Google releases official ‘Native Lazyload’ plugin for WordPress

Sites using WordPress can now take advantage of Chrome’s new native lazy-loading support with Google’s new Native Lazyload plugin. The plugin uses a JavaScript fallback for lazy-loading if a browser doesn’t support it natively.

One month after support for native lazy-loading was added to Chrome, Google has released an official Native Lazyload plugin for WordPress. The plugin inserts the loading attribute into img elements and specifies a value of lazy. When Chrome loads a page that uses the loading attribute, it will natively lazy-load the images.

<img src="https://domain.com/image.png” loading="lazy" alt="Image description">

When I first wrote about Chrome’s support for lazy-loading, I provided the following caveat to webmasters.

Since this feature only works on the latest version of Chrome, it won't work for visitors using older versions. It also won't work for visitors that are using Firefox or Safari. If the purpose of implementing lazy-loading is strictly for improving user experience, web developers may want to hold off on removing their JavaScript implementation until it's supported by the majority of browsers that visitors use to access their site.

Google’s new Native Lazyload plugin addresses that concern by using JavaScript (JS) as a fallback for browsers that don’t support native lazy-loading. It also handles circumstances when JS has been disabled.

If the loading attribute is not supported by the browser, the plugin falls back to a JavaScript solution based on IntersectionObserver. For the case that JavaScript is disabled, but the loading attribute is supported by the browser, a noscript variant of the respective element will be added that also includes the loading attribute without any further changes.

The plugin also supports natively lazy-loading iframes. Now WordPress sites can take advantage of Chrome’s new native lazy-loading without concerns about unsupported browsers.

Jon is the founder and Managing Editor of Coywolf. He is a serial entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience in web development, SaaS, internet strategy, and digital marketing. Follow @henshaw

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