CSS animations have revolutionized the way we engage users on the web, adding a dynamic touch to static elements. To make animations even more captivating, it is essential to have a deep understanding of the various properties at our disposal. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at two powerful CSS animation properties: animation-delay and animation-fill-mode. These properties, when used effectively, can enhance the timing and state control of animations, resulting in more visually appealing and seamless experiences.


animation-delay is a CSS property that determines the time delay before an animation starts playing. It allows developers to introduce pauses or staggering effects between animations, adding an extra layer of sophistication to the overall presentation. By strategically using animation-delay, you can orchestrate a synchronized dance of elements, making the animation more engaging and delightful.

Let’s consider a practical example. Imagine you have a set of circles that you want to animate sequentially, with a delay between each circle. Here’s how you can achieve it using animation-delay:

.circle {
  width: 50px;
  height: 50px;
  border-radius: 50%;
  background-color: blue;
  animation-name: circleAnimation;
  animation-duration: 1s;
  animation-fill-mode: forwards;

@keyframes circleAnimation {
  0% { opacity: 0; }
  100% { opacity: 1; }

.circle:nth-child(1) {
  animation-delay: 0s;

.circle:nth-child(2) {
  animation-delay: 0.5s;

.circle:nth-child(3) {
  animation-delay: 1s;

In this example, we define a CSS animation called circleAnimation that gradually increases the opacity of the circles from 0 to 1. By applying different animation delays to each circle using nth-child, we achieve a sequential fade-in effect, where each circle appears with a slight delay.


animation-fill-mode is another CSS property that allows developers to control the state of an element before and after the animation plays. It determines whether the element should retain the styles applied by the animation or return to its original state.

Let’s consider a scenario where we want a button to change color when hovered, and we want the color change to persist even after the hover animation ends. Here’s how we can accomplish this using animation-fill-mode:

.button {
  width: 200px;
  height: 50px;
  background-color: blue;
  transition: background-color 0.3s;

.button:hover {
  animation-name: colorAnimation;
  animation-duration: 0.5s;
  animation-fill-mode: forwards;

@keyframes colorAnimation {
  0% { background-color: blue; }
  100% { background-color: red; }

In this example, when the button is hovered, the colorAnimation is triggered, gradually changing the background color from blue to red. By setting the animation-fill-mode to “forwards,” the button retains the red background color even after the animation completes. This ensures a smooth transition between hover and non-hover states, creating a visually pleasing effect.

By creatively combining animation-delay and animation-fill-mode, you can unlock a myriad of possibilities in CSS animations. Whether it’s building an attention-grabbing banner, crafting an interactive menu, or designing engaging page transitions, these properties allow you to fine-tune the timing and state control of your animations, resulting in a more immersive user experience.

In conclusion, animation-delay and animation-fill-mode are powerful CSS animation properties that offer control over timing and element state. By leveraging these properties effectively, you can create stunning visual effects, enhance user engagement, and bring your web designs to life. So, the next time you embark on an animation project, remember to explore the possibilities offered by animation-delay and animation-fill-mode, and elevate your animations to the next level.