HTML Shrinker FAQ


1. What is HTML Shrinker?

HTML Shrinker is a tool for reducing the size of various html file types. As a consequence your web site will load faster, need less web space and bandwidth and your server load will decrease.


2. How does it work?

HTML Shrinker removes all unnecessary bytes within html files. The look of the html page won't change after it is compressed. It just looks like before. You won't see a difference, only the file size will be smaller. For example HTML Shrinker removes from html files as follows:

These settings and several other options can be adapted to your needs in the Options dialog.

 

3. How high is the shrinking rate?

Here are the results of some shrinking tests with the old Version 1.07 of HTML Shrinker. The results should be comparable to the 2.0 Light Version, although it should be slightly better. The 2.0 Pro Version has a higher shrinking rate.

Descriptions
Original
Shrunken
Gain
Percent
Comment
Message Board page created by Allaire Forums
511 K
156 K
(triple shrinking + remove all images)
355 K
69%
unbeatable
Message Board page created by Allaire Forums
511 K
224 K
(triple shrinking)
287 K
56%
tremendous
Link page with some tables
26 K
17 K
9 K
34%
great
Dreamweaver generated page with many tables
137 K

101 K
(double shrinking)

36 K
26%
very good
Page containing mainly Java Scripts
4 K
3 K
780 bytes
19%
very good
Frontpage Express generated page
6 K
5 K
1 K
15 %
good
WebExpress generated page
34 K
29 K
5 K
15%
good
HotDog Pro generated simple link page
4 K
3 K
432 bytes
9%
average
Page containing mostly simple text
78 K
74 K
4 K
4%
not that good

The shrinking of 48 various html files (with HTML Shrinker 1.07) which had the total size of 534 K resulted in a gain of 61 K which corresponds to an average shrinking rate of 11%. But as you can see from the results in the table above, the individual shrinking rate can be up to 50%.

Especially pages with many tables, pages created by WYSIWYG editors and pages containing large Java scripts will profit from HTML Shrinker. Another result of these shrinking tests is that very large html files (> 100 K) get slightly smaller if you shrink them two or even three times.


Version 2.0 of HTML Shrinker offers an even better shrinking rate than Version 1.07. Additionally the Pro Version of HTML Shrinker 2.0 achieves a better shrinking result than the Light Version, because it removes more unnecessary elements than the Light Version. Here are the results of shrinking the front pages of some famous web sites:

Web Site
Original Size
Shrunken to
Gain
Percent
Adobe.com
41098 bytes
28715 bytes
13 K
30%
AltaVista.com
26051 bytes
21951 bytes
5 K
15%
AOL.com
59053 bytes
33359 bytes
26 K
43%
Corel.com
34691 bytes

26815 bytes

8 K
22%
Microsoft.com
25025 bytes
16401 bytes
9 K
34%
mp3.com
28101 bytes
22171 bytes
6 K
21 %
Napster.com
28019 bytes
21321 bytes
7 K
23%
Yahoo.com
29565 bytes
22351 bytes
8 K
24%
ZDnet.com
94025 bytes
72290 bytes
22 K
23%

The average shrinking rate of these pages is 24% which is almost a quarter of the original size.

 


4. Is HTML Shrinker Freeware?

There are currently two versions or HTML Shrinker: the Light Version is Linkware and the Pro Version is commercial.

Linkware means that you can use it freely, but if you used it to optimize a web site, you have to place one link to http://www.thepluginsite.com, the homepage of HTML Shrinker, somewhere on the web site. You don't need to place a link on every optimized html page, one link - preferably on the main page - is enough. Here are three examples of such links:

This site was optimized
with HTML Shrinker

After you have placed the link on your site, please send me the URL, title and description (one sentence) of your site to get a link on the HTML Shrinker Link page.

If you aren't able to provide a link on a web page that was shrunken with HTML Shrinker, I recommend purchasing the Pro Version. With the Pro Version you don't need to place a link, although it would be nice if you did it nevertheless.

 

5. Can I shrink my web pages directly on the server?

Sorry, this isn't possible unless you are able to run HTML Shrinker directly on the web server. Otherwise you will have to shrink the html files on your local hard drive. Here's the general approach of using this tool:


You can omit step 4 if you use a visual html editor. If you use a text based html editor, you should execute step 4 to make the html files better readable again.

Please notice that you have to reshrink files that were edited (especially with a visual editor) in the meantime to make sure that they remain slim. This is because visual editors tend to add the same bloat, which was removed by HTML Shrinker, to your code again.

If you use HTML Shrinker Pro and shrink your files to a specific folder, you can omit step 4 even if you use a text based html editor. But in this case you have to take care of uploading the shrunken files from the specified folder and not the original ones.

