Christian Schreiber

Web Performance Consultant


What is WebP?

WebP is a modern image format that was developed by Google to optimize the loading times of websites. Compared to traditional image formats such as JPEG or PNG, WebP offers improved image compression, which results in a faster loading speed. It supports both lossy and lossless compression and is known for its ability to significantly reduce image size without loss of quality.

How does WebP compression work?

WebP technology uses advanced algorithms for image compression. These algorithms analyze the image and compress it in a way that both minimizes the file size and preserves the image quality. With lossy compression, WebP removes unnecessary image information, similar to JPEG, but in a more efficient way. With lossless compression, the image is compressed without loss of quality, similar to PNG, but with a better compression rate.

Why is WebP important for load time optimization?

One of the main causes of slow website loading times is large image files. WebP offers a solution by reducing the file size while maintaining the image quality. This leads to faster loading times, which in turn improves the user experience and reduces the bounce rate. In addition, the use of WebP can positively influence the Core Web Vitals of a website, which can have an impact on Google rankings.

What advantages does WebP offer over other formats?

WebP offers several advantages over traditional image formats:

  • Size reduction: WebP images are often up to 30 % smaller than comparable JPEG or PNG images of the same quality.
  • Transparency support: Like PNG, WebP also supports transparency (alpha channels), but with more efficient compression.
  • Compatibility: WebP is supported by all modern browsers, including Google Chrome, Firefox, Edge and Safari, ensuring broad applicability.

How can you use WebP for your website?

There are several approaches to implementing WebP on your website:

  • Direct conversion: Images can be converted to WebP and uploaded to the server. Many image editing programs and online tools offer this conversion option.
  • CMS plugins: There are numerous plugins for content management systems such as WordPress that enable the automatic conversion of images to WebP.
  • Server-side conversion: With special server modules or scripts, images can be automatically converted to WebP when they are uploaded.

Which tools can be used for the conversion?

There are various tools and services that support the conversion of images to WebP:

  • Online converters: Websites such as Convertio or CloudConvert make it easy to convert images to WebP.
  • Image editing software: Programs such as Photoshop (with appropriate plug-ins) or GIMP support conversion to WebP.
  • CMS plugins: For WordPress, there are plugins such as “WebP Converter for Media”, which integrate the conversion directly into the system.

How does WebP influence the Core Web Vitals?

Using WebP can have a positive impact on Core Web Vitals, especially metrics such as Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), which measures the time it takes to load the largest visible element on the page. Smaller image files load faster, which leads to a better LCP rating. This can improve the overall user experience and have a positive impact on search engine rankings.

How can WebP improve the user experience?

By reducing loading times, WebP contributes to a smoother and more responsive user experience. Visitors can access content faster, which is particularly important on mobile devices, where slow loading times can lead to a high bounce rate. An improved loading time increases the likelihood that users will stay on the website longer and visit more pages.

What should you bear in mind when implementing WebP?

Although WebP offers many advantages, there are a few points that should be considered during implementation:

  • Browser compatibility: While modern browsers support WebP, older browsers may have compatibility problems. It is important to provide a fallback mechanism that delivers alternative image formats such as JPEG or PNG if WebP is not supported.
  • Server configuration: The servers must be configured so that they provide WebP images correctly and deliver the correct MIME types for these files.
  • SEO aspects: Make sure images are SEO optimized by using relevant alt tags and file names that support search engine optimization.

What challenges can arise when using WebP?

Some challenges when using WebP can be:

  • Compatibility with older systems: Older browsers or CMS systems may not support WebP images. A fallback strategy is necessary here.
  • Complexity of implementation: The integration of WebP can require technical know-how, especially for server-side configuration or the use of CMS plugins.


WebP is a powerful image format that offers efficient compression and can significantly improve the loading times of websites. By using WebP, you can optimize the user experience, improve core web vitals and ultimately boost your website’s search engine ranking. It is a valuable addition to any website optimization plan and should be considered, especially for websites that use a large number of images.

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