7 Easy Tips On How To Optimize Animated GIFs (2023)

7 minutes read

Tired of GIFs taking too long to load? Wondering how to reduce the size of GIF animations or resize them without losing quality? If you want to make sure your page loads fast for all your users across all the networks and want to show your animated GIFs, this post is for you.

In this article, we will take a close look at some of the options you have if you want to create great GIF animation and optimize its file size.

Here’s a list of things you can do:

  • Reduce the number of colors
  • Resize your GIF
  • Get creative with simple shapes
  • Cover up your photos
  • Use smooth gradients
  • Reduce the number of frames
  • Avoid useless animations

The internet loves GIFs, and that’s a fact.

Despite being with us for over 31 years, animated GIFs are still one of the most popular image formats out there. Since then, many superior formats have been invented, but somehow we still love GIFs most because they link us to the first years of using the internet.

Remember this dancing banana? Still funny!

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Why Animated GIFs Take So Much Space?

Now that we established why, 30 years later, we still use GIFs in our content marketing strategy, let’s look at the technical side.

Do you ever wonder why sometimes, if you transform an MP4 to an animated GIF, the GIF will end up having a much bigger file size than its MP4 video source?

The difference can sometimes become huge, a 10-second video clip in MP4 format might be 2MB, but the same video in GIF format can take up more than 20MB.

First of all, an animated GIF stores each of its frames as individual GIF images that combined create the illusion of motion, so you actually have more images moving, just like in the early ages of cartoons.

(Video) 10 Ways to Optimize an Animated GIF File

GIFs use a lossless compression algorithm, so no information is lost by compressing the pixel data. The uncompressed pixel data is precisely the same as the original data.

When it comes to colors, GIFs only support 256, a lot less than the 16.7 million colors in a JPEG file, which is far too limited to represent real pictures.

That’s why some of your animated GIFs may use more space than you expected, since combining a limited number of colors to get a certain realistic shade might mean using up more information.

Little Known Tips to Optimize Animated GIFs in Seconds

Let’s find out how you can optimize animated GIFs to eliminate the page bloat resulting from using them.

With a few easy tips and tricks, your animated GIFs can look clean, fun, and creative without taking up so much space and slowing down your page.

At first, it might seem like there’s a lot of boundaries and limitations to get the perfect animated GIF without using too many resources. However, these apparent limitations will, eventually, make you more creative. Don’t worry; we’ve got you covered.

Creatopy’s GIF maker is a tool where you and your team can collaborate to scale campaigns and stay on-brand. It’s also the place where you can find tons of inspiration, including static and animated templates.

The great thing about our animated GIF templates is that they are already optimized so you don’t have to worry about them taking up too many resources. After you select a size, you can click on any of them and start working in our editor.

Also, if possible, try embedding HTML5 images instead of animated GIFs. You can read more on GIF vs. HTML5 here.

You don’t even need any coding skills to switch to HTML5. Just save the file in Creatopy and export it in the appropriate file type. You can also use the Sitecheker website audit tool to find critical errors on your website when resizing images.

1. Reduce the number of colors

To reduce the file size, just choose a palette of a few colors and stick to them. You’ll get the best results if you only use 2-3 colors. Remember, bright and intense shades of color take up more space, so try using a few neutral colors and maybe a bright one.

If this fits your branding, you can go for black and white and another additional color to highlight the CTA, like in this creative example.

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(Video) 10 Ways to Optimize an Animated GIF File

Edit This Template

2. Resize your GIF

It’s really easy to resize a GIF, especially on our platform. You can resize a GIF you already have on your computer or create it from scratch in Creatopy.

In the editor, you have the Resize button at the top left of the screen, so you can click it to choose the size or sizes you want to generate. There are tens of predefined sizes to select from, but you can also create your own if you don’t find one that suits you.

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After you resize your initial GIF, you can make further changes or download the file as-is.

