Added support for AVIFs

Thanks to recent updates to several Apple operating systems, the AVIF format is once again a reasonable choice for providing images on your website.

2022-10-28

General note: This site’s appearance, configuration, hosting, and other basic considerations will change over time. As a result, certain content on this page could be at variance with what you’re currently seeing on the site, but the two were consistent when this post originally appeared.

With my recent return to using Cloudinary to host and serve the vast majority of this site’s images — even though that’s a much smaller quantity than was the case before the invocation of CTCAJW Mode — I was back to using Cloudinary’s f_auto (auto-format) parameter. It provides the appropriate image format for lightest delivery on a given browser/OS combination.

For a few months in 2021, Cloudinary made it possible for my particular account to provide the AVIF format as one of those available via f_auto. AVIF files are known for delivering high quality despite being smaller in size than other formats. But, this past January, I requested that this be stopped because, particularly on iPhones and iPads at the time, the AVIF-decoding process was rough on CPUs and batteries.

Then, yesterday, I asked Cloudinary to re-activate AVIF support for my use of f_auto, because of two changes which have occurred since last January:

  • The site no longer uses “hero images” due to, again, CTCAJW Mode; so, even on a browser/OS combo where AVIF support makes it huff and puff, a page on this site isn’t going to start off loading a big honkin’ photo, much less one that’s in AVIF. And, better yet . . .
  • Effective with the recent major updates to macOS, iOS, and iPadOS, the Safari browser does properly support AVIF. All other truly relevant browsers and platforms have supported AVIF for some time, so this additional support should reduce or eliminate any remaining drawbacks of delivering AVIF files.1

Cloudinary granted my request later that day; so, on the site’s pages which do have some images, you now get even more of a break on image download size with my use of f_auto than was previously the case.

Note: Incidentally, this wouldn’t have possible if I’d continued to provide the site’s images through Hugo’s built-in image processing capabilities, which won’t be supporting the AVIF format any time soon.


Update from the future: I later returned to using Hugo’s image processing for virtually all on-site images when the site is on Hugo, although this didn’t apply to the Cloudinary-generated automated social media images.


  1. Always remember that it’s wise to keep your web browser as up-to-date as possible. ↩︎

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