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How to use Xenu's Link Sleuth to find image files that are making your website slow to load

04 December 2018

If your website has existed for some time, you have probably lost track of what image files you have online and where they are. Especially if multiple people have been working on it.

Too many, too large image files are the #1 cause of the long page-loading times which Google so dislikes - especially for smartphone users.

Xenu's Link Sleuth provides a quick and easy way of finding your largest image files: file size, page where located, link text, and URLs linking to and from that page.

To begin: if you don't already have Xenu installed, download it from Tilman Hausherr's website http://home.snafu.de/tilman/xenulink.html and install it.

To check a website, run Xenu.exe and you should see this simple interface:

For use in this example, I've entered the URL of the home page of the Mount Washington Valley Chamber.

Just tell Xenu "OK". It will crawl the website and produce a spreadsheet of all the files it finds, like this:

(The complete report contains many more columns of data off to the right - I've included only those of immediate interest.)

Notice the SIZE column I've marked at top right.

To sort the spreadsheet of files by size, just click on the SIZE header, as you would in Excel. If necessary in order to get files in descending order of size (biggest at top), click SIZE again. When I did that, this was what I got:

There you can see the URLs, image format and file size of each image, largest first.

That's interesting in itself, but what page or pages use those images? To find that out for the file of size 1009375 (marked at top right), it's only necessary to right-click it to bring up the URL Properties dialog:

As you can see, that gives us the URL of the page where the image file is, along with 3 inbound links and the associated link text.

If Google tools confirm that /memberImgs/53/ESI%20Winter is a slow-loading page, we can fix that by substituting a smaller image file.

And it doesn't matter if we had forgotten that big image was there. Because no file can hide from Xenu.

(FYI, Xenu is a nice piece of FREE software that I use regularly, and I'm not being compensated to review or endorse it.)

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And if you have questions or comments, you can easily send them to me with the Quick Reply form, below, or send me an e-mail.

David Boggs    - David
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