This is one of those neat little stacks that you don’t realise you’ve been missing until you start to use it — which is when you understand just how versatile and effective it is and how it’s probably going to be the next thing you drag into your Stacks Favourites Library.
As its name suggests, the Remote Image stack allows you to link to an image that’s been dragged into Rapidweaver’s Resources or that’s stored on your web server. This method offers several advantages over traditional drag-and-drop image stacks, notably that it helps to keep file sizes down by allowing you to store your image outside the project file; that it lets you to use the same image in multiple locations on your site, yet only store it once; and that should you want to update the image you only need to do it once – assuming you keep the same file name. The stack works with PNGs, JPGs, GIFs, and SVG files.
Once you’ve dragged the stack onto a page you’ll only see a red icon where the image normally goes – this will turn green when you add the appropriate link to your image. After that you can add Alt text (important for SEO) and then set the height and width in pixels, percentages, ems or rems – or leave it at the default ‘auto’ setting so it fills the container; you can also set the maximum width if you need to constrain the image’s size. The stack lets you set the border radius, making it wasy to add anything from soft corners right through to full circle borders of the kind that have become popular for staff photographs on web sites.
The fun starts when you explore the CSS Filter settings, where you’ll discover 21 different Instagram-style filters that can be applied to your remote images – all courtesy of lightweight, pure CSS. These filters are really good and just the job for adding some funky effects to your photos with the minimum of effort or overhead. Finally, the Remote Image stack allows you to link to an alternative high resolution version (HiDPI or what Apple calls ‘Retina’) of your picture for visitors with newer fancier screens; as well as including the ability to specify the entire photo as a link to another part of the site – or to elesewhere entirely.
The Remote Image stack is an excellent warehouse-friendly responsive image stack with some very nice, lightweight special visual effects that also supports the inclusion of Retina images, and – as they used to say in the UK – is as cheap as chips.