Firefox is a great Web browser. It offers good Web standards support and is open source. As a Web developer who regularly creates templates/themes based on Photoshop designs, Web standards compliance is a very important aspect and one of the reasons I hate Internet Explorer. As a person who believes in the spirit of open source, it is also important that Firefox is open source software.
The speed of Web page rendering is not the biggest strength of Firefox, there are other browsers that render pages more quickly, but the most important aspect, that makes Firefox incomparably useful are the free extensions available.
Cool Firefox Extensions
Below I list the ones I am using for making my life as a Web developer easier and my browsing experience better.
- Displaying which CSS rules actually apply to the currently selected HTML element and changing the values to immediately see the effects.
- Monitoring load times of the executed HTTP requests and their order of execution.
If you are a serious Web developer, Firebug is a must have extension.
The Web Developer extension was one of the first I used to facilitate my work. It adds lots of convenience features in form of a toolbar. The following Web Developer Toolbar features are most useful to me:
- Quick links to validation services for the currently displayed page.
- Resizing the browser window to customizable screen sizes.
- Disabling referrer information in HTTP requests.
- Disabling and clearing session cookies.
- Displaying various information for the currently displayed page, such as
DIVorder, ID and class details, and many more.
The Web Developer Toolbar is an extension I definitely would not want to miss.
I use the ColorZilla extensions for retrieving the hex code of the color value I point my mouse cursor over on the page currently displayed. This add-on offers more features, but I only use the one mentioned, which I find very useful.
The Link Counter extensions allows you to copy all links as a plain text or unordered HTML list of the URLs displayed on a page. You can choose all links, internal or external links only. Very useful for writing posts on .edu-Domains.
I use del.icio.us to manage and access my bookmarks from any computer that is connected to the Internet. The del.icio.us Bookmarks extension makes it easy to add and search my bookmarks without actually visiting the del.icio.us Website.
With the Download Statusbar I won’t see the default download pop-up window that comes with Firefox. It offers more features that I don’t use, mainly because I have not checked them out so far.
The HTML Validator extensions tells whether the page currently displayed validates as HTML or XHTML when taking a look at the page source.
MeasureIt adds a ruler to get the pixel width and height of any element or region on a Web page.
Save As Image
The Save As Image extension enables you to save a page, frame, or part of either as an image. You can use this extension to create snapshots of the full page from top to bottom.
Last but not least I use the SearchStatus extension to retrieve SEO related information. SearchStatus displays the Google PageRank, Alexa rank (also affects it) and Compete ranking. SearchStatus comes with a keyword density analyzer, offers nofollow link highlighting, display of backward and related links, Alexa info, and much more.