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Responsive Images Plugin

The Responsive Images plugin for the Grav CMS inserts responsive images into HTML pages. It makes the browser display images on different devices with optimal image resolution and page speed.

ℹ️ This plugin generates a srcset attribute for foreground images and media queries for background images. See this overview article and this in-depth explanation why other methods are not helpful.

Why Use Responsive Images?

Serving desktop-sized images to mobile devices can use 2–4x more data than needed, slowing down sites. Speed matters:

Overview

  1. For each image on your website, create a pre-built set of properly sized image files, for example with ImageMagick.

    ℹ️ You can use advanced encoding and compression techniques in this step. An example using ImageMagick and jpegoptim:

    convert jeep.jpg -quality 100 -resize 800x534 jeep-0800.jpg
    jpegoptim --quiet --all-progressive --strip-all --max=85 jeep-0800.jpg
  2. Embed the image into your page or template using the provided Twig functions.

    • Foreground image: The function image_element() generates an HTML img tag with src and srcset attributes referring to image sources and widths.

    • Background image: The function background_image_class() generates a CSS class using media queries to specify image sources for different device widths.

Installation

Installing the Responsive Images plugin can be done in one of two ways. The GPM (Grav Package Manager) installation method enables you to quickly and easily install the plugin with a simple terminal command, while the manual method enables you to do so via a zip file.

GPM Installation (Preferred)

The simplest way to install this plugin is via the Grav Package Manager (GPM) through your system's terminal (also called the command line). From the root of your Grav installation directory type:

bin/gpm install responsive-images

This will install the Responsive Images plugin into your user/plugins directory within Grav. Its files can be found under user/plugins/responsive-images.

Manual Installation

To install this plugin, just download the zip version of this repository and unzip it under user/plugins. Then, rename the folder to responsive-images. You can find these files on GitHub or via GetGrav.org.

You should now have all the plugin files under

user/plugins/responsive-images

ℹ️ This plugin is a modular component for Grav which requires Grav and the Error and Problems plugins to operate.

Configuration

ℹ️ Before configuring this plugin, you should copy the user/plugins/responsive-images/responsive-images.yaml to user/config/plugins/responsive-images.yaml and only edit that copy.

Plugin Configuration

The plugin can be enabled or disabled. The default configuration is:

enabled: true

System Configuration

If images.debug is set to true in system.yaml, the plugin's generated CSS code will contain comments explaining the use of the sizes parameter:

images:
  debug: true

Usage

Foreground Images

ℹ️ Remember to enable Twig processing on each page using the image_element() function.

To display a responsive foreground image in a Grav page or Twig template, firstly use:

{{ image_element("images/astronaut-*.jpg", sizes="(min-width: 1200px) 1200px, 100vw", title="Chasing Stars") }}

Secondly, provide a corresponding set of image files at different widths:

images/astronaut-0600.jpg
images/astronaut-0800.jpg
images/astronaut-1200.jpg
images/astronaut-2400.jpg

ℹ️ The numbers must reflect the image's intrinsic width in pixels. This is the image's real width, not CSS pixels.

ℹ️ MDN provides an introduction to responsive images in HTML. For an in-depth discussion about srcset and sizes, see this excellent article on ericportis.com.

What Happens

The image_element() function

  • generates an <img> tag,
  • discovers image widths from file names where the * wildcard was placed,
  • generates the appropriate srcset attribute,
  • generates a src attribute, choosing the second largest image as a fallback for browsers which ignore srcset,
  • passes on the sizes and title attributes,
  • generates an appropriate alt attribute.

Code Generated

The above example will generate the following HTML code:

<img src="/images/astronaut-1200.jpg" srcset="/images/astronaut-2400.jpg 2400w, /images/astronaut-1200.jpg 1200w, /images/astronaut-0800.jpg 800w, /images/astronaut-0600.jpg 600w" sizes="(min-width: 1200px) 1200px, 100vw" title="Chasing Stars" alt="Chasing Stars">

Details

{{ image_element(<path> [, baseWidth=<baseWidth>] [, attribute="value" [, ...]]) }}

generates an HTML img tag with src and srcset attributes referring to image sources and widths, and optional extra attributes (such as sizes, title) as given.

