4 Nov · 4 min read
Although it seems a simple task, people rarely use the appropriate image file type for their website. To easily convey your message and show others what you have, it is true that you have to rely on images.
Studies show that 8% of the websites do not have any visual content. The other 92% have images.
It is important that you use the correct image format for different use cases for your website; otherwise, it will cause the website to slow down.
Here, let us discuss the most significant file extensions, the use cases, and the pros and cons of each format. You can also find the answers to the most frequently asked questions.
Let us have a look at different image file formats:
It is one of the two image formats: the raster and the vector.
Used by many photographs or pictures on the web, the raster image format is JPEG, GIF, and PNG in its category. Displays static images, pixels in the raster format have accurate color, position, and proportion, depending on the resolution.
When you try to resize raster images, they will get blurry or pixelated as they are static. The pixels in it get stretched to fill the extra space, which will cause blurriness.
SVG, EPS, AI, and PDF are some of the vector image file types. In contrast to the raster images, vector images are more adjustable.
One can enlarge the image resolution while it stretches to the total area and not lose any quality or disturb the graphics. Placed on a Cartesian plane, the Vector image format uses lines and curves.
According to the statistics, PNG, JPEG, GIF, SVG, and WebP are the most common types of image files.
Let us see what's behind their popularity:
PNG (Portable Network Graphics)
Screenshots, coupons, infographics, pictures, and banners that have text use this type.
Since the file size can be increased drastically, PNG is great for photos of high resolution.
PNG is often used for text inside an image. For compression without any loss, designers and photographers use PNG to make their work remain in a high-quality format.
JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group)
Used for pictures, it is a good option for the images in blogs and articles. It is not suitable to use JPEG for infographics with small text and screenshots.
Being popular for compression and universal browser and OS support, it has second place in website usage with 74%.
GIF (Graphics Interchange Format)
It is used for sharing animations. It is a raster format type and has lossless compression but limits the color and bits of the image. But this keeps the size of the file small and internet friendly. GIF is perfect for dynamic content, and it is used as a secondary format in websites.
SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics)
It is used for icons, logos, graphs, and illustrations and is great for image types that require scalability. It was designed to provide 2D images within the website.
Instead of depending on pixels, SVG uses XML text.
It is scalable without losing quality. It is the third most commonly used format with 39 % of websites.
It supports both lossy and lossless compression. It is seen in the latest versions of Chrome, Safari, Opera, Edge, and Firefox. It helps save disk space and bandwidth. It has a usage percentage of 34.
JPEG has a universal browser/OS support, small file size, and is supported in browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.
It has the disadvantage that it's poorly readable due to lossy compression.PNG has higher quality, visible text, supported by major OS and browsers but slows down the website sometimes.
SVG has small sizes and loss-free scaling, supported by major browsers and illustration softwares, but is not suitable for photographs and complex drawings. GIF has a small file size, supported animation, supported by the major OS, but constrains the image quality.
For WebP, supported by professional editors, small sizes but is not supported by major browsers.
Raw images formats have the highest quality. PNG, WebP, GIF, and SVG support transparency. The difference between JPEG and PNG is that the former is a lossy one and the latter, lossless.