WebP Cloud Services Blog

More than 400 users, new watermark effect and new outlook - WebP Cloud Service 2024 Updates

· Nova Kwok

Happy Lunar New Year, everyone! This is Nova Kwok.

In this first article of 2024, I would like to share some updates about our recent developments. For those who have been following us, you may know that WebP Cloud Services consists of two services and one open-source component:

  • WebP Server Go: Our open-source program, which started on February 9, 2020. It was initially developed by me and Benny Think using Go. The purpose of this program is to provide users with the ability to dynamically optimize images without manual intervention. The idea behind it has many stories, such as:
  • Public Services: Started on January 23, 2022, this is a reverse proxy service for Gravatar/GitHub Avatars with WebP/AVIF optimization. It aims to improve the loading speed of avatars globally and also provides a usable Gravatar service for users in mainland China (as the gravatar.com domain is blocked there).
  • WebP Cloud: Started on May 21, 2023, this is a CDN with image optimization and processing capabilities. It was initiated after receiving feedback from users who wanted a general-purpose CDN service (beyond just reverse proxying avatars) during the operation of the Public Service. Benny Think/Tuki Deng and I decided to start this project, which serves as our first venture into commercial SaaS products.

WebP Server Go

As of the time of writing this article, our open-source component has received 1557 stars and has a stable sponsor. We have many users who appreciate our work, and we have even seen this small product being used in unexpected fields, such as the most commonly used literature search website in high-energy physics, https://inspirehep.net/.

Star Count

Although the absolute number of stars may not be comparable to other open-source projects, I still want to say that today’s results would not have been possible without the love and support from everyone, as well as the efforts of many contributors. For example, bugfest helped us with the design and development of multiple backends, and HolgerHuo provided bug fixes and cache optimizations. Thank you all!


Public Services

This service has optimized and served 81,541,415 images (totaling 415,713.99 MB). According to statistics, it is currently being used by over 4000 websites, including popular ones like CNX Software and indienova Indie Games.

During the development and maintenance of this service, we have made many optimizations. For example, to provide better response times for users in the United States and mainland China, we have experimented with using Cloudflare Workers for regional origin selection. We shared our experience in the article Using Cloudflare Workers at the edge to enable services to source data from nearby locations – reducing global average latency..

This article became our second most popular article after the first one that made it to the front page of Hacker News, The performance review of Hetzner’s CAX-line ARM64 servers and the practical experience of WebP Cloud Services on them.

Blog Statistics

Yes, we use privacy-friendly Plausible Analytics for website statistics.

WebP Cloud


Since its inception, which has been over half a year now, we have gained over 400 users and more than 270 websites that have successfully integrated and started using WebP Cloud. Although we are currently operating at a breakeven point and generating a slight profit, our conversion rate for paid users is still very low, mainly due to our lack of expertise in the commercial aspect.

Open-Source Contributions

Similar to WebP Server Go and Public Service, we use the Go wrapper for the libvips library, called govips. While working on the watermark and filter features, we contributed relevant code to govips (https://github.com/davidbyttow/govips/pull/377), which is included in the recent v2.14.0 release.

As a token of appreciation for the libraries we heavily rely on, we made donations to both libvips and fiber from our revenue, expressing our gratitude to the library authors.

libvips Contribution gofiber Contribution

New Features

Lastly, let’s talk about the new features we have been working on in the past two weeks.

Since the basic functionality of WebP Cloud has been developed, you may have seen fewer technical updates from us recently. However, in the past two weeks, we have made some optimizations to the watermark feature by adding the ability to fill the background with text. For example, an image without filling may look like this:

Watermark without Filling


Here, color__001489 represents a 6-digit HEX color code. If you want to have text transparency, you can specify an additional parameter like opacity__0.1.

In the new version, we have expanded the color code to 8 digits, for example, color__00148900, where the last two digits represent the opacity. We have also added support for the fill parameter. Let’s look at a practical example:

Watermark with Filling


For users still using 6-digit HEX codes, there is no need to worry. We will automatically append a FF at the end to use it as a fully opaque color.


From the early days of WebP Cloud, we set a goal for our blog, which is also marked at the end of each article: “As we are not seeking funding and have no profit pressure, we will stick to doing what we believe is right, striving to do our best within our available resources and capabilities. We will also explore various new and exciting things on our products without affecting the services we provide to the public.”

This blog can be considered as a small spiritual home for our team. We share our thoughts, some trivial technical details, and the pitfalls we have encountered.

Let me quote the statistics mentioned earlier:

Blog Statistics

As you can see, the first article on this blog, The performance review of Hetzner’s CAX-line ARM64 servers and the practical experience of WebP Cloud Services on them, has consistently been the most visited article since it made it to the front page of Hacker News.

Hacker News

As a result, many users who saw our experience with Hetzner ARM64 servers registered with Hetzner for their own experience. As of now, 59 people have registered with Hetzner through our referral link, and at least 8 of them continue to use Hetzner after their credits are used up. As a token of gratitude, Hetzner has provided us with some credits, reducing our expenses and indirectly increasing our revenue.

Hetzner Referral

If you’re interested, you can use our Hetzner referral link: https://hetzner.cloud/?ref=6moYBzkpMb9s


Finally, let’s talk about our outlook for the new year.

For the open-source software WebP Server Go, we will continue to explore its use cases and perform systematic optimizations. Our goal is to turn it into an open-source component that can cover various scenarios while being easy to deploy and maintain.

Public Services will continue to operate in its current mode. We will establish communication channels with more large-scale website users. For users in mainland China, we will prepare additional contingency plans to address possible DNS pollution issues.

Regarding WebP Cloud, apart from some incomplete UI guidance, the biggest challenge at the moment is the immaturity of its commercialization. I believe our team is capable of solving many technical problems, but we still lack expertise in the commercial aspect. We need to continue exploring in this area, and we also greatly appreciate any suggestions from users, whether related to usage or commercialization. These suggestions will be of great help to us.

That’s all for now.

The WebP Cloud Services team is a small team of three individuals from Shanghai and Helsingborg. Since we are not funded and have no profit pressure, we remain committed to doing what we believe is right. We strive to do our best within the scope of our resources and capabilities. We also engage in various activities without affecting the services we provide to the public, and we continuously explore novel ideas in our products.

If you find this service interesting, feel free to log in to the WebP Cloud Dashboard to experience it. If you’re curious about other magical features it offers, take a look at our WebP Cloud Services Docs. We hope everyone enjoys using it!

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