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WordPress 5.8 adds native WebP image format support

WordPress 5.8 adds native WebP image format support

WebP images are now completely supported by WordPress versions most recent without the requirement for plugins or extra code.

On July 20, 2021, WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg announced the release of WordPress 5.8 Tatum. There was a mention of WordPress supporting WebP buried among the new features.

WebP is an image format that fully supports transparency and can drastically lower image file sizes without sacrificing visual fidelity. The ideal replacement for the JPEG and PNG picture formats is WebP. Regretfully, it has taken a long time for all of the major online browsers to implement the format. Apple Safari was the last browser to enable WebP; it took ten years for the browser to eventually add support, which happened in 2020.

The whole web design community was impacted by Apple's severe delay in providing support for WebP. WebP is still not supported by Adobe Photoshop, and WebP support was only added by the well-known Mac photo editor Pixelmator Pro when it was discovered that Safari would support it.

WordPress and other content management systems were also impacted by the delay. Until WordPress version 5.8, the only options for using WebP images were through plugins or by adding workaround code to the functions.php file of current themes.

The WebP picture format is fully supported natively by version 5.8. WebP images can now be added and used by WordPress users in the same manner as PNG and JPEG images.

In order to maintain WebP image functionality following the update to version 5.8, a WordPress instance running version 5.7 or earlier might wish to consider leaving any plugins or workaround codes in place. They can safely uninstall the plugin or remove the functions.php file's workaround code after the update. As usual, if something goes wrong, make sure you have a reliable backup and a quick restore option, like WP Engine does.

With WordPress's new WebP functionality, you may use the wp_editor_set_quality filter to adjust the compression quality. WordPress Core Committer and Developer Relations Engineer at Google, Adam Silverstein, provided code that theme and plugin authors can utilize to adjust the WebP quality level. If the code below is saved in the functions.php file, for instance, WordPress will convert all freshly uploaded WebP photos with a 75% quality preset.

You may get WordPress 5.8 with native support for WebP right now.

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