How to Add GIFs to Squarespace + Best Practices

How to add a GIF to Squarespace

Squarespace is a popular website-building platform that offers a range of features to help users create stunning websites without the need for coding or design skills.

One feature that can add a fun and engaging element to a Squarespace website is the use of GIFs. GIFs are animated images that can add humor, and visual interest, or convey a message in a dynamic way.

However, adding GIFs to a Squarespace website can be a bit tricky, especially for beginners. In this article, we will guide you through the steps of adding GIFs to your Squarespace website, including where to find them, how to upload them, and how to customize their settings.

Whether you’re building a personal blog, an e-commerce site, or a portfolio, adding GIFs can be a great way to enhance your website’s visual appeal and engage your audience.

We’ll be using Squarespace 7.1 to add GIFs. Most of it, however, should apply to Squarespace 7.0 if you’ve built your website in that.

Best practices to implement when adding GIFs to your site

Optimize the file size

GIFs can be large in size, which can slow down your website’s load time. Use a tool like Adobe Photoshop or online tools like EZGIF or Squoosh to optimize your GIF file size without compromising on quality.

This is very important when creating or maintaining your site in the long run, it not only helps the site browsing experience, but your site will also rank better in page rankings as Google strongly prefers to rank a fast site over a slow one.

It will also help to reduce the bounce rate of your site and improve dwell time which contributes to your site in the long run.

Choose the right placement

Decide where to place the GIF based on its purpose. If it’s a header image, place it at the top of the page. If it’s demonstrating a product or service, place it near the relevant section of the page.

Out-of-place GIFs can potentially ruin the flow of a page, only place them where necessary, and don’t place too many. Keep them in appropriate places on your site.

Use relevant GIFs

Use GIFs that are relevant to your website’s content and messaging. Avoid using GIFs that are offensive, distracting, or have no relation to your website’s content.

Google doesn’t prioritize content that isn’t helpful. Especially if your site is an informative one, if the information isn’t relevant or correct, you’ll find yourself placed lower in SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages).

Add text or captions

Add a text or caption to the GIF to provide context and clarify its meaning. This is especially important if the GIF is demonstrating a process or showcasing a product.

If it’s a meme or something purely decorative, then the text shouldn’t be required. Just ensure you’re performing your basic SEO practices and adding alt text to any images you place on your site so search engines can detect what’s on the image.

Test on different devices and browsers

Test the GIF on different devices and browsers to ensure it displays correctly and doesn’t cause any issues. This isn’t always required but is recommended if you want to avoid any potential issues.

If you’re compressing your GIFs correctly and not doing anything weird with them, then you should have no issues with any widely supported browsers such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

Testing on different devices or browsers is important however since mobile performance is incredibly important when it comes to running a website these days.

Adding a GIF on Squarespace – 3 Methods

We’ll go over this in necessary detail while providing screenshots & images on how you can add GIFs to Squarespace with ease.

Before you follow the guide below, ensure you’re on your Squarespace dashboard and have selected the website that you’d like to edit, then go to your pages panel.

You can add GIFs anywhere you like on your site where you can add average images, this is because GIFs are a supported file type almost anywhere you can add an image on Squarespace.

Method 1 – Adding a GIF with a banner image

Banner images on Squarespace are large, horizontal images that span the full width of a webpage. They are usually placed at the top of the page and are used to visually introduce the content on the page.

Banner images can be used to showcase products, services, or events, and can be customized to match the overall design of the website.

Note: Some Squarespace templates don’t support banner images. It’s worth checking what template you’re using for your site first before trying this method.

Editing a section background

  1. Select “Edit Section” for your top section, this will open a new pop-up window will some settings. Your top section on the page is what usually contains your banner image.
Editing a section on the Squarespace pages panel editor.
  1. Select “Background” > “Add an Image“. This will give you the option to upload a new image or in this case, GIF as a background banner image. You can upload from your PC, select from your existing media library or choose stock images.

Your GIF file should automatically stretch, fill & adjust to the size of your site banner area.

Section settings

Once you’ve followed the above steps and chosen your GIF, you should see something like the below image, but with your GIF on your website instead.

We used our Kermit GIF for humorous reasons.

Adding a GIF to a background section on Squarespace to display as a banner image.

Method 2 – Adding a GIF with a gallery section

Gallery sections on Squarespace are visual displays of multiple images or videos in a grid or carousel format.

Gallery sections can be used to showcase portfolios, products, or events, and can be customized with various display options such as lightbox, slideshow, or full-screen view.

We’ll assume that you haven’t already got a gallery section on your site. If you have, skip to step 3.

Adding a gallery section

  1. Select “Add Section” on the page to which you’d like to add your GIF. This should be a long, horizontal blue line spanning across the page.
Add section option.
  1. Once that’s done, a new window will pop up with several options. Add whichever type of section applies to you & your site, or choose “Blank section” as an option if you’d like to start from scratch.
Adding a section in the Squarespace pages panel.
  1. Once your gallery section is on the page, select an image in your new gallery section and select the “Pencil icon“. You can now replace the image with a GIF of your choosing.
Replacing an image in a gallery section.

Method 3 – Adding GIFs with an image block

Image blocks on Squarespace are single images that can be inserted anywhere on a webpage, including within text blocks, sidebars, or other content sections.

Image blocks are highly customizable, allowing users to adjust the image size, alignment, and add captions or alt text for accessibility purposes.

This is arguably the easiest way to add a GIF to your Squarespace site.

Adding an image block

  1. Select “Add Block” where you’d like to add your GIF and choose “Image“.
Adding an image block on the Squarespace pages panel.
  1. A new window will appear, and you have multiple choices on how you’d like to upload your image whether it’s from your computer, media library, or a stock image.
Uploading an image to an image block.

Video tutorial


Adding GIFs to your Squarespace website can significantly enhance your site’s visual appeal, engage your visitors, and convey your message more effectively.

With Squarespace’s built-in tools, adding GIFs to your site is a quick and easy process that requires no coding skills or third-party tools. Whether you’re using GIFs for humor, illustration, or to demonstrate a product or service, they can help make your website stand out and leave a lasting impression on your visitors.

Hopefully, by following the simple steps outlined in this article, you can now easily incorporate GIFs into your Squarespace website and take your web design to the next level.

If you have any questions about the above content, don’t hesitate to contact us, we’d be happy to help out with any queries you might have.

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