Learn how to Routinely Optimize Responsive Photographs in Gatsby

Picture optimization — at the very least in my expertise — has all the time been a serious ache when constructing speedy web sites. Balancing picture high quality and bandwidth effectivity is a tricky act with out the fitting instruments. Picture enhancing instruments resembling Photoshop are nice for retouching, cropping and resizing bitmap photographs. Sadly, they don’t seem to be that good at creating 100% optimized photographs for the net.

Fortunately, we now have extension packages for construct instruments that may optimize photographs for us shortly:

Sadly, picture optimization alone shouldn’t be sufficient. You could guarantee that all the web site is responsive and appears nice in any respect display sizes. This could simply be carried out by CSS, however right here lies the issue:

Do you have to optimize your picture for big screens or small screens?

If the vast majority of your viewers is utilizing cellular units to entry your web site, then the logical selection is to optimize photographs for small screens. Nevertheless, it’s seemingly that a important income is coming from guests with massive screens over 17″. You positively wouldn’t need to neglect them.

Fortunately, we now have expertise that enables us to ship optimized responsive photographs for various display sizes. This implies we have to generate a number of optimized photographs with completely different resolutions match for particular display sizes or responsive breakpoints.

For WordPress web site house owners, this sort of picture optimization requires the usage of a plugin and a third-party service. The creation of those responsive photographs can’t be carried out on the internet hosting server with out considerably slowing down the location for customers, therefore the necessity for a third-party service.

In case you are utilizing Gatsby to run your web site, then you might be in luck. This function is built-in and already configured so that you can optimize your responsive photographs. You simply must drop in some photographs and write a little bit of code to hyperlink up your responsive photographs together with your internet web page. While you run the gatsby construct command, the photographs are optimized for you. This protects you from requiring a third-party service to carry out the optimization for you. It’s merely carried out in your deployment machine.

Within the subsequent sections, we’re going to be taught:

How picture optimization works in Gatsby
Learn how to optimize photographs on an internet web page
Learn how to optimize photographs in a Markdown put up


Earlier than we begin, I wish to be aware that this tutorial is for builders who’re simply beginning with Gatsby and wish to be taught particularly about the way to deal with photographs. I’m going to imagine you have already got basis within the following matters:

This tutorial doesn’t cowl newbie ideas for Gatsby — we now have a getting began with Gatsby information right here. With that out of the best way, head over to the following part to arrange our demo mission. You’ll be able to view the finished supply mission right here.

Demo Undertaking Setup

Assuming you have already got a current model of Node.js put in in your system, let’s shortly arrange a Gatsby starter mission:

npm set up -g gatsby-cli
gatsby new gatsby-image-demo
cd new gatsby-image-demo
npm begin

This starter mission consists of the mandatory dependencies and configuration required for creating and rendering responsive optimized photographs. In the event you used a distinct starter mission otherwise you most well-liked ranging from a totally clean mission, that is what you will want to do:

npm set up gatsby-image gatsby-transformer-sharp gatsby-plugin-sharp gatsby-source-filesystem

Subsequent, you’ll must configure the dependencies as follows in gatsby-config.js:


In the event you open http://localhost:8000/, it is best to have the Gatsby Default Starter web page with an optimized PNG picture of an astronaut. Be at liberty to look by the mission code to see how the picture was loaded and rendered.

It appears to be like fairly difficult, proper? Nicely, within the subsequent part we’ll take a look at what that’s all about.

Picture Optimization in Gatsby Defined

Rendering an optimized responsive picture on an internet web page is finished utilizing Gatsby Picture, a React part. It appears to be like like this:

import Picture from ‘gatsby-image’;

As seen within the above code samples, there are two forms of photographs that the gatsby-image part is designed to deal with:

Fastened: picture with fastened width and top
Fluid: picture with most width, and presumably top

Fastened is beneficial if you wish to show retina photographs. Notice that scroll bars will seem if the browser window is resized smaller than the picture width. For fluid, the picture will resize mechanically based mostly on the browser window measurement. Smaller or bigger photographs shall be swapped mechanically to suit inside a set viewport.

Now that we now have talked about rendering, how does one present picture information to a gatsby-image part?

We use GraphQL to load a picture to be used on an internet web page. This question language permits us to entry photographs from the native filesystem, a WordPress web site or a customized API. You’ll need a particular plugin to entry a selected location kind:

GraphQL not solely fetches belongings however can be able to processing them earlier than returning them to the calling operate. Within the case of picture optimization, we’re coping with the next plugins:

The Gatsby Plugin Sharp is a low-level helper plugin that does the precise work of decreasing picture measurement with zero or minimal lack of picture high quality. It makes use of the Sharp picture processing library to carry out this job. For JPEGs, it generates progressive photographs with a default high quality stage of 50. For PNGs, it makes use of the pngquant library with a top quality setting of 50-75.

The Gatsby Transformer Sharp plugin is liable for creating responsive photographs. In different phrases, it performs resizing and cropping capabilities to generate completely different resolutions of a picture for optimum show on cellular, pill and large-screen units.

