Firefox is one of the most widely used web browsers and it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there are so many add-ons and tools that can be used to enhance the application’s functionality. Although the average Internet users knows the names of some of the most popular Firefox add-ons, there are many hidden gems that no-one has heard of.
Previously you have enjoyed the collections of various kinds of design tools like top 10 firefox add-ons for designers, best tools to check browser compatibility & graphic design apps but in this article we’ll talk about the best Firefox tools for web designers and developers. Many of these add-ons enjoy a lot of popularity among web developers and we are sure that many of you have already heard of them. Of course, we’ll also talk about tools and add-ons which aren’t so popular, but still offer unique features that some developers will find to be very useful. Let’s start!
Web Developer is a unique Firefox add-on that implements and entire suite of web design tools which are neatly arranged in a toolbar on top of the Firefox window. This toolbar can be used to quickly access the tools you need. Some of Web Developer’s functions are W3C validation, CSS viewer, Resizer, Cookies and the ability to see information about specific HTML tags used in the web page.
Firebug is one of the oldest and most popular Firefox add-ons for web developers. In fact, it is so popular and huge, that there are actually add-ons for it. Thanks to this tool, both designers and developers can quickly inspect HTML elements, modify CSS and quickly identify CSS styles. You can use it as a part of your simple HTML and CSS guide for web design.
MeasureIt is one of the most popular tools among web designers. It serves just one purpose – measuring elements on a web page. In order to do so, the add-on shows a ruler thanks to which the user can quickly measure the height, width & spacing of design elements.
Another tool meant for web designers – thanks to ColorZilla you can quickly identify each color used on a web page by using the eye dropper tool or the color picker.
CSS Usage is an add-on for Firebug and can’t be used without installing Firebug first. Basically, CSS Usage helps you optimize CSS files by showing you which elements are unused and can be safely removed from the code. You can add it to the collection of CSS tools for web designers and developers.
Improving page loading speed is one of the major priorities of website developers. However, doing this isn’t so easy, because sometimes programmers don’t have an idea where to look for the problem. Thanks to Page Speed, developers can quickly find out which elements are reducing the site’s speed. The add-on also provides helpful tips to improve a website’s performance. It is one of best tools to check the website performance.
Well-formed HTML code is more optimized and easier to read, so it is in your best interest to write proper HTML. Thanks to HTML Validator, you can quickly see whether the code you write complies with the specific guidelines. Check out the collection of 30+ HTML editors for web designers.
Making a website cross-browser compatible takes a lot of time, but IE Tab 2 can slightly reduce the time you need to test your website across different browsers. With IE Tab 2 you can check how a website will look in Internet Explorer, without leaving Firefox. You can go for set of best tools to cross browser compatibility.
Taking screenshots doesn’t take a lot of time, but if you are looking to further enhance your work performance, then Screengrab is the right add-on for you. Thanks to this nifty tool, you can quickly grab a snapshot of your Firefox window.
Search engine optimization is a long process and it is in your best interest to make the most out of it. SEO Doctor is a helper tool that checks your HTML code and tells you which areas need to be improved in order to enhance SEO.
Remember Dreamweaver? It definitely isn’t the best application for creating websites, but it offers some interesting features that many developers still find useful. If you want to experience some of Dreamweaver’s functionality in Firefox, then try Codetch. This add-on allows you to quickly edit documents & web pages while surfing the web. Check out 70+ website building tools for creating websites yourself.
Testing how a website looks under different resolutions is essential to creating a well-optimized and cross-platform compatible website. Thanks to Window Resizer, you can quickly check how a website will look through different screen resolutions. You can also go for the top tools to check browser compatibility.
If you want to check whether your visualized HTML & CSS code is the same as the website’s planned layout, then Pixel Perfect can do that for you. With this add-on, you can quickly overlay an image over a website in order to see If everything matches well.
