Snippets - Images

HTML Fallback Images on Error

Anuz Pandey

In the ever-evolving world of web development, providing a seamless user experience is paramount. As developers, we strive to deliver visually stunning websites that load quickly and engage visitors effectively. One common element that plays a crucial role in this experience is images. Whether they are product photos, illustrations, or decorative elements, images contribute significantly to the overall appeal of a website.

However, what happens when an image fails to load? Perhaps the image source is broken or the server is down. In such cases, the dreaded "broken image" icon appears, leaving users disappointed and potentially driving them away from your site.

Fear not! There's a simple and effective solution to tackle this issue: HTML fallback images on error. By implementing this technique, you can ensure that your users always have something to see, even when the primary image cannot be displayed. Let's delve into the details of how this method works and how you can implement it in your web projects.

Understanding HTML Fallback Images HTML fallback images, also known as fallback images or error handling images, are alternate images specified in the HTML code to replace the original image in case it fails to load. The fallback image acts as a backup, guaranteeing that users still see relevant content, even if the primary image is unavailable.

Implementing Fallback Images: The 'onerror' Attribute The 'onerror' attribute in HTML plays a vital role in enabling the fallback image feature. This attribute is added to the 'img' element and triggers a JavaScript function when the image fails to load. By leveraging this functionality, you can dynamically switch the 'src' attribute to the URL of the fallback image.

Here's a simple example of how to use the 'onerror' attribute:

In this code snippet, the img element tries to load "primary-image.jpg." If it fails, the onerror attribute will execute the JavaScript code inside the 'onerror' attribute, which updates the 'src' attribute to "fallback-image.jpg."

Best Practices for Using Fallback Images

To ensure a smooth user experience, consider the following best practices when implementing HTML fallback images:

  • Choose Relevant Fallback Images: Select fallback images that are contextually relevant to the primary image. This way, users won't be confused by the sudden change and will still find the content valuable.
  • Optimize Fallback Images: Keep the file size of fallback images small to avoid slowing down the page load speed. Compress the images without compromising their quality to maintain a snappy user experience.
  • Test Across Multiple Browsers: Always test your fallback images across various web browsers to ensure compatibility and consistent behavior.
  • Include 'alt' Attributes: Always provide descriptive 'alt' attributes for your images. These attributes not only help users with accessibility needs but also improve search engine optimization.
  • Monitor Image Availability: Regularly check the availability of your primary images to avoid long-term display of fallback images. Fix any broken image links promptly.


HTML fallback images on error are a powerful tool in your web development arsenal, guaranteeing a seamless user experience even in the face of image loading failures. By employing this technique and following best practices, you can improve user satisfaction and engagement on your website, making it a more reliable and enjoyable destination for visitors. So, start implementing fallback images today and elevate your web projects to new heights!

Keep coding, keep exploring, and keep inspiring. 🐼

  • Tags:
  • HTML
  • javascript
  • fallback images
  • programming