In this post I will be speaking of the popular animated GIF files. You will find what are they and how can they be quite useful for your audience.
But the main thing that you are going to learn are some tips and tricks about how to add animated GIF files in your WordPress posts and pages the right way.
What are animated GIF files?
Animated GIF files are a set of slides (frames) that follow each other and thus create an animated effect. These media formats can end with a loop (i.e. start from the beginning automatically) or end when the final frame has passed. The animated GIFs can be used in various cases. I will share 3 of the most common ones:
- User avatars – quite useful especially if you are moderating a forum or a community website. Users will love to express themselves with animated avatars and GIF files are the best way of achieving this.
- Grab the users attention – animated GIFs can be used in your posts or pages as a means of grabbing your users’ attention. This can be useful only if the animation is relevant to the topic of the post.
- Demonstrations – it is said that an image is worth a 1000 words. Video is even more valuable. However making video presentations and demonstrations is not suitable for everyone who owns a website nor for every hosting. Thus the animated GIFs come to the scene. They can be used as video animations to demonstrate a specific activity (for example adding files to a WordPress post) and the can be created extremely easy by everyone. Also they can be managed as ordinary images and do not need a special hosting capabilities.
How to properly add animated GIF files to WordPress?
You can do this in several ways:
- Upload the animated GIF file as an ordinary multimedia file to the WordPress library.
- Upload the animated GIF file to a sub-domain, FTP server or some cloud storage solution and embed it in your WordPress posts and pages.
- Use the WordPress plugin Giphypress to easily search for suitable animated GIFs from Giphy and add them instantly to your posts and pages.
In case you want to go with the first option, you will have to bear in mind that WordPress will treat animated GIFs as ordinary GIF images. Therefore the different thumbnails that are going to be created will contain only the first frame of the file and it will not be animated at all.
So the solution here is to select ‘Full Size’ when adding the animated GIF file to your WordPress posts or pages as it will be the original one and it will contain all of its frames.
In case you decide to go with the second option you will have to find a reliable cloud solution or FTP server. Upload the files there or create a specified sub-domain for this purpose and use it as a storage for the GIF files. Then use the WordPress function to add multimedia from an external URL. Provide the link to the animated GIF file and add it to your post or page.
I need to inform you that the second option is my favorite one. It makes your website faster which is very important for SEO.
The third option is only suitable if you are using Giphy as a reliable source for great animated GIFs.
Simply download and install the plugin and then activate it. A new icon will appear in the visual WordPress editor that will allow you to search and add files from Giphy. Simple as that!
How to optimize animated GIFs for SEO?
An animated GIF is smaller than a video file but it still needs to be optimized. Even if you go with the second option you still need each file to be as small as possible. Try to find the most suitable combination between quality and file size when creating the GIF. Remember that smaller files result in quality loss. In case the software or the tool that you are using to create the animated GIF cannot optimize it enough you can try using this great online tool called Ezgif. It is an animated GIF editor and image editor. You will be able to create and optimize animated GIFs with ease! Remember that you still need to download the optimized file as it will soon be deleted from the Ezgif server.
When you are done simply upload it either to your WordPress website or to the external solution and you are done! Simple as that and you will have animated GIFs in your posts and pages.
That’s all folks! If you have any questions please share them in the comment section below. Don’t forget to share this post in social media as well.
See you soon!