Sketching a website’s layout can be done while browsing with Firefox, thanks to the Pencil add-on. This tool is used by thousands of web designers, because it provides useful functions such as GUI prototyping, PNG rasterizing, text editing, multi-page documents and more.
If you don’t to waste time waiting for 3rd-party FTP applications to load and upload your files, then FireFTP is the Firefox add-on that will serve you well. Quickly upload files with FireFTP’s user-friendly interface and rich functionality.
FireShot is a screenshot tool that provides some additional functionality. Instead of just grabbing a snapshot of your browser window, you can also use the add-on to add caption boxes or cut out specific areas of the browser window. Web designers & testers will certainly benefit from using this add-on.
YSlow is another plugin that can be used to optimize a website’s performance. Developed by Yahoo, this great Firefox add-on provides the developer with details regarding website speed and optimization recommendations. YSlow is part of the Firebug suite.
If you want to find out how your website works, then Live HTTP Headers will help you take a closer look at that process. Thanks to this add-on, you can see the requests and responses of different HTTP headers and check if they are performing as expected.
Web developers & web designers often seek inspiration from other websites and platforms. StumbleUpon is a very simple add-on that opens a random website for you.
SEO for Firefox
With SEO for Firefox, you can see detailed ranking statistics about a specific website. This add-on will show you things such as Google PageRank, Alexa Ranking and Technorati rankings.
If one of your favorite websites is flooding you with nagging advertisements and banners, then there is a quick and convenient way to get rid of them – AdBlock Plus. This useful add-on lets you block specific elements of a web page.
Delicious Bookmarks is a product of del.iciou.us. When installed, it will archive your browser bookmarks and their respective tags, and arrange them in a more user-friendly and optimized way.
If for some reason you can’t or don’t want to use the “View Source” option in Firefox, then X-ray provides you with an alternative solution. This add-on shows all HTML tags on top of the web page you are browsing.
If you sometimes wonder which CSS code was used to stylize a specific element of a web page, then CSS Viewer can help you a lot. Having to look through tons of CSS code can be very tedious, but with CSS Viewer you can forget about this nasty experience. Just mark the element you want to inspect, launch CSS Viewer and the add-on will give you the result you are looking for.
Foxmarks Bookmark Synchronizer
If you use several devices to access the Internet, then it is very likely that you want to see the same browser interface on each device. One of the ways to do this is to use this add-on. It will quickly and silently synchronize the bookmarks on all your devices that use Firefox.
With Aardvark you can manually remove unwanted elements from a web page. In most cases people use it to remove banners and advertisements, but it can also be useful to check how a website would look without specific design elements.
Tab management is difficult, especially if you constantly open 10+ Firefox tabs. Thanks to this add-on, you can quickly check, arrange and manage all open Firefox tabs. A must-have if you are a Firefox user that highly relies on tabs.
if you use several different passwords and sometimes forget which is the right one, then Unhide Passwords will make your life easier. Install this add-on and it will quickly reveal the symbols, numbers and letters hidden behind the asterisk signs in the password field.
If you want to have a closer look at an image without having to launch additional applications such as Photoshop, then Image Zoom can help you. This add-on provides you with the ability to quickly zoom in and out of images loaded in the Firefox browser.
An add-on that is very similar to IE Tab 2. Load a website, start the tool and check out how this specific website would look in Internet Explorer.
The LoremIpsum text is often used to check out different website layouts and fonts, but web designers often have a hard time remembering the text or finding a place to copy it from. Dummy Lipsum resolves this issue by automatically generating the LoremIpsum text.
If you are curious to find out how a font is stylized, then Font Finder is an add-on that will help you in these situations. Thanks to this tool, you can quickly find out a font’s size, family, color, height, spacing and more.
Building a cross-browser compatible website can be time-consuming, so it is in your best interest to use tools that will make this process easier. With Opera View, you can instantly check how a website will look if opened through Opera.
Total Validator is one of the most complete HTML Validation tools. It doesn’t lack any features and provides web designers and developers with a complete check-up of their entire code.
