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What Are Preloaders, And How Can You Use Them?

What are preloaders, and how can you use them?

Modern websites are optimized to be fast and smooth, but sometimes you can’t load everything in a few milliseconds. That’s when preloaders arrive, created to do everything possible to make the user stay and wait for a few minutes. But still, what are preloaders really, and how to use them?

What are preloaders?

You click on a link, open a page and… see an animated symbol illustrating the load process. After a few seconds, a web page loads. 

We don’t think about preloaders much as users: they feel like a natural part of the web, especially since mobile apps normalized them all those years ago. 

There are different kinds of preloaders. Some are what you might expect, either an animated logo or some abstract object. Some look either like a skeleton screen (an empty page with placeholders for images) or a mix of a skeleton page and an animation.

How to use preloaders… and why?

I know people who don’t like preloaders, but they serve an important purpose. First of all, nicely animated preloaders can distract the users from the fact that they have to wait. No one likes waiting, and visitors never have patience for slow websites. But while speed optimization is vital for SEO, sometimes you have to use preloaders.

Preloaders are essential because they often form the first opinion of your brand. Even before your users see the website or the product, they see the animation and judge it. A good one will make them think you are professional and slick. 

It’s widely known that a user’s attention span is pathetic. A good preloader acts as a teaser and keeps the user waiting. 

You should remember a few key things: make a loading animation both slick and informative. A user should always see the process. Or you can tell them what is being loaded — many flight ticket sites do that. Or you can tell them about your own brand — a kind of unobvious ad. Bre creative! Something must be happening at all times for the users to stay put.

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