What is Lazy Loading?
“Slow loading is never accepted by the audience, but what if it benefits us?”
Loading or buffering is often frustrating for users when using any website or application. But at times, the slow loading of contents can help the audience decide which content they want to focus on.
To give an example, when a user visits a website it may have various images and contents the user is looking for. This leads to bandwidth wastages and other losses due to downloading all the content that isn't necessary.
This is where lazy loading helps the users. To define it, lazy loading is a process through which the user can download the contents of the web page when accessing. This is instead of bulk loading the entire page content.
How does lazy loading work?
The entire page does not need to be downloaded when a user visits the page. There are chances that the user may exit the page without reading.
In such cases, lazy loading benefits the audience greatly and when implemented this is how it works.
The user enters the page and starts scrolling through the contents of the page.
When an image is detected while browsing, the original image is replaced by a placeholder image.
Upon reaching the image content, the placeholder image will be replaced by the original content, which will be visible to the user.
The main idea behind lazy loading is that an additional image of the same size duplicates the original content. The image is downloaded only when the user reaches the location of the image.
Benefits of lazy loading
Is lazy loading important? There are a lot of reasons and benefits when lazy loading is implemented in web pages. It greatly optimizes the performance and speed of the website.
Reduces load time The length of the web page differs according to the content present in it. The amount of data present will influence the amount of time needed for the page to fully load.
If lazy loading is implemented it reduces the load time of the web page. Only when the user reaches the desired location are the contents downloaded, thus decreasing the time required for loading the contents.
Increases customer retention When load time is reduced by implementing lazy loading, the efficiency of the website is enhanced. This offers a better user experience for customers.
Customer retention is the process through which users return to the website, thus increasing the number of customers. When lazy loading is implemented, the contents of the website are continuously delivered to users without any interruption and thus increasing customer retention.
Saves data and bandwidth Excessive bandwidth usage and loss of data packages are a daily stress for all users. The moment the users enter the page all contents start to download thus using up all the data. Wasting data for something that isn’t necessary is not fair, is it?
But this doesn’t happen when lazy loading is implemented. Because the contents or images are downloaded only when the user needs to access them. If you are worried about wasting data, it doesn’t happen anymore.
Does lazy loading benefit SEO?
This is a question that has to be analyzed. Loading times for websites can affect their ranking in search engine results.
The process of lazy loading is to replace the original content within the website by creating a placeholder. It is like duplicating the contents of the website. When this occurs, it is difficult to distinguish between the contents.
There are possibilities for the search engines to get confused with the contents in the web pages where the lazy load is implemented. If this happens, search engines will result in fewer searches when someone looks for the same content in the engine.
If you don’t want this confusion to occur on your web page, then all you can do is to provide internal or external links related to the lazy load content. By doing so, the search engine will start prioritizing your website and it will show up in the results when searching is done.
When to use lazy loading?
There aren’t any specifications regarding when and where lazy loading has to be implemented. You can use all types of web content and digital products because lazy loading can help in optimizing and increasing the performance of the website.
But you should test and run the analysis by using lazy loading. If the implementation improves the user experience on the website, then it is suitable for your website.
To give an example of the best lazy loading implementation, Google comes to mind. Google's application implements this technique so that images don't get loaded when the user visits the page.
Google displays only duplicate placeholder images and they are only displayed when you scroll down. One more useful feature is that to download additional images it offers you a button at the bottom.
Consequently, only the content the user needs to see is downloaded, otherwise, it remains the same.
Lazy loading is a very effective way for reducing the load time, bandwidth used, data packages wasted and much more. When people get stressed by loading and buffering, this is a better way of utilizing the contents of the web pages.
When a website takes a long time to load, users get frustrated and leave right away. But with lazy loading it won't happen since you don't have to download all the contents and this increases the performance of the web page.