Poster is an advanced tool for developers who want to take a closer look at specific web resources and services. Thanks to this add-on you can closely examine HTTP requests and check whether their working as planned.
Editing CSS is one of the most tedious jobs of web developers, because it consists of a constant cycle of several actions (modify, save, upload, refresh). With EditCSS you can eliminate this cycle, because all changes you make to the CSS code will be immediately visualized in the Firefox window.
If you want to have a fancier Firefox browser, then PicLens is definitely the add-on for you. This simple tool provides a unique visual experience by creating a unique 3D effect in your Firefox browser window. The improved 3D interface can be used to browse YouTube, Google Images, Facebook, Flickr, Photobucket and other major websites.
This is another validator add-on for Firefox. However, in this case it validates the website by using data provided by the official W3C RSS Validator.
CSS Validator uses the W3C CSS Validator to analyze and assess a website’s CSS code. The add-on is quickly accessed with a right-click and selecting the Tools menu.
If you have too many applications loaded in the Windows taskbar, then sending some of them to the system tray may make your life easier. With MinimizeToTray, you can quickly send Firefox, Nvu, Mozilla Suite and Thunderbird to the system tray.
This small add-on slightly enhances Firefox’s tab functionality. It implements a preview function when you roll your mouse over a Firefox tab. Definitely a helpful tool if you have trouble arranging your tabs.
FasterFox’s reputation is quite questionable. Some users reported a great increase in speed while others said that it made their browsers slower. Nevertheless, this is an add-on that must be tried, because it allows you to tweak some of Firefox’s inaccessible settings.
If you are still developing a website, but you hate constantly switching between the live and local version, then Server Switcher will save you a lot of time. With this tool you can quickly switch between the local version of your website and the live one.
If you have too many bookmarks in your Firefox toolbar, then Smart Bookmarks Bar can solve your space issues. This add-on instantly removes the text from your bookmarks, leaving only the website’s icon in the toolbar. This way you can save 3-4 times more bookmarks than usual.
If you want to customize the small icons that appear next to your Firefox bookmarks, then you have to install this add-on. Thanks to its user-friendly interface, you can change the icon of any bookmark in just a few seconds.
The Firefox download windows can sometimes be very useful, but in most cases it is just unwanted and introduces additional clutter to your desktop. Thanks to Download Statusbar you can hide the default Firefox download window and follow all of your downloads in a new toolbar located on the bottom of the Firefox window.
Selenium tests are rarely needed, but if you are one of the developers that use them to analyze their website’s performance and work, then Selenium IDE is one of the best add-ons for you. It allows you to quickly record, edit & debug Selenium tests.
ScrapBook is a bookmarking add-on for Firefox, but it works slightly different from other similar plugins. Instead of saving web pages to the bookmarks toolbar, it will save them to a new location created by the add-on itself. ScrapBook’s key advantages are its light weight, speed and accuracy.
If one of the websites that you frequently visit can be slightly modified to work better for you, then Platypus is an add-on that you’ll find useful. Thanks to it, you can quickly modify a website and save all changes as a Greasemonkey script in order to make them permanent.
This add-on automatically assigns different colors to Firefox tabs. It is lightweight, simple and doesn’t serve any important purposes, but the color feature is still a neat way to distinguish one tab from the rest.
This add-on can save you a lot of time if you often have to register on different websites. Thanks to it, you can input all of your personal information and they automatically fill it in the forms generated by the website you are browsing.
If you send a lot of emails or have to frequently send the same text over and over again then Clippings will work well for you. This simple add-on allows you to quickly save pieces of text which can be later pasted with just two mouse clicks.
Grid-based layouts are very attractive, but they aren’t easy to make. Often, the grid-based layout’s mockup is different from the final product, and comparing the two can be difficult. Thanks to GridFox, a web designer can quickly check if the mockup is the same as the final result.
