Home>Blog>What is the Difference Between Fixed and Parallax Background Images?

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. 15 days, 11 hours ago Evert

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

    • 15 days, 11 hours 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”.

  2. 15 days, 10 hours ago Jason

    Great tip! Thanks.

  3. 15 days, 10 hours ago Tim

    Thanks for this tip. Will be implementing shortly…

  4. 15 days, 10 hours 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.

    • 15 days, 10 hours ago Ian Rossiter Hi, I Work Here

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

  5. 15 days, 10 hours 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

    • 15 days, 10 hours ago Ian Rossiter Hi, I Work Here

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

  6. 15 days, 9 hours 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

    • 15 days, 5 hours ago Alex S

      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. 15 days, 9 hours 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?

    • 15 days, 8 hours 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. 15 days, 5 hours 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!

    • 14 days, 21 hours 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. 14 days, 22 hours ago Natasha Advani

    It’s awesome

    • 14 days, 21 hours ago Ian Rossiter Hi, I Work Here

      Thank you Natasha!

  10. 14 days, 15 hours ago Maze Sire

    Really Helpfull, Thank you =)

  11. 14 days, 12 hours ago Marjorie

    Thanks for the lesson!

  12. 14 days, 10 hours 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. 14 days, 6 hours ago Stephen Hill

    Excellent as always.

    • 13 days, 11 hours ago Ian Rossiter Hi, I Work Here

      Thank you Stephen

  14. 14 days, 2 hours 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.

    • 13 days, 11 hours ago Ian Rossiter Hi, I Work Here

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

  15. 12 days, 9 hours 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.

    • 10 days, 13 hours 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. 11 days, 3 hours 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.

    • 10 days, 13 hours 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.

      • 10 days, 13 hours 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.

        • 10 days, 13 hours ago George Jardine

          Sorry…. I meant “left aligned”……

        • 10 days, 3 hours ago George Jardine

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

  17. 6 days, 12 hours 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?

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