WordPress lazy load: Choosing the best plugin for the job

There is nothing more frustrating for users than waiting for a website to upload. More sites are getting packed with videos and images, each image requiring a new HTTP request. WordPress lazy load is the easy-to-install solution to speed up any such image-packed website.

When designing our wpDataTables website, we also considered the possibility of this complication, since we use a lot of images and videos.

What is lazy load? Lazyload means that video, images, or iframes load only as they enter the viewport and the remaining images will load as the viewers scroll down your website page. That will significantly improve your site’s loading times and prevent users from leaving your website.

Benefits of Lazy Load

The evident advantage of WordPress Lazy Load is faster loading times. Since you are only loading a portion of your page, its content will show up faster in the browser. Subsequently, visitors use less bandwidth, which is a great benefit for those on a mobile data connection.

Therefore, your visitors will not only be able to access your website quickly, but they will also save on their mobile data plan: why use up their data traffic on loading images they don’t need or want to see? A lazy load plugin is a dually beneficial technique all image-heavy sites need.

Downsides of Lazy Load

Lazyloading is not a search engine friendly technique all the time because you are not only delaying loading content for your users, you are also delaying loading content for search engine crawlers, i.e., search engines will not index part or all of that content. Not good for SEO!

When WordPress lazy load is used to delay loading posts, not just images, is a big problem.

Another downside of lazy images is reducing the quality of your users’ experience. Everyone has experienced the lazy load secondary effect when scrolling down a page very quickly. In the process, actual visuals replace placeholder images, and page content often jumps.

As long as you use WordPress lazy load cleverly and keep tabs on SEO and user experience, you will reap only the benefits of lazy loading. Read more on how to lazy load images, the best WordPress lazy load plugin for your website, and WordPress lazy load images.

“I am against lazy loading. To me it results in a bad UX.” says, Jerry Low at Web Hosting Secrets Revealed, “My solution has always been to use a simple JavaScript trick to defer image load.

This is especially important if you have an image-heavy page. The last thing you want is for users who are scrolling down quickly to find themselves staring at a blank screen.”

Enabling LazyLoad on WordPress

The lazyload technique is easy to enable on any WordPress website using a WordPress Lazy Load plugin. There are plenty of lazy loading WordPress plugins that you can choose from and here are some of the most popular ones:

  1. Speed Up – Lazy Load

This plugin, implementing the “Lazy Load” technique, avoids the download of pictures and iframe that are not displayed on the screen (for example, images in the bottom of the page) until the user will display them. This improves the load speed of the page and saves the bandwidth.

  1. BJ Lazy Load

BJLazy Load, or BJLoad, is the best Lazy Load plugin if you want to lazy load images and replace them with placeholders. Selected images can be Gravatar images, post images, thumbnails, or iFrames. You can also customize some settings, including placeholder selection.

BJLazy is a WordPress Lazy Load plugin that caters to size-optimized images, i.e., it delivers automatically images reduced in size in responsive designs and provides hiDPI images for the retina display of Apple, and other hiDPI screens.

  1. Zedna WP Image Lazy Load

Decreasing page load time by progressive loading of images and other elements. They will load just when reaching visible part of the screen.

Plugin affects these elements:

  1. <img> element
  2. CSS property background-image
  3. responsive images with srcset attribute
  4. <iframe> element
  5. <video> element


  • reduce up to 90% of page load time, depends on elements amount
  • compatible with Visual Composer
  • you can choose to skip all iframes or just one in a specific element
  • you can choose to skip specific elements with some class
  • you can show elements earlier or later that are visible on the screen
  • optional fade-in animation
  1. a3 Lazy Load

a3 Lazy Load is a Mobile-Oriented, very simple to use plugin that will speed up the site page load speed. The more content-heavy your site the better the plugin will perform and the more you will see the improvements in performance.

  1. Rocket Lazy Load

Rocket Lazy Load is an easy-to-install and activate WordPress Lazy Load plugin that allows your website to display all the images in any post/widget as well as avatars, thumbnails, and emoticons while users scroll down the page.

Rocket Lazy Load is not only a very small, taking less than 2 kb, but it is also an option-less and non-customizable lazy load images WordPress script.

  1. Crazy Lazy

Crazy Lazy helps increase the performance of your blog or website by displaying images efficiently. When a page would usually display some images, Crazy Lazy will prevent those images to load. Only when a user scrolls down the page and reaches the position where an image actually should be displayed, that particular image will be loaded from the server.

  1. Ajax Load More

Designed with infinite scrolling in mind, Ajax Load More is a lazy load plugin that can be adapting to lazy loading pages, posts, as well as comments based on queries powered by Ajax. Some of the Ajax Load More features include the shortcode builder for custom WP queries, as well as compatibility with Easy Digital Downloads and WooCommerce. In essence, Ajax Load More is also a good plugin if you are looking to lazy load e-commerce sites.

