The Top WordPress Lazy Load Plugins to Speed-Up Your Site
Uploading tons of images on your WordPress site can significantly affect its loading speed. Your WordPress site may take forever to load which creates a really bad user experience for your page visitors. To be precise, if your WordPress site takes more than 3 seconds time in loading, 40% of visitors are likely to leave the page!
No one likes to lose potential visitors to their website. Similarly, not every time you can cut down the number of images or let your blog post go without images. We all know how impactful a visual post is and how much users prefer a visual post over a text-based post.
Readers prefer visual post and love images because it is really easy for our brains to intercept and digest the provided information if it is provided in a visual manner.
So, how can you maintain the speed of your WordPress site without compromising the quality images?
Well, that is exactly when Lazy Loading comes to play!
What is lazy loading and what difference does it make for your site?
To satisfy your curiosity and before we dig deeper into the workings of lazy loading, let us first have a brief introduction about what lazy loading is!
Lazy Load is actually a technique which is used by many websites to simply delay the actual images’ loading, so that first the website can be loaded completely. If your site loads all the images at once, your website cannot load smoothly and you will have to suffer through long waiting time before the complete site is loaded and becomes available for use.
Hence, if your site is taking long to load, then it is an ordeal for your site for two basic reasons:
1. This is highly frustrating for website visitors and establishes a negative user experience.
2. Google is never kind to websites which take more than the usual time in loading.
That is why if you wish to improve the speed of your site, then lazy loading is definitely a great option. With lazy loading, the HTTP request for content is delayed. This means that the website content only loads when the visitor scrolls down the page.
This eventually lowers the total size of the page, which provides the user a lot faster page load time. Hence, anyone who is aware of WordPress must make the most of its huge plugin library. It offers thousands of plugins to choose from. However, to assist you with that, in this article, we will be discussing the top lazy-load plugins for WordPress websites.
The list comprises of two types of plugins. The first type is the one which is simpler and can be installed with a single click. Another is the more complex plugins which provide support for videos, in-page images, photo galleries, etc.
So, let’s just discuss each one of them separately and in more detail.
The BJ Lazy Load plugin provides full control on how your site’s page loads its content. This may include user comments, special media such as iframes for embedded videos, in-page photos, etc.
The plugins are highly preferable by many WordPress users because it is easy and simple to set up, easily customizable, and provides a great netword of support for both dynamic embeds and also CDN-powered images.
Considering the websites with heavy content, you must go with a3 Lazy Load plugin which works best with images. The plugin is new and you can get its latest updates right from the developers quite frequently. Basically, the plugin is designed to provide wide mobile support to all those websites which run thousands of images per page.
The plugin is built on the plugin Lazy load XT jQuery, which is a trusted and long-time resource. The combination of this with WordPress, however, did not take much effort. Another great benefit of using this plugin is that you can select the elements which are required to run as lazy loaded content. For this, you may select between pages, images on posts, or even lazy loading for avatars and comments.
For an extremely fast page load experience, go with the free plugin – Lazy Load XT. This is also one of the smallest plugins that one can search for a WordPress site.
The plugin does not really offer many updates and there has been no major update for the past year or two. So, this is unlikely that we will see any changes in Lazy Load XT over time. However, the plugin, due to its great functionality, holds 90%+ five-star rating and exceptional WordPress repo along with some great reviews.
The plugin also depends on the jQuery Lazy Load XT. This means that it is actually an original plugin’s port. Also, the plugin comes with fewer features and is lighter. Therefore, the plugin is recommended for the lighter WP installs in which you might not want the plugins to disrupt the workflow.
WP Lazy Load
The lazy load plugin is released by the developer Mohammad Jangda as one of the additional resources for the users of WordPress. The plugin is built on the code which was released by the team of WordPress some years back.
The plugin depends on JQuery Sonar so that it can detect whenever an element on the page is viewable. It runs Ajax calls to cut down the loading time of the images and page size. Indeed, the plugin does not offer too many options that make it a bit limiting.
Nonetheless, the plugin is definitely a reasonable choice for anyone who wishes to keep the WordPress site breezy and light.