Validating is one of the most tedious tasks for any web developer. The results from the validation can often make the difference between a “good” and “bad” day. With the W3C Offline Page Validator, you can quickly check a website’s validation both online and offline.
If you are curious how your website’s layout will look under a different screen resolution, then Browser Window Resizer will help you and save you a lot of time. With just a few mouse clicks you can check how your website will look under a wide range of resolutions.
Style Sheet Chooser II is an add-on that replaces the built-in Firefox style sheet switcher. It includes additional functionality and is definitely more lightweight than the default Firefox feature.
Palette Grabber helps you quickly find out what colors are used on a website. With this simple add-on, you can get the RGB or Hex code of any color you want.
The average Internet user doesn’t need to manage cookies, but this is one of the first things that every website developer has to learn to do. If you want to turn cookie management in a more enjoyable and easier task, then CS Lite is an add-on that helps you quickly manage your browser’s cookies.
FirePHP is an add-on for Firebug and in my opinion it is a must-have for every web developer that often tampers with PHP scripts. Modifying a PHP script without disrupting a website’s work is difficult, but with FirePHP you won’t have to worry about that ever again. The add-on sends modified versions of the PHP file to the server and shows the responsive in the debugging console.
IE NetRenderer is another Firefox add-on that is used to emulate the Internet Explorer browser in Firefox. Use this tool to quickly check how a website will look in IE.
The default visualization of a website’s source code in the Firefox DOM isn’t satisfying. Use View Source Chart to optimize the view and make your job a lot easier! With this add-on, you’ll quickly localize the area of the source code that you want to inspect.
Firefox’s integrated proxy abilities aren’t satisfying at all. With FoxyProxy, you can enjoy an enhanced proxy management tool that will turn web browsing in a more enjoyable and safe experience. This tool can also automatically switch between different proxy servers.
With this tool users can quickly inspect and modify the DOM version of any XUL application or web document.
Managing databases through your Firefox browser is made easy when you install sqlite-manager. This lightweight Firefox extension gives you all the tools you need to quickly create and modify sqlite databases.
Extended Statusbar is an interesting add-on that both designers and developers will find useful. It provides detailed webpage loading statistics such as speed, time, images loaded, loaded size and more.
Firefox Accessibility Extension
Unfortunately, this is an area of website designing and development that many professionals forget about. With Firefox Accessibility Extension, developers can quickly check whether their website’s structure and navigation is suitable for users with various disabilities.
Abduction! Is another screenshot tool for Firefox. Thanks to this helpful tool you can quickly grab a snapshot of an entire web page or just a part of it.
HTML elements are often modified using CSS parameters such as margin, padding and width/height. If you want to modify these properties quickly, then Adjusting Box Sizing is an add-on that will save you a lot of time and make your job a lot easier.
If you write long CSS codes, then it is very likely that every now and then you find that specific parameters aren’t working as expected. However, finding where the problem is can take a lot of time, especially when you are dealing with a wall of text. This add-on automatically analyzes and identifies all of these problems that occur in your CSS code. This way you will instantly find out if specific parameters are overwritten.
The Net Panel records all HTTP requests send and received by the browser. Analyzing the information generated by this add-on will help you identify which areas of your website need to be improved in order to enhance performance.
Firefox already allows you to inspect individual images by using the “View Image Info” button. However, if you want to find out the details about several images, then Image Inspection will save you a lot of time. With just two mouse clicks, you can find the dimensions of all images on a website.
Native Inspect Element works in a way similar to Firebug’s HTML & CSS panels. However, it has one unique feature that you’ll certainly adore – 3D View! Thanks to this add-on, you can generate a 3D view of any website and quickly identify individual elements and see the details about them.
Web Design View is an integrated Firefox feature that allows users to quickly check how a website will look in other screen resolutions. It is a great way to test if responsive website layouts are working as planned.
If you frequently modify CSS files, then Style Editor is one of the Firefox’s new features that you will instantly fall in love with. It turns modifying CSS Files in an easier task and will greatly enhance your work performance.