Those are actually really good for first tries. Yeah, don’t feel like you have to animate them all, though. Especially because you can make more vibrant colors/backgrounds and keep it under 20kb, which is hard with animations.
Okay, as for the color thing, that confused me for a while, too. I’m assuming you’re using ImageReady, if not, don’t think I can help you.
There’s settings, possibly the window is already up, on the top right, for numbers of colors. Erm, there, got it. If you have no clue what I’m talking about, click window > optimize, and the check mark will be by it, and it’ll open a little box somewhere, it was the top right for me. Click the ‘color table’ triangle to open that section, and check out the color setting. The lower it is, the shittier and more fucked up your background gets, if it’s complicated at all/has a lot of color. If you use more colors, though, the file size grows, so you have to compensate on one end or the other.
That’s on ImageReady CS, but if you’re using 7.0 or something it should be at least similar. Lemme know if that helps.
And a quick, easy way for a border is to just make a layer on top of everything, get the selection tool, and either right click > select all, or press ctrl + A. Then go to edit > stroke, 1 pixel, (or more if you want thicker) and generally a black one is good. Personally I think everything looks 100x better with a 1px black border, as opposed to none. o_o