Firefox and my list of useful extensions

The age old debate: IE vs Firefox? Well, we already know that Firefox is fast taking over IE’s dominance as the favorite web browser – but there are still a those that choose IE because they don’t know any better. I hope that after reading this tip (if you aren’t already using Firefox that is) you will be convinced that Firefox is the way to go.

Probably the most common argument that I have heard from die hard IE users is that “Firefox messes up the way my sites are displayed”. Now I can see how this can be off putting for anyone thinking about changing browsers, but there is a very good reason for this.

The culpritĀ  indeed is not Firefox, but rather IE. I have read many articles on why IE is so “un-standards” compliant and it makes sense once you think about it.

Imagine, your company distributes their browser with every single copy of the most widely used operating system. Now think, if you make that browser non standards compliant and all these users get accustomed to how this non-standards browser renders websites, then all other browsers will seem quirky.

The most important thing to remember is that IE is the buggy one – not Firefox and other alternative browsers. Firefox is an open-source standards compliant browser, with much richer features. Most people know that Firefox’s most welcomed feature is Tabbed Browsing. This alone is reason to switch.

Below is my list of 3rd party extentions – which I am hoping will make you even more excited about moving over to Firefox.

Web Developer Toolbar

This, for any web designer/developer is probably THE most useful plug-in for Firefox. To summarize its extensive features, it allows you to display all css id and class tags on any site that you are viewing (every wanted to change something on your Joomla/Mambo site, but didn’t know where or what to change?). Then there is the live css editing with “preview-as-you-type”, outline all block level elements (tables, divs, etc) of the page, preview in different browser sizes, IE preview, css/html validator, etc etc etc. Check out the developers site for a full list of features.

MeasureIT

Adds a small button to the bottom left of your browser window, that will allow you to click/drag and measure any element on your site. Really useful when working on your site/templates layout.

ColorZilla

Adds small button to the the bottom left of your browser window. This adds an “eyedrop” tool (like in Photoshop), which is handy to find out the Hex code of any color on your site.

FireFTP

A full built in ftp client which loads within a new tab. This is a really great (lightweight) tool, which allows you to ftp your updated files while browsing the web. When ftp’ing lots of files at a time, it is recommended to open a new browser window and run it as a separate process – as it can affect performance. For a full list of extensions, see mozdev.org

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