Where

  • <path> is the path to the image with a single * placeholder for the image width, or no placeholder. <path> may contain prefixes such as theme://,
  • <baseWidth> is a string specifying the width of the base image if the browser ignores srcset (optional, defaults to the second largest image width as determined from image file names),

    ℹ️ If baseWidth is used, it must match the width as it appears in the file name, e.g. "0800" in the above example, not "800".

  • further parameters specify additional image element attributes.

If a title attribute is present but no alt attribute, an alt attribute with the title attribute's value will be generated. Supply an empty alt attribute to suppress it.

About The sizes Attribute

You should supply a sizes attribute for each responsive image. It tells the browser how large the image will render in different layouts. Only then can the browser choose the appropriate image file for the intended size and given display density.

The sizes value can be a single size, such as 100vw for an image displaying at full-width on all displays. It can also be a combination of media conditions (e.g. screen widths) and image widths for responsive layouts with images appearing differently depending on the device's screen size.

Examples:
Intended image width sizes parameter
Full viewport width 100vw
50% of the viewport width 50vw
Fixed width of 630px 630px
1200px wide on viewport widths >= 1200px, full viewport width on all others (min-width: 1200px) 1200px, 100vw
100% of the viewport width on viewports up to 480px wide, 50% of the viewport width on screens 481–1024px wide, and 800px on screens wider than 1024px (max-width: 480px) 100vw, (max-width: 1024px) 50vw, 800px

Background Images

ℹ️ Background images have no srcset support in CSS. This plugin works around this limitation by generating CSS media queries for different viewport sizes and display pixel densities. For an in-depth explanation why other methods are not helpful, see this article on ericportis.com.

The Twig function background_image_class() returns the name of a generated CSS class, which specifies a responsive background image. The returned class name must appear as part of a class list of the HTML element containing the background (such as <body> or <div>).

ℹ️ For responsive images to work on modular pages, Twig caching must be disabled due to Grav issue #1934. Please set pages: { never_cache_twig: true } in your system.yaml or set never_cache_twig: true in each modular page's frontmatter. Otherwise images will disappear on the second page load.

To display a responsive background image, firstly use a method from one of the following alternatives.

  • Completely specify the image in a Twig template:

    <div class="{{ background_image_class('images/stars-*.jpg', sizes='(min-width: 1200px) 1200px, 100vw', position='top', size='cover', attachment='fixed') }}">
    [...]
    </div>
    
  • Use a parameterized specification in a Twig template:

    <div {% if page.header.background_image %}class="{{ background_image_class(page.header.background_image) }}"{% endif %}>
    [...]
    </div>
    

    joined by corresponding parameters in the page's frontmatter:

    background_image:
        path: "images/stars-*.jpg"
        sizes: "(min-width: 1200px) 1200px, 100vw" 
        position: top
        size: cover
        attachment: fixed
  • Use a Twig function in a page's frontmatter:

    ℹ️ To use Twig in a page's frontmatter, enable Twig processing and set pages: { frontmatter: { process_twig: true } } in your system.yaml.

    body_classes: title-center title-h1h2 {{ background_image_class('images/stars-*.jpg', sizes='(min-width: 1200px) 1200px, 100vw', position='top', size='cover', attachment='fixed') }}
    
  • Use a background image in the page's content:

    <div class="{{ background_image_class('images/stars-*.jpg', sizes='(min-width: 1200px) 1200px, 100vw', position='top', size='cover', attachment='fixed') }}">
    [...]
    </div>
    

    ℹ️ Remember to enable Twig processing.

Secondly, provide a corresponding set of image files for different viewport widths:

images/stars-0600.jpg
images/stars-0800.jpg
images/stars-1200.jpg
images/stars-2400.jpg

ℹ️ The numbers must reflect the image's intrinsic width in pixels. This is the image's real width, not CSS pixels.

What Happens

The background_image_class() function

  • generates a CSS class ri-background-image-1,
  • discovers image widths from file names where the * wildcard was placed,
  • generates appropriate CSS code using media queries,
  • chooses the second largest image as a fallback for browsers which ignore media queries,
  • passes on the additional parameters as CSS properties, each prefixed by background-,
  • returns the name of the generated background class (ri-background-image-1).

Code Generated

For each of the above examples, background_image_class() will generate the following HTML code in the head section:

NOTE: If images.debug is set to true in system-yaml, the generated CSS code will contain comments explaining the use of the sizes parameter, as shown here.

