JPG vs PNG: Which is best?

When it comes to picture file formats, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution.

With so many options for saving and exporting your images, deciding might be difficult.

Let's compare two of the most used file formats, JPG and PNG, as well as when and why to use each.


When deciding the picture file format to use, there are two key questions to consider.


Firstly, what kind of image is it?

Is it a simple photograph of your dog or a professional graphic with a business purpose?

Will it need to be changed or resized from what it is now?


Second, what are your plans for this image?

Will it be made available on the company's website?

Will it be for your own personal use, or will it be for business?


The answers to these questions will assist you in determining the best file type for you.


JPG Files

The jpg image file type was created to make large photographic files smaller to be easily shared.

When an image is converted to a JPG, some quality is lost.

The reason for this is that the compression used is lossy, meaning that some superfluous data is permanently destroyed - each time the image is saved...

But a JPG does enable you to create smaller file sizes than a PNG.


PNG Files

The most important benefit of a png file is that, unlike a jpg file, they support transparency.

This allows for a transparent background around an irregular shape.

File compression for a png file is lossless, meaning the file retains all its data during the process, giving you the highest possible quality over time.


If you want to share your photo on social media, then it’s best to use a jpg for its smaller file size.

If you take a screenshot you want to use later in marketing material, then a png will be better. The file size may be bigger, but it will keep its quality each time it’s saved.


PNG’s are best for images with hard lines like logos and illustrations using vector graphics – those with flat colour, hard lines, and text.
Whereas images like photos for albums and galleries are best suited to jpg.


Ultimately neither format is better than the other - it’s a matter of which one is best suited for your needs.

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