Best Browser Compatible Files for Ultimate Performance
Today, web browsers support numerous file formats unlike a while back. There are so many acronyms that we can’t even list all the files supported by web browsers. But the file formats used on browsers matter because they have an impact on your site. Some files occupy so much space that your site loading speed is affected. Others are lighter and look better translating to low quality and better performance.
Why the formats matter?
Performance, appearance, and scalability. You don’t want a lagging site so you have to use formats that boost the loading time. In terms of appearance, some formats have more details and high-quality than others. Also, you don’t want a format that can’t stretch or shrink well. You need an image that will look good on both small and big screens.
Let’s get to web file formats 101. Here is a list of the most common file formats for the web.
1. Document Files
Websites that have certificates or content for people to view or download should use PDF file format. Some sites use DOCX but these files have formatting issues depending on the operating system and programs used to open the file. With PDF, you are guaranteed that users will download the document file as intended and they won’t make any edits. PDF also ensures all the document pages remain in one file when downloading. It’s very handy especially when users need to sign contracts as nothing on it can be changed.
2. Audio Files
Do you have a presentation or audio clip that you want to share with your site visitors? MP3 files are the most accessible audio formats by most web users. Most computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones play MP3 files. They are also small in size making them easily downloadable and the performance of your site won’t be affected.
3. Video Files
Videos are usually a bit bulky and they can affect your site performance. If the video is really small in size, use MP4 file format. But it is better to upload it on YouTube so it’s hosted by a third party and not your site. This way, it won’t eat up your website storage nor affect the performance. On the plus side, all devices and browsers can access YouTube so your visitors will still be able to see your video.
4. Image File Formats
The web is filled with visual content and every graphic you see is an image file. In order for you to have picture-perfect images on your site, you need to use the right format file for a specific task. You don’t want an ugly web image, missing pictures on your email, or bad printing jobs. Website owners or designers need to know the best image file formats to use.
When dealing with artwork or online pics, JPG provides more flexibility. Being a raster file format, it’s compressed making it ideal for downloadable images. It has high resolution and compression levels so your pages load fast. Also, if you need to send an image preview online, JPEG is small enough to do the job even on email.
However, if you want a transparent background on your web, JPG has a solid background. PNG and GIF will be much better suited. Additionally, it’s not layered so if you need a layered editable image, use a PSD file.
In today’s day and age, GIFs are the most delightful type of peanut butter. You just got to have more. It’s perfect for web animations and with GIF’s compression techniques, the file size reduces tremendously. In addition, it provides transparency so these images can be placed on any background.
However, if you need photographic-quality images, remember GIFs only allow 256 colors so the pictures might not have the depth you require. JPG comes in handy here.
If your site needs high-quality transparent images, PNG does the job. It has more color depth than GIF but not more than JPG. The best thing is the file size, PNG shrinks to tiny sizes especially with simple image colors, shapes, and text.
However, if the images are to be downloaded for print, don’t use PNG. It is optimized to be used on screens and JPG has better print quality especially for artwork.
AI and SVG
Whenever you need to add a logo, icon, or brand mascot on your website, AI/ SVG does it perfectly. They are great for editing and the images can be scaled to any size and still remain high-quality. AI is also good with print projects making it ideal for business cards, posters, notecards, and flyers.
5. A Collection of Files
If you have a collection of multiple files that you want your visitors to download from your WordPress site, ZIP format is the way to go. Instead of uploading each file and using your site’s storage space, compress the file in this archive file format. All the files will be in one file format that is highly compressed occupying less space.
We hope this article helps you know what files to upload on your site for optimal performance appearance and scalability.