Optimize Your Images – GIF

Generally, GIF files should be used for logos, line drawings and icons. Avoid using it for photographic images, and graphics which have long stretches of continuous-tone in them. When you’re designing GIF files, minimize the file size.

How do I optimize a GIF Image? This can get complicated and involves color palettes, reducing the color depth of the the image, dithering and to be honest is over my head!

I recommend you use a free online such as Imageoptimizer which you can use for free. You can reduce the file size of GIF images (upload size limit: 300 KB), even animated GIFs. Use it as often as you like, there’s never any charge. You can select images from your Webpage URL or your hard drive. The image below (1stsite.gif) was optimized using Imageoptimizer.

Original Image:

File Size: 8361 bytes
Number of Colors: 132
Width: 254 Height: 96

Optimized Images:

File Size: 5704 bytes
Reduction: 31%
Number of Colors: 128

File Size: 5418 bytes
Reduction: 35%
Number of Colors: 96

File Size: 4496 bytes
Reduction: 46%
Number of Colors: 64

File Size: 4261 bytes
Reduction: 49%
Number of Colors: 48

File Size: 3666 bytes
Reduction: 56%
Number of Colors: 32

File Size: 2741 bytes
Reduction: 67%
Number of Colors: 24

File Size: 2174 bytes
Reduction: 73%
Number of Colors: 16

File Size: 1862 bytes
Reduction: 77%
Number of Colors: 12

File Size: 1831 bytes
Reduction: 78%
Number of Colors: 8

File Size: 1815 bytes
Reduction: 78%
Number of Colors: 4

Many of the images above are significantly smaller with no noticeable difference in quality. However, once color depth is forced below 16 colors, image rendering becomes unpredictable. The difference in file sizes between 16 colors (1862 bytes) and 8 colors (1831 bytes) isn’t worth the risk. I recommend you never select a GIF image below 16 colors.

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