PostCSS plugin and tiny JS script (128 B) to use WebP in CSS background

webp, postcss-plugin, css, background, polyfill
npm install webp-in-css@0.1.0


WebP in CSS

WebP logo

PostCSS plugin and tiny JS script (128 bytes) to use WebP in CSS background.

It will make your images 25% smaller for Chrome, Firefox, and Edge. Safari will download the bigger JPEG/PNG image.

You add require('webp-in-css') to your JS bundle and write CSS like:

.logo {
  width: 30px;
  height: 30px;
  background: url(/logo.png);

The script will set webp or no-webp class on <body> and PostCSS plugin will generates:

.logo {
  width: 30px;
  height: 30px;
body.webp .logo {
  background: url(/logo.webp);
body.no-webp .logo {
  background: url(/logo.png);
Sponsored by Evil Martians


Step 1: convert all your JPEG/PNG images to WebP by Squoosh. Set checkbox on Lossless for PNG images and remove it for JPEG.

We recommend Reduce palette for most of the PNG images.

Save WebP images in the same places of JPEG/PNG images: img/bg.pngimg/bg.webp.

Step 2: use <picture> to insert WebP images in HTML:

- <img src="/screenshot.jpg" alt="Screenshot">
+ <picture>
+   <source srcset="/screenshot.webp" type="image/webp">
+   <img src="/screenshot.jpg" alt="Screenshot">
+ </picture>

Step 3: install webp-in-css. For npm use:

npm install --save-dev webp-in-css

For Yarn:

yarn add --dev webp-in-css

Step 4: add JS script to your client-side JS bundle:

+ require('webp-in-css')

Since JS script is very small (128 bytes), the best way for landings is to inline it to HTML:

+   <script><%= readFile('node_modules/webp-in-css/index.js') %></script>

Step 5: check do you use PostCSS already in your bundler. You can check postcss.config.js in the project root, "postcss" section in package.json or postcss in bundle config.

If you don’t have it already, add PostCSS to your bundle:

  • For webpack see postcss-loader docs.
  • For Parcel create postcss.config.js file. It already has PostCSS support.
  • For Gulp check gulp-postcss docs.

Step 5: Add webp-in-css/plugin to PostCSS plugins:

module.exports = {
  plugins: [
+   require('webp-in-css/plugin'),

We also recommend to put all images from CSS to preload content:

+   <link rel="preload" as="image" type="image/webp" href="/logo.webp">
    <script><%= readFile('node_modules/webp-in-css/index.js') %></script>