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For businesses that operate on both the web as well as physical locations, including a Google Map of your location is a great way to make sure that your customers can find you. However, including dynamic maps can also dramatically affect your website’s performance. W3 Total Cache Pro gives you the best way to include maps on your site without hurting your site’s speed.

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Why do I need to Lazy Load Google Maps?

Lazy Loading a map increases Lighthouse score from 79 to 90 on a sample page
Lighthouse scores of the same page, one with lazy loading maps enabled (90), and the other with it disabled (79).

If you’re using maps, lazy loading them can increase performance dramatically. In the example above, the same page was tested with lazy loading enabled for maps, and with it disabled. This resulted in an increase in the Lighthouse performance score of 11 points.

For pages with more than one map, the score increase can be even more impressive.

How do I Use Lazy Loaded Maps?

W3 Total Cache Pro integrates with three of the most popular Google Maps plugins:

To enable lazy-loading Google Maps, simply navigate to Performance > User Experience and check the box to enable your plugin.

Upgrade to W3 Total Cache Pro to Enable Lazy Load Google Maps

When you upgrade to W3 Total Cache pro, you’ll not only be able to increase the performance of your Google Maps, but you’ll get access to tons of other great performance features, including Defer Render-Blocking CSS, Full Site CDN Delivery, WPML integration, and many more. Upgrade today.

FAQ

How does google maps affect core web vitals?

Google Maps can significantly impact Core Web Vitals, particularly the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) metrics:

  1. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): This metric measures the time it takes for the largest content element in the viewport to become visible. Embedding a Google Map can increase the LCP time, as maps are often large elements that take longer to load compared to other content on the page.
  2. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): This metric measures the stability of the page layout as it loads. Google Maps can contribute to layout shifts if the map’s size or position changes as other page elements load, or if the map is loaded asynchronously without reserving sufficient space for it in the layout.

Is lazy loading google maps the same as caching google maps?

Lazy loading and caching are two distinct techniques used to optimize web performance, and they are unrelated in the context of Google Maps:

  1. Lazy Loading: This technique involves deferring the loading of resources until they are needed. For Google Maps, lazy loading means that the map is not loaded when the page initially loads. Instead, it is loaded only when the user scrolls to the section of the page where the map is located or when a specific interaction triggers the loading of the map. This can reduce the initial load time of the page and improve metrics like Largest Contentful Paint (LCP).
  2. Caching (in the context of Google Maps): Caching in Google Maps refers to storing certain data like map images, search history, and directions on your device. This is done to speed up the loading of maps and reduce data usage in the Google Maps app. Clearing the cache in Google Maps involves deleting this stored data, which can free up space and resolve potential issues with the app.

In summary, lazy loading is a web optimization technique that delays the loading of the map until it’s needed, while caching in the context of Google Maps refers to storing map data on a device to improve the performance of the Google Maps app. The two concepts are unrelated and serve different purposes in different contexts.

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