Modern high-speed Internet has really made us spoiled.
These days, if a website takes more than 4 seconds to load, we tend to not even bother waiting; we simply close the page and find something else.
That is exactly why designers are taking the time to come up with creative preloaders like this fun little bouncing ball.
What’s a preloader?
Essentially, preloaders (also known as loaders) are what you see on the screen while the rest of the page’s content is still loading.
Preloaders are often simple or complex animations that are used to keep visitors entertained while server operations finish processing. Unfortunately, they are also frequently overlooked in the development process of most projects.
Why is a preloader important?
Preloaders are important interface elements that let visitors know that the website hasn’t crashed, it’s just processing data. They are usually designed as moving stripes or blinking circles that represent the time necessary for loading, which, although functional, aren’t entertaining at all. Interesting animations can keep your users engaged while they’re waiting for the page to load.
Designers work really hard to make the waiting time less of a hassle for site visitors, but this can be a very difficult task if the right inspiration (and latest knowledge) isn’t there.
What should a great preloader be?
In recent years, most projects have been developed with simplified loaders as the recommended best practice. Complex loader animations haven’t been popular for a while because they used to take up a lot of resources to work, slowing down the page’s loading process even more. However, with processing power increasing, the era of simple loaders is coming to an end.
Today, a well-designed, creative animation provides an opportunity to enliven your interface. This small, but important detail contributes to the individuality and branding of any product.
For this reason, we’ve compiled and curated the following list of bright, funny, and unique preloader examples (including some of SteelKiwi’s very own designs) to help you and your design team find some inspiration!
30 of the best preloader design out there
This sliding square loader makes the waiting a bit less frustrating as it keeps your eye moving along with the squares. A great solution for businesses who sell electronics or games online to keep their visitors engaged with the website.
The bouncing black balls that appear out of nowhere and disappear serve as an entertaining element and could be used for websites that want to look presentable yet with a pinch of playfulness.
This is a perfect example of a drum-like preloader which resembles a spinning lottery wheel. If a business owner wants to make a logical connection between this loader and the application which may imply opportunities, luck, or excitement, then this loading screen should serve its needs.
These simple geometric shapes remind a birdy turning its head to the left or right as if talking to somebody. This animation can make a good preloader for sites featuring businesses in the TV-, radio-, or social media industry.
Applications featuring travel or location-based services could make loading much more appealing using the little colorful geopin which flips back and forth.
An exciting animation with different kinds of balls in motion makes visitors forget that this is just a loader. This loader could complement any website featuring sports events, activities, or sports inventory.
Love animals? Here is a loader in disguise — a swinging monkey. Being fun and entertaining, it can entice users while they are waiting for the page to load. Businesses that are in the entertainment industry, such as magazines, movies, marketing, advertising, or those who simply want to stand out among the crowd and draw a smile on visitors’ faces can use it.
The copper preloader in the shape of the eternity loop moves smoothly like a mesmerizing wave. The loader with its neat, minimalistic design and soothing animation is applicable for almost any business.
Here is the drop that never drops. The white and subdued blue colors contrast well together, and this preloader will never make the visitor bored or frustrated with the loading. Businesses who would like to appeal to younger generations could use this loading screen.
The ping-pong loader, with its rubber feel animation featuring a paddles and a ball, can’t help get one’s eyes off it. It is supposed to warm visitors up before they actually access the content of a website. This loader is good for sports sites or any other sites that offer anything from sports activities to inventory.
The turquoise planet with a white rocket orbiting it keeps visitors’ attention on the preloading screen. This planet loader can be used for entertainment apps, or any other organizations which do research or make various discoveries known to the public.
A blurred gearwheel loader with the three spinning gearwheels embodies movement and complexity and could be appropriate for businesses who market machinery or mechanic parts.
The descending and ascending stairs loader with a white ball jumping on top has a minimalistic design yet it is very straightforward. It could make sense for business who want to present themselves as serious and trustworthy.
With a light touch of simplicity, the caterpillar-like colorful circles that move to the left or right and come as one at each side make loading less boring to visitors. The loader is appropriate for almost any kind of businesses with it’s universal animation, and it should keep visitors amused while waiting to land on the homepage.
A simple “attention getter” loader like this rolling cube that gets bigger when moving forward and returns to its initial shape when going back, is a reserved solution for business that want to appear smart and sophisticated to the visitor.
