JPG vs. PNG- Which image file format should you use for your website?

When it comes to saving digital copies of images, JPG and PNG are two of the most common file formats used worldwide. Both have their advantages and have specific applications. We often upload image files on our website without caring about their format. But it is always good to know the differences between the two so that you can use their particular features and make the most out of them. Let’s have a look.  

JPG file format

JPG image files

The term JPG came from the name Joint Photographic Expert Group- the team that developed the format. JPG uses a compression algorithm that discards some of the image data to reduce the size of the file. Typically, the JPG format uses a 10:1 compression ratio; however, the specific ratio can slightly differ depending on the program and its settings. So, if you start with a 10 MB file and export it in JPG format, the size of the exported file should be something around 1 MB.

While you export a file as JPG, the compression algorithm takes the entire image and looks into it to find the pixels that are similar to the ones around it. Then the algorithm merges the similar pixels in tiles. Tiles are essentially groups of pixels that have the same value.

PNG image file format

PNG image files

The file extension PNG stands for Portable Network Graphics. PNG uses a compression algorithm that is lossless, meaning it doesn’t merge the pixels into groups. Thus, as a result, you get a file that is much larger in size.

The PNG format was developed as a better alternative to GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) and specifically designed for uploading image files onto the web. It uses a complex compression process to match the bit-strings of the image’s data to accompanying shortcodes held in a codebook stored within the file. The result is a high-quality image retaining all its data.

Which one should you use for your website?

If you take a single image in both formats and keep them side by side, in most cases, the chances are you won’t find any difference, and they will look identical. However, in images that contain texts and graphics, the difference is often more visible.   

So, the thumb rule is, while you are uploading a photograph on your website, go for a JPG file. It gives you a more efficient loading time as the file size is smaller and the quality is not compromised. However, when you want to upload an image file containing texts, graphics, or screenshots, it is advisable that you use a file exported in PNG format.

Another aspect should be kept in mind while choosing between these two formats. Every time you open a JPG file and save it again, some data are lost, and there’s no way that you can retrieve the lost data. So, if there’s a file that you need to edit in the future, you should always keep the PNG file ready. 

Imagecoast lets you upload your files in both JPG and PNG formats. So, you have the flexibility to store your images in the file format that suits your need. Open your account with Imagecoast and start uploading your image files to keep them safe forever.