WebP images take up less space, load faster, but until now they were not natively supported by WordPress, the world’s leading content publishing platform.
That will change with version 5.8, which promises to be faster thanks to this new change.
WordPress.org announced that it will support the WebP advanced image format for the 5.8 release at the end of July 2021, a next-generation image format suitable for replacing images encoded in JPG, PNG, and GIF formats. The idea of WebP is to produce superior image quality at significantly smaller sizes since we are talking about lossless images.
Images in this format retain the quality of the original image while maintaining a smaller size they are capable of being on average 26% smaller. If we opt for lossy WebP, we can get between 25% and 34% smaller than the original image.
WebP was announced by Google as an open license image format in 2010, and nowadays modern browsers can view them without problems, which is why it is time for WordPress to get its act together so as not to depend on any external plugins.
WordPress announced that the management of images in the WP media library will be the same as any other currently supported image format, we will be able to upload and use WebP images in WordPress as we do today with a JPEG or PNG image.
The only issue with WordPress support for WebP is if the webserver does not support WebP, although that is easy to check by contacting our hosting support.
On that point, he points out:
In WordPress, the lossless WebP format is only supported when the hosting server uses Imagick until LibGD adds support. Also, animated and alpha formats are not yet supported for resized images (instead, lossy images are created when you upload them in these formats).
Reducing the size of images will allow faster browsing and data savings for page visitors.
You can read more about it at en.wordpress.org.