Performance of Browser Add-Ons

I have written before about great Firefox plugins such as WebDeveloper Toolbar and Firebug. 98% of the time I visit web pages I do so as an ordinary user. The other 2% it is the technical part of my brain that wants to know how things work. That is also why I have these developer tools installed.

I noticed today that these tools sometimes get in the way of my normal browsing. Firebug is on by default, even though you do not see it, and the WebDeveloper toolbar apparently has Disable Cache turned on by default, at least in my browser. Together these two increased load times by over a factor 10 for most pages. I was almost ready to start discussing network speed in our office before I found out that Internet Explorer had a decent speed.

Sure enough disabling Firebug and enabling the cache fixed the problem.

Talking about Internet Explorer, just found it has a developer toolbar as well. Great tool particularly for CSS and HTML development. Have not yet found out what the impact on browsing speed is.


One Response to “Performance of Browser Add-Ons”

  1. Seth Gottlieb Says:

    Thanks for mentioning this. I have been getting annoyed by what I have perceived as Firefox’s (Firepig?) progressive bloat. I took a slightly more drastic approach of switching to Safari (which I have grown to like) for general browsing. I also like the feature set of Opera although it doesn’t certain AJAX libraries like Zimbra. However, when I do any kind of technical analysis on a site, I switch over to Firefox and “Inspect.”

    When working on a systems integration team, I find that using a slightly obscure browser helps me stumble across issues that other team members miss.

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