Why do people hate WebP Image Format so much?

WebP is considered the ultimate solution for image compression, however, despite its commendable features, why do individuals have such an aversion towards it when it comes to user experience? Let's delve deeper and unravel the reasons behind this widespread distaste for WebP image format.

Why do people hate WebP Image Format so much?
Photo by Chitranshu / OpenSudo


In the world of web development, images play a vital role in conveying information, enhancing user experience, and making a website visually appealing. However, with the advancement of technology, new image formats have been introduced to make the web faster and more efficient. Among these new formats, WebP has been widely adopted as an alternative to the traditional JPEG and PNG formats. However, despite its benefits, WebP has received significant backlash from the web development community, with many people expressing a strong dislike for the format.

So, why do people hate WebP image format so much? In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this backlash and try to understand the challenges that come with adopting new image formats. We will look at some of the pros and cons of using WebP and try to understand why it has not been well-received by everyone.

Before delving into the reasons behind the hate towards WebP, it is essential to understand what WebP is and how it differs from other image formats. WebP is an image format developed by Google that uses a more advanced compression algorithm than traditional image formats. It promises to reduce the file size of images significantly, thereby speeding up website load times, reducing bandwidth usage, and improving user experience. WebP supports both lossy and lossless compression, making it a versatile format that can be used for different types of images.

While WebP has been adopted by many websites, it has also faced significant backlash from the web development community, with many people expressing their dislike for the format. In the following sections, we will explore some of the reasons behind this backlash and try to understand why some people are hesitant to adopt WebP for their websites.

What exactly is an Image Format?

An image format refers to the structure and encoding of digital images, which are used to store and transmit visual information electronically. Image formats allow for the efficient storage and display of images on different devices, such as computer screens, mobile devices, and printers.

There are numerous image formats available in the market, including JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP, TIFF, and more. Each image format comes with its own advantages and disadvantages, and certain formats are more suitable for specific purposes. For example, JPEG is the preferred format for photographs, while PNG is commonly used for images that require transparency, such as logos or icons.

In general, image formats are designed to balance two key factors: image quality and file size. High-quality images typically require more storage space, which can result in slower loading times and higher bandwidth usage. Therefore, image formats must balance the need for high-quality images with the need for efficient file sizes.

With the rise of web development and online content, image formats have become increasingly important. Websites and online platforms require images to be optimized for quick loading times and minimal bandwidth usage, while still maintaining high-quality visuals. This is where the WebP image format comes in.

WebP is an image format developed by Google in 2010 as a more efficient alternative to JPEG and PNG formats. It uses advanced compression techniques to reduce file size while maintaining image quality. However, despite its advantages, WebP has received significant backlash and criticism from users and developers alike.

What is WebP

WebP is an image format introduced by Google in 2010 as a new open-source image format intended to reduce image file sizes without sacrificing image quality. It uses a new compression algorithm called VP8, which can reduce image sizes by up to 34% compared to JPEG or PNG images while maintaining the same quality.

The WebP format supports both lossy and lossless compression, meaning you can adjust the compression rate to achieve the desired image quality and file size. It also supports transparency and animation features, making it an ideal format for web developers and designers.

WebP was designed to be a modern replacement for older image formats like JPEG, PNG, and GIF. With smaller file sizes, websites can load images much faster, and users can enjoy a smoother browsing experience. Additionally, smaller file sizes mean that webmasters can save on bandwidth costs, making it a cost-effective solution.

Despite the advantages of WebP, it has not been widely adopted by the internet community. Many people are still unaware of this format, and it is not supported by all web browsers. The lack of browser support has made it difficult for developers to implement WebP in their web projects. Some users have also raised concerns about compatibility issues, especially with older devices and browsers.

Another factor that has contributed to the unpopularity of WebP is the lack of native support for some popular image editing softwares like Adobe Photoshop. Users have to use third-party plugins to edit and save images in WebP format, which can be inconvenient and time-consuming.

In conclusion, WebP is a promising image format that offers many benefits, including smaller file sizes, faster loading times, and cost savings. However, its lack of browser support and compatibility issues have hindered its widespread adoption. As technology continues to advance, it remains to be seen whether WebP will become the preferred image format for the web or not.

WebP vs other Image Formats

WebP is a relatively new image format that was introduced by Google in 2010. It was designed to provide better compression and higher quality than existing image formats like JPEG and PNG. However, despite its advantages, WebP has faced significant criticism from both users and developers.

One of the main advantages of WebP is its ability to provide better compression than JPEG and PNG, which can result in smaller file sizes and faster loading times for web pages. It does this by using advanced compression techniques such as lossy and lossless compression, as well as predictive coding and a range of other techniques.

However, while WebP does offer better compression than other image formats, this advantage comes at a cost. One of the main criticisms of WebP is that it is not universally supported by all web browsers, which means that some users may not be able to view images that are stored in this format.

In addition to this, some developers have complained that the process of converting existing images to WebP can be complex and time-consuming, particularly if you are dealing with a large number of images. This can make it difficult for web developers and designers to adopt the format, particularly if they are working with tight deadlines or limited resources.

Another issue that has been raised in relation to WebP is that it can be difficult to optimize images for this format without compromising image quality. This can be particularly problematic if you are dealing with high-resolution images or complex images with a lot of detail.

