What is WebP Image Compression?

The WebP image format, developed by Google, can offer better compression and quality for images on web pages compared with other current image formats. WebP is another image format similar to AVIF and JPEG-LI.

It is designed to enable small size files while maintaining the image quality, so that it is suitable for loading a web page faster and providing economical image storage. Both these are very important for image heavy websites like Pinterest, or e-commerce websites like Amazon, Shopify, eBay, Etsy, etc.

WebP supports both lossy and lossless compression. In the lossless mode, the compressed image contains all the original data, and when it is decompressed, the output is identical (pixel by pixel) with the original. Lossless compression is ideal for storing screenshots and other image with text or the like.

How does WebP work?

WebP’s image compression format is based on the intra-frame coding of the VP8 video format and the Resource Interchange File Format (RIFF) as a container format. The file extension for WebP is .webp.

WebP uses predictive coding to compress images with lossy mode. Predictive coding involves predicting the color values of pixels based on the colors of neighboring pixels. The difference between the predicted value and the actual value is encoded to produce a small file (compared to the original image).

WebP's Features

There are several important features WebP possesses that make it a highly effective and versatile image format.

  1. High compression efficiency is one feature of WebP. Comparing it with JPEG and PNG images, WebP images can be reduced by 34% of file size with the same quality. WebP will load page faster and save bandwidth.
  2. Image Opacity (Alpha Channel): WebP has the ability of transparent images like PNG. For web graphics, logos and anyblur and white balance effects.
  3. Animation: WebP has support for animated images so it can replace animated GIFs easily decreasing the web page size dramatically. This allows images to be loaded faster in any website.
  4. Support for Metadata: With WebP, boards can document information like camera preferences and positioning.

Applications of WebP

WebP is a popular choice in web development because it greatly lowers image file sizes, which, in turn, speeds up how fast webpages load.

And, the faster a website loads, the better the user experience and search engine rankings (Google has mentioned that page and image loading is a ranking factor!). To add to this, WebP is supported by every major browser such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge so it’s a reliable choice for web developers. Here is a link to that shows WebP support across all the major web browsers.

If you are interested in highly efficient image compression driven by AI and ML, then get in touch with us and we’ll set you up with AuroraImage to super-charge your business!

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