The span time to make impression on users is very short. Despite having an amazing content to offer, users may not even consider giving it a try because it failed to make an initial impression. Combination of number of layouts contribute to make that impression. These may include appealing navigation menu, attractive button or some cool animation effects. We are about to discuss on similar layout in the form of css thumbnail examples. You will require some basic knowledge of css, html and javascript to get most out of the example we have on image gallery thumbnail with code. However, you can still get understanding of layout without those knowledge.

You might prefer surfing though YouTube when bored. So, I believe you may have already experienced some unique and efficient examples of thumbnail before. Even TV shows before showing up some commercial ads leave a short sneak peek on things to come. Since they can’t afford to loose viewers during ad period as that’s one of the major income source for them they do so to keep them interested. That’s exactly one of the real life example on thumbnail. You can offer something similar for image by selecting a cool initial thumbnail preview or some amazing zoom or render effect with javascript and so on.

Awesome Collection of CSS Thumbnail Examples with Image Effect and Code Snippet

The examples we have here for thumbnail image effects with css, html and javascript range from a good and attractive content management layout to a efficient showcasing. Considering that images are so important in terms of appearance we decided to help you properly manage and organize them for getting the best results.


Enhance your HTML, CSS and JavaScript skills with examples on image thumbnail as below:

1. Pure CSS Thumbnail Hover Effect

The first one on the thumbnail css examples let’s users have a more close up look on the image without having to open it. While opening an image is just a matter of click, its not the case that people always prefer it. I mean its okay if its just a single picture but what if you’re searching for some particular picture. One click times number of photos is not something people happily prefer to go through.

thumbnail hover examples

Demo | Code

2. Thumbnail + Modal con CSS

The next thumbnail effect brings the content up close only after click on the button. Its like when you visit a tours and travels website and some holiday destination package grabs your attention. As you click on the image in order to see the things more in detail is the effect that you get here. However, its not the click on image but rather click on a specific button to make image pop up in a larger screen. You can do the both if you want to.

popup thumbnail effect

Demo | Code

3. Thumbnail with Animated Captions

The next one on the examples of css thumbnail is something you would prefer in your websites gallery. Alternatively, when your website has multiple contents to offer under single screen the following thumbnail css code must be something that you’re looking for. We all know label and images combined give better information to users. However, space management can come as issue. So, how about including image and label within the same container. Only image in the beginning and some transparent label on top of that as you hover. Looks clean and does the job.

thumbnail hover css code examples

Demo | Code

4. Pure CSS perfect square thumbnails gallery

If you have short and sweet description of content then the previous thumbnail examples will work perfectly for you. However, if you have a bit lengthy description or want to offer link to other page for more info then you have to try this layout. The layout is very simple. You have a view as a number of images posted on some wall. As you hover over these images it becomes faded with bright border and more button appearing in the middle. This is one of the common examples of css thumbnails on sites offering multiple contents like holiday destinations, web articles etc.

perfect square thumbnail gallery with code

Demo | Code

5. CSS Mouseover Thumbnails

There can be case where you want thumbnails effects without affecting the original image or grid content. Such examples include zoom preview of image as you hover it. You might seen a number of such applications with e-commerce site being most common one. We see a number of product images in the site. We can’t actually feel them from site itself however we can check the image as long as we aren’t satisfied. To do so they offer zoom preview of image at side without affecting the original content. Therefore you have a navigation option on one screen and preview on another.

html css thumbnail example

Demo | Code


We all know its image that delivers the content in a powerful manner. Image drags the client attention so its better to include additional details within the image. In this example we see how to implement thumbnail effect either on top of image or on top of a content. Both are great effect in their own sense. The first effect includes diagonal spreading of a window inside of an image to give associated details. The second one includes transparent content in the beginning with image visible on the background. As you hover the content makes its way for zoom image to appear.

thumbnail image examples

Demo | Code

7. Thumbnail Hover 1

Users will hover to images on your website if that interests them. So, if they’re interested then lets give them something more. Let’s not give them something more but let’s give them in an attractive way just like the css thumbnail gallery below illustrates. The effect is similar to waving a flag and horizontal version of it. This means that the external link show up in a grid structure rotating along fixed vertical and horizontal axis.

css thumbnail gallery example

Demo | Code

8. CSS Thumbnail responsive flexbox hover transition

Hovering on image is like asking for introduction here. This is because the thumbnail effect includes zooming out image with caption layer taking the freed space. The image thumbnail example only involves html and css code so you don’t need to worry on complexity of JavaScript.

css thumbnail zoom out examples

Demo | Code

9. Thumbnail CSS hover transition

This example is very similar to magical door opening with some secret code, its just that the magical door is css thumbnail image in this case. It maintains the suspense for the users because there’s so much to explore with hover. This is because you can initially put what ever you like the beginning to attract the viewers. Their attraction is shown by hover action. And as the hover is done its like curtains opening to show the hidden world behind..

sliding thumbnail effect

Demo | Code

10. Honeycomb Gallery on CSS Grid 2

This one is quite different than other examples of css thumbnail we have seen by now. It doesn’t consist of any inner transition effect but allows the users to maintain focus on particular one. The css, html and javascript code thumbnail effect does so by increasing the width as well as brightness of the image border in the gallery.

bee hive

Demo | Code

11. Thumbnail Animation Effects

Here we have alternative animation to show your images in your gallery. We saw a number of dropdown menu examples and we can achieve css similar effect thumbnail gallery. This means that the series of image present for preview pops up single selected image up on hover. However, need to move cursor out of the image frame to get back to initial can be a offset. So, its better to include a navigation option.

html, css, javascript image thumbnail gallery code

Demo | Code

12. Minimal Responsive Thumbnail Gallery

We have a simple image gallery with zoom in thumbnail css effect on hover. It gives way more pleasant effect rather than just having a dull image gallery. Just few lines of html and css code and you get such a beautiful example of thumbnail for your website. Moreover, it adds to the responsive nature to user action.

zoom thumbnail effect.

