According to data from HTTP Archive, over the last 5 years, the average website page has grown in size (in kilobytes) by 87% for desktop, and by 258% for mobile. On the desktop, the average webpage that was once under 1MB in 2013 is now over 1.7MB.
That is a lot of bytes for a website browser to download and render in order to display it to the visitor. These statistics show us that imagery and visual media usage is growing faster and has become a huge part of every website.
WordPress is the leading content management system that has made it easier to integrate media and incorporate media files on your website with utmost ease and flexibility. Ever since the release of WordPress 5.5 lazy load for images became a pivotal part of the update making it much easier to enable lazy load in WordPress for images.
Lazy loading allows your website to only load images when a user scrolls down to a specific image, which reduces website load time and improves website performance. For this reason, we decided to conduct an article on how to enable lazy load in WordPress for your images and media files.
The process is easy and simple, follow ou thorough guide and you’ll have no problem lazy loading your imagery and improving your site’s performance noticeably.
What is Lazy Loading and Why Enable it on your Site?
- The visitor’s web browser build the web page DOM without downloading images and loading videos
- Downloading and rendering videos and images are not done until the visitor scrolls down the page and that content comes into view for the visitor.
How to Enable Lazy Load in WordPress?
As with so many other website performance problems, when it comes to WordPress lazy load, there’s a plugin you can use to fix the problem. It is a known fact that the WordPress repository is large and diverse, you can find all the most capable free plugins that help you improve your website on all the various aspects whether that be website performance, website security, website design, and more.
For the purpose of this article, we will be showing you how you can enable lazy load in WordPress using some of the most powerful plugins and automate the process to make website management more efficient. While you concentrate on creating better content, you can have the plugins do the job in the background while your website’s performance it’s reaching its peak.
How to Lazy Load Images with WP Rocket?
The first plugin we are going to recommend that will help you enable lazy load in WordPress is WP Rocket. This is one of the best caching WordPress plugins that also integrated the feature of lazy loading for images and videos. Aside from that, it’s a very powerful plugin that helps you optimize your website speed without knowing complex technical terms.
WP Rocket is a premium WordPress plugin that offers all the most advanced features to improve your site’s performance out-of-the-box To enable image lazy loading, all you have to do is check a few boxes. You can even enable lazy loading for videos, which will improve your website speed even more.
To enable lazy load in WordPress using WP Rocket you will first need to install and activate the plugin from the WordPress dashboard. Once the plugin is installed, you will find it under the WordPress Dashboard.
Enable Lazy Loading Images with Lazy Load Plugin
Our section option to enable lazy load in WordPress is yet another amazing and powerful WordPress plugin like Lazy Load. This is a free WordPress plugin to lazy load images with utmost ease and efficiency. It is currently active on over 10,000 installs with a 4 out of 5-star rating.
If you are looking for a simple WordPress lazy load option with outstanding speed and optimization, this is a great choice. Like with WP Rocket to enable lazy load in WordPress the first step will be to install and activate the plugin from the WordPress repository.
Lazy Load for Videos
As you have guessed it Lazy Load for Videos is another amazing and free lazy load plugin for WordPress websites that adds lazy loading to Vimeo or YouTube videos embedded into your website. You can use this plugin to extend the native lazy loading feature that WordPress has made an integral part of its core function to lay load videos as well.
The way the plugin works is that it replaces the embedded videos with static, clickable thumbnails and only loads the videos if they are required to show on the visitor’s display. You can configure how the embeds work, for example, by specifying which player features to use. Simply install and activate the plugin from the WordPress repository.
Lazy Loading Impact on SEO
Seems like when you enable lazy load in WordPress your site’s performance will boost and you will improve your site’s speed. Because if your pages are loading fast, that means that your users are able to access your content and information as quickly as possible and they are satisfied with that.
But in that matter, we have one concern that needs to be addressed when you are trying to increase your site’s performance as well as keep your SEO on all the best practices. One thing you should keep in mind when selecting which lazy loading WordPress plugin you will use is that lazy loading impacts how your website is being crawled by search bots.
If your website will not load immediately search engines can not crawl the entire web page, thus resulting in your content being ignored or misinterpreted. You don’t want search engines to miss information on your site because it affects how your page ranks in the search results. What you should do in this case after you enable lazy load in WordPress is to double-check:
- You first have to check if Google is still crawling your media after you have set the process to lazy load images in WordPress. You can easily do that via the “Fetch as Google” tool in Google Search Console. If you can still see the images in the source code that means that the search engine is crawling your media files.
- The second approach you need to take after you enable lazy load in WordPress, although this is a general practice when optimizing your site’s SEO is to always write the alt text to yur images. If you haven’t been doing that, you need to get started as soon as possible. Alt text makes it possible to provide the right information about the content of your media files to the search bots that crawl your website.
These would be all our best tips and tricks on how to enable lazy load in WordPress and help you not only boost your site’s performance and loading time but also improve your site’s SEO to assist you to rank higher and gain visibility on search engines.
We have finally come to an end with our tutorial on how to enable lazy load in WordPress and hopefully, you are left with sufficient knowledge to implement the best practices on your website and ensure outstanding performance, especially for websites that rely heavily on media files like images and videos.
As much potential they have on your site’s success they also risk overburdening your website with tons of bytes. Lazy loading is just one technique you can use to optimize your WordPress website. However, it has the potential to have a profound impact on site speed if you use a lot of images and videos.
We have presented you a list of the best plugins to lazy load images and videos in WordPress. You can choose either one based o your budget, preference, or SEO impact. As we mentioned in our last section, when enabling lazy loading on your website you must also keep an eye on how it will affect your site’s SEO.
Follow our guidelines and make the right choice for your website. Leave in the comments below your favorite plugin to enable lazy load in WordPress.