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What is the Difference Between Fixed and Parallax Background Images?

Fixed and parallax background images are a great way to add beautiful imagery to your website. But what exactly is the difference? To answer this question effectively, I have created some visual examples using SiteOrigin Page Builder and Widgets Bundle Plugins to provide a little help. These examples will assist in clearly explaining the difference between Fixed vs Parallax Background Images.

Fixed Background Image

When using a fixed background image, the image will remain static, while the content will move over the image as your scroll down the page.

Fixed Background Image
Inside a Page Builder Row

Parallax Background Image

When using a parallax background image, both the image and the content will move as your scroll down the page, but at different speeds. This effect is known as the parallax scrolling, where background content is moving slower that foreground content. Take a look at the live theme demo for Create, a WordPress Theme by Themetrust. There is an excellent example of a parallax background image in use on the coffee shop homepage.

Parallax Background Image
Inside a Page Builder Row

Side by Side

When comparing a fixed and parallax background image side by side, you can see the difference in how the image moves and the overall effect that is created.

Fixed Background Image
Inside a Widget

Parallax Background Image
Inside a Widget

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Comments

  1. 1 year, 2 months ago Evert

    I did not know that this was possible with Origin. I’ll try it as soon as possible.

    • 1 year, 2 months ago Ian Rossiter Hi, I Work Here

      Hi Evert. You will find this feature under the row or widget style settings > design tab. Its called “Background Image Display”.

      • 4 months, 12 days ago marwa wanis

        Hello How I can put the background in lager size by siteorigin?

  2. 1 year, 2 months ago Jason

    Great tip! Thanks.

  3. 1 year, 2 months ago Tim

    Thanks for this tip. Will be implementing shortly…

  4. 1 year, 2 months ago pat

    “There is an excellent example of a parallax background image in use on the coffee shop homepage.”

    I can’t see it myself, its all just static images. No wait the bottom image is very slightly moving in parallax. Your own page is a better demo.

    • 1 year, 2 months ago Ian Rossiter Hi, I Work Here

      Hi Pat. Thank you. I am glad you like the demo.

  5. 1 year, 2 months ago Thierry

    Very interesting article.

    siteorigin.com is my favourite site since a long time ago : never problems. You are the bests.

    Thank you very much from France.

    Thierry

    • 1 year, 2 months ago Ian Rossiter Hi, I Work Here

      Its an absolute pleasure Thierry. And thank you for commenting.

  6. 1 year, 2 months ago Sinan

    I have been using siteorigin page builder (love it)

    “Fixed Background Image Inside a Widget” or “Fixed Background Image Inside a Page Builder Row” do not work in iOS. (ipad and iphone)
    I hope you’ve noticed this issue and doing something about it

    Thank You

    • 1 year, 2 months ago Alex S Hi, I Work Here

      Hi Sinan,

      Unfortunately, this is unavoidable. Both Apple and Google have decided to disable fixed backgrounds on mobile devices for performance related reasons. The parallax background will continue to work without issue on mobile devices due to it being a custom implementation, however. Sorry about this! :(

  7. 1 year, 2 months ago Daniel Jaros

    Really beautiful! Thanks for that great demonstration.

    However, I’ve tried it few months ago on full width stretched row of SiteOrigin Page Builder. It worked just fine at the beginning, but after a while, when switching languages, it just “froze” and scrolled at the same speed with the rest of the page, like a regular image in its container. So I went for Adam Rob’s plugin, which is great but not as friendly as the feature of Site Origin.

    My theme is Enfold, installed on WordPress with WPML for multi-language. It may be in conflict with WPML.

    I did’nt try it after the last update of Page Builder. Any tips?

    • 1 year, 2 months ago Ian Rossiter Hi, I Work Here

      Hey Daniel. Thank you for your comment. In order to assist you further would you mind opening a thread on siteorigin.com/thread. Once you have done that, please send me the thread link and I can escalate it for you.

  8. 1 year, 2 months ago Veronica

    Guys, I love this post! Great visual/text liaison. Super useful.

    Do you think you could expand on it and clarify the different settings too? I struggle with the choice of image size and set up of the widget size on the page. Can you explain the correlation between these vs column and website width?

    Thanks so much!

    • 1 year, 2 months ago Ian Rossiter Hi, I Work Here

      Hi Veronica. I am so glad you love the post. Thank you for your comments. I have made a note of your requests and will keep you up to date with any follow up posts.

  9. 1 year, 2 months ago Natasha Advani

    It’s awesome

    • 1 year, 2 months ago Ian Rossiter Hi, I Work Here

      Thank you Natasha!

  10. 1 year, 2 months ago Maze Sire

    Really Helpfull, Thank you =)

  11. 1 year, 2 months ago Marjorie

    Thanks for the lesson!

  12. 1 year, 2 months ago Kyle Alm

    Some of the parallax background plugins and visual page builders change page scroll speeds and it makes a really poor experience for some users. I’m having a big problem with Mac users and Chrome for some reason.

