Understanding the Differences Between WEBP and PNG Formats

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Understanding the Differences Between WEBP and PNG Formats April 2, 2024

Content creation is all about communicating your message to the intended audience. But sometimes, words are not powerful enough to deliver the target message. In such situations, creators seek aid from other types of content. 

In the old days, pictures were fully physical and tangible. But as technology progressed, photographs also transitioned from analog to digital form. This transformation resulted in a steady increase in people’s demands. 

So, to meet those evolving requirements, pictures have been categorized into various formats. Out of those, two of the most popular ones are WebP and PNG. So, let’s explore the differences between these formats in this blog post.

To comprehensively cover this topic, we’ll outline the primary differences and characteristics of each of these formats. So, let’s get started without wasting any time.

What Is PNG?

PNG is the short form for Portable Network Graphics. This format was first introduced as a substitute for the GIF format in the middle of 1990. The reason behind its introduction was to address the limited color palette and patent encumbrance of the GIF format. This image format is famous for supporting transparency and a wide range of color gamut. Plus, it is patent-free and lossless.

What Is WebP?

WebP is an abbreviation for Web Picture. Compared to PNG, the WebP format is fairly new. One of Google’s brainchildren introduced this format back in 2010 to combat the rising demand for more effective compression without sacrificing quality. This picture format successfully achieves its aim by relying on both lossless and lossy compression techniques. Therefore, WebP format offers a balance between image accuracy and file size reduction.  

WebP Vs. PNG — The Major Difference Between These Formats 

Both WebP and PNG formats differ from each other in terms of the employed compression technique, image quality, application support, and use cases. So, let’s highlight the main differences and features of these formats according to these pointers. This way, you will be able to differentiate between PNG and WebP more easily.

Compression Technique

The PNG format of the image relies on the lossless compression method. So, this format knows how to preserve the picture quality without any loss. But the lossless compression nature often results in larger file sizes as compared to WebP.

WebP, on the other hand, is famous for its efficient compression algorithms because it uses both lossless and lossy compression techniques. Therefore, when WebP format relies on lossy compression, it often has a smaller file size as compared to PNG.

Picture Quality

Since the nature of lossless technique prevents the PNG format from losing any data during compression, this type of images offers better quality. In fact, people prefer this format when both accuracy and quality are paramount.

In contrast, due to relying on lossy compression, the WebP format of the pictures often suffers from a slightly reduced quality. That’s because the WebP format aims to achieve smaller file sizes.

Use Cases

PNG format offers transparency and better photo quality. Therefore, people mostly use them for graphics with text or logos.

However, the WebP format is more versatile, as it supports animation, lossy and lossless compression, and transparency (alpha channel). So, people use this format for various applications, including animations.


Since the PNG format of the image is older than WebP. All the web browsers, graphics applications and picture viewing software support this format.

On the other hand, due to being introduced in 2010, all the modern web browsers support WebP format. However, you may face compatibility issues while opening this file format in older browsers.

Pro Tip: Due to the varying characteristics of WebP and PNG formats, beginners often find it complicated to convert a file from WebP to PNG. If you are one of them, you can use our Webp to PNG converter. Since our tool employs state-of-the-art techniques, it can reliably perform this type of conversion. So, novices can utilize our software program if they are having trouble converting their graphics from WebP to PNG format.

Final Verdict

All in all, the PNG is preferable in situations when picture quality cannot be sacrificed. However, WebP is more effective for use on the web because of its reduced file sizes and animation capabilities. So, when deciding between these two formats, you should think about the requirements of your project, such as file size limitations, picture quality standards, and compatibility.