Follow-up on WebP by default proposal

This post is a follow up to last month’s Enabling WebP by default, which proposed a feature that would generate both JPEG and WebP images and output WebP sub-sized images in WordPress coreCore Core is the set of software required to run WordPress. The Core Development Team builds WordPress.. The post received quite a bit of feedback, primarily in regards to technical concerns questioning if this feature should be included in core in its current state.

TL;DR – The performance team has heard the feedback and takes the community’s concerns seriously. With the help of the community, we will work on conducting additional data-driven research. Based on our findings, we will reassess our proposed approach to enabling WebP by default.

The performance team wants to see WordPress continue to innovate and improve. The main goal of this feature is to set the foundation for WordPress to be able to process and deliver more performant formats in the same way other CMS like Duda, Wix, and Shopify are already doing.

To ensure that we’re implementing this feature as effectively as possible, we will investigate the main points of concern that have been raised within the community, including continuing our research and testing on image size & quality. We will continue to share updates about our work as part of the weekly chat summaries posted to the Make Core blogblog (versus network, site)

In addition, we’ve created two issues in the Performance Lab GitHub repository for tracking analysis related to the main concerns raised by the community:

  1. Research: Impact of additional WebP images on upload [Issue #289]
  2. Research: WebP compatibility [Issue #290]

Within these GitHubGitHub GitHub is a website that offers online implementation of git repositories that can easily be shared, copied and modified by other developers. Public repositories are free to host, private repositories require a paid subscription. GitHub introduced the concept of the ‘pull request’ where code changes done in branches by contributors can be reviewed and discussed before being merged be the repository owner. issues, the performance team will track testing and investigation related to these concerns to ensure that we have a full and data-driven picture of this feature’s impact. Please feel free to share your own research in these GitHub issues, as well.

Once we’ve completed our investigation and determined next steps on these two issues, we will work with the community to reassess two other concerns that were raised:

  1. Having the feature on/off by default
  2. Having a UIUI User interface-based control to turn the feature on/off

Thank you all for your feedback so far. We look forward to continuing to collaborate to move this proposal forward.

Many thanks to @tweetythierry, @flixos90, @mitogh, @mxbclang, and @jjgrainger for their help with this post.

#core-images, #media, #performance