10 Firefox Extensions For Website Owners

What? Yet another list of ‘firefox extensions you just can’t possibly live without’? Well… yes. This list is the cream of the crop extensions you will certainly find use for if you operate a website.

If you are a firefox guru, you probably already have at least a couple of them, but maybe even you can still find something here you havn’t tried. The list of 10 Firefox Extensions For Website Owners, includes everything from tools to help you fix those pesky CSS issues to monitoring SERP rankings. If you don’t have them, I recommend you get them.

So, here they are, from 10 to 1.

10. ServerSwitcher
If you operate a site with both a dev and production mode, this extension is handy for switching easily between the 2 views for comparison or merely to switch to your dev server. If you operate a small site or hosted site, maybe you don’t have much need for this, but it is certainly handy to have if you do need it.

9. LinkChecker
If you run a dynamic site, or built a site from scratch, its very possible you have some dead links after moving things around. This simple extension lets you know if your links on a page are good or bad without having to click around. There are some other better tools out there for checking your entire site for dead links (search for xenu link sleuth), but this allows you to see them at quick glance.

8. FasterFox
A given. Speeds up your firefox browsing by a variety of tweaks, from increasing the number of parallel downloads to DNS caching. This doesn’t really have anything to do with development, however it is really a must for Firefox.

7. ColorZilla
Used for getting colors from images and converting from RGB. It beats the pants off of taking a screenshot, opening photoshop, and using eyedropper there (or if html just using firebug).

6. liveHTTPHeaders
Quite useful for looking at other sites (and your own) and viewing what HTTP headers are being passed around. Allows you to view POST information and cookies. WebDeveloper (below) has the ability to do most of this, but I personally am not a fan of the realestate that webdeveloper takes up (extra toolbar), and like liveHTTPHeaders combined with firebug.

5. WebDeveloper
Allows you to disable CSS styles at the click of a button, find broken images, view your site at various resolutions (so you can still design for those poor souls on 1024×768, or 800×600). An extra toolbar, which I am not a fan of, but it does have some quite good features.

4. YSlow
Developed by Steve Souders (and team) at yahoo. He is the evangelist at yahoo for website performance (page load times). His main point is that when people come to your site, its very likely that up to 90% of the perceived load time is due not to your server’s HTML generation time, but the rendering of the html client side. That kind of flies in the face of most common thought. Anyway, they developed an extension that works with firebug to profile your website and inform you of possible speed tweaks you can do to improve user load time. As an example, this site gets a rating of “F (32)”. Improvements can include everything from combining/minimizing JS files (to reduce size as well as number of HTTP requests), to using an expires header, to gZipping components, etc. A bad score doesn’t mean the site is awful, but it at least shows you where to make improvements (they are mostly easy things to fix).

3. SearchStatus
Anyone running a website at some point worries about the ‘google juice’ and how well their site is doing. Yea, there’s plenty of sites out there that will show you pagerank, etc, but this extension runs in your status bar and just lets you know pagerank/alexa ranking on all sites you visit. Fairly simple, but quite useful information, even though pagerank is arguably a completely useless statistic.

2. SEO For Firefox
SEO for firefox adds information to your google/yahoo searches, informing you of each results pagerank, alexa score, dmoz ranking, cache date, inclusion in supplemental index, etc. Definitely configure it to just show you (and automatically grab) any data you are interested in. Sounds boring? I find it most useful when checking your own search engine ranking against other sites. Example: Ok, I rank 10th for my targeted keyword. I see that the top 5 results have PR5, next one has PR2, etc.. yet I rank PR4.. why am I not ranked higher? It helps you find the sites that you have the best chances to overtake. It has many other uses, which you will find after a couple days of use. Quite handy.

1. Firebug
If you edit any HTML, or ever look at the source of HTML documents, or are curious as to how webpages are set up, Firebug is a must. I’m sure most of you are aware of this extension, but it is the single most polished and useful extension I have ever used. The only downside to this extension is it isn’t available for IE.. which means when (not if) you have IE css problems you are on your own. Firebug allows you to edit your CSS right on the page, seeing changes instantly. A complete lifesaver.

I welcome any additions to the list. I use at least 8 of these on a daily basis (excepting WebDeveloper and ColorZilla), and for the most part, they will not fill your firefox with any extra valuable desktop space.

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50 Responses to 10 Firefox Extensions For Website Owners

  1. Micah September 6, 2007 at 9:23 pm #

    Wow, I didn’t know about Firebug. I’ll have to give it a try, I’m tired of clicking on the drop down menu…then “source”.

  2. Micah September 6, 2007 at 10:23 pm #

    Wow, I didn’t know about Firebug. I’ll have to give it a try, I’m tired of clicking on the drop down menu…then “source”.

  3. Kline September 7, 2007 at 4:06 am #

    The only thing that irks me sometiems about firebug is that it *does* show you JS modified text. It can be a blessing for troubleshooting ajax,etc, but if you want to see your google adsense code quickly, it shows you the actual rendered google code instead.

    Theres probably a way to toggle between them, but whatever. still amazing.

  4. Kline September 7, 2007 at 5:06 am #

    The only thing that irks me sometiems about firebug is that it *does* show you JS modified text. It can be a blessing for troubleshooting ajax,etc, but if you want to see your google adsense code quickly, it shows you the actual rendered google code instead.

    Theres probably a way to toggle between them, but whatever. still amazing.

  5. FriendlyFire August 14, 2009 at 4:58 am #

    I don’t know if you knew, but you can easily make Web Developer take far less space.

    Just right click on your toolbars and select Customize, then move all the items from there to wherever you have space. For me, I put two flexible spacers to the right of the basic File/Edit/etc. menu bar and stuck all the icons in the middle. It fits snugly, looks good and takes no extra space!

  6. FriendlyFire August 14, 2009 at 5:58 am #

    I don’t know if you knew, but you can easily make Web Developer take far less space.

    Just right click on your toolbars and select Customize, then move all the items from there to wherever you have space. For me, I put two flexible spacers to the right of the basic File/Edit/etc. menu bar and stuck all the icons in the middle. It fits snugly, looks good and takes no extra space!

  7. Lotus August 25, 2010 at 8:53 pm #

    SEO for Firefox is a must for every webmaster. I have added 10+ addons on my browser. Now I will test if this will decrease or increase Firefox crash rate.

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