Created: 2012-03-22 08:15
Updated: 2019-02-12 09:23

Retina Images

Retina Images serves different images based on the device being used by the viewer.

Once set up on your website (very simple!) all you have to do is create a high-res version of each image you would like optimised for retina screens and all the work is done for you. You don’t even need to change any <img> tags (providing they have a height or width).

How it Works

  1. When the page loads on the viewers device, a cookie holding the devicePixelRatio is set by either JavaScript or CSS (if JS is disabled).
  2. When an image is requested by the server, the .htaccess file tells retinaimages.php to serve the image instead.
  3. retinaimages.php then checks for the following conditions:
    • A cookie holding devicePixelRatio exists.
    • The value set in the cookie is greater than 1.
    • A high-res version of the image exists.
  4. If any of the above are false, it will send the regular image. Otherwise, the high-res image is sent in its place.

Installation & Examples

Visit for installation instructions and a set of demonstrations.


  • Only one image is downloaded by the viewer.
  • All standard raster images (.jpg, .png, .gif & .bmp) are able to be served as high-res.
  • Fallback to regular image if high-res image isn’t available.
  • Fallback to regular image if JavaScript and CSS or Cookies are disabled.


  • <img> tags must have either a width or height attribute specified.
  • CSS background images must have a background-size property. See CSS Images for details.


Retina Images by Jeremy Worboys is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License

Cookies help us deliver our services. By using our services, you agree to our use of cookies Learn more