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SVG vs PNG: Understand All in 5 Minutes

When it comes to choosing the right image format for your website, there are many options to consider. Two of the most popular formats are Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) and Portable Network Graphics (PNG).

Both have their own advantages and disadvantages, making it difficult to determine which one is better for the web. In this article, we will be comparing SVG and PNG to help you make an informed decision.

We will explore their strengths, weaknesses, and use cases to give you a comprehensive understanding of both image formats. Whether you’re a web developer, designer, or content creator, this comparison will provide valuable insights for choosing the right format for your next project.

  1. What is PNG?
  2. What is SVG?
  3. SVG vs PNG
  4. Summary

What is PNG?

Portable Network Graphics (PNG)  is a raster-based graphic that supports lossless data compression. PNG supports palette-based images (with palettes of 24-bit RGB or 32-bit RGBA colors), grayscale images (with or without an alpha channel for transparency), and full-color non-palette-based RGB or RGBA images.

Sample PNG in HTML:

<img src="https://trivialab.files.wordpress.com/2022/08/sample_post_svg.png">

What is SVG?

Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) is a vector-based graphic. Unlike a traditional raster-based image, SVG is written in pure XML format, which can store text information and can be searched, indexed, and scripted.

Since SVG is a vector-based image, it can be scaled and displayed at any size without causing pixelated

Comparing SVG vs PNG: Which is the Optimal Choice for the Web?

Sample SVG in HTML:

<svg xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" width="156" height="170" viewBox="0 0 156 170" fill="none">
<path d="M11 158.5V0H140.5L156 20V158.5H11Z" fill="#202F37"/>
<path d="M1 169V10.5H130.5L146 30.5V169H1Z" fill="#334955" stroke="#3F4142"/>
<text xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" fill="white" y="50%" x="25%" font-size="30">Pencil</text>
<rect xmlns="http://www.w3.org/2000/svg" x="42" y="109" width="70" height="6" fill="#D5CC81"/>
<path d="M130.5 30.5V11L145.5 30.5H130.5Z" fill="#678698"/>


Real Example:

File Size 500 bytes 2.21 kb


Scalable to any dimension without losing quality Yes
Support TransparencyYesYes
Support AnimationYeslimited support in APNG
Support InteractionYes (for eg: hover)No
EditorEditable from any text editor, unlike PNG, it will require XML & CSS knowledge, or a premium tool like Adobe IllustratorEditable from any common image editing tools (for eg: adobe photoshop, Adobe’s Lightroom, Paint,…)
Image detailsNot suitable for the complex image which contains a lot of detailsSuitable for complex image which is pixel-based (for eg: photography which contains hundreds of colors in an image)
File SizeGenerally smaller*1Bigger

*1 : In most cases, SVG’s file size is generally smaller compared to PNG, but the file size varies based on image complexity. If a SVG image contains too many complex patterns, it can end up larger than PNG.



  • For photography, use PNG.
  • For logos and icons which display in various sizes across the website, use SVG

Neither file type is 100% better or worse than the other, both file types have their limitation and conveniences during different scenarios.

Generally, if your graphic is suitable to design in vector format (for example, logo, icons), you may opt for SVG for better image quality.

If your graphics contains text information and wishes to be clawed by search engine to improve SEO, use SVG.

Otherwise, you may consider using PNG.

Before you decide to go with PNG option, there are formats that you can consider which are AVIF & WebP. Do check out the below post for more details!


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