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A Guide To Lazy Loading Images

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A Guide To Lazy Loading Images
(Feature Image: Lazy Loading Images)

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Despite its name, lazy loading images are a powerful tool that can speed up your Shopify website by loading images only when they are needed. This approach can help to reduce the amount of data being loaded and improve page load times, particularly on mobile devices with limited bandwidth.

In this article, we'll take a closer look at what lazy loading images are, how they work, and the benefits they can provide to your Shopify website. We'll also provide step-by-step guidance on how to add these images to your Shopify theme, as well as how to create lazy loading images for your website.

Should I Lazy Load Images?

At Fix My Site Speed, we understand the importance of website speed optimization for online businesses. Our team of experienced developers can help you to implement lazy loading images on your Shopify website, improving your website speed and enhancing your user experience.

So, should you lazy load images on your Shopify website? The answer is a resounding yes. With the potential to reduce loading times, improve user engagement, and boost your search engine rankings, this is a must-have feature for any website owner looking to improve their website speed and user experience.

In the next sections, we'll dive deeper into the details of how to lazy load images, including the HTML code needed and the steps involved in adding these images to your Shopify theme.

What is Lazy Image Loading?

Lazy image loading is a technique used to optimize the loading time of a website by deferring the loading of non-critical resources, such as images, until they are needed.

In the context of a Shopify website, lazy loading images refers to the process of loading images only when they come into view, rather than loading all images on the page at once. This technique can significantly improve the loading time of a website, particularly for websites with a lot of images, such as eCommerce stores.

When a Shopify store has many product pages with numerous images, loading all of the images at once can cause the page to load slowly, resulting in a poor user experience. Lazy image loading involves swapping out the HTML src attribute for a placeholder data-src attribute. When a user scrolls down to the image, the JavaScript grabs the data-src URL and updates it with the src attribute, causing the image to load.

Why is Lazy Image Loading Important?

Having images on Shopify is important because it can improve website performance, user experience, and ultimately, conversion rates. A slow website can result in higher bounce rates, lower search engine rankings, and fewer sales.

By implementing this feature, Shopify store owners can ensure that their website loads quickly and efficiently, leading to a better user experience and ultimately, increased sales.

There are several ways to implement lazy loading on a Shopify website, including using a Shopify theme with built-in lazy loading features, adding a script to the Shopify store, or implementing these features manually using a script like lazysizes.js.

Shopify store owners should choose the method that works best for their website and seek the help of a developer like Fix My Site Speed if needed. This way, Shopify store owners can optimize their website and provide a better user experience for their customers.

The Benefits of Lazy Loading Images

Lazy loading is a technique used to improve the performance of web pages by delaying the loading of certain resources until they are needed. This results in many benefits for your Shopify website, including:

  • Faster page load times: By delaying the loading of images until they are needed, this technique can significantly reduce the initial load time of a web page. This can improve the user experience and help reduce bounce rates.

  • Reduced data usage: If a user does not scroll down to view all of the images on a page, lazy loading ensures that those images are never loaded, which can help to reduce data usage for users on limited data plans or slow internet connections.

  • Improved server performance: It can also help to reduce the strain on a server by only requesting the images that are needed. This can help to improve server performance and reduce the likelihood of downtime during high-traffic periods.

  • Improved SEO: Faster page load times are one of the factors that search engines take into account when ranking pages. By improving page load times, websites can improve their SEO and potentially rank higher in search results.

  • Improved user engagement: Users are more likely to stay on a web page and engage with its content if it loads quickly and smoothly. By reducing load times, websites can improve user engagement and increase the likelihood of conversions. 

By delaying the loading of images until they are needed, lazy loading can help to create a more seamless and efficient browsing experience for users.

A Guide To Lazy Loading Images
(Image: Lazy Load Image Example - source:https://web.dev/lazy-loading/)

Why Lazy Loading Images are Critical for your SEO

When a website takes too long to load, it can negatively impact the website's bounce rate, which is the percentage of visitors who leave the website after only viewing one page. 

High bounce rates can negatively impact the website's search engine rankings, as it indicates that the website does not offer relevant content to the user. Lazy loading images can help reduce bounce rates, as it can make the website faster and more responsive, which can ultimately lead to better search engine rankings.

In addition to improving load times, this method can also improve the website's accessibility, particularly for mobile users. Mobile users often have slower internet connections, and lazy loading images can help reduce the amount of data that needs to be downloaded, making the website faster and more accessible.

It can also reduce the website's overall file size, which can also have a positive impact on search engine rankings. Google has recently updated its algorithm to prioritize websites that have smaller file sizes, as they are considered more efficient and faster to load.