Despite these challenges, there are still many developers who are enthusiastic about the potential of WebP as an image format for the web. With its advanced compression techniques and ability to provide high-quality images with smaller file sizes, it is clear that WebP has a lot to offer. However, as with any new technology, it is likely to take some time for it to become widely adopted and for the issues that have been raised to be addressed.

Why do people hate WebP?

WebP has been a subject of controversy since its launch, and many people have been vocal about their dislike for this image format. Here are some of the reasons why people hate WebP:

  1. Compatibility Issues: One of the primary reasons people hate WebP is that it's not supported by all browsers. Older versions of popular browsers such as Safari, Firefox, and Internet Explorer do not support WebP, which can be frustrating for web developers who want to use the format.
  2. Conversion Issues: Another common problem with WebP is that it can be challenging to convert images to the format. Some image editing tools do not support WebP, and conversion can result in a loss of image quality. This can be especially problematic for designers who need to maintain image quality.
  3. File Size Issues: While WebP is generally known for its smaller file size, there have been instances where the format has actually produced larger files than other image formats such as JPEG or PNG. This can be frustrating for web developers who want to optimize their site's loading speed.
  4. Lack of Familiarity: Many people are simply not familiar with the WebP format, and it can be confusing to navigate. This lack of familiarity can lead to resistance to using the format, particularly among those who are more comfortable with more traditional image formats.
  5. Patent Concerns: Some people have expressed concerns about the patents associated with WebP. The format was developed by Google, which holds several patents related to the technology. While Google has stated that it will not enforce these patents, some people are still wary of using the format.
  6. Lossy Compression: WebP uses a lossy compression algorithm, which can result in a loss of image quality. This can be particularly problematic for designers who are working with high-resolution images that need to maintain their quality.

Finally, while WebP has many benefits, it's clear that it's not a perfect image format. Some people may prefer to stick with more traditional formats such as JPEG or PNG, while others may choose to experiment with WebP and see if it meets their needs. Ultimately, the choice of image format will depend on the specific needs of the website and the preferences of the designer.


In conclusion, WebP is a newer image format that promises faster loading times and smaller file sizes, but it has faced resistance from many people due to its lack of universal support and compatibility issues with certain browsers and devices. While it may be a useful format for certain situations, it is not a one-size-fits-all solution.

It is understandable that people are hesitant to embrace a new technology that is not universally compatible and that requires extra effort to convert images. However, as the internet continues to evolve and demand faster loading times, it is important to keep an open mind and explore new technologies that could help improve the user experience.

Ultimately, whether or not to use WebP comes down to the individual needs of a website or project. For websites that are highly focused on speed and performance, using WebP could provide a significant boost. On the other hand, for websites with a diverse audience and a need for universal compatibility, sticking with traditional image formats may be the better choice.

In the end, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of WebP carefully and make an informed decision based on the specific needs and requirements of a website or project. As with any new technology, it may take time for WebP to gain wider acceptance and compatibility, but it could be a useful tool for optimizing website performance in the future.


Q1. Is WebP really that bad?

While WebP has its downsides, it’s not necessarily a bad format. It offers benefits like smaller file sizes and better image quality, but the lack of universal support can be frustrating for users.

Q2. Can WebP be converted to other formats?

Yes, WebP images can be converted to other formats like JPEG or PNG, but this defeats the purpose of using WebP in the first place.

Q3. Is there a way to use WebP images without sacrificing compatibility?

One way to use WebP images without sacrificing compatibility is to use them as a fallback image for browsers that don't support the format. This can be done with the picture element and source element in HTML.

Q4. Why do some websites still use JPEG or PNG instead of WebP?

Some websites still use JPEG or PNG instead of WebP because of the lack of universal support for the format. They don't want to risk alienating users with unsupported browsers.

Q5. Can WebP improve website speed?

Yes, WebP can improve website speed because of its smaller file sizes. This means that images load faster, improving overall website performance.

Q6. How does WebP compare to other modern image formats like AVIF and JPEG XL?

WebP, AVIF, and JPEG XL are all modern image formats that offer improved compression and image quality compared to older formats like JPEG and PNG. While each format has its own strengths and weaknesses, all three are viable options for web developers.

Q7. Are there any downsides to using WebP?

The main downside to using WebP is the lack of universal support, which can be frustrating for users with unsupported browsers. Additionally, some tools and applications may not support the format, making it difficult to work with in certain situations.

Q8. How does WebP affect SEO?

WebP can have a positive impact on SEO because it can improve website speed, which is a ranking factor for search engines like Google. However, the lack of universal support can also have a negative impact if users are unable to view the images on their devices.

Q9. Can WebP images be optimized for SEO?

Yes, WebP images can be optimized for SEO just like other image formats. This includes using descriptive file names and alt tags, optimizing image sizes, and compressing the images for faster loading times.

Q10. Is it worth using WebP despite the compatibility issues?

The decision to use WebP ultimately depends on the specific needs and goals of a website. If website speed is a top priority and the majority of users have browsers that support the format, then it may be worth using. However, if compatibility is a concern or there is a significant portion of users with unsupported browsers, it may be better to stick with more universally supported image formats like JPEG or PNG.