Lazy Loading Images: How It Works [Infographic]

Learn how lazy loading images can improve your website speed and user experience with this easy-to-follow infographic.
Lazy Loading Images: How It Works [Infographic]

Images are essential for any website, but they can also slow down the page loading speed and affect the user experience. That's why many web developers use a technique called lazy loading images, which means loading images only when they are needed, not all at once.

Lazy loading images can improve the website performance, reduce the bandwidth consumption, and save the device's resources. It can also enhance the user engagement, as users don't have to wait for a long time to see the content they are interested in.

Lazy Loading Images Infographic

To help you understand better how lazy loading images works and why it is beneficial, we have created an infographic that shows the difference of page with and without lazy loading. You can see it below:

Lazy Loading Images: How It Works explained [Infographic]
lazy-loading-images.png 161kb

This infographic is available on CC BY 4.0, which stands for Creative Commons Attribution 4.0. This means that you are free to share, copy, distribute and transmit the work, as long as you give appropriate credit. Link back to this page.

How to Implement Lazy Loading

There are different ways to implement lazy loading images on a website, depending on the type of images and the browser support. Here are some of the most common methods:

  • Using browser-level lazy loading: This is a native feature supported by some modern browsers, such as Chrome and Firefox. It allows you to add a loading="lazy" attribute to <img> and <iframe> elements, which tells the browser to load them only when they are in or near the viewport. This is the simplest and most efficient way to lazy load images, but it may not work on older browsers or devices.
  • Using Intersection Observer API: This is a JavaScript API that lets you monitor the visibility of an element on the page. You can use it to check if an image is in the viewport, and then load it dynamically by changing its src or srcset attribute. This method is more compatible across browsers than the native lazy loading, but it requires some coding skills and polyfills for older browsers.
  • Using JavaScript events: This is a traditional way of lazy loading images using event handlers such as scroll or resize. You can use them to detect when an image is close to the viewport, and then load it by changing its src or srcset attribute. This method works on most browsers, but it can be less performant and efficient than the other methods, as it may cause unnecessary reflows and repaints on the page.
  • Using CSS background images: This is a way of lazy loading images that are set as the background of an HTML element, such as a <div> or a <section>. You can use media queries or JavaScript to change the background-image property of the element based on its visibility or screen size. This method can be useful for responsive design, but it may not work well for images that need to be accessible or SEO-friendly.
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