This is another very light plugin for your WordPress site that is hardly 5KB in size. As you use Speed Up – Lazy Load, you get the default and amazing features such as JS-based browser detection and delayed image loading whenever the page is scrolled down by the user. However, you will find more frequent updates of this plugin than others.
Speed up is referred as ‘setup and forget’ plugin. As this plugin is very easy to use, you just have to install it and plugin smoothly runs in the background without any need for change in settings. The plugin is one of the easiest solutions for image loading on your WordPress site, especially when it has just 5KB file size.
Lazy Loading Responsive Images
If you need to have the plugin that would offer you some good customization options then go with Lazy Load Responsive Images. The plugin was built to handle responsive content (as a resource) with lazy load scripts and on all devices.
Technically this plugin is not a just lazy loading plugin, but it also includes the functionality of lazy loading. JCH Optimize is a great plugin to speed up the load time of the page, and it also offers a massive pack of features. If you want immediate benefits of this plugin, then install it on your WordPress site and notice the difference.
To reduce the HTTP requests, the plugin automatically combines JS/CSS files. In addition to that, your HTML can get minified and may create sprite files for background CSS images. On the setting page of the plugin, you may find the lazy load feature with just a click setup. So use this plugin if you want to speed up the site in addition to lazy loading. However, this plugin is not a complete resource, and along with JCH Optimizer, you might still require some caching plugin.
Smart4y Lazy Load
If the premium route is beautiful with you, then head over to Smart4y Lazy Load. The plugin is not only lightweight but also super-fast. The plugin comes with support (lazy load) regarding all media elements. This is not an old plugin and was introduced recently. If you go with the copy, the plugin will come with the support of 6 months. This will assist you in setting up the plugin and in resolving the issues if any along the way.
Regarding features, the plugin allows you to target the following page elements:
Lazy Load for Videos
If you are searching a solution to lazy load the embedded videos, then the plugin – Lazy Load for Videos is your best option. The plugin is individually supportive in two ways:
- To be used in addition to any other lazy load plugin
- To support lazy load embedded videos exclusive of images
The reason why this stand apart is because before loading, the plugin enables placeholder images for the site’s embedded videos. So in order to keep the aspect ratio fully in-tact, the plugin pulls the videos thumbnail images. Moreover, It allows you to modify the player embed with various annotations and controls.
Zedna WP Image Lazy Load
Not every lazy loading plugin facilitate the images with CSS background. But this is exactly what goes in the favor of Zedna WP Image Lazy Load. Typically the plugin considers all the images available on the page along with other embedded media of iframes. But the plugin is also great in terms of images with CSS background if you wish them to lazy load too.
Another great feature is that this plugin runs on the HTML 5 (video element). This means that you also lazy load the embedded videos of your own. Some other features include the feasibility of loading content threshold, animation styles and various classes which you may use to eliminate the functionality of lazy load.
As you search for the lazy load plugins, the Crazy Lazy plugins don’t appear in the top ranking of the search results and that is why, not many users know about this great plugin. But considering the careful selection in JQuery plugins and light size, this plugin is an excellent option to go with. The plugin uses two popular jQuery plugins:
- Unveil.js script to get dynamic themes
- Lazyload.js in terms of smaller themes
The plugin provides total control in terms of CSS and you may style the images (default) to appear the way you like but before loading. In addition, you may include the data attribute such as data-crazy-lazy into the code to eliminate various images from getting lazy load effect.
While the plugin might not be the flashiest plugin out there but it is indeed a smart choice with stable yet small codebase.
It’s Time to Get Lazy!
As you use a WordPress setup, it hardly takes a couple of clicks to set up any plugin. Out of all the discussed plugins, there must be some plugins that you can use to lazy load the images on your site. Review the above-discussed top picks in details and choose the one that is likely to make your website stand out.
Before you finally decide to go with one, test some of these and then go with the one that suits your site's preferences the most. Nonetheless, if you want to know which of them is the fastest, you can quickly run a performance test on the server of your WordPress.