Serving images, in the new generation WebP format, on your website is a way to optimize its performance. This week’s resource is a WordPress plugin to automatically convert your jpg, png, etc. files. to WebP, while presenting them when requested.

The content of this post was originally published on June 6, 2022 in our WP al día (in spanish).

images into next generation formats: WebP and AVIF

Converter for Media – Convert WebP and AVIF & Optimize Images | Ease image optimization

This plugin converts the images of your website to the WebP format and users automatically receive new images, much less heavy than the original ones. With this you can gain more than half the weight of the page without losing quality. 

When the browser loads an image, the plugin checks if it supports the new WebP format. If so, the image is loaded. Otherwise, the original is loaded. In some cases, the converted image may be larger in weight than the original, so the original is uploaded.

Images in the media library are not altered. One-click bulk conversion only needs to be done the first time and new images are converted as they are uploaded to the media library. If you delete the plugin, all converted images are removed.

Another next generation format is AVIF. The AVIF format can only be used in the Pro version of the plugin. The AVIF format is the successor to WebP. AVIF allows even higher levels of image compression to be achieved and the quality of AVIF is even better than WebP.

Naturally, we have tried to serve images in WebP format in test environments; and even on the Blogpocket website. There, the images, in png and jpg, penalized performance especially on mobile devices (despite being optimized). With WebP we have achieved a Lighthouse of 80% on mobile and 100% on desktop. There is still room for improvement on mobile but on desktop the result is spectacular.

How do you know if the plugin is working? An easy way is to check that in GTmetrix or Lighthouse the message «serve images in next generation format» disappears.

Before using this plugin, check if your hosting provides you with a tool to carry out this conversion automatically. For example, SiteGround includes it in its SG Optimizer plugin. 

You also have to be careful if your server is Nginx, because then you will have to apply some changes before you can use the plugin. 

Why I recommend the Converter for Media plugin: A better optimized website also affects your Google ranking. 

Image optimization is very important. And because we also try to achieve sustainable websites. And for this it is necessary to lighten and reach optimal levels of performance.

Learn more: How to Optimize Images for WordPress in 2022 – And Using WebP (in spanish).