A Guide To The New Google Native Lazyload Plugin For WordPress

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Providing a good user experience to website visitors has become essential for all webmasters. An interface that does not satisfy users will lose out on getting more conversions. One of the most important factors ensuring a good browsing experience is page loading speed. This, in turn, is affected by numerous other elements like the website code, hosting service, and content like media. Here we are talking about the new Google Native Lazyload plugin for WordPress. Lazy loading is a beneficial feature that is used by website owners to speed up their page loading speeds. It helps in providing a page faster to a visitor who can then go through it quickly. Let’s see how this new tool presented by Google can be a useful accessory for website owners. 

What Is The Lazy Loading Feature?

Lazy loading is a technique that involves loading an element only when a user actually needs it. Traditionally all the elements of a page are fully loaded before visitors can access it in a browser. In case, there are some large files on a page then it can cause the interface to load slowly. Instead of waiting too long for the page to render, most people will simply navigate to another option. Let’s say you have a website that has a homepage with large images below the fold. Now, imagine a scenario where a user needs to interact with an above-the-fold element. You will lose out on such visitors because they had to wait due to items they did not require.

Once lazy loading is enabled, an item is loaded only when the user scrolls down and reaches it. This means that all the content in the upper half is rendered almost immediately when requested by a visitor. This is helpful in creating an optimized user experience for your audience.

What Is The Native Lazyload Plugin?

In order to activate lazy loading on a website, custom JavaScript code needs to be executed. This becomes necessary because the feature is not available in users’ browsers. This means that if someone has disabled JavaScript in their browser, the activation of the feature will become useless. Moreover, not every page of an interface will contain large files like videos or adverts. JavaScript, if not used correctly can affect website performance adversely. This means that on pages that do not have code-intensive elements, inefficient JS scripts can cause the opposite effect and slow them down.

Google took a couple of steps to rectify the situation. First, at the end of July 2019, it released a new version of the Chrome browser that contains support for the native lazy loading feature. The second step it took was to release the new Google Native Lazyload plugin for WordPress. In order to leverage the native feature built in the browser, you will need to align your website for it. This plugin allows you to do just that. It is an open-source product meaning you do not need to spend any money on using this tool. Moreover, since it does not use JS its light in code and does not affect the interface’s performance.

How Does The Plugin Work On Browsers Without Native Support For The Feature?

A question that will now arise in most readers’ minds is how will the tool work on browsers that do not have in-built support for lazy loading. Native Lazyload is a good example of the efficiency of WordPress plugin development and Google’s innovative nature. When it encounters a browser that does not support the attribute, it uses a JavaScript solution that is based on IntersectionObserver. This allows it to activate the helpful feature on other browsers as well.

Imagine another scenario where the browser supports the loading attribute but JS has been disabled, a NoScript version of the corresponding element is included that contains the loading characteristic.

How to Install And Use The Plugin?

Installing the plugin is simple and can be done easily through your WordPress website’s dashboard. Use your login credentials to access the control panel. Hover your cursor over the Plugins option and then click on Add New. now you can use the plugin directory’s search feature to search for the tool. You can use the image given here to locate the correct option.

Once you find the plugin, press the Install Now link. Once the installation is finished the link will change to Activate. Press the Activate tab and the tool will become functional on your interface. There is no need to configure any settings as soon as the plugin is activated, it will start working on the website.

Conclusion 

Google Chrome is by far the most popular browser in the world with over 56% of the market share. The latest variant is in the first position in the top browsers’ list. Using this tool to leverage lazy loading for your interface will allow a majority of your visitors to access the website quickly. The simple nature of the plugin means that you do not need to be a professional WordPress developer to install and activate it.

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