Risks and benefits of using SVG files on your website

The risks and benefits of using SVG image files on your website

SVG files are becoming more and more popular for use on websites. They are vector graphics, meaning they can be scaled to any size without losing quality. This makes them perfect for logos and other graphics on your website. However, some risks are associated with using SVGs, and it’s crucial to understand what those risks are and how to avoid them.

What are SVG files, and what do they do?

When it comes to digital graphics, there are two main types: bitmap and vector. Bitmap graphics, such as JPEGs and GIFs, are made up of pixels, which are tiny units of color. Vector graphics are made up of mathematical equations that define lines and shapes. Because vector graphics are not made up of pixels, they can be scaled to any size without losing quality. This is especially crucial for retina screens, which have a higher pixel density than regular screens.

When a bitmap graphic is scaled up on a retina screen, the individual pixels become visible, resulting in a blurry or fuzzy image. Vector graphics, however, remain crisp and clear no matter how big or small they are. That’s why vector graphics are the preferred format for digital graphics that must be displayed on screens with different pixel densities.

SVG files are vector graphics. This means they can be sized up or down without losing quality, making them perfect for logos and other graphics on your website. The drawback? WordPress doesn’t provide native support for SVGs, meaning that you can’t upload an SVG file by default, primarily due to security concerns.

The benefits of using SVG files on your website

SVG files have several benefits when used on websites.

1. SVG files are scalable

One of the keys to a successful website is ensuring it looks great on all devices. No one wants to visit a blurry or pixelated site, and that’s where SVG files come in. They’re designed to always look great no matter the screen size or pixel density, from a mobile phone to a large retina monitor.

2. SVG files can be customized

With the right software and a little know-how, SVG files can be easily customized to suit your needs. Whether you’re looking to change the colors, add text, or resize the image, SVG files offer a lot of flexibility. And best of all, once you’ve made your changes, the edited file can be saved and reused again and again. Need help with customization of your icon or logo? Give us a buzz!

3. SVG files load fast

SVG files are lightweight and require very little bandwidth, making them a great choice for websites. Just keep in mind that not all image types are good candidates for SVGs. Photos, for example, can’t be saved in SVG format. Icons, logos, and illustrations, however, are usually perfect candidates!

The risks associated with using SVG files on your website

While there are many benefits to using SVG files on your website, there are also some risks that should be considered before making a decision:

1. They can be a security risk

Because SVG files are code-based rather than image-based (like JPG and PNG files are), they are vulnerable to attack and could put your website at risk. There’s also a possibility that the file already contains malicious code that could exploit vulnerabilities in your website. This is why it’s important only to use SVGs from trusted sources.

2. Not all browsers support SVG files

While most modern browsers support SVGs, some older browsers do not have built-in support. This means that some users may not be able to view the SVGs on your website.

How to use SVG files on your WordPress website

Because WordPress does not offer native support for SVG files, you’ll have to install a plugin to make it work for you. Many plugins allow you to add SVG files to your website, but not all are created equal. It’s crucial that, when choosing any plugin for your site, you do your research and verify that each plugin is still being maintained and is a good fit for your needs. 

Use the Safe SVG plugin

As of the time of this writing, we recommend the Safe SVG plugin because, in addition to adding the ability to upload SVG files, it also sanitizes the files to prevent any vulnerabilities that might affect your site.

Tips for avoiding any potential problems when using SVGs

There are a few things you can do to avoid any potential problems when using SVGs on your WordPress website:

Use trusted sources

Only use SVGs from trusted sources to avoid any potential security risks. At Caffeinated Design Studio, we make our own SVG files. We’d be honored to do the same for you! If you need custom icons, illustrations, or logos for your website, just give us a buzz.

Test everything in a staging environment

Always test any new SVG files in a staging environment before adding them to your live website. This will help you catch any potential problems before they cause any display issues or damage.

If you have any questions about using SVG files on your website or would like a quote on custom SVG files, give us a buzz. We’d be glad to help!

Kristin Heffley

Kristin Heffley is founder and Chief Executive Caffeinator at Caffeinated Design Studio, a visual marketing agency based near Seattle, Washington. She loves coffee, her family, and helping clients create knock-their-socks-off brands, among other things. Her favorite caffeinated drink is a sugar-free vanilla Americano.

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