Lazy Load Background Images: Improve Page Load Time and User Experience

Website performance is crucial for providing a seamless user experience. Slow-loading websites can lead to high bounce rates and a negative impact on search engine optimization. One effective way to improve website performance is by implementing Lazy Load background images. The lazy loading of images allows for faster page load times and improved user experience.

What is Lazy Loading?

Lazy loading is a technique that loads web content only when it’s needed. Instead of loading all images on a webpage at once, lazy loading loads images as they come into view. This technique significantly reduces the time it takes for a web page to load by prioritizing the elements that the user can see immediately.

In a traditional loading scenario, all resources, including images, scripts, and other files, are loaded when the user opens a webpage or application. 

This can lead to slower load times and decreased performance, especially for larger applications or web pages with a lot of media. With lazy loading, resources are loaded as they are needed, reducing the initial load time and improving overall performance.

Lazy loading can be implemented in various ways, depending on the application and the resources being loaded. One common approach is to use JavaScript to load images and other media when they come into view on the page. 

This means that if an image is located at the bottom of a page, it won’t be loaded until the user scrolls down to that section of the page. This approach is often used in image-heavy websites or applications, such as photo galleries or social media sites.

What are Lazy Load Background Images?

Lazy load background images are images that are set as the background of an HTML element. These images are typically used for website backgrounds, headers, and hero sections. Lazy-loading background images only load them when they are visible on the screen, making them an effective way to reduce page load times.

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How Does Lazy Load Background Images Work?

Lazy load background images work by delaying the loading of images that are not currently in the viewport. Instead of loading all background images when the page loads, lazy loading only loads the images that are visible on the screen. This technique can significantly reduce the amount of data that needs to be downloaded, leading to faster page load times and a better user experience.

Types of Lazy Loading Techniques

  1. Native Lazy Loading: 

This technique is supported by most modern browsers and enables the lazy loading of images without the use of plugins or scripts. The loading attribute is used to indicate which images should be lazily loaded.

  1. BJ Lazy Load: 

This plugin allows for the lazy loading of images, including background images, iframes, and placeholders. The plugin uses jQuery to load images as they come into view.

  1. A3 Lazy Load: 

This plugin offers a range of lazy loading options, including the ability to lazy load background images. The plugin is compatible with most WordPress themes and offers customizable settings.

  1. Lazy Load XT: 

This script offers a lightweight and flexible solution for lazy loading images, including background images. The script uses a loading attribute to indicate which images should be lazily loaded.

  1. RabbitLoader:

This is one of the best plugins to use, RabbitLoader automatically chooses the best way to optimize your youtube/Vimeo videos, google maps or any other iframe-embedded content which keeps your LCP and CLS scores healthy.

You have to set all these plugins manually and decide what settings you want to use these for or you can use plugins like RabbitLoader that can do all this automatically for you to make your website faster. 

FAQs:

How to Choose the Best Plugin for Our Website?

One has to choose the plugin best suited for your website by looking at the requirements of the website and comparing them with the available plugins to decide which one is the best. Or if one doesn’t want to give so much time to choose the best-suited plugin they can just use RabbitLoader which will automatically make the best-suited optimisations for your website.

Lazy Load Background Images

Why Use Lazy Load Background Images?

Improves Page Load Time: By only loading images as they come into view, lazy load background images reduce the amount of data that needs to be downloaded, leading to faster page load times.

Better User Experience: Users don’t have to wait for all images to load before they can start interacting with a webpage. Lazy loading images allows users to access content quickly and improves the overall user experience.

  1. Improves Core Web Vitals:

Core Web Vitals is a set of metrics that Google uses to measure website performance. One of these metrics is the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), which measures the time it takes for the largest element on a webpage to load. Lazy loading background images can significantly improve LCP and other Core Web Vitals.

  1. Compatible with Older Browsers: 

Lazy load background images can be used on older browsers by using a fallback mechanism like the picture or image tag. This ensures that users with older browsers can still access your website’s content.

  1. Improving the Visual Appeal of the Webpage:

One specific application of lazy loading is with background images. Background images are commonly used in website design to enhance the visual appeal of a page, 

but they can also increase the page’s loading time.

By implementing lazy load background images, only the images that are visible on the user’s screen will be loaded, which can reduce the overall page load time and improve the user experience.

Lazy Load Background Images,Image Lazy loading
  1. Improves Experience of Mobile Users:

In addition to improving page load times, lazy load background images can also benefit mobile users who may have slower internet connections or limited data plans. By reducing the amount of data that needs to be loaded, users on mobile devices can browse more efficiently and with less frustration.

Lazy Load Background Images,mobile view lazy load

It’s important to note that lazy load background images should be implemented correctly in order to achieve the desired performance improvements. Careful consideration should be given to the order in which images are loaded and the timing and size of each image. 

These optimisations can be done manually over a time-consuming process, or tools like RabbitLoader can be used that make these optimizations automatically and save you a lot of time

By optimizing the lazy loading process, website owners can improve their page speed and provide a better user experience for their visitors

View more: Cumulative Layout Shift 

How to Implement Lazy Load Background Images

  1. WordPress Plugin:

 If your website is built on WordPress, there are several lazy-loading plugins available that can be used to implement lazy-loading background images. One of the most popular plugins is RabbitLoader.

  1. CSS Background Images: 

To implement lazy load background images using CSS, you can use the data-src attribute to set the image’s source. Then, use JavaScript to switch the attribute to src when the image is in the viewport.

  1. Eager Loading:

Eager loading is another technique that can be used with lazy loading. Eager loading involves loading all images at once, rather than waiting for the user to scroll down the page. This can improve the initial page load time, but it can also slow down the time it takes for subsequent pages to load. Eager loading is typically used on smaller websites with fewer images.

FAQs:

What is a WordPress Plugin?

A WordPress plugin is a piece of software that when added to your WordPress site increases its functionality 

Largest Contentful Paint

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) is a Core Web Vital metric that measures the time it takes for the largest content element on a page to become visible. This element could be an image or a block of text, for example. LCP is important because it’s a key indicator of how quickly a user can interact with a page. By applying lazy load background images, website owners can improve their LCP score and provide a better user experience.

FAQs:

What is a Good LCP Score?

A good LCP score is always lesser than or equal to 2.5 seconds or lower, a higher LCP score than 2.5 seconds means that your website is slow and can have a negative impact on the user experience.

Lazy Load Background Images, LCP, Largest
 Contentful Paint

Background Images and Lazy Loading:

In addition to Lazy Load background images, website owners can also Lazy Load background images. Background images are often used for design elements, such as headers or banners, and can be large in file size. By using lazy loading on background images, website owners can improve their page load times and provide a better user experience.

Older Browsers:

While lazy loading is a powerful technique for improving website performance, it’s important to note that it may not be supported by older browsers. If your website caters to users who may be using older browsers, it’s important to test whether lazy load background images work on these browsers or provide an alternative solution to Lazy Load background images.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, the lazy load of background images is an efficient way to optimize website performance and improve user experience. By loading images only when they are needed, we can reduce the initial page load time and improve the website’s overall speed. This is especially important for mobile users who may have slower internet connections or limited data plans.

Additionally, lazy load background images can help reduce the amount of data that is loaded when a user first accesses the website, which can help reduce bandwidth costs for website owners. It can also reduce the strain on servers, making the website more scalable and reliable.

Overall, implementing lazy load background images is a simple yet effective way to improve website performance and enhance user experience. By reducing load times and optimizing bandwidth usage, website owners can provide a better experience for their users and achieve better results for their businesses.