What are next-gen image formats?
Google Page Insights is a useful tool used to report on the performance of webpages on both mobile and desktop devices and provide suggestions on how the page can be improved. A common suggestion many websites are given is ‘Serve images in next-gen formats’, but what are next-gen image formats?
Next-gen image formats provide superior lossy and lossless compression with higher quality for smaller file sizes. Next-gen image formats are preferred for the web because the files consume less data, therefore leading to faster page speeds. In 2021, Googles search algorithm will begin taking into account page speed and user experience as stronger factors for their ranking system. Having a web page slowed down by older image formats will soon affect your websites SEO.
Released in 2010 by Google and a sister project of WebM video formats, WebP offers both lossless and lossy image compression for smaller file sizes with no affect to image quality. WebP is supported by 94% of web browsers (as of May 2021) and is proving to be the most popular next-gen image format used for the web.
JPG – 28.4kB
WebP – 10.9kB
Developed between 1997 and 200 by a Joint Photographic Experts Group committee to improve upon JPEG, JPEG 2000 provides a modest increase of compression over JPEG with a flexible codestream. JPEG 2000’s efficient code-stream organization allows for progressive pixel accuracy and image resolution allowing a lower quality image to be display first before a higher quality image has been downloaded.
JPEG XR offers higher compression over JPEG with equivalent quality. JPEG XR also offers tile regions, resulting in parts of the image being decoded separately enabling rapid access to parts of the image without needing to decode the entire file.