Monday, May 14, 2012

Speed Up TenFourFox

With its rapid release schedule, TenFourFox has been in a constant arms race with website coders who are more determined than ever to make their sites slower. Except for Amazon. I'll give credit where credit's due. Amazon is the only site that recently had a revamp that didn't turn it into molasses. But just because Cameron Kaiser & company are on the case doesn't mean we have to take it sitting down. There are several things we the end user can do to speed up TenFourFox, so I thought I'd drop a list of some of my best tips:

First, install the NoScript add-on. A lot of what slows down site loading is javascript and NoScript will let you block all scripts except for those you specifically allow. This is a bit of a pain the first time you visit your regular sites and figure out what functionality to allow, but after that it makes for much smoother surfing.

You can also install Greasemonkey for scripts that unclutter and tailor a website to your needs. One Greasemonkey script I'll point out is the Neetzan Zimmerman Post Destroyer which, if you're familiar with Gawker, you'll totally understand.

There are a couple of tweaks to about:config you can make. First, set browser.tabs.animate to false to eliminate animated tabs. Second, change to false to keep the download manager from opening when you begin a download. That progress bar uses a nontrivial amount of CPU.

You may be occasionally annoyed at how animated gifs slow things down, especially in forum threads where every user insists on having one for an avatar. The quickest way to nix them is by hitting the esc key, but if you want to preemptively keep all animated gifs from looping, change image.animation_mode from normal to once (for animating through a single loop) or none (for no animation).

One of my favorite tricks is something I got clued in on while using Classilla. Classilla masks itself as a mobile device so websites default to their mobile pages which load much faster. So just find a site's mobile address and a website that was glacially slow becomes an instant loader. This is especially true for Twitter. Compare to

Finally, don't install too many add-ons if you don't need them as they can slow your startup time and take up memory. The only two add-ons I have are the above mentioned, and for ad blocking I have a UserContent.css file instead of Adblock Plus (the ad_blocking.css file embedded in is a good starting point).



  2. YES Love that post destroyer one. Given he has a regularly habit of deleting comments it would only serve him right!