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JPG and PNG Differences

If you are not very clear about the differences between JPG, PNG and GIF and when to use each one on your website then this article is for you. These formats are, from a practical point of view, image compression formats. We will show the characteristics and when to use each one on your website.

Understanding a JPG

JPG is a lossy image compression format. That is, it loses quality every time you reduce its size.

In JPG files, using an image editing program, you can choose how much you want to reduce the image so that it weighs less: if you reduce it a lot, the file will weigh little, but it will also have poor quality; On the contrary, if you reduce it less, it will have better quality, it is practically a linear relationship.

You should know that the loss of quality is cumulative: if you compress the image and then decompress it, will have already lost quality, and if you repeat the process the image will progressively lose quality.

How is compression done in JPG?

Compression is not done randomly or by reducing pixels randomly.

This type of reduction calculates the value of some pixels and calculates them based on the surrounding pixels, heuristically.

This format is specially designed for the compression of digital and photographic images.

In addition, they are widely used in web pages because they do not weigh too much, an important fact to facilitate user usability, and it is compatible with most programs and platforms.

It is also the format par excellence in handling mobile devices such as phones and tablets. Since it is suitable for exchange and samples in social networks.

Its acronym stands for Joint Photographic (Experts) Group. Whether you find a JPG or a JPEG you will be facing the same compression format.

Understanding a PNG

Unlike JPG, PNG is a lossless compression format.

Its acronym stands for Portable Network Graphics and was initially created to solve the defects and deficiencies of the GIF format.

A very important feature of this format is that it supports transparencies, unlike JPG which will always have a solid colored background.

PNGs are the ideal format for images without a background, images containing text, and logos.

We also include in this category line drawings, which will have much higher quality in PNG than in JPG.

PNG is the ideal format, and the one most used for the web and online when you want to maintain a very high quality.

There are two types of PNG files:

  • PNG 8: has color limitation, but file weight is very small.
  • PNG 24: has no color limitation, but the size on disk will be larger.

Differences between PNG and JPG:


  • JPG features lossy compression.
  • It is ideal for large images that, after being reduced, are still of acceptable quality.
  • It does not support transparencies.
  • Especially for digital and photographic images.
  • Lightweight files.
  • Supports CMYK and RGB.


  • PNG features lossless compression.
  • Ideal for images without a background, images with text and logos or line drawings.
  • High quality but returns files much heavier than JPG.
  • Accepts transparencies.
  • It does not support CMYK so it is not useful for (digital) printing.