First, a few basics:
Beyond being annoying and largely useless, advertisements take up memory and slow page load times. Install an ad-blocker like AdBlock Plus and get rid of them!
10. Blocking Ads
If you really want to curate your browsing experience, you can also install FlashBlock, which will block all Flash animations. Your load times should go up dramatically, although if you play any online Flash games, this option may not be for you.
9. Blocking Flash
8. Install FastestFox
FastestFox is an extension designed to make Firefox go faster. It can also be a quick and easy way to get a little more performance if you don't feel like doing it yourself.
While it may seem contradictory to advise uninstalling extensions right after recommending you install one, all extensions are not created equal. If you look in your Add-On manager (under Tools) and find a dozen or more extensions, your performance may be taking a significant hit. Likewise, it's likely that you have far more plugins enabled than you need. Do a little housecleaning and disable or jettison everything that isn't crucial. You can always add it back later.
7. Uninstall Unnecessary Extensions and Plugins
Now comes the good stuff. The next few hacks are a bit more advanced, and let you get into the guts of Firefox.
The about:config page is the hidden control panel in Firefox. From here, you can change values and preferences that won't be found in the normal preferences menu. To get to it, just type "about:config" in your browser window and hit Enter. (You will most likely get a warning that playing with these preferences can "void your warranty," but you didn't come here to turn back in fear - you came to hack your browser! There is no Firefox warranty!)
Normally, Firefox makes only one request at a time to load pages. If you have lots of tabs open while browsing (and really, why wouldn't you?) enabling pipelining will set Firefox to make several requests at once, resulting in faster loading. To do this:
6. Load pages faster
- Open about:config (see above)
- Find the entry "network.http.pipelining" (you can type this in the search bar rather than scrolling through tons of entries).
- Double-click to set the entry to "true."
- Do the same for "network.http.proxy.pipelining," setting it to to "true"
- Set "network.http.pipelining.maxrequests" to 50. You can play with this number to see how it affects performance.
- Restart the browser.