How to make Responsive Web Design (RWD) Background Images

I work with Dave Green on a daily basis at our WordPress focused web development agency Make Do. Responsive Web Design (RWD) is a service that comes as standard with all of our products.

Dave has wrote an excellent article on how to implement responsive images for background Images, with the upshot of increasing page load time.

Responsive Images on any Website

Dave’s article focuses on implementing responsive images within WordPress, but the example Code Pen Dave has created can work with any website.

Here is a fork of Dave’s original Pen:

Responsive Background Images in CodePen

This is a JavaScript based solution, that has dependencies on Modernizr and jQuery, however it could easily be reworked to be a native solution.

Because of the usage of JavaScript this means that your background images wont show if you do not have JavaScript enabled. However from an accessibility perspective, background images are for decoration only, so just ensure that you have a suitable fallback in place in your CSS (such as a solid colour or gradient). Avoid using an image as a fallback, as the image will load before the responsive script, which kind of defeats the point.

Responsive Images with WordPress

In Dave’s (now removed) article he provided some great Gists that show how you can create functions for WordPress that will do all of the heavy lifting for you. I have made a fork of the RWD Background Image Gists here (because I fully intend tinkering with the code).

Posted by Matt Watson

Matt Watson is co-founder of the WordPress agency Make Do. Matt loves learning about personal, professional and web development. Learn more about Matt.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.