Other benefits include:

  • Improved user experience: Users are more likely to engage with a website that loads quickly and smoothly. Lazy loading images can help ensure that users have a positive experience on the website, as they can start viewing content immediately without having to wait for all the images to load.

  • Reduced server load: They can also help to reduce the strain on the server, as it only loads images as needed, rather than loading all the images on the page at once. This can help improve website performance and reduce downtime.

  • Better conversion rates: A faster website can lead to better conversion rates, as users are more likely to make a purchase or complete an action if the website is responsive and easy to use.

  • Improved mobile performance: As more users access the internet on mobile devices, it's important to ensure that websites are optimized for mobile. Lazy loading images can help reduce the amount of data that needs to be downloaded, making the website faster and more accessible for mobile users.

  • Improved website metrics: In addition to bounce rate, they can also help improve other website metrics, such as time on site, page views, and engagement. These metrics can also have a positive impact on search engine rankings, as they indicate that users are finding the website valuable and engaging.

  • Better user retention: A fast, responsive website can help improve user retention, as users are more likely to return to a website that provides a positive experience. This can lead to better customer loyalty and increased revenue for the website owner.

In conclusion, lazy loading images offer several SEO benefits for Shopify websites. It can improve the website's load time, user experience, and ultimately, its search engine rankings. Shopify website owners should consider implementing this tactic as part of their SEO strategy, as it can help improve their website's visibility and online presence.

How to Load Lazy Images on Shopify

To load lazy images on Shopify, you can follow these steps:

  1. Add the Lazy Load script to the Shopify store. You can do this by going to Online Store > Themes in your Shopify admin, finding the theme you want to edit, and clicking Actions > Edit code. In the Layouts directory, open themes.liquid in the online code editor and add the lazy load script before the close tag.

  2. Use a Shopify theme that supports this feature. Many of the best Shopify themes come with built-in lazy loading features. If you're considering a new theme, look for one that includes this feature.

  3. Add lazy loading manually. If you're comfortable with coding, you can implement this manually using a script like lazysizes.js. This involves adding the script to your Shopify theme assets and modifying theme.liquid to use the script.

By following these steps, you can optimize your website and ensure that your images load quickly and efficiently.

A Guide To Lazy Loading Images
(Image: Theme.liquid code editor in Shopify)

How to Add Lazy Load Images to a Shopify Theme

If you're not comfortable with coding, you can always ask a developer from the expert team at Fix My Site Speed for help. Lazy loading images on your Shopify store is a crucial step to improving website performance, user experience, and ultimately, conversions.

Another option is to use a lazy loading plugin or app. There are a variety of plugins available that can help you optimize your images without requiring you to do any coding yourself.

For example, the Lazy Load plugin for Shopify is a popular option that allows you to lazy load images, videos, and iframes on your website. This plugin also includes a variety of customization options, allowing you to control things like the threshold at which images begin to load, the loading icon displayed while images are being loaded, and more.

You can also consider lazy loading images on a per-page or per-section basis. For example, if you have a long homepage with several sections, you can choose to lazy load images only in the sections that are further down the page. This can help to reduce the initial load time of the page, while still ensuring that users have access to high-quality images when they need them.

Ultimately, the key to successfully implementing lazy loading on your Shopify store is to find the method that works best for your specific needs and goals. 

A Sure-fire Way to Speed Up Performance

Whether you choose to use a plugin, implement lazy loading manually, or work with a developer to optimize your images, taking the time to optimize your website can have a big impact on user experience, SEO, and overall website performance.

By ensuring that your images load quickly and efficiently, you can create a more engaging and effective shopping experience for your customers, and ultimately drive more sales and revenue for your business.

All Your Shopify Optimization Needs Covered

Here at Fix My Site Speed, our team of experienced developers understands the intricacies of coding and will ensure that lazy loading images are correctly implemented, leading to improved website speed, performance, and functionality.

We can also assist with Shopify speed optimization and Core Web Vitals optimization to further power up your website. We understand the importance of website speed and how it can impact online businesses.

Our team of experts will analyze your website's speed and identify any areas for improvement. We’ll then provide a comprehensive report with actionable insights to optimize your website speed, leading to better user experience and increased revenue.

A Guide To Lazy Loading Images
(Image: Fix My Site Speed Clients)


If you want to improve your website's speed, functionality, and user experience, chat to the experts at Fix My Site Speed today. Don't let slow website speed impact your online business. Contact us for a free consultation and take the first step towards improving your website's speed and functionality.

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