WebP is merged into the core of WordPress 6.1 by default – WP Tavern

WebP, an image format developed by Google to replace JPEG, PNG, and GIF file formats, will soon default to new JPEG image uploads in WordPress that are generated and used for website content. Major work on this feature is dedicated to the core that will be included in the upcoming WordPress 6.1 release.

The original proposal was revised after significant critical feedback. The most notable changes include automatically generating core image-size-only WebP versions, preserving minor (WebP) subsizes only if they are smaller than the major MIME type, and only generating WebP images of image sizes intended for user-facing front-end content.

Despite numerous revisions and filters to control or disable WebP uploads, the proposal remains controversial. Contributors continue to report issues after testing. Many people still have reservations about whether it should be opt-in or enabled by default.

“WebP files are often larger than JPEG files when converting medium-resolution photos (about 1600px – 2500px on the long side),” WordPress developer Mark Howells-Mead commented on the main problem with WebP working. “(In my tests with my own photography, about 60% of the time.) This change might make Page Speed ​​Insights’ “Modern Image Formats” test enjoyable, but is enforced by default on sites that use a lot of photography Doing WebP often results in longer image load times.”

Some developers support the change but prefer to turn it off by default on first rollout so that the ecosystem is ready for the change.

“I definitely think adding additional core support for MIME types for small size image files is a big plus,” Matthias Reinholz said. “But I don’t see converting to a specific other file format as the preferred behavior. This may help optimize WebP’s market position, but it also poses a serious threat to plugin authors and existing large sites that don’t pay attention to this change.

“I therefore question why this feature should be activated by default at this stage. IMHO it should just be opt-in. Also, ideally, we’ve started thinking about adding more image formats to support this feature. “

NerdPress founder Andrew Wilder created a separate ticket urging contributors to consider opting in to the feature, but it was closed and the conversation was directed back to the main ticket so as not to divide the discussion.

“Having these new features opt-in rather than opt-out would be the best way to be cautious about the potential impact,” Wilder said.

“There’s been a lot of requests to opt in (and some to be set on media pages, not just filters for developers). So far, there hasn’t been any public conversation about why this isn’t being considered.”

The notion that WebP should opt-in by default was dismissed immediately, and the conversation was not revisited until the changes were committed.

Adam Silverstein, a Google-sponsored core committer, said in response to naysayers: “The feature will provide users with a wide range of benefits by choosing the core size (start) – if it opt-in at all, it There will be little impact – or benefit.”

Responding to the suggestion that the feature would come with a UI to enable it on media pages, Silverstein said, “We’ve discussed the issue of suggestions in chat and mixed responses. It’s often mentioned that the project philosophy aligns with the current approach.”

Tickets are still open pending a patch from some loose threads in the technical implementation. Contributors continue to raise other concerns.

The Performance Team has a new blog where people can follow updates on their current projects and proposals. Now that the main work on WebP is complete, the next steps will be discussed at future conferences and posted on the new Core Performance blog.

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