How to Optimize Animated GIF and PDF Docs in WordPress

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No doubt that using animated GIFs has been increased recently. The big problem with a GIF is its size. A typical GIF image would be 1-2MB which will hurt the page speed and increase your page loading time. In this short and easy tutorial, I’ll show you how to optimize animated GIF and also PDF documents.

The Final Results

I would like to start this guide by the final results. Here is what you will get when you follow this tutorial to optimize animated GIF and PDF documents. We will test both GIF and PDF documents to see the optimization results in action.

GIF Test

A sample GIF image with 2.4 MB size. After optimization, the final size is 827 KB which means that the size is reduced by 53.18% without any visual difference. You can check the results by clicking the images below.

Click each image to see the animated GIF
Before Optimization: 2.4 MB
After Optimization: 827 KB

PDF Test

Here is a sample PDF file for testing with 3.58 MB. After optimization, the final size became 2.6 MB that means its size reduced by 26.37%. Click images below to download the PDF files and compare size yourself.

Click each image to download the PDF document
Before Optimization: 3.58 MB
After Optimization: 2.6 MB

Optimize Animated GIF and PDF Docs

In this guide, we’re going to use ShortPixel. Don’t worry, if you don’t want to use the plugin, although I strongly recommend to use it for all of your media optimization, you can use the website. Just keep reading to know how to use the different options of ShortPixel to optimize animated GIF and PDF docs.

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ShortPixel, the plugin

To compress your uploaded GIFs and PDFs from your WordPress dashboard automatically, follow these simple steps:

  1. Go to your WordPress dashboard -> Plugins -> Add New
  2. Search for ‘ShortPixel’, install and activate it.
    Install Shortpixel
  3. Once activated, you will need an API key to get it working. By default, ShortPixel will give you 100 images (including thumbnails) for free. By clicking here, you will get +50% extra credits to your account. That means, you’ll get 150 images for free. Of course, you can upgrade your account for more images and credits.
    ShortPixel special offer for WPColt visitors
  4. Once you have your account created, go to your ShortPixel account -> API Key and copy it.

  5. Go back to your WordPress dashboard -> Settings -> ShortPixel and enter your API Key.

  6. Start uploading your files, either animated GIFs or PDF documents. You will see the compression ratio in your Media Library.

ShortPixel, the website

If you have your own optimization tool and it’s not helping you to compress the animated GIF files nor PDF documents, then you can make use of the ShortPixel website to optimize animated GIF and PDF documents.

  1. For GIF images go to this link. For PDF files, go to this link.
  2. Drop your images into the box.
  3. Once compression is completed, download the optimized images. Note that you can choose between lossy and lossless compression methods.

  4. Upload the docs to WordPress as usual.

That’s all! As you can see, it’s very easy to optimize animated GIF and PDF documents using ShortPixel. I hope you find it helpful. If you have any questions or feedback, feel free to use the comments section below.

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I write about Multilingual WordPress, SEO, Website Performance. Also, I like answering WordPress question on Quora. When I have the time, I run online sessions to teach WordPress for my personal FB page fans!

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