The vivid spinner loader with the rotating rainbow that rolls into a sort of geometric flower-like shape can cheer the visitors up and help them get ready for something fun and exciting. Such loader could be used for businesses who market their products or services to kids. It should work well for children’s education sites.
The prism loading screen should remind one of the LinkedIn’s background for photos. The loader remotely looks like constellations which are moving in space with the main element in the middle which could potentially feature a corporate logo. The loader could be used for businesses that work with international clients, for example in the B2B sector.
Like variety? Here is the loader which keeps a visitor entertained, letting them see a countdown accompanied by changing animation of different pictures. Keep in mind, that this loader can have any pictures rotating so it can cater to fit any business’s needs.
Here is a silhouette of man with a jetpack on his back flying as as fast as he can. Such loader which redirects a user to the next page can be used by almost any business, especially the ones that would like to highlight the speed element of their service.
Having a minimalistic and succinct design, this dot preloader could be used by artistic people or designers for their online portfolios for instance.
Shouldn’t this preloader remind one of the snake game? This energy icon animation with a plug can make sense for internet providers or any other agencies who help businesses and clients collaborate.
Pancakes right from the stove! The loader with a flipping pancake on the frying pan should make a visitor’s mouth water. It can be a good start for websites dedicated to cooking or baking.
If a business owner is not picky about their preloader and would like to keep it simple, here is a straightforward one with a splitting rectangle that splits.
Here is a collection of custom animated SVG-powered loaders featuring different shapes and basic geometric forms. Businesses owners who want to maintain seriousness can exploit the neatness of these loaders in various design purposes.
This hand animation seems to never stop tapping its fingers as if always waiting for something. It sort of conveys the feeling people may experience while waiting and could be used by businesses that strive to maintain a great sense of humor about themselves.
The SVG and CSS-powered tree preloader is a neat animation to appear on family or medical applications. The tree gradually spreads its branches which seem to be breathing in, making the animation pleasant to look at.
Here is a preloader applicable for travel and transportation rentals businesses. The loading screen changes the type of vehicle accompanied by the text to enhance the overall impression.
This SVG-powered car drift loader is another unconventional solution for websites that market vehicles. However, if taken figuratively, the preloader can be used for websites or apps related to various social events which bring people excitement and make a lasting impression.
And a cherry on top! Here is a preloader with a pinch of humor — no matter how hard the bubble gum character is running around his head, it is too heavy and big to move, and he seems to enjoy it.
Greatest examples of page preloading animations
Here are 5 websites with eloquent preloaders for you to enjoy!
Another creative loading screen can be found on W. Brett Wilson’s website. A silhouette of a man running in a hamster wheel and text appearing like a slideshow keep the visitor entertained and engaged with the website, while also complementing its design.
Creative Cruise website was built to invite people to celebrate Amsterdam’s creative vibe. To emphasize the atmosphere before a visitor even lands on the homepage, a hilarious looking man who is dancing breakdance appears on the loading screen. The character used in the preloader makes perfect sense since the homepage is full of alike characters dancing and partying.
Here is a website built for cinematic exploration in global storytelling. Open Continents’ animation is a well-disguised preloader featuring dancing stars in a merry-go-round circle. The animation is alluring with its interactive element where a user can direct their cursor on the circle and see how the stars spread along. This preloader complements the Earth that appears on the homepage. The idea is to embody movement and mystery, motivating visitors to explore the site, keeping them interested in the meantime.
Websites like Kokopako (created in a form of a portfolio) can make good use of preloaders, adding personal touch and meaning to the content on a site. The year of 1987 is a countdown preloader which deepens the narrative of the website, while also being well-integrated into the homepage.
McWhopper’s website was created to market a special proposal from McDonald’s and Burger King. The website’s preloader is very appealing to first-time visitors with its animated burger that jumps as if it were on a trampoline, giving an opportunity to see all the ingredients and making the waiting experience more enjoyable. In addition, the preloader makes use of text and fits well with the overall design of the site.
More loader resources
We hope this list will inspire you to develop a great preloader design for your project!
Don’t have time to build your own? There are lots of preloaders that can be used for free (or for a small price). Check out preloaders.net or browse through this list of free preloaders and spinners for web designers and developers.
If you have any other questions about preloader design, or you need a truly unique and original design for a preloader of your own, contact our team and we will come up with the perfect loader which will turn your project into something really unforgettable!