  1. Lazy Load for Videos

This plugin improves page load times and increases your Google PageSpeed Score. It replaces embedded Youtube and Vimeo videos with a clickable preview image.
By loading the videos only when the user clicks on the preview image – using jQuery –, no unnecessary JavaScript is loaded. Especially on sites with many embedded videos this will make your visitors happy.

  1. Images LazyLoad and Slideshow

This WordPress lazy load plugin is packed with excellent features such as lazy load for images and the gallery slideshow and lightbox effects for designated images. With this plugin, you can add the effects without sacrificing your page loading speed.

Image LazyLoad and Slideshow also has the option of adding custom CSS and tracking codes and custom HTML.

FAQ on WordPress lazy load plugins

How do WordPress lazy load plugins improve website performance?

Well, here’s the thing. When a visitor lands on your website, they don’t need every image or video loading all at once, right? Lazy load plugins defer the loading of certain media until the user scrolls to them.

This technique reduces server requests and speeds up the initial page load. A faster site not only provides a better user experience (UX) but can also give you a slight boost in SEO. Remember, no one likes waiting forever for a site to load!

Why would someone want to use lazy loading in the first place?

Ever experienced a slow-loading site and got frustrated? Me too. Lazy loading is a performance optimization tool that ensures only the above the fold content (the stuff you see first) loads instantly.

The rest? It waits its turn. This makes sure your site visitors don’t bounce away because of slow loading times. Plus, it’s a cool way to conserve bandwidth.

Are there any SEO benefits to using lazy load plugins?

Absolutely! Google PageSpeed Insights and other tools value fast-loading websites. Faster sites can rank higher in search results.

When you optimize images for web and reduce page load time with lazy loading, search engines take note. It’s not the end-all, be-all of SEO, but it’s a key part of the puzzle when it comes to WordPress performance optimization.

Do these plugins also work with videos or just images?

Great question! While most people think of images when they hear “lazy load,” many plugins also cater to videos. Using lazy load with videos means they won’t play or even load until they’re in view.

This asynchronous loading method can be a game-changer, especially if you have a lot of video content. So, in short, both images and videos can benefit!

How does lazy loading impact mobile sites?

Now, this is crucial. With more folks browsing on their phones, a mobile-optimized site is a must. Lazy loading plays a significant role here. It ensures that your site is snappy, even on mobile devices.

It does so by using responsive images and adjusting the content that’s loaded based on device type. Think about it: the less a mobile device has to load upfront, the smoother the browsing experience.

Is there a downside to using lazy load plugins?

Ah, the age-old “is there a catch” question. Well, like everything, there’s always a potential downside. Sometimes, if not done right, lazy loading might disrupt the user experience.

For instance, if images pop in too late, it can be jarring. Also, if you’ve got third-party content or scripts, there might be compatibility issues. It’s essential to test any plugin thoroughly before fully committing.

How do I choose the best lazy load plugin for my site?

Research, research, research! Always check out reviews, and maybe even see if there are any articles comparing the best lazy load plugins reviews.

Each plugin might offer unique features or have a particular focus, such as image compression for WordPress or better mobile performance. Find the one that aligns best with your needs. And, as always, a little trial and error doesn’t hurt!

Can I use lazy load with my content delivery network (CDN)?

You bet! Lazy loading and CDNs can work hand in hand. A content delivery network basically distributes your site’s content across multiple servers worldwide.

Combined with lazy loading, you get an optimized, super-speedy website. Just ensure your chosen plugin plays nicely with your CDN, and you’re golden.

Does lazy loading affect the way images appear on my site?

In theory, no. Lazy loading just delays the loading of images until they’re in the viewport. Your images should still appear the same once they’ve loaded.

However, it’s the transition that might vary. Some plugins offer smooth fade-ins; others might have a more abrupt appearance. But in the grand scheme of things, it’s all about faster load times and improving website user experience (UX).

What if I want to exclude certain images from lazy loading?

Oh, you absolutely can. Many plugins offer the option to exclude specific images or content from lazy loading.

Maybe there’s a crucial image or above the fold content you want to load immediately. Simply adjust the plugin settings, and you should be good to go! It’s all about tweaking things to your preference, after all.

Ending thoughts on the best WordPress lazy load plugins

Images are usually to blame when websites take forever to load, and a site’s speed optimization is hence focused on optimizing loading times for images. However, you can’t deny the importance of images when it comes to adding value to a post or any other content.

A picture is worth a thousand words remain true in the internet era. User experience is very important, and you want users to remain on your website to see those amazing images that will blow their minds and make your content more relevant to them.

On the other hand, slow loading times frustrate users and drives them away. The solution is simple: WordPress Lazy Load plugin. A WordPress Lazy Load plugin is the only solution to add excellent loading times to an image and video-heavy website.

If you enjoyed reading this article on WordPress lazy load plugin, you should check out this one about how to leverage browser caching in WordPress.

We also wrote about a few related subjects like WordPress database plugin, how to speed up WordPress, WordPress cache plugin options and CDN services.

Bogdan Radusinovic
Bogdan Radusinovic

Senior SEO and Marketing Specialist

Articles: 137