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Disabling Browser Add-Ons can Improve Performance

Technical Blog Post


Abstract

Disabling Browser Add-Ons can Improve Performance

Body

 

Many add-ons come from the internet as you visit different sites and you will sometimes be prompted to give your permission before they are installed on your computer.

 

Add-ons allow the user to add to or enhance an applications feature, use themes to your liking, and handle new types of content. IE View is an example.  It allows you to load pages in Internet Explorer with a single right-click, or mark certain sites to always load in IE.  It’s useful for pages that are incompatible and do not work well with Firefox. 

We have found, during performance benchmarks that add-ons, depending on the number installed, can decidedly delay the response time of the BSM product set.

 

Like anything in software, there is a cost for all of these bells and whistles and in this case it can be response time performance.  Firefox Firebug is a prime example.  Think of Firebug as having the highest level of tracing turning in your application software.  In some benchmarks we have seen, it can cause start up time of Firefox to increase well over 50%.  And, in the case of having several add-ons installed in your browser, the response times of BSM pages can be greatly degraded.  

 

If you want the fastest possible web page response, we recommend you disable add-ons, and only enable them when you actually need to use them.

 

Additionally, installing add-ons can sometimes cause conflicts and problems on certain web pages. Translation add-ons are one example. Please be aware that when running on our internal BSM web pages, testing is often done with a basic browser with no add-ons.

 

Testing add-ons has been a whole new area of our performance benchmarks and it introduces its own unique set of challenges.  Although we have been using standard tests across browsers versions, platforms, and machines this is definitely a new horizon.

 

It’s almost impossible and cost prohibitive to support the thousands of browser add-ons available. Users are advised to proceed at their own risk when using browser add-ons. Before reporting problems to the help desk you should disable your add-ons to see if the problem persists.

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