capsule review

SpaceAgent 2.0

One way to make your Web site load faster is to use Insider Software's SpaceAgent 2.0.1, which attempts to slim down text and graphics files -- with mixed results.

The graphics cleaner does an impressive job, slimming GIF and JPEG files by an average of 5 to 10 percent without noticeably affecting image quality. Unfortunately, SpaceAgent simply doesn't go far enough when it comes to text files. While it does remove extraneous characters from HTML and JavaScript files, it skips over XHTML and CSS files and ignores the extra bytes WYSIWYG programs add.

SpaceAgent also prevents you from using the site-management and FTP utilities built into most Web development programs: you have to finalize the site on your local hard drive, run it through SpaceAgent, and upload the resulting files to your server.

Version 2.5 should be available by the time you read this; the update ($250) improves JavaScript, XML, and ASP optimization and offers a new report format.

Optimistic Optimizing SpaceAgent's site-optimization statistics don't quite add up.

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