Data URIs make CSS sprites obsolete

Nicholas C. Zakas:

CSS sprites were a solution to the problem of multiple HTTP requests to download multiple images. Data URIs allow you to embed images directly into your CSS files, solving the same problem in a much more elegant and maintainable way.

I hate working with sprites, but I do it because it is or should I say, was, the best way to increase the loading speed of images.
Since a few minutes ago I never heard of Data URIs, but it is great and I think I will try it out very soon. You should, too.


  1. Embedding images also means that separate caching is not possible. Also, base64-encoding inflates your data. IE < 8 don’t support them, IE 8 is limited to 32k per embed. If all that’s fine with you, Data URIs may be a real alternative.

  2. The ability to automatically generate CSS sprites is one of the main reaso s I prefer Sass/Compass over Less and Stylus. It works great and you don’t have to manually compile the sprite images.

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