An image says a thousand words. But if you need more to speak, a GIF image is what you need!
But, GIF images can often give some trouble since they come in larger sizes.
No worries, though—you can fix the problem by effectively compressing your GIF images.
Compressing GIF images is not as scary as we think. Thanks to the excellently engineered architecture of the GIF images.
In this article, we will discuss 5 super efficient yet simple methods to compress GIF images without losing quality.
What is a GIF Image?
A GIF (Graphics Interchange Format) image is a widely used and versatile image format. It’s famous for its ability to show animations and reactions.
GIFs are usually short, silent video clips that play repeatedly. It makes your website excellent, expressing emotions or showing simple tutorials.
GIF images support transparency, which means they can have no background or overlay on top of other content. So, they take less storage.
You can use GIF images as your website logos, illustrating step-by-step guides and creating humorous memes.
GIF images have limitations, such as lower resolution and frame rates than videos, small file sizes, ease of use, and engagement factors. These characteristics keep GIF images famous for online communication and content creation.
Why Should You Compress GIF Images?
Before going to that part, why do you use GIF images?
Display some short videos and instructions that eventually boost the visual appeal of your website.
But there’s a catch. Though GIF images are smaller than videos, GIF image files are usually bigger than regular images. And if a GIF image file is large, it takes more time to load.
Your website loads slower. It may cause more people to leave your site quickly, which could be better. Well, it hurts your website’s performance.
So, what’s the fix?
You can compress the GIF images.
You can reduce the file size of GIF images without sacrificing image quality by compressing them.
Google says that about 25% of websites can save more than 250KB by compressing images and text. For some, it’s even more than 1MB. It’s a simple way to make your site faster and better.
How to Compress GIF Images?
GIF is a modern image format. You might think that it’s not very easy to compress GIF images. Though GIFs are animated images, they compress like regular images. Thus, you can easily compress GIF images.
Here are 5 of the most simple methods to compress GIF images:
Use Online GIF Compression Tools to Compress GIF Images
Compressing GIF images is unique because it reduces the number of image frames, colors used, and other elements. However, online GIF image compression tools can take care of all these aspects. With these tools, you can compress GIF images with just one click without losing quality.
Here are some of the most effective online image compression tools for GIF image compression:
ShortPixel Image Optimizer is an excellent image compression tool to compress GIF images. It allows you to choose from three compression levels: Lossy, Glossy, and Lossless. Besides, you can preview the compressed image and compare it with the original and compressed versions.
Ezgif is a dedicated tool that is mainly made to compress GIF images. It offers options for lossy compression and allows you to select the compression level. You can also reduce the number of colors and frames and optimize image transparency.
FreeConvert is a versatile tool to compress GIF images effortlessly. It provides advanced GIF compression features. It allows you to custom-set the compression level, reduce frames and colors, and configure the number of colors.
Compress GIF is another excellent tool you can use to compress GIF images. It lets you choose the compression level based on image quality, resize compressed GIF images, and remove colors and frames.
GIF Optimizer from Pi7 is an effective tool to compress GIF images effortlessly. It uses lossy compression and offers three levels of compression: low, medium, and high. You can reduce colors and frames and even add delay to removed frames.
These online tools can compress GIF images quickly and efficiently, ensuring your images remain visually appealing while reducing file sizes.
Pick a Suitable Image Compression level
What’s the most critical factor in image compression?
It’s the compression level.
The compression level has a direct impact on image quality and file size. It also influences color reduction, frame rate, transparency, and more.
You can achieve the desired compression results without sacrificing image quality by selecting the appropriate compression level. Setting a compression level for GIF images is simple since most image compression tools offer this option.
With ShortPixel’s online image compression tool, it’s a piece of cake. Just upload your GIF image, pick a compression level (Lossy, Glossy, or Lossless), and let it do the work.
If you’re aiming for the smallest possible GIF file size, go for Lossy. If you want to reduce file size while preserving image quality, opt for Lossless.
Remove Duplicate Image Frames
Animated GIF images are a collaboration of several image frames. GIF images store each frame as a separate image. The more frames there are, the larger the file size will be. Sometimes, these frames are identical.
Thus, it creates unnecessary redundancy. Removing duplicate frames can compress GIF images effectively. It reduces the file size without significantly affecting the visual quality or elements.
Duplicate frames contain redundant image data. By removing these duplicates, you eliminate the need to store the same image information multiple times in the GIF file. This reduction in data can result in a smaller file size.
But you should know that reducing frames could impact the GIF’s visual quality. That’s why you should remove duplicate frames carefully.
Another thing you should remember is that when you remove duplicate frames, you may need to adjust the frame delay for the remaining structures to maintain the animation’s timing and flow.
You can use photo editing tools like Photoshop to remove GIFs’ duplicate frames. Also, you can use GIF compression online tools such as OnlineGIFTools or FreeConverter’s GIF Compressor to remove GIF frames.
Just upload the GIF to the GIF Compressor, then scroll to the GIF Frame Remover Options.
Next, select removes duplicate frames from the Delete Every n-th Frame option or select Delect These Frames. You can also maintain the original speed from the options.
Reduce The Number of Colors
The number of colors in a GIF image affects its file size. The more colors used, the larger the file size will be. Thus, the color reduction technique becomes vital in compressing GIF images. It reduces the weight of the GIF images by reducing the number of colors.
GIF images are limited to a maximum of 256 colors (8-bit color palette). You can reduce the amount of data required to store the image by reducing the number of colors. Hence, the GIF file size will be smaller.
However, you should reduce color carefully as it can cause a loss of color balance. It may be noticeable in the image, mainly if it contains gradients, subtle color transitions, or complex color patterns.
Color reduction also leads to loss of color quality. To mitigate the loss of color quality, you can apply dithering, which simulates additional colors by arranging the available colors in patterns. With a limited color palette, it can give the impression of more colors.
You can use FreeConverter’s GIF Compressor to reduce GIF’s color while compressing. To do that:
- Before you upload the GIF to the compressor, scroll down to Advanced Settings.
- Click on the Advanced Setting and choose Reduce the Number of Colors from the Reduce Colors? option.
- Reduce colors from the number of colors option.
- Click on the Apply setting and compress the GIF.
Optimize Transparency in GIF Images
GIF images store transparency information for each pixel, which can take up additional space in the file. Transparency optimization in a GIF image can reduce the file size by improving the efficiency of transparency information storage.
GIF images can have transparency in the form of an alpha channel that defines which pixels are transparent, partially transparent, or opaque. Optimizing clarity can lead to a smaller file size without sacrificing image quality.
When optimizing transparency, you can use photo editing software such as Photoshop. Also, you can use online GIF compression tools such as FreeConverter’s GIF Compressor.
To optimize transparency using FreeConverter’s GIF Compressor:
- Upload the GIF to the GIF Compressor.
- Click on the Advanced setting and tick mark the Optimize Transparency.
- Use the Fuzz Factor settings to match “similar” colors.
- Click on the Apply setting and compress the GIF.
The primary purpose of using GIF images on your website is to gain the attention of your users. Serve them something eye-soothing and attractive.
You need to compress the images up to a level where your users remain happy and satisfied with the content you are providing them.
So, compress GIF images up to a certain level that balances both quality and weight. So, the GIF image remains attractive, and it loads immediately.