It’s pretty evident that images play a key role in a blog’s success.
Visuals like images, videos, GIFs, and graphics illustrate the points in your blog post, and they also engage the reader’s attention and keep them longer on your site.
There are powerful blogging statistics about the impact of image content on your site:
- Posts with pictures get 94% more views
- As many as 71% of writers use visuals as a blogging strategy
- 19% of blog writers add videos to supplement their blog content
It’s clear that images are important to your marketing strategy.
But you’re likely just thinking about the visual aspect of images on your blog.
If you want to create the best effect on your website, you also need to be aware of the technical choices available to you when using images.
Different Types of Image Formats
You may be aware that images are available in different formats like:
And so on.
You’re likely familiar with the JPG/ JPEG, and PNG formats and even use GIFs to send memes.
But have you given any thought to which kind of image format you should use for your blog post? Or for your social media? Or your printed assets?
And finally, does it make a difference what format you choose?
The answer to the last question is ‘Yes’.
Different image formats are better suited to different types of images and purposes, so it’s essential to understand the basics of each one.
At least the differences between JPEG and PNG – because they are the most common image formats on the web. And you should know which ones to use and when.
And don’t worry, we’ve got you covered in this post.
As you keep reading, you’ll learn more about these simple but useful image formats and how to leverage each one. Let’s dive in!
What is JPEG?
JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group, an image format used to store digital photographs. It’s also known as JPG.
It’s the most common type of image format and can be used to save images with millions of colors. It works best for realistic images like photographs and complex graphics on high-resolution backgrounds.
The best part about using JPEG format is that it’s highly compressed, so the file size is reduced with some loss in quality. And that’s why it’s called ‘lossy’.
Every time you save a JPEG image, it loses some amount of information and detail. However, when you’re working with images that have thousands of colors and details, you won’t notice the loss too much.
And that makes it an excellent choice for web and blog pictures that need to load quickly.
What is PNG?
PNG stands for Portable Network Graphics and is an image format used to store and share images online.
It’s another common image format for web graphic files, such as logos and icons. It works best for images with few colors, like line drawings and illustrations.
The best part about using PNG format is that it supports transparency and lossless compression, which means that even after compression, the image quality remains intact.
So, you can use this for images that don’t need to be compressed, like logos and illustrations. Such content depend on sharp edges and fine details that create an impact and PNG is the go-to format in such situations.
Use PNGs to create high quality infographics that need sharp images when zoomed into.
Which One Should You Use?
There are several different image formats that can be used for digital pictures, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Here’s a breakdown of the features of both JPEGs and PNGs:
You can create JPEG images in smaller file sizes which is useful for web graphics that need to be loaded quickly.
However, PNG images have a significantly larger size, and it will impact your website and image quality.
JPEG format is a ‘lossy’ format and when the image is compressed, some information and quality are lost. That is, you’ll lose some detail in your images. You have to consider your situation when using this format.
If you’re a photographer, you need to figure out how to balance the need for high-quality images together with the ability to put them on your site without using up too much space.
PNG is a ‘lossless’ format and will preserve all the detail and quality in your images. You can reduce the file size and it won’t lose any details. However, it does have a larger file size when compared to JPEGs.
Graphic designers will find PNGs useful for saving logos and similar artwork.
You also want to compress your files the right way. Use the right image compression plugin to help reduce the file size of your content across your site.
A simple image compression tool will maintain quality while reducing file size.
JPEG does not support transparency, and hence you cannot have any part of the image transparent or semi-transparent. You’ll have to remove the background manually using an image-editing tool like Photoshop or Canva. And you have to save it in another format for use online.
On the other hand, PNG supports transparency, so you can have transparent backgrounds or images with semi-transparent elements. This is essential when you want to create overlapping content.
As mentioned earlier, one of the key differentiating factors between PNGs and JPEGs is that PNGs have larger file sizes while JPEGs have smaller sizes.
This means that the different formats will affect your website loading times.
JPEGs are typically smaller and so they’ll load faster than PNGs, but you will sacrifice some quality in the process.
PNGs are larger and take longer to load, but they retain their resolution and detail.
This is something for you, your website design team, and your SEO team to consider when designing your site or adding new blog content.
You have to do a balancing act to make sure that your website loads fast because most people will leave a site if it doesn’t load under three seconds.
And not only that, but even a delay of one second leads to a 7% loss in conversions.
And you also don’t want to lose on quality because a site with low-quality imagery will make people leave even if it loads fast.
Sometimes you want to use animated images in your web content.
In this case, you should know which of the two formats here support animation.
JPEG doesn’t support animation at all. While APNGs (Animated Portable Network Graphics) do.
