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(Guide/Review) Speed up the loading of webpages in Firefox with Faster Pageload

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Karlston

Speed up the loading of webpages in Firefox with Faster Pageload

Faster Pageload is a browser add-on for the Firefox web browser that may speed up the loading of webpages in the browser.

 

The extension uses preloading and lazy loading to speed up the loading of pages in Firefox.

 

Installation should not pose any difficulties; it requires access to all websites since it speeds up the loading of all sites encountered in the browser.

 

Users need to modify two Firefox preferences before they may use the extension to its fullest extent. The process is explained on a help page that is loaded automatically after the installation of the extension completes.

 

The two preferences in question need to be modified on Firefox's about:config page:

  1. Search for network.dns.disablePrefetchFromHTTPS and set the preference to FALSE (this enables prefetching of DNS on HTTPS sites)
  2. Search for network.predictor.enable-prefetch and set the preference to TRUE (lets Firefox predict which links users will click on next to preload them).

The extension adds an icon to Firefox's address bar that acts as a toggle for the extension's functionality. The colorful icon indicates that the extension's functionality is turned on, the gray icon that it has been disabled.

 

faster-pageload.png

 

Faster Pageload works automatically from that moment on. It will preload resources when you hover over a link to speed up the loading if you actually click on that link. According to the developer, it takes an average of 400ms from hovering over a link to clicking it. The time is used to load the resource to speed up the loading.

 

The lazy loading works as expected; it loads images only when they are in view and will pause the loading of images that are not in view. Once images are about to come into view, e.g. by scrolling, they will be loaded as well so that they display normally. Note that it needs to be enabled in the options (see below)

 

The extension comes with two options that you may control on about:addons. The first enables the preloading of every visible link, the second enables the lazy loading of images in Firefox.

Closing Words

The extension may speed up the loading of webpages if these are loaded via clicks on links. It does not help if the webpages are loaded automatically, e.g. on browser start or through external applications.

 

Mileage may vary as the effectiveness of the preloading depends on a number of factors including the speed and latency of the Internet connection, the time it takes to click on links, and the linked resource itself.

 

If link loading is particularly slow on your end, you may want to give this a try to see if the extension speeds things up noticeably.

 

Landing Page: https://addons.mozilla.org/firefox/addon/faster-pageload/

 

 

Source: Speed up the loading of webpages in Firefox with Faster Pageload   (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)

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