Saturday, June 12, 2010

Tuning FireFox

I don't exactly remember, 'when' I started using FireFox, but i still remember 'why' I did that. At the very first sight itself I was in love looking at its rich set of add-on. Also, its free, portable and most importantly -it is tunable!

In my previous role as a webmaster, I loved addons like, Firebug, HttpFox,IE Tab, PageSpeed, webDeveloper, colorzilla, Load Time Analyzer, SEO, YSlow, DownloadHelper, session-manager to name a few.

Playing around a lot, what I saw once is that some kind of memory hogging is happening and sometimes even my explorer hangs, which i cant get rid of until l reboot my laptop. I searched our 'Brain-cloud' (Google!!) on this behavior to see, if its a local issue of mine, or someone else is also facing this. I upgraded my browser which helped things to settle down, but I came across a few configurable parameter on FireFox which might help some non-novice.

Here are some tips which will make your browsing a little more snappier. Launch Firefox and type "about:config" in the address bar which brings you to your personalized configuration list.

1. Restore your session when you reopen your browser (not when crashed)
browser.startup.page = 3

2.Address bar auto completion
browser.urlbar.autoFill = true

3. Download only what your specifically click (by default Firefox downloads links which it thinks you want)
network.prefetch-next = false

4. Stop that RAM hogging
RAM size 128MB - 512MB :
browser.cache.memory.capacity = 5000
RAM size 512MB - 1GB :
browser.cache.memory.capacity = 15000

5. Network pipelining so that multiple requests can be sent over, before any response is received.
network.http.pipelining.maxrequests, we can change the value from 4 to a higher number anywhere from 10 to 30. I set mine to 30.

6.Connections:

The number of connections Firefox can make to servers will impact the speed at which it can retrieve information. However if this is too high, then it will slow the application down as it tries to manage all the connections. The network.http.max-connections setting controls the total number of connections that can be maintained at any one time. The default setting is 24. We recommend for dial up to set this to 32, and for broadband take 32 and add 2 for every 1mbps of connection speed you have (so for a 2mbps connection set to 36). You may experiment with this setting to find an optimum for you specific configuration.

7. Open search-bar results in new tab:

When you use the search bar, the results display in the current tab. This feature can be a nuisance because it navigates you away from your current page. To make sure Firefox always opens search results in a new tab, search for openintab and you should see:

browser.search.openintab: Change this to true

8 Disable IPv6 DNS lookups
network.dns.disableIPv6=true


You should now have an idea of how these settings can impact the performance of Firefox. Dig more to figure out, how you can make Foxy Rock!

Cheers!


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