Every website owner wants their website to perform faster to provide a good user and search engine experience. Google keeps taking several initiatives to give a safer and faster web experience. In the Year 2010, Google released a new image format WebP. The purpose was to help websites to load faster. You can also make your website load faster by using the WebP Converter for Media plugin if you have a WordPress website.
Why Use WebP?
WebP, one of the next-gen image formats, has several benefits over old image formats like JPEG, PNG, or GIF. So here are some major reasons or benefits of using this image format:
- WebP images provide superior compression and quality as compared to older image formats.
- Next-gen image formats like WebP load faster that helps in improving your webpage’s load time.
- WebP images are around 30% smaller than old image formats like JPEG.
- Core Web Vitals metrics can be improved by using WebP images.
How to Use WebP Converter for Media Plugin?
WebP Converter for Media is a free and easy-to-use plugin in WordPress. So you should use this plugin to automatically convert all the existing and new images on your WordPress website.
1. Install & Activate WebP Converter for Media Plugin
First, you need to install this plugin from your website’s WordPress admin account. Once you log in and see the WordPress admin panel. In the left-side menu bar, you need to select Plugins > Add New:
Then you should search ‘webp converter’ in the search box. You will see the ‘WebP Converter for Media’ plugin in search results as shown in the above image. You can see this plugin has more than 70K active installations and has 5-star ratings.
Now you need to click on the ‘Install Now‘ button given for this plugin. After installation gets completed then you will find the ‘Activate’ button as shown in the below image. Just click on this button to activate this plugin in your WordPress admin panel.
2. Speed Up My Website
Once you install and activate this plugin then you will get a ‘Thank You‘ message with a ‘Speed Up My Website‘ button. You need to click on this button to go to the settings of this ‘WebP Converter for Media’ plugin.
3. Settings in WebP Converter for Media Plugin
Once you reach to the ‘Settings‘ of this plugin. You will find below highlighted options:
- Image loading mode: You can keep the default settings as given by this plugin like keep ‘via .htaccess’ as recommended.
- List of supported files extensions: You can select image file extension ‘.gif’ if your website has images with this extension. Otherwise this plugin already select ‘.jpg’, ‘jpeg’ and ‘.png’ extensions.
- List of supported directories: In this option, you can choose image files from specific folders that you can convert to WebP format. By default ‘/uploads’ folder is selected in Settings. The other two options that you can select are ‘/plugins’ and ‘/themes’.
- Conversion method: This includes configuration for advanced users. It should be kept as already recommended by this plugin like ‘GD’ selected.
- List of supported output format: ‘WebP’ is already selected in this option so no change is needed.
- Image Quality: This option helps you to adjust the quality of images that will be converted to WebP image format. You should keep image quality as recommended ‘85%’ for good results.
- As if you increase the quality percentage more than recommended then the space of WebP images will be more.
- If you reduce the quality percentage then the image quality will not be up to the mark.
- Extra Features: All the recommended 4 options are already selected as shown in the above image. You should select the option ‘Enable cron to automatically convert images from outside Media Library’ as this option will help all your images from the media library to be immediately converted into WebP image format.
Now after updating these settings you need to click on ‘Save Changes‘ button.
4. Regenerate Images
After saving all ‘Settings’ options now this plugin will convert all your images to the WebP image format that you will upload to the media library. But if your website is already live and it has plenty of images in old image formats. Then you have to use the ‘Regenerate Images’ option given in this plugin just below the ‘Settings’ section.
Just enable the checkbox ‘Force convert all images again’ and then click on the ‘Regenerate All’ button. This might take some time, but once the conversion process is done then all the existing images in the old format will get converted to WebP format.
You can see the below-highlighted image space-saving of around 15 to 16 MB based on an example website. You can have much more image space savings if you have plenty of existing images on your website. This will help your images to upload faster on your website pages.
Improved Page Speed Using WebP Images
We checked and found improvement in page speed score for an example website when we converted all our existing images to WebP using this ‘WebP Converter for Media’ plugin. You can see in this example screenshot Page Speed Insights tool was showing ‘Serve images in the next-gen format’ as an opportunity and the score was ’89’. But on implementing this WebP Converter plugin this opportunity suggestion removed and the page speed score increased to ’92’.
So this is the benefit of converting your existing images available on your website to WebP, a next-gen image format. You can also see improvement in metrics that are related to Core Web Vitals.
- Largest Content Paint improved from 3.4 s to 3.2 s.
- Time to Interact improved from 3.3 s to 3.2 s.
- Total Blocking Time improved from 180 ms to 70 ms.
- Cumulative Layout Shift remained 0.
Browser Compatibility for WebP Images
WebP images are not supported by all browsers. So browser compatibility is a challenge while you use WebP images. But this WebP Converter for Media plugin helps to provide image format as per the compatibility of browser.
- If a browser doesn’t support next-gen image format WebP then this plugin helps to provide old image format from your website.
- And if a browser supports WebP images then it provides next-gen image format automatically.
You can get list of browsers from Google if you want to know which browsers support WebP.
You should use the ‘WebP Converter for Media’ plugin if you have a big website with plenty of old format images. This plugin will automatically and quickly convert plenty of images on your website to WebP images.
So will you use this WebP Converter plugin for your website? or Are you already using this plugin? Share your experience in the comments section below.