How to Reduce the Size of a GIF

How to Reduce the Size of a GIF? 7 Methods to Compress

Optimizing GIF sizes can be crucial for maintaining speedy web pages and ensuring your content is accessible even on limited bandwidth. 

You may have wanted to make your plain blogs or social media posts more attractive by adding GIFs. This is understandable, but the issue is GIF files may take more space than you expect, drastically decreasing your website speed. 

However, there are plenty of ways you can compress your GIF images with ease. These tricks don’t need complex technical knowledge; you can use them from Canva. We used Canva because it’s easier to make GIFs from this platform. 

Let’s get started!

What are GIF Files?

GIF files, standing for Graphics Interchange Format, are a type of image file widely utilized across digital platforms. Characterized by their lossless compression, these files are adept at preserving image quality while minimizing file size, an essential attribute for web usage. Notably, GIFs support static and animated images, making them versatile for various applications, from simple graphics to short animations.

Well, GIFs serve as a powerful tool. They encapsulate sequences of images or frames within a single file, thus enabling animation without complex scripting or programming. 

This feature is particularly beneficial for enhancing user engagement on websites and social media, where captivating visuals are paramount.

How to Reduce the Size of a GIF in 7 Multiple Methods

Here are some strategies that you can use to effectively reduce the size of your GIFs without compromising their visual appeal. 

1. Crop your GIF to make it physically smaller

By trimming the edges of your GIF, you make it physically smaller. This dimension reduction directly decreases the file size, making the GIF lighter and quicker to load.

In this GIF, the edges of the photo are unnecessary. So, we will trim the edges from the original photo to make it smaller and more efficient. 

How to Reduce the Size of a GIF

All you need to do is select all the elements and drag the entire thing to the edge to fit the border size. 

How to Reduce the Size of a GIF

2. Download the GIF in lower resolution 

If you download your GIF in lower resolution, it will store fewer pixels, reducing the file size. While this may affect the quality, it significantly improves loading times. 

In our case, the Canva downloader suggested a 1080*1080px file size but converted it to a 648*648px file size. 

How to Reduce the Size of a GIF

3. You can remove duplicate image frames

In many GIF animations, you’ll find frames that repeat or are very similar to others, intended to lengthen the animation’s duration. However, these repeated frames can only increase your file’s size if you enhance your animation’s visual narrative and appeal.

So, once you recognize these redundant frames, removing them significantly reduces the total frame count, lowering the overall file size. This option exclusively works for GIFs that are made from independent pictures. 

4. You can remove unnecessary frames from the animation

Sometimes, your GIF might include frames that, although unique, don’t significantly enhance the story or visual appeal. These could be frames at the beginning or end of the animation or any part that doesn’t contribute to the overall message or enjoyment.

So, if your GIFs are made with animation, then removing unnecessary animation will make the GIF size smaller and consume less space. 

If a frame doesn’t play a crucial role, remove it. By cutting out these unnecessary frames, you reduce the file size and streamline the viewing experience, ensuring the audience focuses on the key moments.

5. Make your GIF small when uploading in WordPress 

Reducing their size is essential for better website performance when adding GIFs to your WordPress site. WordPress offers tools and plugins to help you compress GIFs automatically when you upload them. 

These tools make the file size smaller, often without a noticeable loss in quality, ensuring your website loads quickly for visitors. You can also manually do it by decreasing the height and width of the file. 

Try to keep these settings when you upload any GIFs in a WordPress post. 

How to Reduce the Size of a GIF

6. Make your video clip shorter

Almost 90% of you will use video clips to make your GIF file. So, reduce the length of your videos. A shorter video clip means a shorter animation, resulting in a smaller file size. 

By condensing your video’s content to the most essential scenes or moments, you capture the viewer’s attention more effectively and ensure that the resulting GIF is optimized for quick loading and smooth playback on any platform.

The original clip of this video was 6 seconds, so we reduced the length to 1 second. Same results, just less storage space! 

How to Reduce the Size of a GIF

7. You can use Photoshop’s “Save for web” option 

If editing a GIF file in Photoshop, consider using the “Save for web” option. 

Adobe Photoshop provides a “Save for Web” feature, explicitly designed to minimize file sizes while retaining quality. This option allows you to adjust various parameters, like color depth and dithering, to find the perfect balance between quality and file size.

First, open the GIF file in Photoshop, then open File > Export > Save for web

How to Reduce the Size of a GIF

The Original version is 3.34M.

How to Reduce the Size of a GIF

But, if you use the Adjusted version, you will see that the size has been reduced. 

How to Reduce the Size of a GIF

Finally, save the GIF on your device. 

This is the GIF file we worked on from the beginning of the article that meets all the proportions of a perfect compressed GIF without increased size.  

How to Reduce the Size of a GIF


Why are GIF file sizes so big?

GIF file sizes can become significantly large due to their frame-by-frame animation storage format. Unlike modern video formats with advanced compression algorithms, GIFs store each frame as an individual image, leading to larger file sizes. 

This lack of efficient compression is particularly noticeable when GIFs contain many colors or intricate details across many frames, making the overall file size more prominent.

Is GIF smaller or bigger than MP4?

Typically, GIFs are bigger than MP4 files when comparing animations or videos of similar length and quality. MP4 formats utilize more advanced compression methods, such as H.264 or H.265 codecs, which significantly reduce file size without drastically impacting visual quality. 

These codecs analyze and compress sequences of frames effectively, something the GIF format, with its older technology, does not do.

What affects GIF file size?

Several factors can affect the size of a GIF file. These include the GIF’s resolution, color depth (the number of colors used), the number of frames in the animation, and the presence of dithering (a technique used to blend colors). 

Higher resolutions and greater color depths increase file sizes as more information needs to be stored. Additionally, more frames in an animation and extensive use of dithering can contribute to larger GIF files.

Are GIFs smaller than animated PNG?

Whether GIFs are smaller than animated PNGs (APNGs) depends on the specific content and complexity of the animation. Due to their restricted color palette, GIFs might be smaller for simple animations with limited colors. 

However, PNGs support millions of colors and offer better compression for detailed images, which can result in smaller file sizes for complex animations compared to similarly complex GIFs.

What is the reasonable GIF size?

A reasonable GIF size for web use generally falls under 1 MB, optimizing for quick loading times and smooth website performance. 

This size ensures that the GIFs are efficient in loading over various types of internet connections, including mobile data, without sacrificing too much on the quality. Balancing file size and quality is key to maintaining an engaging yet performance-friendly web presence.

Make Your GIFs Efficient by Compressing them Perfectly 

By optimizing your GIFs, you ensure that they load quickly and seamlessly across various platforms, enhancing the user experience without compromising on quality. 

Employ strategies such as adjusting color depth, reducing frame count, and utilizing compression tools to strike the perfect balance between file size and visual fidelity. 

Remember, the goal is to create engaging content that is accessible and efficient, keeping your audience’s needs in mind. With thoughtful compression, your GIFs will contribute positively to your digital presence, making them a valuable asset in your multimedia arsenal.

You can do it! 

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