Within the subsequent part, we’ll take a look at the sensible utilization of the above applied sciences.

Optimize Photographs on a Internet Web page

Let’s first begin by dropping some photographs within the src/photographs folder:

Be at liberty to make use of any picture in your onerous drive or from the web. In the event you plan on utilizing excessive decision DSLR pictures, I’d advocate you at the very least deliver the scale all the way down to 700kb and under. Utilizing massive photographs will unnecessarily lengthen the construct optimization course of, and can balloon the scale of your mission repository.

Subsequent, let’s work out the GraphQL queries that we’ll use to question our responsive optimized photographs. Open http://localhost:8000/___graphql in your browser to launch the GraphQL Explorer and Question interface. On the Explorer panel, be aware of all of the nodes we now have accessible to us. In our case, we’re solely within the file and childImageSharp nodes. Beneath is a straightforward question that I’ve constructed. The Explorer panel will record all of the parameters and nodes you need to use to outline your question:


Now that we now have outlined a GraphQL question, let’s create a brand new web page, say grado.js. Within the following code instance, we’re going to render each fastened and fluid photographs. Nevertheless, for the question half, we’ll use GatsbyImageSharpFluid and GatsbyImageSharpFluid question fragments as a substitute of itemizing all of the required baby nodes (i.e. src, sizes, srcSet and many others). Do be aware that question fragments will not be but supported in GraphQL Question Explorer.

import React from “react”
import Picture from ‘gatsby-image’;
import from “gatsby”

import Structure from “../elements/structure”
import search engine marketing from “../elements/website positioning”

const GradoPage = (information) => (

Grado Headphones ShowCase



Grado Rs2e


export default GradoPage

export const pageQuery = graphql`

Assuming Gatsby remains to be operating, navigate to localhost:8000/grado:


The instance above will present you the visible distinction between fluid and glued photographs. The fluid picture will all the time match inside the container width, whereas the fastened picture will stay static whatever the viewport measurement.

Within the subsequent code instance, we’ll take a look at how we are able to record a number of fluid photographs on the identical web page:

const GradoPage = (information) => (

Grado Headphones ShowCase


Grado Boxed

Grado Mounted


export default GradoPage

export const pageQuery = graphql`

The /grado web page ought to refresh mechanically. You need to see all the photographs seem on the web page. In the event you strive downloading one of many photographs proper from the browser, you’ll see that measurement has been lowered. In my case, if I shrink the browser to the smallest width, the ‘Grado Field’ picture is lowered to 19.5 KB. After I maximize the browser on my 17″ 1920×1080 display, the picture measurement is elevated to 60.1 KB which nonetheless appears to be like fairly sharp. These are fairly superior numbers contemplating the supply picture I positioned within the photographs folder weighs 618KB at a decision of 2500x1800px.

You’ll have seen that the question is trying redundant. We will simplify by creating our personal question fragment as follows:

export const fluidImage = graphql`
fragment fluidImage on File
fluid(maxWidth: 1000)


export const pageQuery = graphql`
grado: file(relativePath: )

gradoBox: file(relativePath: eq: “grado-rs2e-box.jpg” )

gradoMounted: file(relativePath: eq: “grado-rs2e-mounted.jpg” )


Optimize Photographs in Markdown Posts and Pages

There are two methods of optimizing photographs in Markdown posts and pages:

1. Featured Photographs

Featured photographs are normally positioned inside the metadata part. You simply must specify a discipline known as featuredImage, like this:

title: First Publish
featuredImage: ./first-post-image.png

Place content material right here

Subsequent, it is advisable course of the featuredImage in your Markdown template file, like this:


export const question = graphql`
question PostQuery($slug: String!) {
markdownRemark(fields: ) {

Additionally, you will must import the gatsby-image bundle with a purpose to render your optimized responsive picture:


import Img from “gatsby-image”

export default(information)
let put up = information.markdownRemark
let featuredImgFluid = put up.frontmatter.featuredImage.childImageSharp.fluid

put up.frontmatter.title


That’s it. All of your Markdown posts can have the featuredImage discipline optimized for responsive screens.

2. Inline Photographs

For inline photographs utilized in Markdown posts and pages, all it’s a must to do is set up the next plugins:

npm set up gatsby-remark-images

Additionally, you will want gatsby-plugin-sharp and gatsby-source-filesystem put in as effectively. Subsequent, you’ll must configure gatsby-remark-images in gatsby-config.js as follows:

module.exports = {
plugins: [

resolve: `gatsby-plugin-mdx`,
options: ,

In your Markdown posts and pictures, you need to use the default syntax to render photographs. The optimization shall be carried out for you mechanically:

![Post image](./my-first-post-image.png)


I hope you now perceive the way to optimize photographs responsively for Gatsby websites. There are a number of situations we haven’t lined right here — you possibly can learn extra about them on the related Gatsby bundle pages:

I write clear, readable and modular code. I really like studying new applied sciences that deliver efficiencies and elevated productiveness to my workflow.

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