We always strive to make your sites run as quickly and smoothly as possible, both on the front end and under the hood. Our most recent improvement? All self-hosted Jetpack-connected sites who have the Photon image service activated can now enjoy 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.
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 images in the best quality and highest speed possible.
We should note that by default, Photon is compressing the WebP images at a high quality setting. If you want to get the most out of this new feature, utilizing the quality parameter will yield the best results.
If you’d like to learn more about this fast-loading image format, check out the following links:
- Information on the WebP image format.
- A comparative compression study between WebP and JPEG, conducted by Google.
- A page comparing JPEG and WebP images and their respective sizes (you’ll need a WebP-enabled browser to view the WebP images on this page).
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One of the biggest hassle of this is that people are going to find it annoying that they cannot share downloaded photos on Facebook and Twitter 😀 I am not complaining. The latest version of Google+ is using WebP everywhere and it’s pretty nice. Though a hassle when I need to share an image on Twitter. I wish more services supported WebP.
Since the image’s file name doesn’t change, anyone can download and share your images and they will be displayed properly, even if they’re displayed in a browser that doesn’t support WebP. No worries there!
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Hi Carolyn, just a query. I have installed an image compressor plugin – short pixel optimizer. Do I actually need a separate image compressor or is Photon sufficient?
You can use both! ShortPixel allows you to optimize your images as you upload them, and Photon will optimize them further when they’re inserted in your posts.
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I’m afraid of using Photon on my website. I’m a professional photographer and my fear is losing quality of my published pictures on my website. 😦
Thanks for reaching out!
Photon is an image CDN service for Jetpack-connected WordPress sites. Converted images are cached automatically and served from the WordPress.com CDN. That means less load on your host and faster images for your readers.
We cache your original image, so you won’t see any reduction in image quality – we just take your original image and serve it off our servers rather than your own. The best part is that Photon is non-destructive to your original images – if you choose down the road to not use Photon, you can turn it off without worrying about losing any photos on your site.
You can read more about Photon on our support page.
Please feel free to contact our Support team if you have trouble.
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