In a world where digital marketing is upside down and the world is downside up, there lives a man who uses unlikely tools to get the job done better, faster, stranger. This is his story.
That File Is Massive
This is where my path to optimization began.
It began as an earnest attempt to speed up my website. It was okay, but I thought the site could be better. I began looking for ways to improve its speed without moving the whole thing to a dedicated server.
Now that I’m writing about it, my journey began much further back in time. Perhaps we should take a trip down a foggy, anime-inspired memory lane. #YouMember
I seem to recall being frustrated sometime in the mid to late 2000’s, maybe later. I remember having a cell phone and someone sent me a picture as an email attachment. This was back when it was still cool to be part of 50+message email threads and you could still catch new episodes of Dragonball Z on T.V.
I couldn’t download some image about someone’s cat doing something gross or funny. Or was it about someone’s kid falling down the stairs? I can’t remember. Then it happened again and again and again and well, this is really where it started.
I wanted to be able to receive and send images that could be viewed in an email, be it on a phone or on my desktop. These were the days before I had access to broadband and cell phones were still cool but terrible. Long live the Nokia 3110.
It’s been years since those days, yet one thing still remains the same: I still need images that are small in file size for use in emails, websites, presentations or any number of other activities, so…
Unlikely Marketing Tool: File Optimizer
File Optimizer is a file optimization tool used to compress and optimize all sorts of files – not just images. Everything from .jpegs to .pdfs, and even the oddball .3gp file you might have transferred over from that old Nokia phone.
Strange. What would a marketer be doing with a tool like this?
I’m glad you asked. It’s because I like speed – specifically fast loading web pages and apps, files, games and more.
Why Use This Tool?
I personally like using this tool to optimize my images before I upload them to the website or add them to an email. I’ll give an example.
The above went from 16kb to under 6kb in size.
Did you notice there is no visible loss in quality? That’s because FileOptimizer does not degrade or remove any pixel data from images. You keep the same high-quality image minus the file size.
How much faster will an email load in a mobile phone with that kind of optimization? Much faster. In fact, deliverability of emails can even be impacted with emails with too many images and images that are too large. Not to mention, people will NOT wait around for an image to load to get your message so make sure you’re using alt text and have a plain text version of emails as well.
This doesn’t just apply to an email or a website. Mobile apps, ebooks, or any other content that can eventually find its way onto the web can benefit from this tool. Things like .pdfs, videos and much more can be optimized.
Why It Matters
No one likes a laggy website, app or an email that takes so long to load, you think it’s spam and delete it. In the almighty Google has anything to say about your load time of your website, it can be detrimental. The image above is a great example of what a very large image does when trying to load over a cell connection or a slow internet connection. As you can see, it’s very frustrating waiting for. In fact, it’s making me mad right now, just looking at it.
In today’s environment, Google and other search engines take image optimization into consideration when ranking your website. It’s doubly important when that site is viewed mostly on mobile and your prominence in search placement depends on it. Your images have to be optimized or you risk not showing up at all in search results. Not Good.
If you’re like most businesses, you don’t exactly have a ton of storage available. Sure, there are services like Google Drive, but even then, you can run out of storage space. This also applies to large companies. Despite their size, they too need to have a handle on their storage needs and do whatever possible to
This is where FileOptimizer really comes in handy. You can take the entire contents of a folder, add it to the optimizer and let it do its work. The app will automatically choose the best optimization for a given file format and skip any that it can’t do.
It’s Not Built For You (But It Should Be)
If you’re involved in any kind of marketing, you should at least have some sort of image optimization strategy in place, whether it’s a tool like the one described here, or some other tool that lets you do similar things, like Google’s new jpeg encoder, Guetzli. You can find some free online tools for this and even WordPress plugins to analyze your images after your site is built. It’s another step along the path a marketer should take. Even if you’re just running a personal blog, file optimization is a must.
For Mac you can use some other way of optimizing your images or use an online service.