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Petition For AVIF Image File Type Support

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I chose Squarespace to build my website and in essence base my online business because it advertised itself as a complete e-commerce solution and a high quality web hosting service. I am overall happy with Squarespace in terms of the ability to use templates to easily build websites and the ability to integrated with my suppliers and use extensions to enhance the capability of my site. 

I do however have one complaint. One of the disadvantages of using a templated website is the inordinate amount of JavaScript that needs to written to facilitate this. Squarespace JavaScript files are large and the result of this is a degradation in performance in terms of loading pages. This is particularly true on mobile devices, which in many cases are the most prevalent devices that access websites.

Squarespace controls these files and as users we have no way to alter these files to improve their performance. I can certainly understand why this is the case. It would cause a tech support and maintenance nightmare for Squarespace. Another alternative offered by Squarespace is reduce the size of your images and to keep page sizes under 5MB. Since you can't reduce the size of the JavaScript files, the next best alternative is to reduce the size of the images. 

There are a variety of ways to do this such as using TinyIMG and other services to compress JPEG, GIF or PNG files. However, these solutions do not offer the best technology to maximize the reduction of image file size. There are file formats such as AVIF which offer the ability to compress image files to much smaller sizes than compressing JPEG, GIF and PNG files, and AVIF is a lossless file format which means that image quality does not suffer based on file size and is cross browser compatible with most browsers currently in use. 

For example I was able to take JPEG image file that was originally about 15MB import it into GIMP and reduce the size and resolution and get that file done to 1.14MB. While this a significant reduction in file size, its still a large file given Squarespace's best practices of keeping pages below 5MB. I was able to use TinyIMG and compress this image and get it down to 406KB. This is also a significant reduction, but there is room for improvement. 

I took the file that that was reduced to 406KB and converted it to the AVIF format with an online utility and the size of the AVIF file was 180KB. 

Having a fast loading website is a critical factor in an e-commerce website's ability to convert visitors into paying customer. As I have personally found, having a slow performing website can be the kiss of death in terms of having a viable conversion rate. 

I'd like to petition Squarespace to support the AVIF file for its hosted websites so that its customers can maximize the performance of their websites.

 

Please join me!

Thank You 

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