    Any tips for that? Besides not doing it?

    This is a lot cleaner than what I am using currently, really need to

  13. 1 year, 2 months ago Stephen Hill

    Excellent as always.

    • 1 year, 2 months ago Ian Rossiter Hi, I Work Here

      Thank you Stephen

  14. 1 year, 2 months ago David LeBlanc

    Thanks for the explanation. For a long time I was trying to make a parallax image behave as a fixed image, not understanding what the difference was,

    w3schools.com labels a fixed image background as a parallax image. You can see it here: https://www.w3schools.com/howto/tryhow_css_parallax_demo.htm. The confusion seems to widespread. This was the effect I wanted to get, thinking this was a parallax feature. No I know the difference and both are easy to set up in PageBuilder.

    • 1 year, 2 months ago Ian Rossiter Hi, I Work Here

      Absolute pleasure David. So glad it helped clear up the confusion. Really appreciate your feedback.

  15. 1 year, 2 months ago Ricardo Penders

    Thanks for sharing, I was already trying to do something with parallax backgrounds on my website and this info is helpful.

    It would be even better if we could use parallax backgrounds not in a window but I wanted it to show the full width of the page, the same thing with the still background images.

    • 1 year, 2 months ago Ian Rossiter Hi, I Work Here

      Hi Ricardo. If I am understanding you correctly try edit the Row Settings (Spanner Icon). Under the Layout Tab, set the Row Layout from “Standard” to “Full Width”. Let me know if that is the effect that you are looking for.

  16. 1 year, 2 months ago George Jardine

    LOVE IT!

    Is there a tutorial, or parallax docs somewhere? I’m adding the parallax background attributes to images, and all I get is a narrow strip. I need to learn how to set a fixed window in which to see the scrolling background image.

    • 1 year, 2 months ago Ian Rossiter Hi, I Work Here

      Hey George. Thanks for the comment. Try edit the Row Settings (Spanner Icon). Under the Layout Tab, add some Top and Bottom padding. Try 200px for each. That will increase height of the row and hence the window in which to see the background image. Let me know if that helps.

      • 1 year, 2 months ago George Jardine

        Thanks, Ian. Should have thought to try that. Works better.

        Next question: The page title appears right aligned (slammed) in gray text right on top of the image, even tho’ I’m using “Hidden” as Title Position, and there is no text in the Title Text field.

        Any ideas?

        Putting a space in the Title text field fixes it…. but seems a little funky.

        • 1 year, 2 months ago George Jardine

          Sorry…. I meant “left aligned”……

        • 1 year, 2 months ago George Jardine

          Also…. do I have any control over the starting position?

  17. 1 year, 2 months ago Andy Whincup

    Thanks for that. Parallax options seem to be disabled in the Hero Image widget. While you can set the style to parallax, the widget itself limits you to cover.

    Am I missing something?

  18. 1 year, 1 month ago Kat

    Hello love the widget bundles that you guys offer. But it gives me a http error when I upload photos. Please fix. thanks

  19. 1 year, 1 month ago Jessica Lee

    Wow that is super useful I had seen these before but did not know what the difference really was until looking at this thanks for the info

  20. 1 year, 1 month ago Joey Buttafuoco

    Fixed Vs Parallax Background Images is a great article! Thanks!

  21. 1 year, 1 month ago Josef H

    We are looking at one of your themes for our new website.

    Josef Haraman – Limos On The Strip

  22. 1 year, 1 month ago Kien Huynh

    Yeah, great! I love Siteorigin.

  23. 1 year, 24 days ago James Swinton

    I really like the parallax sections in my website but wish they would remain parallax when on mobile version.  You can check out it out website here (Luxury Car Service in Charleston SC) and let me know if you have any editing suggestions.
    Thanks – Jimmy

  24. 1 year, 22 days ago Jack

    Thank you for the post – this has generally saved hours of my day!

  25. 1 year, 13 days ago Coventry gutter cleaners

    That is pretty insane. It is like that new(ish) feature modern smartphones have with the background screen that changes perspective as your head moves. I like it alot!

  26. 1 year, 3 days ago Andy

    Thanks for the info Ian! Going to see if we can add this to our company website (www.bestelectricianguelph.com)

  27. 11 months, 27 days ago Jerome Patrick

    Good info!

  28. 11 months, 17 days ago Carlois

    Cool beans`

  29. 11 months, 17 days ago Carlois

    I have been using siteorigin page builder (love it)

    “Fixed Background Image Inside a Widget” or “Fixed Background Image Inside a Page Builder Row” do not work in iOS. (ipad and iphone)
    I hope you’ve noticed this issue and doing something about it

    Thank You

  30. 11 months, 17 days ago Carlois

    Great result!
    Abogados de accidentes

  31. 11 months, 14 days ago Tom

    Great comparison. Makes it easier to see the visual difference from a viewer’s standpoint. We have never used the parallax background but it’s worth considering to provide some variation as the viewer scrolls content.

