UnLazy is a browser extension for the Firefox web browser that attempts to disable lazy loading on any website that you load in the browser.
Websites may implement lazy loading techniques in an effort to prioritize content that is visible to the user. Sites may implement their own scripts to do so or use existing plugins if they use a content management system like WordPress.
Google announced recently that Chrome will support lazy loading natively, and that it will improve page load times because the browser has to download less content on page load.
While lazy loading is a good idea on paper, it may lead to user experience issues. If you scroll fast enough on a page, you may end up with images not being loaded properly; your only option then is to wait until these images get loaded. Sometimes, lazy loading gets stuck and images don't get loaded at all.
Lazy loading may improve the experience for slow connections under certain circumstances though, but if you have a reasonably fast Internet connection, you may not see much of a benefit.
UnLazy is a Firefox add-on that tries to address this by disabling lazy loading on any site that you load in the browser. The developer describes the extension's functionality in the following way:
This web-extension heuristically tries to kill dynamically-loaded images engines such as Google PageSpeed, then figure-out and place a clean, normal correct image in-place of the lazy-loaded one.
The extension finds image references in the source code and tries to replace lazy loading instructions so that images do get loaded right away on the site.
The developer states that the extension has been tested on sites like eBay, Amazon, and YouTube, and that it should work on WordPress sites, sites that use Google's PageSpeed engine, and other websites that implement lazy loading techniques.
The extension places an icon in the main Firefox toolbar when you install it. It displays a number sometimes, and I assume that the number indicates the number of images that it disabled from lazy loading; this is not explained anywhere unfortunately.
Update: The extension is no longer available on Mozilla AMO. It is unclear what happened. We have uploaded the latest version to our own server for archiving purposes. Note that it won't be updated and that it may not work properly going forward. Click on this link to download it: Unlazy
The extension did not cause any issues during tests and that is definitely a good thing. I would like to see an option to disable it for certain sites that may not work properly when it is enabled though. The effect that you get depends largely on the speed of the Internet connection, but you may resolve issues that you experience on sites with lazy loading as well by installing UnLazy.
The developer is very active both when it comes to updating the UnLazy extension and in producing more extensions. A total of 32 different extensions are listed, and many of them address issues that users may experience on sites. Expect more reviews in the future.
I'd like to thank Ghacks veterans Tom and Rick as they suggested the extension and its developer in first place.
Now You: What is your take on lazy loading?Advertisement
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.