In days gone by, to achieve a background gradient on an element, it was necessary to tile a thin graphical slice of the gradient. As graphics resources go, it's quite an economical trade-off. An image, only a pixel or two wide, isn't going to break the bandwidth bank and on a single site it can be used on multiple elements.
However, if we need to tweak the gradient it still requires round-trips to the graphics editor. Plus, occasionally, content might 'break out' of the gradient background, extending beyond the images' fixed size limitations. This problem is compounded with a responsive design, as sections of a page may increase at different viewports.
With a CSS
background-image gradient however, things are far more flexible. ...