Faster-Loading Images on Your Site

All WordPress.com sites now support the WebP image format, serving high-quality images with shorter loading times.

We always strive to make your sites run as quickly and smoothly as possible, both on the front end and under the hood. So we’re happy to announce that the WordPress.com image service, which delivers the beautiful images you use in your posts to your site’s visitors, now offers seamless support for the WebP image format.

What does this mean for you and your audience? This new feature provides size reductions of up to 34 percent for served images compared to a JPEG image of an equivalent visual quality level. Your viewers will save a lot of time loading your pages — time they can better spend enjoying the content you publish.

Image comparison - JPEG Image comparison - WebP
JPEG File Size – 43.84KB WebP File Size – 29.61KB

Visually identical images in JPEG and WebP format with their respective sizes.

While WebP isn’t currently supported by all browsers (see the WebP FAQ for more details), you don’t have to worry about anything. We auto-detect which browsers your readers are using to make sure they can enjoy your travel photography, family pictures, or recent illustration work at the best possible quality. Our system will always serve your viewers the best image format at the highest speed possible.

If you’d like to learn more about this fast-loading image format, check out the following links:


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23 Comments

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  1. Paul Maiorana

    Reblogged this on Paul on WordPress and commented:

    WebP Support Now Available

    Liked by 4 people

  2. amakvitaa

    Nice one, the image comparison is clear.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Paul Bowler

    That’s good to hear.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. A @ moylomenterprises

    This can prove to be very useful down the road, thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. susielindau

    The other benefits to this fabulous new upgrade? Blogs get a higher ranking and views are counted more accurately if the site doesn’t need extra time to load. Yay WordPress!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Bryan

    How is this integrated on WordPress.com – just tried to upload a webp file in the media manager and was not allowed to

    Liked by 2 people

    • David Newman

      With the WebP image format currently only supported by some browsers, there needs to be an original JPEG/PNG’s to serve to those that do not support it. As a result we are not able to allow WebP images to be uploaded as the source image or it wouldn’t be viewable by some of the visitors to your site. The image service will auto-detect user browser compatibility and serve the best supported image format automatically.

      Liked by 9 people

  7. Brin

    Hope this isn’t a silly question: but will users need to upload images in WebP format for this to work, or will Photon automagically convert and serve images into/as WebPs from user-uploaded PNGs and/or JPGs on it’s own?

    Liked by 2 people

    • David Newman

      There is no need to do or change anything for WebP images to be served to clients that support it. The files service will auto-detect whether the user’s browser supports WebP images and then serve either the WebP image or the original JPEG/PNG.

      Liked by 7 people

  8. Kathryn Grace

    Nice. Thank you to the developers for bringing this to WordPress. Looks like Firefox isn’t supported yet. Hope it is soon!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Marisa's Italian Kitchen

    Does this apply to self-hosting sites as well?

    Like

    • David Newman

      The feature has been available in the Jetpack Photon module since June. So if the self-hosted site has Photon activated, then support for WebP images is automatically bundled in.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. arjunaraneta

    Nice article! Thank you very much🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Born To Organize

    Amazing! Thank you for always bringing us new and improved features.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Merv S

    I’m pleased you have taken the time to educate folks on this topic. So many sites use design companies which work on high speed backbone connections where pages load fast. I doubt they test their sites on an average speed connection. I started designing sites in 1996 when most people had dial up connections. We HAD to edit image size or people would only stick around for seconds. We defined the size of the images and for larger ones loaded low definition copies first while the page caught up. Defining image size is very important. How annoying is it to be reading the page and it keeps changing the position of what you are reading? This is usually caused because the size of images is not defined. Another good topic for an article would be “When to use .gif images.”

    Like

  13. Island Moon

    Thanks for the update and also the ‘add slideshow to page’ feature.

    Like

  14. Vinathe Sharma

    hi, I would like to register to do Blogging 101 course. I registered sometime ago and then couldn’t do it due to time constraints. How can I register now, please?

    Like

    • Ben Huberman

      When you visit the Blogging U. homepage, you’ll be able to see which courses are currently open for registration:
      https://dailypost.wordpress.com/blogging-university/

      At the moment you can only sign up for Blogging 101: Commenting Bootcamp, but we’ll be announcing the next round of courses before the end of the year (this will include Blogging 101: Zero to Hero, the course I think you’re referring to). Following The Daily Post for announcements is your best bet to make sure you sign up in time for the next course.

      Like

  15. JenT

    Thanks as always for all the things, big and small, you do for us. I am a bit nuts about optimizing my images before uploading, but still I do have a few questions.🙂 Does this mean that lossy images are no longer being compressed on upload? Are *all* our images or only images from a certain size being made available in .webp format? Are images in .webp format being dynamically served to our site visitors or are they being stored against our site media storage limit along with the lossy original? Answers much appreciated.

    Like

    • David Newman

      The feature does not affect uploaded images in any way whatsoever and will also not be counted in the tally for your media storage limit, since, as you correctly stated, they are being dynamically generated and only served to the site visitors that support the format.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Bryan

    What would be the best way to verify that this is working on your site properly?

    When viewing the source in chrome, I’m not seeing a .webp version at all (hosting is via WP VIP/assuming Photon is automatically activated there)

    Like

    • David Newman

      In order to verify the images are loading as WebP, you will need to take a look at the mime-type of the images. This is due to the fact that we do not modify the image extension. An easy way to do this in Chrome is to open the Developer Tools, head over to the Network tab, refresh the page in question and take a look at the “Type” column in the Network tab window. The column will display “webp” for all images loaded in the WebP format.

      Like

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