I am wanting to upload animated gifs to my website and use them as the featured image. I have a couple of questions.

Firstly...how do I stop wordpress from automatically resizing the image when I upload it and in the process changing my animated gif to a static one? I have looked at tutorials for it online, but most of them say to make sure I click "full sized image" when I upload. However this doesn't seem to be an option in wordpress 4.2.3?

Secondly, what are the alternative these days to animated gifs? I know its not ideal and they can be clunky. But I work with movie image, so I find it appealing to use gifs for my featured image. Although I may switch to a combination of static gifs and animated gifs for my featured images, I could have up to 20 gifs loading at the same time, which isn't ideal I suppose. I have looked at some plugins, and there is one that converts animated gifs to html5. However it has only been downloaded <40 times and has no rating.

  • Plugin recommendations are off topic, so I removed that part from your question. Can you post the code for the thumbnail display?
    – birgire
    Commented Jul 24, 2015 at 3:18
  • I would suggest asking 1 question per question, and simplifying your question to "How do I upload and use animated gifs, keeping the animation? Specifically for featured images". Asking how to eliminate resizing is an XY problem, and eliminates any answers that give you what you want that include resizing while preserving the animation, and just complicates the question
    – Tom J Nowell
    Commented Apr 17, 2016 at 20:01
  • There's a plugin called EWWW Image Optimizer. When compressing animated GIFs and creating the thumbnails will retain the animation. Proof: Original Image. The animated 150x150 thumbnail. Commented Nov 15, 2020 at 12:06

1 Answer 1


It is perfectly fine to use animated gifs in any capacity you like in WordPress, even as featured images. When you upload an image, WordPress will process it into various shapes and sizes, as specified by your theme and possibly some plugins as well.

The version of image that gets displayed is determined by your theme OR, if not specified, WordPress core (thumbnail = 150x150). The image is then displayed by the theme with the function the_post_thumbnail() - by default, this will use the 'thumbnail' size, which is generally the smallest size available.

To ensure that your uploaded gifs are displayed as uploaded (without any processing), you need to modify the_post_thumbnail() in your theme templates to instead read the_post_thumbnail( 'full' ). This will instead use the original image with no processing whatsoever.

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