Are you looking for the best lazy load plugins for WordPress? In this article, we will share some of the top lazy load plugins you need for better image optimization. So, keep reading this article if you need to boost your website’s performance by optimizing your images with lazy loading.
But first, let’s see what lazy loading is and why we should lazy load images in WordPress.
What is Lazy Loading?
Lazy loading is a web development technique used to optimize images for better speed and performance. What lazy loading does is it will only load the images that are in the user’s view. So in the initial page load, all the photos won’t be loaded. So, the server will load the post almost instantly. Now, as the visitor starts scrolling, further images will be loaded as they come into the screen.
On the contrary, if you don’t have lazy loading, all the images on the post will be loaded at once. Now, if your post has too many high-resolution images, it will drastically increase the load on the server, which in turn slows down the page load speed.
Now we all know that if a post takes too much time to load, the visitors will start leaving the website. This can also result in a high bounce rate.
So, that was lazy loading. Now let’s see some of the benefits of lazy loading.
Benefits of Lazy Loading
The main benefit of lazy loading is improving your website’s overall loading time. Since Google uses page speed as a ranking factor, so if you need to rank higher than your competitors, you need to be faster.
A good web hosting company will certainly help you with a speed-optimized server. Besides good hosting, a caching plugin and lazy loading can greatly improve the overall speed and performance.
When you enable lazy loading and similar features, the HTTP requests sent to the server will be reduced. However, having multiple external files like YouTube videos and images from external sources will add extra load to the server.
This is where you need to have lazy loading.
Lazy loading will take care of the image serving and gives you and the visitor an optimized experience. Therefore, enabling this feature inside your WordPress website is highly recommended.
Knowing its importance, WordPress decided to offer the lazy loading feature natively in the WordPress 5.5 update. So, let’s see how the native lazy loading of WordPress works.
WordPress Native Lazy Loading
As the name suggests, the developers have added lazy loading as an inbuilt function, and anyone with the latest WordPress CMS can use it without additional tools or plugins.
What WordPress does is they will add a “lazy” attribute and set “loading” as the value by default. You do not need to modify anything. Once you have updated WordPress to the latest version, this feature will be enabled on your website out of the box.
But if you need to turn it off, you can use a snippet like this:
add_filter( 'wp_lazy_loading_enabled', '__return_false' );
This will disable the native loading feature. However, you can choose a plugin for lazy loading or use the inbuilt function. You will have total control over it. Next, let’s see which method would be preferred for adding lazy loading to a WordPress website.
Why We Prefer Lazy Load Plugins over Native Lazy Loading?
We (and most people) prefer using lazy-loading plugins over the native lazy-loading feature. Wondering why?
When you choose WordPress as the CMS (Content Management System), you will have total control over the website. Since the inbuilt lazy loading is a new feature and supports only lazy loading as the core function, there is room for improvement. If you check the most popular plugins, they offer more than just lazy loading.
Some plugins will help you optimize the images by compressing, resizing, and so on. So if you prefer a complete solution to optimize your WordPress images, lazy load plugins can be the best choice.
You can also exclude specific images from lazy loading and make it more admin friendly.
Next up, let’s see the best lazy load plugins for WordPress.
Best Lazy Load Plugins for WordPress
Below, we will list some of the finest WordPress plugins for adding lazy loading feature to your WordPress site. They are:
- a3 Lazy Load
- Lazy Load for Videos
- LazyLoad by WP Rocket
Let’s see each plugin and what it offers without any further ado.
1) a3 Lazy Load
If you are looking for a dedicated lazy loading plugin for your WordPress website, you will need a3 Lazy Load. A3 Lazy Load is a popular lazy loading plugin in the market. It has many valuable features you can use to speed up the image serving. The plugin is compatible with the native lazy loading but also lets you disable the native lazy loading.
With a3 Lazy Load, you can lazy load posts, pages, CPT images, and widget images. Apart from photos, you can also lazy load your embedded videos. The iframe embedding feature will let you lazy load Google maps, Facebook embeds, Google+ profiles, and so on.
A3 Lazy Load is also compatible with the most popular WordPress plugins such as Jetpack, Elementor, WPTouch, WooCommerce, Advanced Custom Fields, and CDN providers Cloudflare, Jetpack accelerator, Cloudfront, and so on. So, you will make the most of the features and boost the overall image performance.
Apart from the third-party plugins, a3 Lazy Load will also support RTL. Moreover, the plugin is translation-ready so that anyone can translate it into a different language. There will be absolutely no problems with that.
- iframe lazy loading
- AMP compatible
- RTL support
- Compatible with most plugins
a3 Lazy Load is a free WordPress plugin.
2) Lazy Load for Videos
If you have too many Youtube or Vimeo video embeds on your site, this plugin is for you. As you know, adding too many YouTube and Vimeo videos to the page can create additional HTTP requests and increase the server load. That’s where Lazy Load for Videos can be helpful. It is a dedicated lazy load plugin built for optimizing videos.
You can also use the lazy load feature on videos you have added to a text widget. To improve things, you can remove the suggestion of the related video after playing the current embedded video. This will keep your visitors engaged with only your content.
Besides lazy load, another feature you will love is the custom color picker for the Vimeo player. It allows you to pick colors for the Vimeo player according to your brand colors.
Moreover, you can remove unwanted things like the subscription box to keep the users from distracting. Apart from that, you can also hide the YouTube player controls. On top of all, you can add custom CSS via the admin panel. Lastly, the plugin will work with multisite and all popular plugins, so there will be no compatibility issues.
