Picture of vintage camera. Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels
Picture of vintage camera. Photo by Markus Spiske from Pexels

WebP Express: The Pagespeed Smoking Gun?

Pagespeed is essential for your customers, and ultimately your bottom line. Nothing will lose someones attention faster than a slow site, and literally every second counts. Google insists that every second of load time takes 12% off of your websites conversion rate!

Needless to say, I take load times seriously, and I’m sure you do too!

One often overlooked but absolutely essential aspect of site optimization lies in the images. Even after cropping and compressing your images, I’m sure you’ve run into the warning on your speed tests that you should be serving images in next-gen formats.

Unfortunately, WordPress doesn’t yet support next-gen formats like WebP, jpeg 2000 or jpeg XR, so this can be a bit of a hassle. WebP Express gets around this by converting existing media library images, and creating rewrite rules in the .htaccess file to redirect requested .jpeg and .png files to their webp versions. This does mean that nginx based servers will need some careful workarounds, so make sure you know what kind of server you’re running before attempting to set up the plugin!

Without a CDN, WebP Express is a breeze to install. It worked right out of the box for me without having to mess with too many settings.

With a CDN, your mileage may vary. It does have CDN friendly options, however I failed to get it working properly with images hosted on DigitalOcean Spaces.

Ultimately, a CDN will also help to dramatically speed up your site, so it may be worth it to invest in a service with on the fly image conversion such as BunnyCDN or one of the paid cloudflare plans. However, if you’re just looking for the finishing touches on your image optimization, WebP Express is an amazing plugin to get you to the finish line and dramatically bump up your pagespeed!

For a quick, thorough guide on setting up this great little plugin, check out this youtube video!

Need some personal help?
Drop us a line!