With WordPress 5.8, you can now use the WebP image format in the same way as JPEG, PNG, and GIF formats.
While this is great news for website owners wanting to take advantage of its faster loading speed, compared to other file types, 5% of visitors (mainly those browsing with Safari on older macOS versions) won’t be able to view your images if they are uploaded directly in WebP format.
To solve this issue and ensure everyone gets a good experience no matter what browser they’re using, it’s recommended that you install a plugin which automatically converts original images into the WebP format while also providing an alternative version for browsers that don’t support it e.g., Safari or Internet Explorer.
So, if you’re having any trouble with .webp images on your current website with WordPress software version 5.8 (released July 20, 2021) or newer… then you’re having some specific issue, because the use of .webp format images is enabled and should work correctly.
Perhaps you’re seeing the message: “This image cannot be processed by the web server. Convert it to JPEG or PNG before uploading.”
Some things to look for if you’re having this problem:
- Check that your web server has one of the 2 critical processing PHP modules/libraries: either Imagick or LibDG. WebP support in the media library requires that your web server’s image processing library (WordPress supports both Imagick and LibGD) supports the WebP format.
- Check your host. Many hosts (GoDaddy, Hostgator, etc.) will limit uploads of webp images; most will enable the option if asked. So, if you continue to experience issues with WordPress not allowing webp images, it may just be a host issue. Take advantage of their support and get them in on the issue.
As a last resort, some users report that using the alternative uploader works, when the typical media library uploader will fail. This isn’t exactly an elegant solution, but it might just do the trick for enabling your webp upload if the project is time-sensitive and the image must be in .webp format.
To use this workaround, just access your site with this url:
So, just put that after your website url, if you’re website was duke.edu, it should be:
Still having issues on your 5.8+ WordPress website? Reach out to your team if you’re already a client, or if you’re not, explore options for WordPress management or maintenance that could benefit your organization.
Does WordPress Support .webP Images?
Yes, WordPress supports .webp images as of version 5.8.
To enable this feature, make sure your web server has either Imagick or LibGD installed and then upload the image in the usual way through the media library. Older versions of WordPress may not support this feature, so be sure to keep your software up-to-date if you wish to use .webp images.
WordPress webp Hosting Support
Some WordPress hosting providers may limit uploads of .webp images so it is important to check with them before attempting to upload any images in this format.
Some of the leading WordPress hosts known to prevent or limit .webp uploads:
These are some of the hosting providers which may limit uploads of .webp images. It is important to check with them before attempting to upload any images in this format. To get around the limitation, you can try using an alternative media library uploader, as mentioned above.
Webp Plugins for WordPress
You can also use a plugin to automatically convert original images into the WebP format while also providing an alternative version for browsers that don’t support it. This ensures everyone gets a good experience no matter what browser they’re using.
Improving the performance of your WordPress website can be a daunting task, but don’t let it be. With so many options, tools, solutions, and providers offering WordPress site speed optimization that improves your site speed and user experience. Let’s take a look at some of the plugins you could use to optimize your images.
If you’re looking for a plugin to help with your .webp image support, there are several options available:
- ShortPixel Image Optimizer – a plugin that automatically optimizes new uploads as well as your existing media library. It supports both JPEG & PNG to WebP conversions.
- Imagify Image Optimizer – a WordPress image compression tool that allows you to bulk optimize all your existing photos with one click and convert them into WEBP format on the fly.
- WebP Express – This plugin is designed to help WordPress websites automatically serve WebP images. It works by converting all uploaded JPEG and PNG images into the WebP format, while also providing a fallback version for browsers that don’t support it.
- EWWW Image Optimizer – This plugin offers a range of features to help speed up your website, including automatic conversion of uploaded images into the WebP format.
- Compress JPEG & PNG Images by TinyPNG – This plugin is designed to automatically optimize and compress images after they have been uploaded. It also includes support for converting existing JPG and PNG files into the WebP format.
Next steps, supporting .webp on your organization’s WordPress website
Overall, WordPress 5.8+ supports the use of .webp images and there are several plugins available to help you optimize your images for faster loading speeds. Be sure to check with your hosting provider about any limitations when it comes to uploading files in this format though.