Useful Firefox add-ons

by Theditor on Nov.19, 2009, under Design, General News

I am a Firefox user. I have been a user since Firefox released version 2.0. One feature of Firefox that I’ve come to rely on a lot is the add-ons feature. Firefox allows users to extend the usability of their software by installing additional programs called add-ons. As a web developer, I cannot stress how useful this has been. I’ve found plenty of add-ons that have made my work so much easier. I’ve decided to list my Firefox add-ons and briefly explain why I find them useful:

  1. AdBlockPlus – This add-on is a must for all Firefox users. Love your favorite news site but hate all the pop-ups and ads that appear on it? Install this add-on and all of the ads magically disappear.
  2. ColorZilla – Often, I find myself wondering what shade of color is that background, or why are the colors in my CSS not matching up with my image. ColorZilla has saved me a lot of time. Instead of taking a screenshot, then picking the color in Photoshop, I pick the color using ColorZilla and use the value in my CSS. Talking about screenshots, this brings me to the next add-on…
  3. Screengrab! – This is definitely a must-have. At time, I find myself trying to make a screenshot of a web page to show a client or to use in my work. Before I used this add-on, I would use the PrtScn button to take a screenshot and then crop it out using Photoshop. With Screengrab!, I’m able to save either parts of a webpage, the visible parts, or the entire webpage into an image. I’m also able to copy it to the clipboard for easy pasting into Photoshop if I want to. I recently did a screengrab of a back office settings for my client to show him what options I used. It definitely saved a lot of hassle and time.
  4. MeasureIt – I use this add-on to measure distances between two objects. This is very useful when I want to find out how large are certain images or what’s the size of a box.
  5. Firebug – Ah Firebug, how I adore thee. One of my favorite debugging tools. It’s a must for any web developer out there. This add-on allows me to make changes to a webpage, either HTML, CSS or Javascript, and view the results in real time without actually disturbing the actual source file. It also monitors the download of my web page so that I can optimize my page objects for faster page download. Definitely a tool any web developer should consider. PHP developers should consider FirePHP as well.
  6. Web Analytics Solutions Provider/Debugger (WASP) – This add-on is geared towards web trackers (Google Analytics, Coremetrice, etc.). It allows me to monitor what data is being passed over to web tracking software. In the lite version, it tells me what site tracking service the webpage is using. This is useful for testing the tracker continuity. It will tell me if my tracking code on a page is broken or not. It its full blown Pro version, I get so much more info. Not only does it tell me what tracker the page is using, it also tells me what data is being passed over to the tracking service. Very useful for debugging tracking codes, especially on e-commerce sites.

There you have it, 6 add-ons that I recommend for Firefox. I cannot tell you how much these add-ons have made my work easier. Even if you don’t use all of them, at the very least, install AdBlockPlus. It’ll speed up your download (no pesky ads to download) and makes the web page so much cleaner. If you have anymore suggestions, please leave a comment and tell me why. I would like to hear from you.


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