I have been a Firefox fan for many years. Even dating back to the days of Netscape, later Mozilla, then Firebird. To say that I am an old school Firefox fan is an understatement. But despite my loyalty to the browser, it should be noted that Firefox has massive issues on some platforms with what could only be described as “bloat”. Much of this is looking up with the latest Firefox 4 release, there are still some things you can do to keep speed up to par. And who in their right mind wouldn’t want that?

Taming your browser cache

Sometimes even you believe you’re caching a webpage for better performance next time, the web server involved has a very different thought on the matter. To counter this from the user’s perspective, I recommend a cache handler Firefox extension that tells a website anti-caching headers to take a hike. The performance on affected pages, can be seen as substantial. But it should be noted that this isn’t going to work in every single case. You’re mileage may vary.

Controlling Firefox Bloat
Photo by fsse8info

Blocking ads all together

Admittedly I wasn’t a fan initially, but over time I have become a fan of Adblock Plus. It’s available both for Firefox and for Chrome. I never block AdSense ads with it, but I do choose to block banner ads on select websites that I have chosen not to exempt. These are usually to counter sites that are overloaded with crap advertisements, often relying too heavily on Flash. Not a perfect solution by any means, but you’ll find that your Firefox install will run much smoother with ads being blocked on problem pages.

Extreme performance

If the above still isn’t enough, then I’d suggest looking into the final two options as a last resort. The first option is called NoScript and used carelessly will severely cripple your ability to enjoy the Web like most folks. That said, it will prevent poorly thought through javascript code from running and slowing things down too much. Like Adblock Plus, this extension can be adjusted to meet your needs. The final thought is to all out block images in Firefox. It’s a cool idea, as  you can add exceptions from within your preferences menu. Sadly though, this is also a bit too extreme for most people.