CSS Sprites focus on creating a single master image instead of creating multiple small images to minimize the HTTP requests and hence saving valuable kilobytes on a webpage. Here are some of the performance improvements & benefits of using CSS Sprites:
- Browser Caching of Images – One of the benefits of using CSS Sprites is the load time of the images. The browser caches the images in the webpage and hence bandwidth will be saved with the sprite technique.
- Time spent on slicing a web design – Think of a situation where your designer has created a PSD for a web page. The next big task is slicing up that PSD to create multiple little images with meaningful names. Managing such images is a cumbersome job. Using sprites, you just have to copy all such images in a big canvas. This will not only save a few kilobytes and hassle of managing multiple images and but server requests are also saved.
- Time Spent on Coding & maintenance – The time spent on coding & including individual images on a webpage is a lot. In contrast, using CSS Sprites help in optimizing the time since there is only 1 image you need to play with. Once you get a hold of the image, you just need to change the position of it and it is all set.
There are a number of tools available in the market these days that can create CSS Sprites. One such tool is http://csssprites.com/.
This tool accepts a number of small images and on click of “Generate” button, it creates a big image sprite. The best thing is that it even creates the CSS code required for each small image to be displayed on the webpage.