WebP format

How WebP images speed up your WordPress website

4 min read
Courtney Robertson

Using images in your website keeps the visitor’s attention and can help break up large amounts of text. Media can impact your website speed, search engine results, and more. Larger file sizes can mean longer load time. WebP images can speed up your WordPress website.

A hosting service with a fast server response time can make the difference in faster rendering. Check out how GoDaddy Managed WordPress Hosting can help with fast and secure hosting.

There are ways to optimizing images for performance. These optimization steps can improve you Core Web Vitals score, a metric Google uses as a factor in search rankings.

What is WebP

Google developed and launched the WebP format in September 2010.

WebP is a modern image format that provides superior lossless and lossy compression for images on the web. Using WebP, webmasters and web developers can create smaller, richer images that make the web faster.

WebP lossless images are 26% smaller in size compared to PNGs. WebP lossy images are 25% to 34% smaller than comparable JPEG images.

Let's look at an image in several formats. First, you'll find a photo in JPG format, followed by WebP. The quality difference is virtually imperceptible at this resolution.

JPG format
WebP format

Why is WebP different than other formats?

WebP is an open-source format. This means anyone can work with this format and suggest improvements. Other image formats are less accessible to request feature changes.

WebP offers better compression of images. Google indicates it is the "Swiss Army knife of image formats." All the features from PNG and JPG formats are available with WebP and in a way that does not reduce the quality detectable to the human eye. Still, there are pros and cons to this format type:


  • Supported by all major browsers
  • Smaller file sizes improve site speed
  • Anyone can suggest new features


How do you add WebP images to your WordPress site?

WordPress 5.8 recently shipped, including support for the WebP image format.

WebP images are significantly smaller than their JPEG equivalents, so visitors to your site will see the complete page loaded more quickly. Smaller images take less bandwidth to transmit, and your images still get all of the responsive benefits of srcset and lazy loading by default. Finally, WebP is supported in all major browsers, so most sites can start using them today.

Whether you create images with GoDaddy Studio or any other image tool, you'll likely have a PNG or JPG file format. You can convert these images to WebP format in several ways.

1. Convert an image to WebP and upload to the Media Library

You're likely creating a lot of images for your own or clients' websites. Not many image editing programs offer a way to save files in this new format. If you are a Photoshop user, check out the WebP file format plugin.

Otherwise, you can create images in any program you like. Then, convert the images to the WebP format before uploading to WordPress. To do this, check out Squoosh or Convertio.

2. Batch-convert your existing Media Library and new uploads

There are several great plugins that may meet your needs available to help convert your entire media library and individual uploads in an ongoing manner. The following plugins can help you batch convert images, specify which directories to convert, and convert new uploads as well.

We recommend a good website backup plan and testing the conversion process on a staging site.


The images in your website contribute to the average page load speed. Utilizing the WebP format and doing all you can to reduce the size of image files will help speed up your website.

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