The best way to build responsive images

Apart from offering relevant content, a website should also be compatible with any device. Besides, every website should have adaptive content delivery, which includes using pictures. Images in a website should be responsive and adjust instinctively to fit the gadget’s display size.

responsive images

There are numerous factors developers should consider, including the loading speed. As we can see, making images accessible is a process that involves various optimizations. Let’s take a closer look at some of them.

Using CDN

On average, a site should not take more than three seconds to load. Otherwise, most users will refuse to deal with it. Building a receptive image involves picking the image formats, sizes, optimum breakpoints, and compression rate. The method used to set images should also be friendly to developments in the future. Thus, as much as your building method supports existing types of devices, it should also support the upcoming ones.

Content Delivery Network (CDN) refers to a platform of services that aids in reducing loading time by decreasing the distance between the user and the server. CDNs optimize images by incorporating a cache near the last user. Smart CDNs do not offer only static optimization options like rescaling. Instead, they offer edge logic, where they utilize the client’s hints or device detection to dictate the most acceptable image format and size. Regular CDNs do not regulate the payload to the ability of the network or the device.


Cascading Style Sheets is a computer language used for designing sites. In the early years, CSS was not involved in creating fluid pictures. This is because it had fluid image tools from the onset. CSS changes the picture length and breadth to fit into different displays. With CSS, you shift the breadth attribute, and the height adjusts automatically. When using CSS, it is essential to note that you should always work with variable units. Avoid non-relative measurements like pixels. Instead, use percentages.

For instance, if you utilize a breadth of 380px, the picture will not be accessible due to its absolute nature. You should change it to 38% to make it fluid. You could also utilize Media query to create accessible pictures using CSS if you need the picture size to change depending on the gadget. For example, if you put the breadth at 50% but still need the picture to appear in full on a mobile screen, you need a media query rule. This allows you to regulate the picture breadth to a hundred percent for 480px and lower devices.

The Maximum-Width Tool

This tool places the maximum breadth of a picture. A picture could be tinier than the breadth you choose but not larger. For instance, if a picture is 500px, it cannot fit on a 380px space, meaning people with smaller screens won’t view the whole picture. You can place the picture’s maximum breadth at a hundred percent to minimize the picture and insert it to a 380px display. The picture will become accessible for any device, including those with less than five hundred pixels.

However, this method is not standard as it does not work for all devices. In this case, for screens larger than five hundred pixels, the picture will not get more extensive as it has an automatically set breadth.

Sencha.IO SRC

This is a third-party tool that helps you change the size of images on your site. You do not have to alter your server’s element; just point out the picture at the servers in Sencha. It will change the size depending on the gadget’s display size, then send it back. In case you want specific measurements, orientations, or any other custom specifications, you can change the prefix string on the Sencha server. This service is also free.

Object-Fit Tool

In numerous scenarios, the picture length adjusts instinctively, so the length attribute is not required as it may destroy the picture. This is the primary reason why this tool is relatively uncommon. However, in other cases, the images will require a specific height. When you switch the measurement, the image will be fluid, but it may not look good. An object-fit tool helps you assign values that make your picture look good, despite the height changes. You can combine this tool with the object-position tool to highlight particular areas of the picture.

Picture fill

Picture fill is a fluid image polypill that allows designers to create appropriate images for their websites depending on attributes like the gadget’s display resolution, size, among others. With picture fill, you do not need jQuery. All you need is the picturefill.js script. Additionally, it would help if you have a special markup for the various picture variations in different devices.

For browsers that do not support media queries, such as Internet Explorer 8, you should put the image in conditional comments. For browsers like Blackberry that are not JavaScript enabled, apply the non-script tag. In case you cannot change your website source code, this is not a good option as it requires multiple custom markups. Also, it does not support bandwidth detection.

Adaptive Images

This tool detects the visitor’s screen size, develops caches, and sends a re-scaled version of the images. The most significant advantage of this tool is that it does not require markup changes. All a user has to do is install and structure it the right way. However, it cannot tell the megabits per second (bandwidth). It also does not solve the problem of art direction as it only resizes the image. It neither crop nor develop any aspect ratios from the first image.

Wrap up

Developing accessible pictures is an essential procedure as it affects your website’s user experience and traffic. You risk losing out on numerous customers if they cannot see your products on their mobile phones. There are various methods you could choose from, depending on your needs. For instance, if you are looking for full control over the optimization process, you might consider CSS tools instead of Sencha, which involve other parties.

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