Lazy Widget Loader FAQ

What is ‘lazy loading’?

The term lazy loading (also lazy acquisition) refers to a technique that postpones loading (acquisition) of an object (content, resources, …) until it is really needed. In our case, this means that we still have to get the content that is to be displayed in the widget, but we postpone its acquisition until the latest possible moment, so that its possibly negative impact on loading the rest of the page is minimized.

How does Lazy Widget Loader accomplish its goal? The contents of chosen widgets are loaded in the page’s footer and once the page has loaded completely, these contents are moved to where they should appear. As we postpone loading of these contents until the very last moment, our page will render its contents and will not be affected by those contents in slow widgets that take more time to load.

Note that lazy loading is often understood as to retrieve resources when they come into view, for example if you have an image at the bottom of your page and you want to make sure that this image is not loaded, unless the viewer scrolls down to where that image should appear. But that is not this plugin’s strategy; if you want to be able to load content on sight, take a look at the Itthinx LazyLoader.

Can I choose which widget is loaded lazily?

Yes.

Go to the Widgets section under the Appearance menu and check Lazy Loading on those widgets that tend to slow down your page.

Do I get a throbber while the widget loads?

Yes you do if you want to.

Go to the Widgets section under the Appearance menu and check Throbber on those widgets that should show one. Of course, for this to happen, you must also check the Lazy Loading option. Also note that in this case the minimum height of a widget will be set to the height of the throbber or the height given in the appropriate field, whichever is greater.

Does this improve the page loading time of my site?

It improves the way widgets are loaded, especially those that take a while to load. It does not make your pages load faster. So if you have one widget that appears in, say, the middle of a page and this widget really takes a looong time to load, then your entire page will take … looong to load because whatever is displayed in that particular widget takes quite a while to show up. Now here is why you would want to use this plugin. In the case of said widget, you would activate the Lazy Loading option for it. After that, what you should see is that first your page renders, after that, the content of your slow widget will appear as well. The result of that is: your page renders within a reasonable time and the content of the slow widget(s) is displayed when available, without slowing down the visualization of your entire page.

Does this work with more than one widget?

Yes. You can activate lazy loading for any active widget.

Should I enable the ‘Lazy Loading’ option for all my widgets?

No!

Widgets handled by Lazy Widget Loader will be shown after everything on the page has been loaded, including images etc. So widgets that load normally should NOT be loaded using Lazy Widget Loader. Only those that really can slow down page rendering should be loaded using Lazy Widget Loader.

Help!

this is the right place to ask for help.

I really appreciate this, how can I contribute?

Your contribution to the Itthinx LazyLoader will provide you with advanced loading options and support.

3 Responses to Lazy Widget Loader FAQ

  1. Michael Mahoney September 8, 2011 at 5:18 pm #

    Hi, cool idea. So, does this also provide a way to load dynamic widget content on cached pages? Say pages cached with WP Super Cache? Or am I not understanding correctly how it works?

    • kento September 8, 2011 at 6:28 pm #

      Hmmm … good question. I’d say let’s think about what’s the difference between a cached page (or cached content) and a page that is not served from cache. Assuming PHP and skipping details (read: terribly over-simplifying), when a request for page x.php reaches your server, PHP will interpret x.php and build the response served by Apache. That roughly means, a script is parsed and the corresponding code is executed to build the page. When a cached page is served, all the processing that builds the actual page is skipped because somewhere there’s a copy of that page and it seems fit to send that instead of rebuilding it.

      Assuming that the initial (!) content of a page is the same – served from cache or not – you will be presented the same thing in your browser. That means, any behavior that is embedded in this page should still be the same. In other words, if there is content to be lazy-loaded on the page, there should not be any difference on the client side, because the caching we’re talking about happens at the server.

      Anyhow … your question was : Does this provide a way to load dynamic widget content on cached pages? …. considering the above, I’d say yes … but not without testing 馃槈

      • Michael Mahoney September 8, 2011 at 6:40 pm #

        Interesting. I’ll have to give it a try and see what happens.

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