What's the Best Image Format for Your Website?

May 05, 2022 9:12am


Learn about various image formats, how they affect your website, and which of them suit you the best.


How many image formats are there in 2022? Quite a lot! But we are not going to talk about all of them in this article. Let's consider the most popular ones, how to apply them, and how to load your website faster loaded and optimise for SEO.


Why the file size and the format of an image are important?


When image files are too big, they take longer to load on web pages. On average, you have less than 3 seconds for your page to load before the visitor gets bored and leaves the site. Of course, it depends on the niche you're in. Some websites require more time to load. But remember - the faster, the better.

You need your website to load fast not only for people but for the search engines too. It is a well-known fact - the faster your web page loading speed is the highest positions you will achieve in Google SEO ranking.

When we talk about positions in Google SEO, not only website speed, images and content play a role. There are a lot of factors you need to consider when thinking about SEO: navigation through your website, links, headings, meta-description, etc. This list is enormous. But today we are going to focus our attention on images only: their impact on SEO and what steps should you take for search engines to love you.


What can you do?


As we already mentioned - web page loading time is crucial for your conversion rates. The "heavy" images are almost fatal. They slow your web page loading time.


For better results, some factors have to be considered:


Now that you know images play a huge part in a web page loading time, let's dive into the details of image formats and consider the most favourable of them.

JPEG and PNG image formats


What is JPEG image format?


JPEG - Joint Photographic Experts Group. The first thing we need to clarify: JPEG and JPG are the same image formats.


So, the JPEG:

  • is the most recognized image format;

  • used by most the cameras nowadays;

  • can contain up to 16.8 million colours;

  • is packed with details and colour;

  • is relatively small in size;

  • has lossy compression - loses its data while compressed;

  • may lose smooth transition between the colours while compressing;

  • doesn't support animation.


What is the PNG image format?


PNG - Portable Network Graphics files.


PNG image format:

  • contains around 16 million colours as JPEG;

  • is large in size - larger than JPEG or even GIF;

  • used for web graphics, logos, illustrations and charts;

  • takes more storage space due to more data;

  • has the ability to handle graphics with transparent colour;

  • has lossless compression - doesn't lose its data while compressed;

  • is an open format which enables you to use it in a wide range of programs;

    doesn't support animation.


What is the difference between JPEG and PNG and when to use each image format?


So, what is the difference between JPEG and PNG and when is better to use each image format? JPEG is smaller in size, remaining less data after the compression process. PNG saves all the data, remaining all the quality, no matter how many times you edit the file. PNG images won't get blurry or distorted after compressing. Also, PNG supports transparent background, unlike JPEG. All these factors divide these two file formats by preferences: JPEG is more preferred by photographers, meanwhile, PNG files are widespread in web graphics.

GIF format


GIF - Graphics Interchange Format. GIF is having basic animations image.


So, the GIF:

  • supports up to 8 bits per pixel;

  • contains 256 indexed colours;

  • used for mems, animations, web graphics and logos;

  • is easy to create;

  • has lossless compression;

  • can be tricky to edit;

  • are easily open through web-based browsers;

  • limits to 200MB in size.


WebP format


WebP - a relatively new image format for the web created by Google.


WebP image format:

  • was made to load web pages faster;

  • allows web pages to display high-quality images;

  • is highly compatible with various web browsers;

  • has small file size;

  • enables to choose between lossy or lossless compression;

  • supports online animations;

  • won't help when using images offline;

  • will reduce the quality of an image after compression.


To sum up, the WebP image format is great for using on your website. Thanks to Webp, you make your web page SEO friendly (due to the small file size that allows your web page to load faster). It is also good since it affords high-quality images (until you compress it). Yes, professional photographers won't like it. But if your content doesn't assume to have very high-quality images, you can freely use this format even after compression. Besides that, it can perfectly replace GIF formats being significantly smaller.


NB! You can only view WebP format in the web browser.


How to create a WebP file?


You can use special converting tools like cwebp, programs such as Photoshop, or using any web app like Squoosh.


Image compression


Once you've decided what format to choose for your website, it's time to compress it. Whatever image you use for your website, you can resize it with any app. Motivation's team is using Squoosh.

As we already mentioned above, Squoosh is a web app that allows you to change image formats and compress files. Squoosh is very comfortable to use due to the slider you have in the middle of the screen that allows you to see the image before and after any changes you've done.

Squoosh is a free web app developed by Google for happy visitors and, of course, for happy Google results 🙂 

Upload your file, make changes, and download it. That's it!


Choose your preferred image format, use our simple tips for image size compression, and make your website perfetto!


Read more about SEO website strategies.