Lottery Post Journal

Tips to make Firefox download pages quicker

I was experiencing some bad Firefox performance this evening, so I did some research into how to speed things up.  I'll document my findings here, so hopefully it can help a few other people out too.

Keep in mind that these tips are useful only if you have some kind of broadband access -- cable, satellite, DSL, place of employment, etc.  I would not use this for dial-up users.

Also, my goal with this is to increase performance, and these settings work great for me.  They are not guaranteed to work great for you, but I can't see how it would hurt to try.

The first thing to do is to open up a new Firefox browser window (or tab) and enter about:config in the address line, then press Enter. 

If you see a huge listing of settings, you did the right thing.  If not, try again.

The settings is bold text are settings that have been changed from their default values.  It helps you see what has changed.

To change a setting, just double-click it.  True/false values will instantly change, and things like numeric values and character strings will open a dialog box when you double-click. 

Scroll down to settings that begin with the word "network".

Make the following changes:

  • network.dns.disableIPv6: true
  • network.http.max-connections: 32
  • network.http.max-connections-per-server: 12
  • network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-proxy: 32
  • network.http.max-persistent-connections-per-server: 12
  • network.http.pipelining: true
  • network.http.pipelining.maxrequests: 4
  • network.http.proxy.pipelining: true
  • network.http.request.max-start-delay: 0

Then, right-click anywhere on the page and from the popup menu choose New -> Integer.  Enter the name as nglayout.initialpaint.delay and the value as 0.

After I did these things, my Firefox browser worked much quicker.  These values required some trial and error on my part, so perhaps I'll tweak them again in the future.

Performance continuing to improve

I'm really happy with how performance on the site is coming along, especially in the forums.

Much of the improvement is coming as a result of architectural changes I made many months ago, and which are finally starting to kick in.

The server time to create a page of thread posts is down to about 1-2 hundredths of a second, which is just astounding, considering the number of forum posts in the system (approaching 900,000 at the moment). 

I just ran a full thread page at random, and it came up as 0.0134 seconds -- and I use a page size of 20 posts, so it can only be better than that for someone with default settings of 9 posts  per page.  (I'm pretty sure that's the default.)

It used to be that a second or so was pretty good, so to drop the times down to about 1 hundredth of a second is something that at one point I never thought would happen.

With all the difficult, nasty things that a Webmaster has to deal with on a daily basis, it can be nice now and then to take stock of some of the good things that are happening too.

Video: 'Photosynth' demonstration will knock your socks off

I'm going to let this speak for itself: