Reasons Why Images Not Loading on Your Website

See now some reasons that can explain why your images not loading on your site and the way to fix it. a picture is worth a thousand words.

By Claudio Pires
Updated on January 2, 2023
Reasons Why Images Not Loading on Your Website

See now some reasons that can explain why your images not loading on your site and the way to fix it.

The old saying goes that “a picture is worth a thousand words.” This is especially true on the Web, where attention spans are notoriously short. So the right image can make or break a site by attracting suitable attention and engaging page visitors long enough for them to learn what they need to know or perform a specific action that signals a “win” for the site. Yes, when it comes to a website, images may actually be worth more than a thousand words!

So with the importance of online images established, let’s next consider what your website says if an idea that is supposed to be on the site fails to load. This can happen whether you have inline images that are part of the HTML or background images applied with CSS (and your site likely has both of these). The bottom line is that when a graphic fails to load on a page, it makes the design look broken and, in some cases, can destroy the user experience on that site. The “thousand words” that the picture is sending are certainly not positive ones!

Why Images Not Loading?

Let’s take a look at some of the common reasons why images not loading, as well as what you should be mindful of when troubleshooting this problem during website testing.

Incorrect File Paths

When you add images to a site’s HTML or CSS file, you must create a path to the location in your directory structure where those files reside.

This is code that tells the browser where to look for and fetch the image from. In most cases, this would be inside of a folder named ‘images.’ If the path to this folder and the files inside are incorrect, the images will not load correctly because the browser will not be able to retrieve the correct files.

It will follow the path that you told it to, but it will hit a dead end and, instead of displaying the appropriate image, will come up blank.

Step 1 in debugging image loading issues is to ensure that the file path you have coded is correct. Perhaps you specified the wrong directory or did not correctly list the path to that directory.  If this is not the case, you may have another issue with that path. Read on!

Files Names Misspelled: Why Images Not Loading?

As you examine the file paths for your files, also be sure that you spelled the name of the image correctly. In our experience, incorrect names or misspellings are the most common cause of image loading issues. Remember, web browsers are very unforgiving when it comes to filing names.  If you forget a letter by mistake or use the wrong note, the browser will not look for a file that is similar and say, “oh, you probably meant this one, right?”  No – if the file is spelled wrong, even if it is close, it will not load on the page.

Wrong File Extension

In some cases, you may have the name of the file correctly spelled, but the file extension may be incorrect. If your image is a .jpg file, but your HTML is looking for a .png, there will be a problem. Make sure you are using the correct file type for each image, and then be sure you have called for that same extension in your website’s code. Apart from JPG, even if you have WebP file, you can convert it into PNG regular image format by fetching online converter from that is 100% free. 

Reasons Why Images Not Loading on Your Website
Reasons Why Images Not Loading on Your Website

Also, look for case sensitivity.  If your file ends with.JPG, with the letters all in caps, but your code references .jpg, all lowercase, there are specific web servers who will see those two are different, even though they are the same sets of letters. Case sensitivity counts! This is why we permanently save our files with all lowercase letters. Doing so allows us always to use lowercase in our code. Eliminating one possible problem we could have with our image files.

Files Are Missing: Why Images Not Loading

If the paths to your image files are correct, and the name and file extension are also error-free. The next item to check is to make sure that the files have upload to the web server. Neglecting to upload files to that server when a site is present. So, is a common mistake that is easy to overlook.

How do you fix this problem?

Upload those images, refresh your web page, and it should immediately display the files as expected.  You can also try to delete the image on the server and re-upload it.  It may seem strange, but we have seen this work more than once.  Sometimes files get corrupt, so this “delete and replace” method can end up helping.

The Website Hosting the Images Is Down

You will typically want to host any images your site uses on your own server. But in some cases, you may be using images hosted elsewhere. If that site hosting the image goes down, your images will not load either.

Transfer Problem: Why Images Not Loading

Whether an image file is load from an external domain or from your own. There is always a chance that there may be a transfer problem for that file when it is first requested by the browser. This should not be a common occurrence. If it is, you may need to look for a new hosting provider, but it can happen from time to time.

The unfortunate side of this issue is that there really is nothing you can do about it. Since it is a problem outside of your control. The good news is that it is a temporary problem often resolved quickly. For instance, when someone sees a broken-looking page and refreshes it, that alone will often fix the problem and correctly load the images.If you are seeing a broken image, refresh the browser to see if perhaps it was just a transmission issue on your initial request.

A Few Final Notes

A Few Final Notes
Image Loading

When thinking about images not loading concerns. So, two things to also be mindful of are the proper use of ALT tags. Your website speed and overall performance.

ALT, or “alternate text”, tags are displayed by a browser if an image fails to load. They are also an essential component in creating accessible websites that can be used by people with specific disabilities. Every inline image on your site should have an appropriate ALT tag. Note that pictures applied with CSS do not have this attribute.

As for website performance, loading too many images. So, even just a few giant images are not adequately ready. Web delivery will hurt loading speed. For this reason, be sure to test the impact of any images. You use that in your site’s design and take any steps necessary to improve that site’s performance. While still creating the overall look and feel appropriate for your website project.

Claudio Pires

Claudio Pires is the co-founder of Visualmodo, a renowned company in web development and design. With over 15 years of experience, Claudio has honed his skills in content creation, web development support, and senior web designer. A trilingual expert fluent in English, Portuguese, and Spanish, he brings a global perspective to his work. Beyond his professional endeavors, Claudio is an active YouTuber, sharing his insights and expertise with a broader audience. Based in Brazil, Claudio continues to push the boundaries of web design and digital content, making him a pivotal figure in the industry.