APNGs extend PNGs capabilities and allows you to create animated images just like GIFs. But this depends on the browser you use, so be mindful of browser compatibility.
However, you should know that for animated content, it’s best to rely on GIFs.
JPEG and PNG support different ranges of colors, making them suitable for a variety of purposes. JPEG supports 16 million colors, making it a great format for natural images. You can convey information about a complex landscape, people, and the animal kingdom.
PNG8 supports up to 256 colors, while PNG24 supports 16 million colors. This format is better suited for images with sharp edges or complex patterns. Think digital frames, buttons, and icons.
When to Use a JPEG
Deciding which image format to use can be tricky, but JPEGs are often an ideal choice. They’re also the default format for saving images on photo editors and many computers.
This is because they have a high level of compression and quality, allowing you to store high-resolution images without taking up too much storage space.
As such, JPEGs are ideal for web designs or digital portfolios, where the goal is to create vivid visuals that don’t overwhelm the user’s device.
JPEGs also have the advantage of being able to display faster than other image formats, so they’re great for websites with many images that need fast loading times.
As a result, JPEGs are almost always used when displaying logos and artwork and in photo galleries, product photos, and other graphical elements that need quick loading times with minimal compromise on quality.
No matter your purpose, a good-quality JPEG will give you the optimal visual solution.
When to Use a PNG
PNG files are versatile and offer some distinct advantages when used correctly.
For starters, they support transparency – allowing you to overlay text or objects on top of your imagery. This makes them ideal for logos that must be placed over other elements as part of a larger design. For example, your logo in your website header.
In addition, PNGs also support higher resolution than JPGs, so if you need crisp detail on your images, this is the way to go.
All things considered, PNGs are a great option for producing professional-looking graphics for marketing purposes.
Use Cases: JPEG vs. PNG
We’ve learned a great deal about the two image formats so far. Now, it’s time to look at some use cases to help you understand where to apply them in practical cases.
Check out some use cases where JPEG will be your best option:
- Social media photos: If you’re running a marketing campaign, you can use JPEGs to create vibrant visuals for your social media page.
- Product images: Showcase products on your ecommerce website with high-quality JPEG images.
- Website graphics: Create unique visuals for your website with the help of JPEGs that are optimized to load quickly.
- Blog images: Show readers what your blog post is about by adding vibrant JPEG images.
- Photography blogs and portfolios: For professional-looking photography, JPEGs are a good option. They offer a good display of colors, and you can reduce the file size and maintain details that are good for the web.
- Images without sharp details and edges: Some artists, photographers, and others benefit from having fewer sharp edges and points in their content. If you’re fine with losing sharpness in your images to convey some kind of message, use JPEGs.
- Nature images: Nature images can look stunning in JPEGs. These files offer high-quality visuals with a good level of resolution.
- Gradients: By definition, gradients are fuzzy and have no sharp lines, making them perfect for JPEGs.
The following are some of the use cases for PNG-type image formats:
- Charts: Create colorful and informative charts for your website using PNGs.
- Logos: Use a transparent PNG to create an eye-catching logo that stands
- Banners: Create professional-looking web banners with the help of PNGs.
- Infographics: PNGs are great for complex infographics that people will zoom into to view the details.
- Vector images: Vector graphics are a great way to add flair and interest to your web content, and PNGs are an ideal format for this.
- Line drawings and ‘flat’ graphics: If you try to save flat line drawings and graphics using JPEG, they will appear fuzzy and pixelated over time. But you can use PNGs and you won’t see a loss in edges or points.
- Comics: Comics look best when saved and displayed in the PNG format because they have fewer details and rely on lines and fewer details.
- Brand media kit: A PNG is ideal for creating an eye-catching media kit that you can use to promote your brand. Many businesses have media kits on their site for journalists and PR teams to use. You can share high-quality brand images so that your brand is on key no matter who writes or shares about you online.
In conclusion, deciding which image type to use depends on your purpose and the quality of images you need. JPEGs and PNGs both have their place in web design and marketing.
And hopefully, you have a clearer understanding of what you should use and when.
Over to you
If you’ve always saved your images to the default file on your computer, you’ve probably given very little thought to the different image formats available.
But now that you’ve come to the end of this post, you likely have a deeper appreciation for the importance of selecting the right image format for your project.
In this post, we’ve covered the differences between JPEG and PNG formats, as well as the use cases for each of them.
Now that you know how they work and their best features, you can easily discuss details about images with web professionals, photographers, artists, and anyone else you might work with.
You’ll have a clear understanding of what works best for your website, social media, marketing campaigns, and printed materials. And you’ll never make a mistake when creating digital assets.