Shifter Beta Media CDN now supports automatic conversion to WebP

Jason McClintock | March 25, 2020

When customers switch to a static WordPress site using Shifter, they’re often looking for one thing: speed.. and we can relate.

You can usually find the team at Shifter obsessing over performance and shaving down the milliseconds on load times. One of the best ways to ensure that your site stays blazing fast is by making sure that the images that you are serving up to your users are as optimised as possible. Even on static sites, a bloated image can slow down a users experience and defeat a main benefit of static sites. To help your images stay performant, we’ve introduced automatic WebP conversion for images using our Media CDN. 

Developed by Google, WebP is a new image file format that uses predictive coding to create images that are greatly reduced in size without sacrificing quality. By converting images to WebP on Shifter’s Media CDN, you can improve your sites performance, reduce CDN transfer volume, reduce storage capacity, and distribute lighter sites.

Things to note

Shifter Media CDN Beta must be enabled

Before we begin, you’ll need to enable the Media CDN from your Shifter dashboard. 

You can find instructions for how to enable the Media CDN by clicking here or reading further down the page. 

Once you’ve enabled the Media CDN, Images that are added to the Media CDN will be converted to WebP format automatically. This conversion will also apply to any images that are already stored on your site. 

For more information, see our support documentation

Browser Compatibility

Another important thing to note about using the WebP format with the Media CDN is browser compatibility.  Mosl browsers support WebP but not all do, so be sure to check the list of supported browsers by clicking here.  If uploaded images are displayed in a browser that does not support WebP then the images will be use their original file format.

Only the image file content is converted to WebP

Only the contents of the file are replaced with WebP. The url of the image remains in its original format (jpg, png, gif, etc.)

The original file that has been uploaded is not deleted, so files can still be exported such as with the Export Media Library plugin.

Let’s try it out!

1 Enable Media CDN.

From the site list on your Shifter dashboard, select the site for which you want to enable Media CDN and open the Settings tab.

Click Enabled in the Media CDN section at the bottom of the Settings tab to enable it.

2 Start WordPress

3 Wait until the media files have finished transferring

The transfer status after MediaCDN is enabled can be checked from the Media Library  page in your WordPress dashboard.

Wait for all media to appear on the media listing page.

When the transfer is complete, you can confirm that the image path has been converted from the local WordPres directory to the URL to MediaCDN.

Before media transfer

After media transfer

4. Generate a new artifact

To create a new static version of your WordPress site with MediaCDN enabled, click the Generate button from the Shifter dashboard screen, as shown in the image below.

After the artifact has finished generating, let’s check whether the image of the published site is deployed to WebP .

Before applying WebP

After applying WebP

If the browser does not support WebP, the original image will be used

We look forward to your feedback!

We always welcome your feedback and that is especially true as the Beta of our Media CDN continues. Please contact us with any questions, comments, or other feedback you may have. 

WebP Conversion to be introduced from Japan at the online Shifter meetup

We will also be discussing this new feature at the next Shifer meetup. Because of extenuating circumstances, the meetup has been moved online and all are welcome to join.

Follow this link to learn more or to join in.

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