How to Lazy Load Images in Wordpress

How to Lazy Load Images in WordPress both Without a Plugin and With a Plugin

Do You Want to Learn How to Lazy Load Images in WordPress?

To improve your WordPress website’s speed and user experience, consider implementing lazy loading for images. This technique delays the loading of images until they are about to be visible on the user’s screen, reducing initial page load times.

Implementing lazy loading is a common practice for optimizing website speed and performance, as seen on many popular image-heavy sites. Learn more about enhancing your WordPress website speed at Boost WordPress Website Speed.

In this article, we’ll cover the basics of lazy loading, its SEO advantages, and how to implement it on your WordPress site for better performance. Additionally, we will learn how to custom implement lazy loading for images through programming.

  1. What is image lazy loading?
  2. Is lazy loading image good for SEO?
  3. Does WordPress lazy load images by default?
  4. How to lazy load images using CSS?
  5. How do I lazy load a background image?
  6. How do I lazy load images in WordPress without plugins?
  7. How do I lazy load images in WordPress with plugins?

What is Lazy Loading?

Lazy loading is a web development technique that delays the loading of images until they are about to appear on a user’s screen. Rather than loading all images when a webpage loads initially, lazy loading allows images to load dynamically as the user scrolls down the page.

How to Lazy Load Images in WordPress

This approach significantly improves a website’s performance by reducing the initial load time and conserving bandwidth. It enhances the user experience by prioritizing the loading of content that is immediately visible, ensuring a faster and more responsive interaction. Lazy loading is particularly beneficial for websites with numerous images, as it helps optimize resource utilization and contributes to a smoother browsing experience.

Is Lazy Loading Good for SEO?

Yes, lazy loading is good for SEO. It improves website speed, which search engines favor for better rankings. This increases user experience and boosts visibility on search results.

Does WordPress Lazy Load Images by Default?

How to Lazy Load Images in WordPress

As of the latest information available, WordPress does not have built-in support for lazy loading images by default. However, you can easily enable lazy loading for images in WordPress through various methods.

If you’re looking to enhance your website’s performance and user experience, implementing lazy load images in WordPress can be achieved using plugins or by adding specific code to your theme files. This allows images to load progressively as users scroll down the page, reducing initial page load times and optimizing overall site performance.

  1. Using the loading Attribute
  2. Using a Lazy Loading Plugin
  3. Theme Functions.php File

Using the loading Attribute

How to Lazy Load Images Using CSS

For a lightweight solution without depending on plugins, consider lazy loading images using CSS.

  • Open the WordPress editor or access your theme files.
  • Locate the image tag (<img>) for the image you want to enable lazy loading on.
  • Add the loading=”lazy” attribute to the image tag.
<img src="your-image.jpg" alt="Your Image Description" loading="lazy">
  • Save your changes.

How Do I Lazy Load a Background Image?

Lazy loading background images involve a slightly different approach. Use the following CSS files to ensure your background images are lazy-loaded.

  • Open the WordPress editor or access your theme files.
  • Locate the CSS class or ID selector for the element with the background image you want to enable lazy loading on.
  • Add the loading=”lazy” attribute to the CSS selector for the element.
.lazy-background {

  background: url('your-image.jpg') center/cover no-repeat;

  height: 300px;

  loading: lazy;

  • Save your changes.

How do I lazy load images in WordPress without plugins?

For those who prefer a manual approach, here’s a simple method using JavaScript:


  document.addEventListener("DOMContentLoaded", function() {

    var lazyImages = document.querySelectorAll("img.lazy");

    lazyImages.forEach(function(img) {

      img.src = img.dataset.src;





Remember to add the “lazy” class to your image tags and use the “data-src” attribute to specify the image source.

Using a Lazy Loading Plugin

How do I lazy load images in WordPress with plugins?

WP Rocket Plugin

We highly recommend using the WP Rocket plugin for efficient lazy loading of images on your WordPress site. WP Rocket stands out as the premier caching plugin in the market, providing a user-friendly solution to enable image lazy loading without delving into complex technical configurations.

How to Lazy Load Images in WordPress

Installing and activating WP Rocket, you’ll immediately benefit from its default caching settings, significantly boosting your website’s speed without requiring extensive technical knowledge.

To enable image lazy loading and enhance your site’s performance even further, follow these simple steps:

  1. Install and activate the WP Rocket plugin on your WordPress site. If you’re unsure about this process, refer to our guide on how to install a WordPress plugin for detailed instructions.
  2. Navigate to the WP Rocket settings by clicking on ‘Settings’ » ‘WP Rocket’ in your WordPress dashboard.
  3. Within the WP Rocket settings, go to the ‘Media’ tab.
  4. Scroll down to the ‘LazyLoad’ section.
  5. Check the boxes next to ‘Enable for images’ and ‘Enable for iframes and videos.

By following these steps, you’ll easily implement image lazy loading, optimizing your website’s speed and performance. WP Rocket’s intuitive interface makes it a powerful tool for website optimization, even for users without extensive technical expertise.

A3 Lazy Load Plugin

To enable lazy loading using the “a3 Lazy Load” plugin, follow these steps:

How to Lazy Load Images in WordPress
  1. Install and activate the “a3 Lazy Load” plugin.
  2. In the WordPress dashboard, navigate to “Settings” and click on “a3 Lazy Load.”
  3. On the plugin settings page, you’ll find various options for lazy loading. Check the appropriate boxes based on your preferences. Typically, you’ll want to enable lazy loading for images, iframes, and videos.
  4. Save the changes, and the plugin will automatically start lazy loading your media content.

The “a3 Lazy Load” plugin is a user-friendly solution for implementing lazy loading on your WordPress site. Once activated, it optimizes your website’s performance by loading images and other media elements only when they are about to be displayed, reducing initial page loading times.

Theme Functions.php File

  • If you prefer a code-based approach, you can add the following code to your themes functions.php file.
function add_lazyload_to_images($content) {

    return preg_replace('/<img(.*?)src=["\'](.*?)["\'](.*?)>/i', '<img$1src="$2" loading="lazy"$3>', $content);

add_filter('the_content', 'add_lazyload_to_images');
  • This code uses a filter to modify the content and add the loading=”lazy” attribute to all image tags.

Choose the method that suits your preference and technical comfort level. Keep in mind that some newer WordPress themes and versions may include native support for lazy loading, so it’s always a good idea to check the theme documentation or settings as well.


In conclusion, implementing lazy load images in WordPress is a valuable strategy to enhance both user experience and SEO. Whether you opt for a plugin-based solution or prefer a manual approach using CSS, the key is to find the method that aligns with your technical comfort and site requirements. By following the guidelines in this comprehensive guide, you’ll be well on your way to optimizing your WordPress website for faster loading times and improved search engine rankings.

For detailed guidance on how to implement lazy loading in WordPress, check out wpbeginner’s recommendation.

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