PNG files almost always offer better compression and a reduced file size compared to GIF. The PNG format also supports variable transparency and millions of colors while GIF only supports 256 colors and does not offer alpha channels. For online use, the only scenario where GIF files are appropriate instead of PNG is animations.

Comparison chart

GIF versus PNG comparison chart
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Support for animation Yes No
Color management No Supports color management through the inclusion of ICC color space profiles
Support for multi-page Yes No
Support for transparency Yes Yes
File extensions .gif, .gfa .png
MIME type image/gif image/png
Raster/vector Raster Raster
Indexed color Yes Yes (for 1-8bit PNGs)
Stands for Graphics Interchange Format Portable Network Graphics
Support for metadata Yes Yes
Support for layers Yes No
Interlacing support Yes Yes
Type of format Raster graphics image format Raster graphics image format
Extendable Yes (GIF89a) No
Applications compatible Most web browsers and productivity suites Most web browsers and productivity suites
Compression algorithm Lempel-Ziv-Welch (LZW) Lossless DEFLATE compression algorithm
Patented No No
Uniform Type Identifier com.compuserve.gif public.png
Magic Number GIF87a/GIF89a 89 50 4e 47 0d 0a 1a 0a

Applications

Unless your image is animated, use the PNG format.

Advantages of PNG over GIF

The PNG format offers several advantages over GIF files:

Transparency

In a GIF file, only one color may be specified as transparent. GIF files end up producing halo effects when they used against background colors that are different from its assumed (usually white or black) background color.

PNG file have stronger transparency support, with an 8-bit alpha mask.

Market Share

The share of usage on the Internet (via HTTP Archive) of major image formats
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The share of usage on the Internet (via HTTP Archive) of major image formats

References

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"GIF vs PNG." Diffen.com. Diffen LLC, n.d. Web. 23 Sep 2016. < >