Google's WebP image format promises smaller images and in turn faster web pages, but so far only a few web browsers support it. That would change though if Firefox jumps on the WebP bandwagon.
Want your website to load faster? Slim your images. According to the HTTPArchive, images account for roughly 60 percent of total page size. That means the single biggest thing most sites can do to slim down is to shrink their images.
We recently covered how you can cut down your website’s page load times using Google’s image-shrinking WebP format. Unfortunately, one of the downsides to WebP is that only Opera and Chrome support it. But that may be about to change — Firefox is reconsidering its decision to reject WebP.
The change of heart makes sense since most of the objections Firefox developers initially raised about WebP have since been addressed. However, Firefox hasn’t committed to WebP just yet. As Firefox developer Jeff Muizelaar writes on the re-opened bug report, “just to be clear, no decision on adopting WebP has been made. The only thing that has changed is that we’ve just received some more interest from large non-Google web properties which we never really had before.”
Whatever the case, if Firefox does land support for WebP it would help the fledgling format cross the line where more browsers support it than don’t, which tends to be the threshold for wider adoption.
If you’d like to experiment with WebP today, while still providing fallbacks for browsers that don’t support it, be sure to check out our earlier write-up.