The Best Way to Host a GIF or Embed it to your site

CATEGORY: InternetTips
February 17, 2014

Animated GIF files are the pillars of the internet, without whom the people of the internet cannot watch cats trying to dominate the world. However, GIFs are old by a few decades – they stream very slowly (regardless of how fast your internet is), the files are huge in size (often unnecessarily), the colors used are dated, etc. However, there’s a solution to that.


Gfycat is a “GIF delivery network”, which is the technical term for website-which-hosts-gif. Gfycat is different, however. With its choice of providing HTML5 instead of the standard GIF format, gfycat’s gifs are incredibly fast for a gif file. If you are one among those whose browser does not support HTML5, then worry not, because gfycat automatically detects which browser you use, to provide the the best way possible to view the gif animation.

They also have a controls for the gif playback, including reducing or increasing the playback speed, pausing a gif (never heard that one before, eh?) and restarting a gif from the first. You can either upload a gif on their site, or “fetch” a gif from another site to gfycat. Fetching can be done either on their homepage, or more easily, just add “gfycat.com/fetch/” before the gif’s direct url.

If you chose to upload a gif (like this one), you get many links to share it with. You get the gfycat link, but a direct gif url is also provided for use in some sites (certain reddit subreddits). For those of who who’d like to embed a gif to your website, you should paste this code to either your site’s header or footer and use gfycat’s one line code to put the gif anywhere you please. Here is gfycat’s version of the same GIF shown above:

The above gif is around 10mb in size, but gfycat manages to stream it much faster than that. Do you know of any other similar services? Do comment!

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Blog by Abhilash Rejanair. He currently doing his engineering in Computer Science. Read more about him.

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