Icons are vital when it comes to visualizing indicative actions or information faster. These become even more frequent when working on a no-code project where you can insert icons like home, shopping cart, telephone, etc. And who wouldn’t like images over text?
The usage of icons has increased exponentially in the last few years. Today, the online world emphasizes improving the user interfaces of websites and applications. As a result, graphics have become an essential part of the interface. And when you place them correctly, they express the core idea of action in a simplified and visually appealing manner.
You can use multiple types of images as icons on your websites. Some popular formats are SVG, PNG, PSD, GIF, JPEG, etc. However, in recent years, we have seen rapid growth in the usage of SVG file format. Let’s find out why SVG is a better choice and the impact of SVG icons on a website.
What Are SVG Icons, And How Are They Different From Raster Images?
Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) is an image in vector form drawn using the eXtensible Markup Language (XML) syntax. By scalable, we mean that an SVG is not a fixed-size pixel image but a code block that serves and renders within a browser. In more straightforward language, the vector icons resize themselves according to the size of your screen without getting pixelated.
SVG icons are different from the raster images (for example, JPEG, PNG, etc.) in that raster images are square pixels laid out in a grid. Therefore, if the image size is big, it uses more pixels, resulting in increased file size. In addition, raster images do not even scale. Which means they turn blurry or pixelated when expanded to higher resolutions.
Some examples of SVG programs are Inkscape, Sketch, Adobe Illustrator, Method Draw, Vecteezy, Vectr, etc. However, if you are not aware of any of these programs, you can download free vector icons also.
SVGs offer several benefits over regular image formats. And when it comes to using them on a website, compatibility and size of the icon file become the most crucial factors. Another point in favor of SVG is that it is easier to create it whether you use a text editor or a drawing program. Besides, it also comes under the W3C standard, which is the leading international standards organization.
Let’s see the benefits of using SVG files on a website.
5 Benefits Of Using SVG Files On A Website
SVG icons are resolution-independent. It means no matter what screen size or display you are using or whether you zoom in or squeeze images. The vector qualities of SVG using shapes and fills allow it for infinite resolutions.
With PNGs or other raster images, you limit the resolution to a fixed size. So, if you are viewing an image on a larger screen, there are chances of getting blurred. Even if you choose the responsive option, you must upload multiple copies of a single image for different screen sizes. Although it doesn’t affect the website’s performance, it does take your time and server bandwidth.
The larger file sizes you use on a website, the slower it loads/renders. With any raster image, say PNG, it is mandatory to use high-resolution pictures if you want a crisp display. And as you keep increasing the resolution, the file size also keeps weighing more and ultimately decreasing the website’s loading speed.
However, with SVGs, you can remove this problem to a great extent. Free SVG icons are just codes, so tiny in size. Unless it is a vector graphic with thousands of paths and fills, an SVG will be a catalyst for your website’s speed.
Animation is another step to improving the UI/UX of your website. You can quickly animate and style SVG files with the help of CSS, which may not be possible with many of its rivals.
Animations open up a whole new level of web engagement. It is one of the crucial factors for the growth and success of your website.
SVGs are highly flexible when it comes to their usability. You can use them in the form of logos, icons, or simple animations. In general, logos are vector-based for the sole purpose of quality and scalability. Raster images may not be your first choice due to their size limitations, especially for logos. The same principle applies to icons also.
SEO is an ongoing process that helps your web pages appear on top of Google results. Google indexes the SVG content whether in a standalone file or embedded directly in HTML, which means Google crawlers can analyze an SVG file. However, Google also offers an option to exclude your SVG file if you want to. Overall, it is helpful in your SEO practices if you follow the webmaster guidelines.
I’m Olivia Welsh, and I’m a freelance professional creative writer. Currently working with a start-up venture that provides free vector icons to users. It offers its services to graphic designers, visual designers, UI/UX designers and developers. Our team is dedicated to delivering high-quality content.