Lazy loading is a technique that improves the performance and speed of your WordPress website by only loading the images and videos that are visible to the user. This way, your site doesn’t have to download all the media files at once, which can slow down the loading time and consume more bandwidth.
In this blog post, I will show you how to add lazy load function to WordPress pages using three different methods: upgrading to WordPress 5.4 or higher, enabling native lazy loading through the browser, or installing a plugin.
Method 1: Upgrade to WordPress 5.4 or Higher
The easiest way to add lazy load function to WordPress pages is to upgrade your WordPress version to 5.4 or higher. WordPress 5.4 and newer versions include lazy loading images by default, so you don’t have to do anything else.
However, this method has some drawbacks. First, it doesn’t allow you to configure which images to lazy load, so your website may overuse the feature and cause content buffering or slow scrolling. Second, it doesn’t support lazy loading videos, which can also affect your site speed and performance.
To upgrade your WordPress version, go to Dashboard > Updates and click on Update Now. Make sure you backup your site before updating.
Method 2: Enable Native Lazy Loading Through the Browser
Another way to add lazy load function to WordPress pages is to enable native lazy loading through the browser. This means that the browser will decide when to load the images and videos based on its own criteria, such as the distance from the viewport or the network conditions.
To enable native lazy loading through the browser, you need to add a loading attribute to your image and video tags. The loading attribute supports three values: auto, lazy, and eager.
– Auto: triggers default lazy loading, which is the same as not including a loading attribute.
– Lazy: delays the loading of the assets until they reach a certain distance from the viewport.
– Eager: loads the assets immediately, regardless of their position on the page.
For example, if you want to lazy load an image, you can add loading=”lazy” to its tag:
<img src=”image.jpg” alt=”Image” loading=”lazy”>
You can also use a plugin like Autoptimize or WP Rocket to automatically add the loading attribute to your images and videos.
However, this method also has some limitations. First, it depends on the browser support, which may vary across different devices and platforms. Second, it doesn’t give you much control over how and when to load the assets, which may affect your user experience and SEO.
Method 3: Install a Plugin
The third and most flexible way to add lazy load function to WordPress pages is to install a plugin. There are many plugins that can help you lazy load your images and videos, such as a3 Lazy Load, Lazy Load by WP Rocket, Smush, or Jetpack.
These plugins allow you to customize various aspects of lazy loading, such as:
– Which images and videos to lazy load
– The distance from the viewport for triggering lazy loading
– The placeholder image or animation for lazy loading
– The compatibility with other plugins and features
– The exclusion of certain pages or posts from lazy loading
To install a plugin for lazy loading, go to Plugins > Add New and search for the plugin name. Then click on Install Now and Activate.
For example, if you want to use a3 Lazy Load, you can install it from the WordPress repository and then go to Settings > a3 Lazy Load to configure its options.
Lazy loading is a great way to improve your WordPress site speed and performance by only loading the images and videos that are visible to the user. You can add lazy load function to WordPress pages using three different methods: upgrading to WordPress 5.4 or higher, enabling native lazy loading through the browser, or installing a plugin.
Each method has its own advantages and disadvantages, so you need to choose the one that suits your needs and preferences. You can also test your site speed before and after adding lazy load function using tools like GTmetrix or Pingdom.
I hope this blog post was helpful for you. 🙂