3. Get creative with simple shapes

Whenever possible and appropriate, go for illustrations instead of photographs. You’ll be surprised by how you can recreate the same impression with some simple colors and shapes.

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Edit This Template

When it comes to shapes, you can add more dynamics by simply rotating them a few degrees.

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Edit This Template

4. Cover up your photos

If you want to use a picture in your animated GIF without turning it into a huge file, you can add a simple overlay to reduce the number of colors in your image. Going for sepia shades or black and white is always a good idea when it comes to optimizing your image size. Also, the other elements you add to your animation will become more visible this way.

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Edit This Template

If you need to show a realistic photo with all its true colors, try covering up most of the picture with a solid block of color without using any transitions; you’ll still get enough of the picture to show the essential, but now the file size is reduced to almost a half of its original size.

(Video) How to Optimize an Animated GIF | How to Reduce GIF Size | How to Compress GIF Files

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Edit This Template

5. Use smooth gradients

If you want to use gradients, make sure you choose two similar colors. Avoid gradients between contrasting colors to shrink the file size.

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Edit This Template

6. Reduce the number of frames

Since, as mentioned before, Animated GIFs actually combine static images frame by frame. You should consider reducing the number of frames up to the point where the animation still makes sense for the user. Sometimes, 2-3 frames might have the desired effect without slowing down the web page.

You should also avoid any unnecessary video effects like flashy animations, dithering, and interlacing.

7. Avoid useless animation

No need to animate all the elements to make a creative GIF! Just animate what you need and keep the rest of the elements static.

Sure, you could add more motion, but is that really necessary? When it comes to animations, sometimes less is more; adding a massive number of moving elements won’t get more of your user’s attention; they might actually overwhelm him and have the exact opposite effect, making him leave your website.

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Edit This Template

After you finished creating your animated GIF, you can also use a GIF Compressor like GIF maker to optimize it.

See? It’s easy to optimize an animated GIF if you know all the technical details on how to do it and why you should consider some types of content rather than others.

(Video) Optimize Animated GIFs w/ Free GIF Converter Tool

Tips for Using Animated GIFs in Content Marketing

Nowadays, the reason we use GIFs in our content marketing strategy is often technical—they are still the easiest way to add a moving image that loops and auto-plays to a web page, and they are supported by most browsers.

That’s why we integrated the GIPHY Widget in our animated GIF maker tool, Creatopy, so you can be more creative with your designs.

You can find this new feature in the Elements section.

The animated GIF can be edited just like a video, which means you have the option to trim it, add build-in or build-out effects, enable/disable autoplay, or play it on a loop.

In the fast-moving world of the internet, you’ll often need to display video content that becomes visible as soon as users open the article without asking them to click play.

“Simply pressing play on a video is one step too many
when timing is relevant…”

Andy Orin, Editor at Lifehacker

The GIF format is used by 30% of all the websites, and it’s no wonder, considering that it still is one of the most versatile and easy ways to add moving content to your site.

If you use animated GIFs in your email marketing strategy, it’s even more important to be careful about the file size since, on mobile devices, large GIFs can consume data plans and load slower.

When sending marketing or transactional emails, we recommend limiting theemail sizeto 10 MB maximum.

Adding animations to your email campaigns gives them an element of delight that can’t be reproduced with static email designs.

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More reason to use them comes by analyzing data: a case study by Dell shows impressive results from their first GIF-centered email campaign: 6% increase in open rate, 42% increase in click rate, and an incredible 103% increase in conversion rate.

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(Video) Export GIFs the RIGHT WAY! After Effects to GIF (Lowest File Size)

In conclusion, you might want to consider using animated GIFs in your email campaigns, but only after adequately optimizing the file size to avoid any risks.

Now that you know how to create animations that take up less space, go ahead and create your own amazing GIFs.


7 Easy Tips On How To Optimize Animated GIFs? ›

Use a GIF compressor to shrink GIFs down to the file size you need. A great tool to use is Kapwing, since they're an all-in-one video editor that allows you to compress GIFs, videos, and images without losing control over quality.

