Images represent one of the most popular content types for any WordPress website. Although we often prefer to express thoughts with good photos and pictures, most of us know very little about the basics of this file type. The choice between JPG and PNG file types can serve as a great example of this statement: how many of us know what do these file types stand for? What is the difference and what file type is preferable in a certain situation?
Our today`s Quick Tip will show you the truth about JPG and PNG file types: what secrets do they hide and how can we use it. We will discover the basics about image file formats and learn how to use their strength and weaknesses for the sake of a WordPress project.
The Main Difference: Lossless and Lossy Compression
You could have already heard, that JPG uses lossy compression type and PNG uses the lossless one. But only a few percent of WordPress website owners know the difference between these terms. These features are of the most importance, that is why we will pay our close attention to the difference between lossless and lossy compression.
Lossless compression actually stand for reducing file size without losing any data from the original one. This task can be fulfilled by compressing the redundant data each file contains. In this case no data will be deleted and the original can be reconstructed, if needed. In other words, lossless compression optimizes the file`s data without losing any part of it. PNG is the lossless file type.
Lossy compression tends to get rid of any data that are supposed to be irrelevant or excessive. Human`s eye does not distinguish all shades of colors that could be represented in images. Lossy compression deletes the shades, that are recognized as similar for a human`s eye. The same can work with audio formats. For example, MP3 files do not save sounds, that a human ear cannot hear. Lossy compression deletes data from a file on the permanent basis. It means you cannot restore the original version after the compression. Moreover, lossy compressed files will loose their picture`s quality with every editing and re-save. JPG file type is lossy.
JPG vs PNG
As you can see, JPG and PNG provide different approach to data compression: JPG prefers highest compression over image quality, and PNG on the contrary chooses quality over the smallest file size possible. This feature represents the most important difference between JPG and PNG but not the only one.
We have gathered all of the important features from JPG and PNG file types and compared them in the most convenient way – with the help of a table:
|Page Load Speed||Faster||Slower|
|Best for||Photos, Screenshots||Graphics, Illustrations|
JPG and PNG files serve for different purposes. It is crucial to understand the difference between the compression types and use the right file format for a certain situation. Simply put, you should use JPG for the most cases on your WordPress website to speed up the website`s performance. But in cases you would need a better quality of your images, PNG will help you to fulfill the task.