With images being amongst the most prevalent types of content on the websites today, page load time on websites can simply become a concern. And that’s what we discuss here today on how to improve website loading speed and make web pages load faster. Even when suitably optimized, images can weigh quite a little. This can cause issues on the time visitors have to anticipate before they can reach image content on your website. Probabilities are, they get irritable and navigate somewhere else except you come up with a solution to image loading that doesn’t conflict with the acumen of speed. In this article, we will discuss five approaches to lazy loading images that you can combine to your web optimization toolkit to enhance the user experience on your website by making the web pages load faster.
What Is Lazy Loading?
Lazy loading of images proposes loading images on websites asynchronously which means that, after the above-the-fold content is fully loaded, or even provisionally, only when they arrive in the browser’s viewport is almost like a website speed optimization tool. This signifies that if users don’t scroll down, images placed at the bottom of the page will not be loaded. A number of websites use this method to make web pages load faster, but it’s especially obvious on image-heavy sites. Try browsing your preferred websites for high-res photos, and you’ll soon apprehend how the website loads just a confined number of images. For example, on Unsplash scrolling that part of the page into view triggers the replacement of a placeholder with a full resolution photo.
Why Should You Care About Lazy Loading Images?
- Native Lazy Loading
Native lazy loading of images is not anymore straightforward than the markup below:
<img src=”myimage.jpg” loading=”lazy” alt=”…” />
<iframe src=”content.html” loading=”lazy”></iframe>
As you can see, this is just plain old HTML.
The loading attribute gives us the alternative to delay off-screen images and iframes until users scroll to their location on the page. The attribute loading can take any of these three values as mentioned below.
- lazy: works for lazy loading
- eager: load the specified content right away
- auto: leaves the option to browser to lazy load or not
This method is a clean and simple way to improve website loading speed. However, although at the time of writing most major browsers have good support for this loading attribute, still not all browsers are on board.
- Lazy Loading Using the Intersection Observer API
The Intersection Observer API is an advanced interface that you can leverage for lazy loading images and other such contents to make web pages load faster. The Intersection Observer API gives a way to asynchronously recognize changes in the intersection of a target element with a top-level document’s viewport. In other words, one can say that what’s being asynchronously observed is the intersection of one element with another. Here’s what his solution looks like.
If you want to lazy load an image then the markup would look like this:
<img data-src=”image.jpg” alt=”test image”>
Notice that the path to the image is contained inside a data-src attribute, instead of being at src attribute. The idea is that using src means the image would load directly on, which is not what we want for website speed optimization.
You can add Lozad with npmn and import it using your module bundler of choice as shown below:
npm install –save lozad
yarn add lozad
import lozad from ‘lozad’;
- Lazy Loading with Blurred Image Effect
If you’re a Medium reader, you will know what lazy loading is with a blurred image effect. Here the first thing you see is a blurred, low-resolution copy of the picture and there by the website achieves website speed optimization. The high-res version will be lazy-loaded and make the web page load faster.
Yall is a fully-packed, lazy-loading script for images, videos, and iframes. More specifically, it uses the Intersection Observer API for website speed optimization. When introducing Yall in your document, you need to initialize it as follows:
Following, to lazy load a simple img element, all you will require to do in your markup is:
<img class=”lazy” src=”placeholder.jpg” data-src=”image-to-lazy-load.jpg” alt=”Alternative text to describe image.”>
And now you have the five ways of lazy loading images you can begin to experiment with and test out in your projects to improve the website loading speed. Meanwhile for any website development services in Vancouver and Toronto feel free to contact the best web developers there, Skyhidev.