SVG vs PNG | What is the Difference Between both Image File Types?

SVG vs PNG | What is the Difference Between both Image File Types
5 min read

There are a bunch of image file types with different formats, compression types, resolutions, etc. SVG and PNG are two famous image file formats that are used for high-quality graphics and logo designs. Both of these formats are high resolution and work very well for high-end graphics.

However, you can’t use these file types interchangeably. There are many differences between SVG and PNG, and both files should be used in particular situations. For some tasks, it is recommended to use SVG, and for other PNG would be more suitable. It totally depends on your technical needs and types of images. In this blog post, we’ll analyze the difference between SVG and PNG, discuss their usage, and evaluate if there is one file type better than the other. If you’re reading this blog because you are facing a slower website loading speed then you have to upgrade your web hosting plan, improve your server performance, and don’t forget to compress your images along with choosing a more suitable image file format.

 PNG image format was developed to be a sharper, faster, and overall improved version of the GIF.

SVG vs PNG | Which One is the Best?

PNG Files Overview

PNG is an abbreviation for Portable Network Graphics. It is one of the most widely known file types used for multiple purposes. Just like many other image formats, it is a raster file type. This means the image that you will save in PNG format would have pixels like your monitor screen. So, the image resolution – the number of pixels in your image will affect the overall quality of the image.

If you want to resize such images, the quality will be affected and your image might look blurry.

These file types can go very well for charts, logos, illustrations, and graphics. However, as they are large size files, you should not use this format for online images.

PNG Supports full RGB-A spectrum

PNG Pros

Following are the best features and top advantages of PNG files.

  • It offers lossless compression and partial transparency that makes the images look crisper.
  • PNG supports full RGB-A spectrum
  • You can easily edit the files using any image editing platform.
  • No need to install advanced programs, these files can work well with almost every tool.
  • Whether through a media management tool or coding, you can easily upload PNG images on your website.
In PNG files, Scaling the image results in loss of quality

PNG Cons

It is a decades-old file format and has some major flaws as well that sometimes make it hard to meet modern needs.

  • These files are large in size and have lossless compression. Putting such images on your website can slow down its loading speed.
  • Resizing the images can impact the image quality, so you have to be careful about making these images with the right size from the beginning.
  •  PNG format does not support animations at all. However, other raster files might have little problems with animations, such as low quality.
SVG is very compressible and lightweight; the image quality remains high regardless of the compression rate

SVG Files Overview

It stands for Scalable Vector Graphics, and it is one of the most commonly used vector file formats on the web. Unlike PNG, you can easily resize these images without losing the quality. No matter how large or small your image is, it will remain clear and crisper. Being a vector image type, it can render an image in real-time and convert it to pixels.

The working of SVG file format is very different from GIF, PNG, or JPEG. Vectors are basically XML code that creates shapes, lines, and colors to make an image. You can create these images with code, but most people prefer using a vector image editor. SVG is the lines of codes converted to pixels to create images.

SVG Supports Animation

SVG Pros

Below is the list of top benefits and key features of SVG file formats.

  • These image files are highly scalable, which means you can easily size them up and down without affecting the quality. The image editing is much easier in this format.
  • Unlike PNG, there is no quality loss and blurriness, which is the main reason why these images always look beautiful.
  • These images put less load on your website and never affect the loading speed because it is all code and well-optimized.
  • SVG supports animations.
SVG is not suitable for photos, as the vector graphics were initially meant for dealing with figures, lines, etc.

SVG Cons 

Although SVG is more manageable compared to PNG, they are not ideal in every situation. Here are some drawbacks of SVG.

  • SVG might not work well on old browsers and devices. So if someone uses those old-school browsers, they can not get the same quality.
  • To create and edit SVG files, you need to install advanced programs. It can only work with XML.
  • If you’re using any premium tool for editing, it will be expensive.
  • To upload the SVG images to your website, you have to install special plug-ins because it would be that simple like PNG images.

Which Image File Format is Better?

Both SVG and PNG have their own pros and cons, so you can’t say one is better than the other in all situations. In some areas, SVG outperforms PNG, and PNG, on the other hand, is good at doing other things better.

Although revising and comparing both formats, it seems like you better use SVG generally, and shift to PNG in situations that can not be handled by a vector file format.

However, there is no strict rule to follow. You can switch between these two formats depending on your needs. For instance, if you want to do something with animations, PNG is not an option because it doesn’t support animations. In this scenario, you can choose an SVG file format that can fulfill your need.

On the flip sizes, if you want to display high-resolution complex files, PNG will be more suitable as it supports thousands of colors and shapes in real-time.

It all boils down to your situation and understanding your needs, you have to choose the right file format, PNG vs SVG.

Wrapping Up!

Picking between SVG and PNG is a critical choice indeed. However, analyzing your needs you can smartly choose between these two file formats depending on specific situations. As a general rule, SVG is excellent for online photos, vector graphics, and animations. PNG is more suitable for complex graphics and detailed illustrations that need higher resolutions.

So, you’re in the favor of which image file format, PNG or SVG? Do let us know in the comment section below.

Recommended Blog: PNG Vs JPG: Which One is Better For Your Website?

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