Netflix has an amazing track record of pushing for technology changes that help the web and open-source projects. One of the more recent development pushes has been by Netflix is the AVIF next-generation image format. The AVIF image format is meant as a replacement for the JPEG image format but with better compression results. The acronym of AVIF stands for AV1 Image File Format. The format was developed by the Alliance for Open Media in collaboration with Google, Cisco, and Xiph.org.
The AVIF image format outperforms both the JPEG and WebP image formats. Some of the more common WordPress services and plugins for image optimization do not currently support AVIF. Hopefully in the future services with plugins like EWWW Image Optimizer, Imagify and ShortPixel will support the AVIF image format.
An online service Convertico currently supports being able to convert images from JPG, PNG, and WebP image formats to the AVIF image format. Convertico’s image conversion is very easy to use you can upload images using the online conversion it can also pull images from Dropbox and Google Drive. The free version of Convertico supports up to 100MB of storage you can upgrade to a paid plan for $9.99 (500 MB storage) and $14.99 (1 GB storage) which should be more than enough in most cases. Convertico also provides an easy to use Google Chrome extension.
Upload the image which you would like to convert and then click on the conversion button and then wait for the Convertico online service to complete the service. In a very basic test, a 112 KB PNG file was converted down to a 20 KB AVIF image file.
Another method for online conversion is to use Squoosh App which supports the AVIF image format.
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Upload the image file that you want to convert then select the max quality and AVIF as the image format. When the conversion is complete you can download the resulting image.
In order to be able to upload AVIF image files into the media library in WordPress, you will need to add support for
image/avif MIME type. A plugin that can be used to add support for the AVIF image format is WP Add Mime Types. After you have installed the plugin it will add a new settings page to;
Settings > MIME Type Settings
The AVIF image format will have greater support and usage as time progresses but you can get amazing gains by using the AVIF image format for site images now.