The Internet has changed the way we communicate, access information, and conduct business. In the few decades, more and more people have begun to access a lot of websites on a daily basis.
In the early days of the internet, images were saved in uncompressed formats. As the Internet grew and bandwidth became a concern, there was a need to compress image files while maintaining their quality. This led to the development of various image file formats and compression techniques that are still used today. When it comes to website performance and user experience, the choice of image format can have a significant impact.
One such format is AVIF (AV1 Image File Format). It compresses files more efficiently and provides higher image quality when compared to other formats like JPG, JPEG, PNG, and even WebP.
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What is AVIF?
AVIF is an open and royalty-free image format based on the AV1 codec created by the Alliance for Open Media (AOMedia) in February 2019.
Why AVIF Is the Future of Images on the Web?
As of 2023, AVIF is a relevant and useful option for web developers and content creators who are looking to optimise their images for the web.
We at inspire2rise use AVIF format whenever possible. Look at the example below.
As you can see the image which is in PNG format and is sized at 1.46 MiB. Now, let’s take look at the AVIF format equivalent.
When a PNG image is converted to AVIF format, it becomes 90.3 KiB from 1.46 MiB which is a 93.96% reduction in size!
AVIF and WordPress
AVIF is so new that WordPress doesn’t even support its MIME type yet. We at Inspire2Rise officially use a code workaround so as to be able to upload AVIF and AVIFS (AVIF Sequence) images on our website.
Instead of focusing their efforts on WebP inclusion the core WordPress team should look at ways to incorporate and promote AVIF as it would lead to a faster and better web.
Here are some reasons AVIF is the future:
Smaller file sizes:
AVIF employs the AV1 video codec in order to compress images. It results in significantly smaller file sizes compared to other image formats. This is beneficial for mobile devices and slow internet connections, as it reduces loading times and data usage.
AVIF can maintain high-quality images with better colour accuracy and sharpness compared to other formats, despite the smaller file sizes. It is possible due to the use of advanced compression algorithms and support for features like HDR (High Dynamic Range) and wide colour gamut.
Wide browser support:
Most modern browsers, including Chrome, Firefox, and Safari natively support AVIF now. This means that web developers can use AVIF without needing to rely on third-party libraries or plugins.
Open-source and royalty-free:
AVIF is an open-source format that is free to use, making it an attractive option for web developers and content creators. There are no licensing fees or restrictions on its use, making it a viable alternative to proprietary formats like JPEG and PNG.
Here’s how modern image formats compare to AVIF.
|Most web browsers widely support modern image formats like JPEG, PNG, and WebP, making them a safe and reliable choice for most websites.||While most modern browsers natively support AVIF. It is still a relatively new format and may not be supported by some older browsers or devices. This could lead to a degraded user experience for some website visitors.|
|Modern formats have good compression algorithms that allow for small file sizes without sacrificing image quality, which can help to improve website loading times and SEO performance.||We have learned AVIF produces even smaller file sizes than other modern image formats, which can be a significant advantage in terms of website loading times and data usage.|
|Most Modern formats have limitations in terms of colour depth and resolution. The compression algorithm can result in a loss of detail and image artefacts, which can negatively impact image quality.||AVIF can maintain high-quality images with better colour accuracy and sharpness, which can improve the visual appeal of websites and enhance user experience.|
|Traditional image formats are already supported by the majority of browsers and websites and they are easy to use and require less technical expertise.||AVIF is a newer format and may require some additional effort and technical expertise to implement compared to more established formats like JPEG and PNG.|
In general, AVIF offers some compelling benefits in terms of file size and image quality, a relevant and valuable option for web developers and content creators who are looking to optimise their images for the web.
While there may be other image formats that are better suited to specific use cases, web developers and content creators should carefully consider their specific needs and the capabilities of their target audience before choosing an image format. Overall, AVIF offers a good balance of file size and image quality, along with broad compatibility and open-source accessibility.
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