WebP support is coming to WordPress 5.8. This modern image file format was created by Google in September 2010, and is now supported by 95% of web browsers used around the world. It has distinct advantages over more commonly used formats, offering both lossless and lossy compression which is 26% smaller in size compared to PNGs and 25-34% smaller than comparable JPEG images.
WebP is currently used by 1.6% of all the top 10 million websites, according to W3Techs, and usage has increased over the past five years.
Adding WebP support to the core won’t make all WordPress sites instantly faster, but it will give every site owner the ability to reduce bandwidth by uploading WebP images. In the development note, Adam Silverstein suggested converting images to WebP using command line conversion tools or web tools like Squoosh, but there are also many plugins that can convert while downloading.
WebP Express use it Convert WebP library to convert images and then serve them to compatible browsers. It is used on over 100,000 WordPress sites. Imagine is one of the most popular plugins with over 500,000 active installations. It has a Bulk Optimizer tool which can convert previously downloaded images with just one click. the EWWW Image Optimizer plugin, used on over 800,000 websites, also supports automatic conversion of images to WebP format.
By default, WordPress will create the undersized images in the same image format as the uploaded file. More adventurous users can experiment with Silverstein’s connect which offers a parameter to specify the default image format used for undersized images generated by WordPress. A new
wp_editor_set_quality The filter is available for developers to change the quality setting of uploaded images.
“The media component team is also explore the possibility of WordPress doing image format conversion on uploaded images – using WebP as the default output format for undersized images, ”said Silverstein. “We’re also keeping an eye out for even more modern formats like AVIF and JPEGXL which will both improve compression and further reduce the resources required for compression. “
WordPress 5.8 is slated for release on July 20, introducing WebP support for downloads. The new version too adds information to the Media Management section of the Site Health screen, showing the file formats supported by ImageMagick / Imagick for the site in case users need them for debugging.