 9, 2021
In their blog post, WordPress also proposed their team is exploring the option to perform the image format conversion to WebP on already uploaded images. WordPress will essentially use WebP as the default output format for standard images.