How do I reduce the size of an animated GIF without losing quality? ›

Use a GIF compressor to shrink GIFs down to the file size you need. A great tool to use is Kapwing, since they're an all-in-one video editor that allows you to compress GIFs, videos, and images without losing control over quality.

How do I optimize an animated GIF in Photoshop? ›

The most relevant option for optimizing GIF size is the number of colors used in the Color Table. The maximum amount of colors is 256, which comes from the 8-bit-depth limitation. Generally speaking, it's good to stick with 64 colors or less to compress the GIF file in Photoshop.

How do I optimize a GIF size? ›

How to Reduce GIF File Size for Better Website Performance
  1. Crop any extra space around the image. ...
  2. When you prepare a GIF image, reduce the output dimensions. ...
  3. Reduce the number of colors in the image. ...
  4. Reduce the number of frames in the image for animated GIFs.
Oct 3, 2022

How do you make an animated GIF sharper? ›

Gif sharpener. This online utility lets you sharpen animated GIF files. You can set the sharpening strength as a percentage in the options and apply the sharpening effect to the selected part of a frame or to the entire frame. As you adjust the strength, you'll immediately see the effect in the output preview player.

Can you make a high quality GIF? ›

Converting a video to GIF with Adobe Express takes only a few moments. Upload your video from your device, select the size and quality of the GIF you want, and you're ready to go. Adobe Express makes it quick and simple to convert any video to high-quality GIFs.

Why is my animated GIF so large? ›

Remember: The more frames you use in your GIF, the bigger the file size. After importing your GIF to Photoshop, you can look at the animation frame-by-frame. If there are multiple layers with the same frame image, give the duplicates the boot. Here at Litmus, we often use EZGIF to optimize our animated GIFs.

What affects GIF file size? ›

This means that the more colors you use (and the more pixels are changing between frames), the larger the rendered GIF file will be. Note: Simple graphics like these don't need over 32 colors, so whenever you're working with similar projects, you can lower your number of colors to save on file size.

What affects GIF size? ›

The number of frames per second in your GIF will determine the total number of frames rendered in the final image. Therefore, if your frame rate is 30, the size will be larger than that with a frame rate of 24. Standard GIFs run between 15 and 24 frames per second.

What is the best quality for GIFs? ›

Source video resolution should be 720p max, but we recommend you keep it at 480p. Keep in mind media will appear mostly on small screens or smaller messaging windows.

What are optimal GIF dimensions? ›

Your images and GIFs should not be overly wide or tall. Phones adjust multimedia to fit the width of the text message, so a ratio exceeding 9:16 may look distorted. Generally, images and GIFs can be in any of the following formats. 480 x 480, 600 x 600, etc.

Why is my GIF low quality? ›

The GIF file format has a hard-coded limitation of 256 colors, so when you save or convert as GIF, it has an unavoidable loss of quality to the photo.

What is the best file size for animated GIF? ›

So size is less of a concern, but should still be noted. A good ballpark size that will upload quickly, cause photoshop no headaches and will be absolutely fine for most high quality is around 50mb. This means that shorter gifs can be up to 720p where as longer ones will be 800 or so width.

What is the best frame rate for animated GIFs? ›

Usually you should be good with 12–15 Hz, although you probably know that higher (progressive) rates of 24, 25 and 30 Hz (or double that) are used in cinema and television. Be also aware that some browsers may actually slow down GIFs with too high a frame rate, which can start at 20 Hz.


1. Optimizing animated GIFs with GIPHY and Premiere Pro
2. Photoshop Tutorial - Creating GIFs in Photoshop & Best GIF Optimization Techniques
3. STOP USING PHOTOSHOP for Creating Simple GIFs!
4. Tips & Tricks From James Curran - Gif Size Reduction
(Motion Design School)
5. How to reduce GIF file size online? [With Free & Fast GIF file size reducer]
6. How to optimize small file size animated GIF from Premiere Pro with the help of a free website
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