How to Fix GIF Doesn’t Animate on WordPress

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WordPress has been quite reluctant to support new image formats like WebP and SVG which promises better performance and storage efficiency. But this characteristic is not new. The platform is also kind of challenging for the legacy format, especially GIF.

As a WordPress user, I found sometimes an animated GIF is not running or in other words, loses its animation. This is a bit baffling as WordPress doesn’t actually give you notice regarding the issue. Therefore, troubleshooting the problem may take some time.

But this is the main cause:

WordPress automatically resized the GIF to multiple different sizes and loses the animation in the process. This can also happen if you are using an image compression plugin.

In the following guide, I will show you how to fix GIF that doesn’t animate. Albeit each WordPress site may have unique settings and configurations, I can confidently say this guide would work nonetheless.

Method 1: Serve the full size version of the image

1. Upload a GIF picture to the WordPress editor. You may also pick an existing file from your Media Library.

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2. Now, click on the picture to select it. If you are using Gutenberg Editor, a blue outline should appear.

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3. Next, go to Settings > Block.

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4. Under the Image Size, select Full Size.

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5. You should see the GIF is animating. Know that it may take a while for the full version to load.

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6. Furthermore, you can still resize the image to your desired dimension. But again, it would still be served at Full Size even if you downscale it.

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One massive drawback of this method is the behemoth size of the GIF file may significantly affect your site performance and user experience. Consider compressing the item before uploading.

For that, I recommend using Ezgif Optimizer which allows you to adjust the compression level based on how much visual quality you are willing to sacrifice.

Method 2: Exclude GIF from being compressed

Sometimes, the image compression plugin is partly to blame for a GIF file not animating. The compressed GIF often loses its animation even though you are serving the full-size version of it.

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WPMUDEV Smush Pro plugin automatically excludes GIF

Thankfully, most of these plugins will automatically exclude GIFs from compression. But you might want to check their settings to see if certain formats, especially GIFs, can be omitted.

If the plugin doesn’t have that option, try contacting the plugin developer or try alternative services.

Final words

Well, the fixes are fortunately quite easy. The first method, which just turning on the Full Size option should work on most WordPress sites. If none of these solutions help you, try running a staging site and troubleshooting the problem by deactivating all plugins.

Also, you may contact the CDN or hosting provider for further technical help.

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