In total, Lazy Load for videos is an excellent plugin if you have many videos embedded and need to optimize them.
- Compatible with YouTube and Vimeo
- Titles on preview images
- Custom color picker
- Lazy load videos inside text widgets
- Disable related videos after playing the current video
Lazy Load for Videos is a completely free plugin.
Besides minification, Autoptimize can help you optimize serving Google Fonts. As you know, using Google Fonts will make additional HTTP requests, which can reduce the overall performance. With the Autoptimize Google Font optimization feature, you can easily solve this issue. Moreover, you can also extend the plugin’s functionality by following their API guides.
Coming to lazy loading, you can optimize WebP and AVIF formatted images with their lazy loading feature. The process will be automated, and you do not need to do any extra configurations once you have configured the lazy load settings. However, the Autoptimize team recommends using an additional WordPress caching plugin for better optimization and performance.
Lastly, the plugin will be compatible with most WordPress themes and plugins in the market, so there will be no conflicts.
Autoptimize is one of the free WordPress lazy load plugins. So, you can enjoy all the cool features absolutely free.
If you are looking for a dedicated plugin for managing your images and optimizing them, you need to use Optimole. Optimole is a feature-rich image optimization plugin that will help you boost your site’s performance by processing images faster.
This is a fully automated system, so you can forget it once you have configured it. The best part about Optinmole is the global CDN. Optinmole comes with a free global CDN server to boost the speed of image serving.
Moreover, its impressive image compression feature lets you reduce image size without compromising the quality of the picture. Whenever a visitor lands on your website, all the images will be processed in real time and served without delay.
On top of all this, the developers created a stats page to help monitor the tool. You can see how the plugin performs and how much storage space/bandwidth has been saved. Optimole will serve every screen size, making it one of WordPress’s popular lazy load plugins.
- Detailed stats
- New lazy loading technique
- Free global CDN
- Faster processing
- Image compression
Optimole is a freemium WordPress plugin. You can get the free version tool from the WordPress plugin repository. However, if you need more advanced and unique features, you need to purchase their premium version. The subscription starts at $22.52 a month.
5) LazyLoad by WP Rocket
The team behind WP Rocket created the LazyLoad plugin, one of the lightweight lazy-loading plugins for WordPress. The plugin does not use the standard jQuery method for lazy loading. Instead, it uses a custom technology that will add only 10 KB to your website’s total size. Hence, it will not cause issues with the website’s speed or performance.
With the LazyLoad plugin, you can use lazy load your images, videos, or iFrames. For example, when adding lazy loading to a YouTube or Vimeo video, the plugin will display only a thumbnail of the video. This will help the server reduce the HTTP requests sent out and drastically boost the overall load time. Besides, the plugin can lazy load images available in the posts, widgets, thumbnails, avatars, or smilies.
You can remove the lazy loading feature from posts with some snippets if you want. This gives the user more control over the plugin.
With an easy-to-use dashboard, the LazyLoad plugin by WP Rocket can be considered one of the best lazy load plugins for WordPress.
- Easy to use
- iFrame lazy loading
- Multiple lazy-loading objects
LazyLoad by WP Rocket is a free WordPress plugin.
6) Smush – Lazy Load Images
Smush is another all-in-one solution for image compression and optimization. The tool can be one of the best options to improve your image optimization and boost overall performance. With the lazy loading feature, you can process any image you want. They will not restrict anything, and you can lazy load as many images as you wish.
Image resizing is another feature most people find helpful. Apart from that, the image-compressing part is prevalent and can significantly reduce your server’s storage space.
They have developed a neat smush feature, and with it, you can compress images 2X as the competitor image compression tools/plugins without losing the quality. There are multiple compression techniques so that you can pick any method. Plus, they can compress images on the go when you upload them to your media library.
Apart from images, you can also compress your directory with the Smush plugin. If the photos are not in the media library, you can pick random directories and Smush all available pictures. On top of that, the tool is compatible with multisite. So if you use a multisite, there won’t be any conflict.
- Image compression
- Image resizing
- Lazy loading
- Directory smush
- Multisite compatible
Smush is a freemium tool. A free version plugin with limited features is available in the WordPress repository. However, if you are looking for more features, you might want to choose the premium tool. The premium subscription starts at $7.5 a month.
As you can see, lazy loading is one of the most straightforward and innovative techniques to improve the overall WordPress website’s speed. Furthermore, you could easily use it with your existing speed optimization techniques.
When integrating the lazy loading feature into your WordPress site, you might want to choose a plugin rather than native lazy loading. This article showcased some of the finest WordPress plugins you can rely on.
Optimole and Smush are feature-rich WordPress plugins with a dedicated support team and premium subscription. On the other hand, Autoptimize is a free tool with a handful of features. It is an excellent tool to use with your regular WordPress caching plugin. Lastly, if you prefer a lightweight tool for adding lazy loading, feel free to use LazyLoad by WP Rocket.
We hope this article helps you in choosing the right plugin for your needs. If you liked the post, you might want to check our blog archive for more related articles and tutorials.
Let us know which plugin you liked the most and will use on your site. Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Meanwhile, similar articles you might want to check:
- How to Add Product Image to WooCommerce Checkout
- Best WordPress Image Compression Plugins You Need to Try
- How to Lazy Load Images in WordPress