 

6. I would like to leave my original html files untouched, but nevertheless have a optimzed web site. What shall I do?

This is no problem. If you use the Light Version of HTML Shrinker and don't want to use the Restore command after very upload as described below, simply make a backup of your web site by copying it to another folder. Then use HTML Shrinker on the copy of your web site and upload the shrunken files to your web server. Of course everytime before you want to update your web site you have to make a copy of the updated files for shrinking.
With the Pro Version this process is much more comfortable. All you need to do to leave the original files untouched is to use the "Shrink to the following folder" option. HTML Shrinker will then automatically place the shrunken versions in a new folder for upload. So you don't have to make backups of your files yourself manually. HTML Shrinker Pro does that for you.

 

7. How do I use the Light Version?

At first select the folder where some html files are located, select the file(s) you want to shrink and finally press the Shrink button or select Shrink from the menu. The result of the shrinking process will be displayed in the text box. The original html files(s) won't be deleted, they will be renamed with the extension ".bak". For example, if you shrunk Test.htm, there will be two files: Test.htm (the shrunken version) and Test.htm.bak (the original file). Pressing the Shrink button a second time can reduce the file size of very large html files even further, but it won't have an effect on smaller html files.

To undo the shrinking, select the shrunken file(s) and press the Restore button or select Restore from the menu. By doing so the shrunken file(s) will be deleted and replaced with the original version(s). So you don't have to worry that the original files will be lost.

By activating the Remove All check boxes, you can even remove essential html elements. This can be useful if you downloaded html pages without their images and want to view, print or archive them without ugly empty image boxes.

In the Options dialog you can choose which elements (see point 2!) HTML Shrinker will remove from your html files. Additionally you can set the minimum gain that has to be reached to make HTML Shrinker shrink a file. E.g. entering a value of 100, means that only if a file can be shrunken by 100 or more bytes, HTML Shrinker will actually shrink it. To changed the file types which are displayed in the main window activate or deactivate the appropriate check boxes.

To view a html file select it from the file list and double click it, press the View button or select View from the menu. The browser associated with html file will then be invoked and will display the html file. You can delete all backup/original files (with the .bak extension) in the current folder by selecting Remove Backups from the menu. Selecting Look for New Version will connect you to http://thepluginsite.com/, so you can check if a new version of HTML Shrinker has been released.

 

8. Which additional features does the commercial Pro Version of HTML Shrinker offer?

HTML Shrinker Pro has some features that makes it easier to shrink your files especially if your web site has hundreds of pages. It works up to twice as fast as the freeware version when processing many pages in one batch and has an up to 50% higher shrinking rate. The shrinking of asp files, xml files, wml/wap files, wml/wap scripts, perl scripts and tcl scripts is only possible in the Pro Version.

The Shrink All command lets you shrink all files in the current folder and its sub folders. It saves a lot of time, because you don't need to switch to all sub folders and select the files manually. Shrink Clipboard is for shrinking text on the clipboard. This can be useful if you're just editing a file. The Simulate Shrinking command let you to know how many bytes you would save by using HTML Shrinker on a certain file or on a whole web site while leaving the original files untouched. Analyze tells you what elements are removed by HTML Shrinker. Moreover, the Pro Version allows you to backup or shrink to a user-defined folder. Additionally the command line options of HTML Shrinker Pro allow to run it from a script or use it directly from the context menu of the Explorer.

The Sites menu is for defining the root folders of your web sites and quickly jumping to them. Add Site lets you add the current folder to the Sites menu and Edit Site List displays a dialog for editing the site list which is displayed at the bottom of the Sites menu. Clicking on one of the names at the bottom of the Sites menu will switch to the base folder of the selected site.

HTML Shrinker Pro also offer the possibility to define your own shrinking rules. Rules are a powerful tool for creating your own shrinking options and thereby extending HTML Shrinker's built-in shrinking capabilities.

 

9. HTML Shrinker damaged a web page. What shall I do?

As the syntax of HTML, Javascript and other web related languages is quite complex and as every browser interprets them differently, it is possible that a file shrunken with HTML Shrinker causes a problem. There shouldn't be any problems with simple html files, but that's no guarantee. So I generally recommend that you view every shrunken html file for problems.

First of all, use the HTML Shrinker's Restore feature to get the old version of the file. Then deactivate one (or more) of the check boxes in the 'Remove All Unnecessary' frame of the Option dialog and shrink the file again. If the file doesn't cause problems anymore, you should keep this check box disabled.

If a problem should occure, there's a Troubleshooting page in the HTML Shrinker manual which recommends which shrinking options should be deactivated when a certain problem occurs.

If you are confronted with a problem caused by HTML Shrinker, please send me the original file that caused the problem, so I can remove the bug and improve HTML Shrinker.

 

10. What about mistakes in my HTML code?

In some cases mistakes in your HTML code can provoke HTML Shrinker to parse the code incorrectly and cause errors in the shrunken file. Here are some things that create errors when shrinking a file: