Using the beta Gatsby Image plugin

Adding responsive images to your site while maintaining high performance scores can be difficult to do manually. The Gatsby Image plugin handles the hard parts of producing images in multiple sizes and formats for you!

Want to learn more about image optimization challenges? Read the Conceptual Guide: Why Gatsby’s Automatic Image Optimizations Matter. For full documentation on all configuration options, see the reference guide.

The new Gatsby Image plugin is currently in beta, but you can try it out now and see what it can do for the performance of your site.

Getting started

First you need to install the following packages:

You then need to add the plugins to your gatsby-config.js:

If you already have some of these plugins installed, please check that they’re updated to the latest version.

Using the Gatsby Image components

Decide which component to use

The Gatsby Image plugin includes two image components: one for static and one for dynamic images. The simplest way to decide which you need to is to ask yourself: “will this image be the same every time the component or template is used?”. If it will always be the same, then use StaticImage. If it will change, whether through data coming from a CMS or different values passed to a component each time you use it, then it is a dynamic image and you should use the GatsbyImage component.

Static images

If you are using an image that will be the same each time the component is used, such as a logo or front page hero image, you can use the StaticImage component. The image can be either a local file in your project, or an image hosted on a remote server. Any remote images are downloaded and resized at build time.

  1. Add the image to your project.

    If you are using a local image, copy it into the project. A folder such as src/images is a good choice.

  2. Add the StaticImage component to your template.

    Import the component, then set the src prop to point to the image you added earlier. The path is relative to the source file itself. If your component file was src/components/dino.js, then you would load the image like this:

    If you are using a remote image, pass the image URL in the src prop:

    When you build your site, the StaticImage component will load the image from your filesystem or from the remote URL, and it will generate all the sizes and formats that you need to support a responsive image.

    Because the image is loaded at build time, you cannot pass the filename in as a prop, or otherwise generate it outside of the component. It should either be a static string, or a local variable in the component’s scope.

    Important: Remote images are downloaded and resized at build time. If the image is changed on the other server, it will not be updated on your site until you rebuild.

  3. Configure the image.

    You configure the image by passing props to the <StaticImage /> component. You can change the size and layout, as well as settings such as the type of placeholder used when lazy loading. There are also advanced image processing options available. You can find the full list of options in the API docs.

    This component renders a 200px by 200px image of a dinosaur. Before loading it will have a blurred, low-resolution placeholder. It uses the "fixed" layout, which means the image does not resize with its container.

Note: There are a few technical restrictions to the way you can pass props into StaticImage. For more information, refer to the Reference Guide: Gatsby Image plugin. If you find yourself wishing you could use a prop for the image src then it’s likely that you should be using a dynamic image.

Dynamic images

If you need to have dynamic images (such as if they are coming from a CMS), you can load them via GraphQL and display them using the GatsbyImage component.

  1. Add the image to your page query.

    Any GraphQL File object that includes an image will have a childImageSharp field that you can use to query the image data. The exact data structure will vary according to your data source, but the syntax is like this:

  2. Configure your image.

    You configure the image by passing arguments to the gatsbyImageData resolver. You can change the size and layout, as well as settings such as the type of placeholder used when lazy loading. There are also advanced image processing options available. You can find the full list of options in the API docs.

  3. Display the image.

    You can then use the GatbsyImage component to display the image on the page. The getImage() function is an optional helper to make your code easier to read. It takes a File and returns file.childImageSharp.gatsbyImageData, which can be passed to the GatsbyImage component.


If your site uses the old gatsby-image component, you can use a codemod to help you migrate to the new Gatsby Image components. This can update the code for most sites. To use the codemod, run this command in the root of your site:

This will convert all GraphQL queries and components to use the new plugin. For more information see the full migration guide.