Next-Gen images refers to the latest formats of images such as WebP, JPEG 2000 and JPEG XR. These Next-Gen formats are highly compressible whilst retaining high quality.
To help put things into perspective, we converted a traditional JPEG image to WebP and saw a 90% reduction in the overall size saving us 7.32MB on a single image!
Converting and serving all your images with Next-Gen formats can help significantly improve your overall page load times which can positively impact your SEO performance and your users experience.
How do I serve Next-Gen WebP images on WordPress?
One of the easiest ways to convert your existing images to WebP format and serve them to your users is by using the LiteSpeed plugin which allows you to easily and quickly optimize thousands of existing images into Next-Gen WebP images.
First you need to install the LiteSpeed plugin. Once this is installed and active navigate to the ‘media’ tab as seen below.
Scroll down and ensure the 3 items below are enabled
- Optimize Automatically
- Optimize WebP Versions
- Image WebP Replacement
Save the changes navigate to ‘Image Optimization‘ from the LiteSpeed menu as shown below.
Now select ‘Send Optimization Request’, this will start to optimize your images and replace them with next-gen WebP formats. You will need to do this several times until you reach level 3, once you are at level 3 all image optimization will be done manually.