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Addons are what add the charm to Firefox. But some addons might be slowing it down.
Addons are initialized during startup and can hence increase Firefox’s startup time considerately. Mozilla has published a list of addons that are known to slow down the load time. Funny, at #8 stands FasterFox, an addon to speed up Firefox Browsing speeds. Also, sadly, at #7 is Video Download Helper, the most popular addon used to download youtube and other videos in Firefox.
Also, according to the list, addons like Firebug have a very high impact on the load times (it makes Firefox load 74% slower). So, if you are no longer using an addon you installed to try out, now would be a good time to disable it/remove it.
List of AddOns that have the maximum impact on Firefox’s Speed can be found here. Mozilla will periodically monitor top addons, run tests and update the list.
Are you a Firefox Plugin Developer? Here are some tips for optimal plugin performance.
In IE9, this is an inbuilt feature. You can check how much time each plugin takes to load in realtime.