Just like choosing different fonts or colours for you website, there are different image formats that offer different advantages. Whether you are creating an e-commerce site, an artist portfolio, or a website for institutions or organizations, these different image formats can make your products stand out, or your photographs and portraits sharp and clear.

“So how do I know when to use each format?” you might be wondering. This simple guide gives you the advantages of the three most used formats (JPEG, GIF and PNG) and their uses.

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JPG

JPEG or JPG

JPEG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group. This format offers a 16 million colour palette which makes the JPEG format ideal for photographs, portraits, product images on e-commerce sites, or images that are very detailed. Because JPEG images are more detailed, they tend to have larger file sizes which could make them load slower on a website.

GIF

GIF

GIF stands for Graphics Interchange Format. This format offers a 256 colour palette and supports transparency. The limited colour palette makes GIFs ideal for drawings with solid colours and simple lines, logos, diagrams or graphics where transparency is needed. You can also create animated GIFs for ads or to provide information in a looping sequence.

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PNG

PNG

PNG stands for Portable Network Graphics. This format supports an even greater colour palette than GIFs and JPEGs, as well as support transparency and transparent backgrounds. Although the PNG format offers a greater colour range than JPEGs, file sizes are often smaller which makes the PNG format ideal for faster loading on webpages.