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New Google Image Format WebP looks to decrease image load time

Posted on January 01, 2014

We all know that Google loves a website that loads fast. It provides a faster and better user experience for their search engine users. In their latest attempt for a better online experience, Google have created their own image format - one that looks to decrease images sizes, while still maintaing the same, if not better quality.

By converting PNGs and JPEGs to WebP, the Chrome Web Store was able to reduce image sizes by about 30% on average (here's one sample image in WebP at 8.3kB and JPEG at 32kB). Given the number of requests Chrome Web Store serves, this adds up to several terabytes of savings every day. For users, the rubber meets the road when it comes to how fast the page loads though. On this score, with WebP we were able to reduce average home page load time by nearly one-third -- a huge benefit for our users.

Will this new format take off? Jury is still out on that one as it is so new, but one thing is for sure, Google will be using it's considerable online clout to gently persuade us to all start using it. So far, Chrome and Opera browsers are the only ones to natively support the new format, with Mozilla releasing a statement that they had no plans to do (although this can be overcome with an add-on). WIll you use it on your websites?

About the Author

James Richardson

Sales Director

James Richardson started his online career by running online Sports Fan sites (luckily none are still online today), with the pinnacle of the site being a write up in the Sunday Herald Sun 'Wired' column.

His professional career began at a ASX listed company, Melbourne IT, where he held various senior roles across the Sales and Marketing teams, before deciding to venture out on his own.

Running several successful online websites and businesses himself, he is well placed at understanding your business needs.

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