First a lesson in history.

Our image formats are old: GIF's were invented in 1987. The first JPEG standard was issued in 1992 and PNG's came to life through a W3C Recommendation in October 1996. I know the 90's are not that far in the past, but we've been over 30 years and we're still using the same formats.

Isn't it time to upgrade?
 

Next-gen image formats

There is a new generation of image formats that fortunately bring a lot of innovation. Types such as JPEG 2000, JPEG XR and WebP are modern formats with superior compression techniques, resulting in excellent quality for the modern web user. As a result, you get smaller files of the same or better quality, which improves the speed of your site. Of these 3 types, WebP is the most efficient, with often up to 30% more compression compared to JPEG XR and JPEG 2000.
 

JPEG XR

The standard format for HDR images. JPEG XR uses more advanced compression techniques compared to the original JPEG format. 

JPEG 2000

This is the latest iteration of the JPEG format. It uses lossless compression with minimal sacrifices in terms of visual quality.

WebP

This format supports both lossy and lossless compression. WebP lossless images are up to 30% smaller than images in PNG or JPEG format.

Advantages of Next-gen image formats

These image formats are newer and therefore they also have newer and/or more optimized techniques. Let's highlight a few aspects:
 

  • Performance
    JPEG 2000, JPEG XR and WebP are image formats with superior compression and quality characteristics compared to the older JPEG and PNG counterparts. Encoding your images in these new formats gives you smaller files. This means that the visitor will have to download less data and see the image faster. 
  • SEO score
    SEO scores depend on complicated algorithms, where a lot of parameters are taken into account to score your website. One of those parameters is the speed of your website, where loading time and bandwidth used are important. The smaller your website files, the faster they load. And in a competitive online world, that counts for a lot. So you benefit from not sticking to PNG and JPG.
     
  • Fewer artifacts
    JPEG images often have blocky artifacts the more you compress the image. This is due to some limitations of the compression algorithm used for this purpose. WebP, JPEG 2000 and JPEG XR use a different algorithm that gives (in general) better results. Take a look at this demo below. In these screenshots you can also see the difference between the different types:

Smaller images, with better quality? Sounds like a must-have, doesn't it?