Sep 17, 2010 6
Lazy Load will display images (content) that are on the visible portion of the web page, images that are outside of the visible are of the page are not loaded until the user scrolls down the page – this is when Lazy Load will load those images. The idea is to save page load time. Since the images outside of the visible area are not loaded until the user scrolls to them, load time is saved. Let’s see we’re looking at a blog that displays 20 articles on a page and has several images in each post. When we load the page, we’re probably only seeing the first 2 articles on top, while we’d have to scroll down to see the rest of the posts. Well, since we’re not actively looking at the rest of the posts at that time, then we wouldn’t need the images within those posts loaded, right? We’d only need to see those images when we scroll down the page to view those posts. That’s the great idea behind this tool, it will load the images outside of the active visible area of the browser when the user scrolls down to that part of the web page. Load time is saved because those images outside the active visible area of the page are simply not loaded, but are waiting to be loaded when the user gets to that part of the page.
Ok, so now we know how great this idea is, and how wonderful of a tool we have here. Now we’re going to focus on the plugin for WordPress that implements this tool. I recently installed this plugin and noticed only 1 thing it was missing – a setting to target elements. Why do we need this setting? Well, if you’ve installed this plugin and used it, you’ll notice that some images that are in the active visible area of the screen aren’t loading until the user scrolls to the bottom of the page (actually, to the bottom of the main content area – the posts.) An example of this would be a sidebar, and this is because the HTML for that sidebar would come after the HTML for the main posts – towards the bottom of the page. Even though the HTML for that sidebar is at the bottom of the page, CSS will bring it to the top (if that’s how your layout is being displayed.)