Protein folding is the process by which a protein processes from its denatured state to its specific biologically active conformation. Understanding the relationship between sequences and the folding rates of proteins remains an important challenge. Most previous methods of predicting protein folding rate require the tertiary structure of a protein as an input. In this study, the long-range and short-range contact in protein were used to derive extended version of the pseudo amino acid composition based on sliding window method. This method is capable of predicting the protein folding rates just from the amino acid sequence without the aid of any structural class information. We systematically studied the contributions of individual features to folding rate prediction. The optimal feature selection procedures are adopted by means of combining the forward feature selection and sequential backward selection method. Using the jackknife cross validation test, the method was demonstrated on the large dataset. The predictor was achieved on the basis of multitudinous physicochemical features and statistical features from protein using nonlinear support vector machine (SVM) regression model, the method obtained an excellent agreement between predicted and experimentally observed folding rates of proteins. The correlation coefficient is 0.9313 and the standard error is 2.2692. The prediction server is freely available at http://www.jci-bioinfo.cn/swfrate/input.jsp. Proteins 2013. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.