Performance Team Proposes Enabling WebP by Default in WordPress 6.0

With WebP now being enabled by default, WordPress users would not experience any changes to their usual image upload workflow. WordPress would automatically convert all JPEG uploads to WebP in the background and use them on the website for you.

The proposed feature would ship with two filters to control or disable WebP uploads, and a user-friendly plugin would be created to do the same thing. 

Despite the significant performance benefits this new format has, support for the feature proposal is not unopposed. Several contributors participating in the discussion expressed concerns about email clients and social media platforms not supporting WebP at this point.

“I feel like WebP is not yet ready to become a ‘hardcoded default’ in the post_content due to all the reasons mentioned in the previous comments,” Kaspars Dambis said. “Many web clients (which are not just browsers) don’t support WebP formats — RSS clients, email clients, smart TVs, ebook readers, open graph parsers, desktop image viewers, etc. These are all important users of the web.”

Silverstein then answered these concerns that were expressed, confirming that WordPress will continue generating the JPEG image sub sizes as it always has.

“One important note about what this feature doesn’t change: JPEG sub sizes are still generated and stored in the same meta fields,” he said. “For that reason, consumers of RSS feeds or REST media endpoints or OG tags for example will continue to use the JPEG sub sized versions.”


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