Image is one of the most important parts of any website. It helps to deliver more information than words and builds a better user experience. But, picking the wrong image type can do the opposite. Wrong image file type makes the page heavier and often decreases the website loading speed. We really don't put effort into picking the proper image type and It is often seen that we use many types of images on one page which should not be done in an overall way. So to establish a well-optimized WordPress website, we must use the right format of the image. There are many image formats other than JPEG, PNG, SVG, WebP and most probably you haven't heard about them yet.
So today we will talk about the benefits and drawbacks of all this variety of images. By the end of this post, you'll know which is the right image type for your website. Let's move ahead.
Why Picking Right Image Type Matters
Images have a massive impact on WordPress websites. We need to know how an image plays an important role in different sectors of a website.
Un-optimized images on the website affect page loading time. Images with big resolutions consume a lot of space and that's why lazy loading occurs. So, using optimized images can reduce page loading time and deliver a better user experience.
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Images play a vital role in SEO with their title and alt image tag. So, with the right quality of image, you can certainly boost google ranking for your website.
The right image file type can add more contrast to your website and enhance the overall look and feel. Images with better details are more appreciated by visitors and a proper set of images automatically boosts the aesthetics of the website.
Image compatibility is a major issue on websites. People may visit your website from multiple devices with different screen sizes. The image must be in a good resolution.
The Nature Of Image
Images are parted into different genres. They have their own characteristics and usefulness. Let's have a short discussion about them.
There are two types of images: Lossy and Lossless. Lossless images reduce image size without losing the quality and notify that the particular image has been remodified and it is still the same with lesser size.
Lossy images both lose data and quality with effects on the design. But, often losing data is good which means the image cannot be reconstructed for further use by someone else. So it helps in image theft.
Two popular formats of the image are Raster and Vector. A raster image is pixel composed item with a fixed size, color, and position where a vector image doesn't use pixels but they made of lines and curves. So, stretching a vector image won't affect quality.
Different Types Of Image
Image formats and features are often confusing. There are so many different types of images out there let's learn something about them.
JPEG is the most widely known image file type which is the short form of Joint Photograph Experts Group. JPEG images consume less storage and can compress up to 5% of actual size. It also supports HD images and you can use it on printing and other hardware units. It has only one drawback which is, you cannot use the JEPG file in the image layer.
PNG means Portable network graphics. It's a raster formatted image introduced in 1997 but got ISO recognition in 2004. It's an image format with a "Not for printing" tag but you can use this type to transfer images ross the internet. PNG files are used for designing and are sure to have a transparent background. Also, this is the only image format that supports RGB Spectrum.
GIF means Graphic interchange format and GIF files are used more for animation and short clips. It's a very popular image type and we use them every day on social media platforms. It follows a lossless image compression technique and only supports 8-bit pixels. GIFs are moving pictures so it's slightly large sized than JEPG's.
Scalable Vector Graphics is known for SVG means you can scale up or down without losing quality. It's an XML-based image format that is generally used for web graphics. SVG file attributes and elements are also capable of animation. SVG images are good as logos, favicons, icons, and it's a responsive image format.
WebP is an open format for lossy compressed true-color graphics elements on websites. WebP produces smaller size files than JPEG but the quality is better. It is also pronounced as "Weepy".
What Image Types Does WordPress Allow?
WordPress accepts JPEG, PNG, GIF, ICO by default. Ico is a common format for icons. For SVG files, you need a plugin that will change the format because SVG is not usable in WordPress. WordPress also doesn't support WebP and the main reason is not all users use WebP supported browsers. So to use files of this format, we have to rely on plugins such as ShortPixel, Imagify, and Optimole.
Optimizing existing images are necessary because it reduces huge gripped space and boosts performance. So, it's better to use editing software to compress the file than a compressing plugin. If you have huge up-optimized images on site, then you can go with WordPress image compression plugins like - Imagify, WP Smush, or EWWW image optimizer.
Best Format to Use On WordPress
So far we have realized that we have to keep the image quality good but the smaller the size the better. So JPEG e is the best format for a normal photo considering all aspects. And PNG is the best choice for graphical elements. However, if the image quality is lost on a bigger screen, use SVG instead of PNG.
Proper image format plays an important role in a website's UX, performance, and SEO. So, it would be beneficial to use the correct image type for a separate section as per the above instructions. Also, image compression or optimization can make the images already on the website reusable which will undoubtedly give better performance. I hope you will benefit from today's post. If you have any questions you can let us know in the comment box.