A Beginner’s Guide to Responsive Images in HTML

These days, having the best image quality possible is essential for websites. Our guide will show you one approach to achieving this. This post explains how to create responsive image in HTML. A responsive image is an image that adjusts to changing device characteristics. When done properly, responsive images can enhance a site’s performance and user experience.

What Are the Benefits of Using Responsive Images?

When the web was designed, the software engineers did not consider how browsers would respond to responsive images. After all, consumers were only using PCs or laptops to access the internet. Of course, that is currently not the case.

How to Create Responsive Image in HTML

The two ways to create responsive images are to offer the same image in multiple sizes or different images according to the display parameters. Use ‘photo’ or ‘srcset’ alternatively. These two choices differ in how they handle responsive photos, but both show one image from a selection of alternatives in keeping with the guidelines.

Using the srcset 

The img> HTML tag only allows you to specify one image file. You should use srcset if you want to show a different image according to the size of the device.

Syntax:

<body>
  <img srcset="" src="" alt="">
</body>

You can use srcset to provide multiple source files, and the browser will select the image that appears to be the best fit for that image size.

<body>
<img
  srcset="cute-cat.jpg 480w, cute-cat.jpg 800w"
  src="bird.jpg"
  alt="A cute bird"
/>
</body>

Output:How to Create Responsive Images in HTML

The image filename, which defines the path to the source image, a space, and the fundamental or real width of the image comprises srcset.

Using srcset with sizes

The disadvantage of utilizing srcset is that you have no control over which picture the browser displays. This problem is solved by using srcset and sizes. Sizes are a set of media features that identify the image with the best size.

You can now rewrite the <img> tag as shown above.

<body>
<!-- How to Create Responsive Image in HTML -->
<img
srcset="cute-cat.jpg 480w, Bird.jpg 800w"
sizes="(max-width: 600px) 480px,
800px"
src="Bird.jpg"
alt="A cute Bird"
/>
</body>

Sizes are the result of a media condition, in this case (max-width: 600px), indicating the viewport width, space, and the slot’s width (480px), which determines the space the image will occupy if the media value is true.

The browser will initially verify the device width to the media specification in this case. If the condition is met, it will verify the slot width and upload an image from srcset that is the same or higher width.

You need to include src, which provides the picture as an alternative for devices that do not support srcset and sizes.

Using x-descriptors, you may also give images in various sizes with srcset.

<body>
<img
  srcset="Bird-high.jpg, Bird-high1.jpg 1.5x, birdt-high2.jpg 2x"
  src="Bird-low.jpg"
  alt="A cute bird"
/>
</body>

Output:How to Create Responsive Images in HTML

If the device has a display resolution of 2 device pixels per CSS or greater, the browser will load the bird.jpg image.

Pixels in Hardware and Software

The problem with this technique is that the graphics are only responsive based on the pixel density of the device. This is the ratio of hardware pixels to software pixels or CSS pixels. A hardware pixel is a dot on the screen that produces light, but a software pixel, also known as a CSS pixel, is a unit of measurement. The pixel count of a gadget determines its resolution.

When creating responsive images, consider the display size and resolution in mind. Otherwise, you risk loading unneeded large or pixilated images.

<body>
<!-- How to Create Responsive Image in HTML -->

<img
  srcset="Bird-high1-480w.jpg 1.5x, Bird-high2-640w.jpg 2x"
  src="Bird-low.jpg"
  alt="A cute Bird"
/>
</body>

Using <picture> 

A <picture> is an HTML element that wraps multiple <source> elements, each of which includes a different source file, and an <img> element. While <img srcset=”” sizes=”” alt=””> provides multiple sizes of the same image to make images responsive, <picture> allows you to directly modify the image display.

Syntax:

<picture>
<source media="" srcset="" />
<source media="" srcset="" />
<img src="" alt="" />
</picture>

Consider the following case: you have a large environment image. The image displays and appears equal on a desktop, however, it shrinks seriously on mobile, resulting in small components on the image. The non-responsive graphic adds to the negative user experience. When on mobile, use picture> to tell your browser to display an up-close image.

<body>
<!-- How to Create Responsive Image in HTML -->

<picture>
  <source media="(max-width: 639px)" srcset="cute-cat-480w.jpg" />
  <source media="(min-width: 640px)" srcset="cute-cat-640w.jpg" />
  <img src="elva-640w.jpg" alt="A cute cat" />
</picture>
</body>

The first approach includes a media attribute that can be used to provide the media requirement. For instance, the browsers will show the “bird480w.jpg” if the view width is 639px or less. The srcset holds the image file path that you wish to display and src indicates the default picture.

Fallback for WebP Image Format

Another aspect that works well is that it provides a fallback to current picture code such as WebP. WebP images are high-performance, small, and give an instant web experience. As a result, you can decide whether or not to use them on your websites. One issue you may have is that not all browsers accept WebP images. With, you don’t face this issue as your browser will display a different image if it fails to support WebP.

<body>
<!-- How to Create Responsive Image in HTML -->

<picture>
  <source type="image/webp" srcset="cute-cat.webp" />
  <img src="cute-cat.jpg" alt="A cute cat." />
</picture>
</body>

Why make responsive images with HTML rather than CSS?

CSS provides many options for managing responsive pictures. So why not make use of it? Before processing CSS, the browser displays images. So, even before your site’s JavaScript identifies the viewport width and makes any necessary changes to the images, the original images have already been loaded. As a result, it is recommended to handle responsive image in HTML.

Aim for the strongest image quality possible.

In this post, you learned how to create responsive image in HTML by using <picture> and <srcset>. Providing responsive pictures generally involves taking into account the image size and resolution in relation to the display size. Image quality may be impaired if done properly. Choose an image that gives the most functionality while using a minimum of resources.

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