  32. 11 months, 11 days ago Julien

    Thanks. I noticed that the fixed background effect does not work on my Iphone, so I wondered if there is any solution you propose ?

    Regards

    Julien

  33. 11 months, 8 days ago Skidmark Design

    Following. Having same type of issue on the Iphone with our site

    Joe

  34. 9 months, 25 days ago Casa Grande Towing Company

    Thanks for the article on the difference between the two. In my graphic biz I only use fixed, but now will try parallax backgrounds also. Keep up the good information, I’ll be back to the site!

  35. 9 months, 4 days ago Reviews

    I have been using siteorigin page builder (love it)

    “Fixed Background Image Inside a Widget” or “Fixed Background Image Inside a Page Builder Row” do not work in iOS. (ipad and iphone)
    I hope you’ve noticed this issue and doing something about it

    Thank You

  36. 8 months, 14 days ago Leif Poulsen

    I have a question about something else I don’t know if this is the wrong forum.
    There is some plugins which use shortcodes they won’t work. 1) One is calculated field form. 2) and an other one was Blog designer. And I also had problem exporting layouts in some wordpress themes the wouldn’t export them.

  37. 4 months, 23 days ago jurrit

    Thanks! Works like a charm :-)

  38. 4 months, 14 days ago Michael

    Thank you for the tips – looks beautiful!

  39. 4 months, 8 days ago Annuwaire

    Thank you for this post and the exemples, explanations about parallax effect cannot be better.

  40. 4 months, 8 days ago Netref

    I was looking for the best existing explanations about parallax effect for my customers, that is where i found it ! congrats.

  41. 4 months, 4 days ago Bolton

    Great themes, looking at them now as they may fit our new development – thanks.

  42. 4 months, 4 days ago Wpchili

    Hi Ian,
    Thanks for this article. I always have trouble to distinguish parallax and the fixed background image but now it’s better!

  43. 3 months, 25 days ago Zwanger Vrouw

    I used to think parallax backgrounds would distract visitors from the content but lately I’ve seen more and more websites which use it very subtle.

  44. 3 months, 23 days ago jee

    How to make parallax background image.

  45. 3 months, 4 days ago Emily Wilson

    Well, before reading this I was supposing that fix and parallax are same. thank you for this post.

  46. 3 months, 12 hours ago Guildford Glazier

    Fascinating article, I had no idea this was possible, will definitely try this out. Thanks Ian.

  47. 2 months, 30 days ago Alles in 1

    Hi Ian,

    Is it possible to scroll down in one defined speed?

    Cheers,

    Olaf

  48. 2 months, 22 days ago Jacqueline khan

    In my opinion, I’ll use Parallax to create the background image for my new site log it can be easily fixed anywhere.

  49. 2 months, 20 days ago Farukh

    Hi, Is there a way we can add video instead of image and then make it like parallax? I am trying to implement this solution https://codeconvey.com/video-parallax-background-using-css3/ but not able to make it work. Can’t we do something fix with videos? Your help must be appreciated. Thanks.

  50. 2 months, 18 days ago Vergelijkexpert.nl

    Parralax looks really fantastic. Thank you very much!

  51. 2 months, 17 days ago Local Glazier

    The parallax affect is stunning

  52. 2 months, 10 days ago Klaus Dank

    Plugins SiteOrigin Premium
    Beim Aktualisieren von SiteOrigin Premium ist ein Fehler aufgetreten: Verzeichnis konnte nicht angelegt werden. siteorigin-premium/addons/plugin/accordion

    • 2 months, 10 days ago Alex S Hi, I Work Here

      Hi Klaus,

      It appears you’re experiencing an issue with updating SiteOrigin Premium. Can you please email premium support at [email protected]?

  53. 1 month, 12 days ago Jan Internet

    Amazing, i’ve been looking for this a while!

  54. 1 month, 7 days ago Chester

    Beautiful just beautiful

  55. 1 month, 4 days ago edi-nm

    Photos added with Parallax Background have better quality than others? I’m running new site and want to know.

    • 1 month, 4 days ago Alex S Hi, I Work Here

      Hi Edi-nm,

      The quality of the photos is dependent on the image you’re using. Ideally, you should use an image that’s larger than the area you’re applying it to as that will prevent any degrade in quality due to the image not having to be stretched for the parallax to work.

  56. 24 days, 7 hours ago Marnix

    I think the effect is distraction from the content. I always think something goes wrong with the css when i see a parallax or fixed background.

  57. 2 days, 6 hours ago Haryana Police Admit Card

    nice post about nature beauty

  58. 9 hours, 50 minutes ago Luna

    Thank you for this clear explanation, Ian. Is this possible with the free version of origin or do I need to buy the premium version?

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