<style>
.ri-background-image-1 { background-image: url('/images/stars-1200.jpg'); background-position: top; background-size: cover; background-attachment: fixed; }
/* sizes='(min-width: 1200px) 1200px, 100vw' */
@media
 (min-width: 0px) /* fallback */ {
 .ri-background-image-1 { background-image: url('/images/stars-0600.jpg'); }
}
@media
 (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 1) and (min-width: 800px), (min-resolution: 96dpi) and (min-width: 800px) /* 100vw */,
 (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 1.5) and (min-width: 533px), (min-resolution: 144dpi) and (min-width: 533px) /* 100vw */,
 (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2) and (min-width: 400px), (min-resolution: 192dpi) and (min-width: 400px) /* 100vw */,
 (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 3) and (min-width: 266px), (min-resolution: 288dpi) and (min-width: 266px) /* 100vw */,
 (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 4) and (min-width: 200px), (min-resolution: 384dpi) and (min-width: 200px) /* 100vw */ {
 .ri-background-image-1 { background-image: url('/images/stars-0800.jpg'); }
}
@media
 (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 1.5) and (min-width: 800px), (min-resolution: 144dpi) and (min-width: 800px) /* 100vw */,
 (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2) and (min-width: 600px), (min-resolution: 192dpi) and (min-width: 600px) /* 100vw */,
 (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 3) and (min-width: 400px), (min-resolution: 288dpi) and (min-width: 400px) /* 100vw */,
 (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 4) and (min-width: 300px), (min-resolution: 384dpi) and (min-width: 300px) /* 100vw */,
 (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 1) and (min-width: 1200px), (min-resolution: 96dpi) and (min-width: 1200px) /* (min-width: 1200px) 1200px, 100vw */ {
 .ri-background-image-1 { background-image: url('/images/stars-1200.jpg'); }
}
@media
 (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 1) and (min-width: 2400px), (min-resolution: 96dpi) and (min-width: 2400px) /* 100vw */,
 (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 1.5) and (min-width: 1600px), (min-resolution: 144dpi) and (min-width: 1600px) /* 100vw */,
 (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 3) and (min-width: 800px), (min-resolution: 288dpi) and (min-width: 800px) /* 100vw */,
 (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 4) and (min-width: 600px), (min-resolution: 384dpi) and (min-width: 600px) /* 100vw */,
 (-webkit-min-device-pixel-ratio: 2) and (min-width: 1200px), (min-resolution: 192dpi) and (min-width: 1200px) /* (min-width: 1200px) 1200px, 100vw */ {
 .ri-background-image-1 { background-image: url('/images/stars-2400.jpg'); }
}
</style>

Variants 1 and 2 will insert the following HTML code at the place of invocation:

<div class="ri-background-image-1">
[...]
</div>

Variant 3, when used with Grav's default page, will insert ri-background-image-1 into the list of class names for the <body> tag:

<body id="top" class="title-center title-h1h2 ri-background-image-1 header-fixed header-animated sticky-footer">

Details

{{ background_image_class(<path> [, baseWidth=<baseWidth>] [, sizes=<sizes>] [, property='value' [, ...]]) }}

generates a CSS class using media queries to specify image sources for different device widths. The function returns the class name.

Parameters:

  • <path> is the path to the image with a single * placeholder for the image width, or no placeholder. <path> may contain prefixes such as theme://.

  • <baseWidth> is a string specifying the width of the base image if the browser ignores media queries (optional, defaults to the second largest image width as determined from image file names).

    ℹ️ If baseWidth is used, it must match the width as it appears in the file name, e.g. "0800" in the above example, not "800".

  • <sizes> is a srcset/sizes-like attribute with a set of media conditions and slot width hints. It indicates the intended image size for different viewport widths. For details, see the MDN documentation on srcset with sizes. The parameter is optional and defaults to 100vw.

    ℹ️ The sizes parameter is a restricted variant of the HTML <img> tag's sizes attribute: It supports only min-width media conditions with a px unit, and only slot widths with px and vw units.

    Example: sizes='(min-width: 1200px) 1200px, 100vw' would provide

    • images suitable for a slot width of 1200px on viewport widths >= 1200px, and

    • images suitable for 100% of the viewport width on viewport widths < 1200px.

  • further parameters will be passed as CSS properties, each prefixed by background-.