Demo | Code

13. Angled Thumbnail Hover Interaction

We just saw a simple zoom in action for css and html thumbnail example and now let’s go one step ahead. If you want to give extra information on top of previous effect you can include label to show up. However these label don’t just show up. They appear in a diagonal slide down fashion so that they overlap the previous layer. On removing the hover its just a roll back from thumbnail effect.

thumbnail zoom in effect

Demo | Code

14. Spotify Artist Radio Thumbnails

Not one of the interactive css thumbnail examples that we have seen but it’s definitely one fine piece of art. Html and CSS is all it takes to get such thumbnail example without hassle of javascript code. You might have seen our photo editor example to get circular images for your profile picture. That’s one part of the application. Embedding the image within a smooth wave like layout is next step such as example that we have below.

wave cover picture

Demo | Code

15. Flexbox YouTube Thumbnail Grid

So after a number of examples dealing with image gallery thumbnail, we bring one similar css effect for video. Not just any type of thumbnail but one similar to YouTube. The html thumbnail example serves the need for both well loaded site or a lagging one. You can choose a default layout for slow internet connection and any good image for well loaded ones. You may have already guessed what the thumbnail effect is. Its simply allowing the play button to appear with video title hiding which was initially present.

youtube thumbnail example

Demo | Code

16. Rounded thumbnails portfolio

In order to stand out among other websites you need to do something different. Even a unique portfolio can be tell about creativity of users or a company. In this example we have a rich set of thumbnail component. Most of the site when showcasing their gallery or portfolio do it by putting contents in a grid structure. Not a bad way by any means but you also want to present that uniquely. Here we see a number of round dispersed images which up on hover expands into square block with another adjacent block for supportive contents.

rich animation thumbnail components

Demo | Code

17. Flipping thumbnails

Zooming is out way to indicate selection. Focusing or fading effect is another. So, why not mix both of them. That’s exactly what’s done here. In the image gallery as you hover on one picture, it slightly zooms while blurring rest of the images as css thumbnail effect so that you don’t have to divide the focus. Enough of just pure css and html thumbnail example, let’s dive into some javascript code as well for some amazing image effect.

zoom in and blur other effect

Demo | Code

18. Split Image on hover

This is the alternative way to show the image details within the same container. The effect includes the image to split into pieces and slide up in a series rather than all at one fashion. The space emptied is them filled up by relevant text information which has faded original background. A good thumbnail effect to consider for e-commerce site dealing with electronics and relevant components. Html and css code for this thumbnail is available below.

split hover thumbnail effect html css

Demo | Code

19. Fancy CSS Animated Gallery Covers (Now Responsive)

Not only beautiful css thumbnail but also a responsive image gallery. The layout looks so premium that you will commonly see in cover of some program with popular faces shown in such manner. While you may not be able to show such effect in a poster, you can obviously offer use the layout for important testimonials in your site.

beautiful CSS Thumbnail Examples

Demo | Code

20. Gallery Slider With Thumbnails

Few examples ago we had a image gallery with series of small images and css thumbnail effect on hover. However, to select another image the the cursor required to be moved away and again back to image which was hectic. All of those are solved in this example of html thumbnail. You need to select image to get larger picture because that’s what a proper gallery do. Moreover, navigation buttons are there for those who don’t want to keep scrolling mouse here and there again and again.

image gallery with thumbnail code example

Demo | Code

21. Card-Profile slider

As a designer you must have searched for a good layout to use as a profile card. This one might do the justice you haven’t found one for you yet. This is because despite looking simple it looks just perfect. Round profile picture with shadow effect for the entire card is something that user demands. Its very similar to a real time id card but with improvements that can be made on digital screen.

profile card html CSS Thumbnail Examples

Demo | Code

22. Build Thumbnail with CSS Grid, Flexbox and JavaScript

We have a grid layout to show multiple contents in a number of customizable fashion. Unlike a number of css thumbnail examples we have seen before, it doesn’t offer image transition on effect. However, the layout can be changed in a number of ways. Regarding the view there are the options to set size of each component and choose between grid or list layout. A search option in top of that and your users can easily find the way to content that they are looking for.

grid and list content layout

Demo | Code

23. Pure CSS Thumbnail Image

For the final one in the list of css thumbnail examples we have a two image layout. One is relatively small and cropped while larger one offers more detail. We know images are important for information in website and applications. However, we can’t just throw out any sized image in the name of that. So, what most of the sites such as online shopping site do is that they show a small image initially and as the user hovers on the image a larger preview is shown. Therefore, putting contents within a space limit as well as serving user needs.

zoom preview HTML Thumbnail Example

Demo | Code


Even the choice to watch a YouTube video depends on its thumbnail today. So one of the tricks to make users explore more on your site is to include an attractive thumbnail. We hope from the examples of image thumbnail you got sufficient html, css and javascript trick to do so. As we just said its just one of the trick to influence your users and boost your website’s performance. Attention is required on a number of other areas too for a step towards perfect website. We are trying to help you achieve the same with all of our articles. So, don’t miss them because that might just be the missing puzzle for your website.

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