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October 8, 2009

Top 10 Firefox Browser Plugins

About a year ago I fired Internet Explorer as my primary browser. Why? Because it crashed on me constantly and took forever at times to transition from one site to another. I’ve found the Firefox browser much more user friendly, especially given the number of plugins that have been developed for the browser.

The ability to customize Firefox with these plug-in extensions is what makes this open-source browser so special. However, there are so many available options for plugins, it’s tough to know what’s worth installing and what’s will be a complete waste of your time.

There are lists of Firefox plugins that have been created citing the best extensions for web developers or for a better YouTube experience. However, I wanted to create an everyday list of my best choices just for the ordinary online business owner.

Out of these, here are my top 10 Firefox extensions:

  1. Adblock Plus. If you have ever been annoyed by all those ads and banners on a site that often take longer to download than everything else on the page, install Adblock Plus and get rid of them. Right-click on a banner and choose “Adblock” from the context menu, and the banner won’t be downloaded again.
  2. Colorful Tabs. This simple add-on that makes a strong colorful appeal. It sets each tab to a different color and makes them easy to distinguish while beautifying the overall appearance of the interface. After a long day of research when you have lots of browser windows open, this makes online page viewing easier on the eyes.
  3. ColorZilla. ColorZilla puts an eyedropper icon in your status bar. Click it and you’ll get a crosshair cursor. As you run this over a Web page, the RGB values of the pixel under the crosshair will display in the status bar, both as three separate values and as a hex value (e.g., R:255, G:255, B:255 | #FFFFFF). I use this all the time if I’m trying to match colors; i.e. a font color to an the primary background on an image, for example.
  4. GMail Manager. This Gmail notifier is great if you have multiple Gmail accounts. It allows you to receive new mail notifications along with viewing account details including unread messages, saved drafts, spam messages, labels with new mail, space used, and new mail snippets.
  5. MeasureIt. After installing this extension, you’ll have a small ruler icon in your left side of your status bar. When you click on it, your browser window will fade out a little, and you’ll have a crosshair cursor. Drag the cursor over a section of the screen that you want to measure. Next to the box is its height and width, measured in pixels. I use this all the time when trying to measure the size of images. When you’re finished, just hit the Escape key to turn it off and return normal viewing to the page.
  6. Quirk Search Status. Search Status allows you to see how any web site you visit is performing. When you land on a page, SearchStatus lets you view its Google PageRank, Google Category, Alexa popularity ranking, ranking, SEOmoz Linkscape mozRank, Alexa incoming links, Alexa related links and backward links from Google, Yahoo! and MSN. This combined search-related information means you can view not only the link importance of a site (according to Google and Linkscape), but also its traffic importance (according to Alexa and Compete), so providing a balanced view of site efficacy. I use this all the time to determine whether a site has enough traffic to warrant accepting a joint venture opportunity.
  7. Scrapbook. ScrapBook helps you to save Web pages and easily manage your saved collections. Major features are: saving web pages or snippets of a page, saving a web site, organize the collection in the same way you do bookmarks, full text search and quick filtering search of the collection, and editing of your collected pages.
  8. Session Manager. Session Manager helps you manage your Firefox tabs. If you visit the same sites every day, all you need do is open all the sites in separate tabs and/or windows, and then use Session Manager to save the session with a distinct name. Then, you simply go to Tools > Session Manager, pick your session, and all the windows and tabs open up just as you saved them. And, Session Manager tracks your sessions as you surf, and if Firefox (or your system) crashes, you can recover the selection of tabs you had open when it crashed.
  9. Tabs Open Relative. Tabs Open Relative makes all new tabs open to the right of the current tab, rather than at the far right of the tab bar. This reduced a huge annoyance I had with how the Firefox browser worked.
  10. XMarks, XMarks (formerly Foxmarks)provides seamless bookmark synchronization between your computers and browsers via their synchronization server. Your bookmark (and optionally password) data is securely stored and backed up on our servers and is available online, as well. After you install the add-on, click on the notification to set up Xmarks and start backing up and synchronizing your bookmarks. Install Xmarks on each computer you use, and it seamlessly integrates with your web browser and keeps your bookmarks safely backed up and in sync across all of your computers. Secure Password Sync is an optional Xmarks feature.

Note: To locate these, search for the plug-in extensions here,

If you don’t currently use Firefox as your browser, perhaps this list will convince you to give it a try. I have liked my experience so much with Firefox that I’ll never use any other browser.

Online Business Coach and Internet Marketing Strategist Donna Gunter helps service business owners automate their Internet marketing.. Would you like to learn the specific Internet marketing strategies that get results? Discover how to increase your visibility and get found online by claiming your FREE gift, TurboCharge Your Online Marketing Toolkit, at ==>

23 Responses to “Top 10 Firefox Browser Plugins

    avatar SiteProNews: Webmaster News & Resources » Blog Archive » Top 10 … | Firefox News on Twitter says:

    […] Continue reading here: SiteProNews: Webmaster News & Resources » Blog Archive » Top 10 … […]

    avatar says:

    thank you so much!! i’m about to download from the site right now!

    avatar Joe Boots says:

    I’m surprised you didn’t mention SEO for Firefox. I can’t live without this plugin. I should just be part of future versions of Firefox. Great list.

    Firefox is good, I iuse it as well for the same reasons, namely the SEO toolbars and utilities.

    I also use IE8 and on my XP machine it never crashes, ever.

    So maybe it’s gotten better sice you used to use it.


    avatar Jehzeel Laurente says:

    Thanks for creating such list. This is extremely useful.

    And oh, I agree with Joe Boots, you should have mentioned SEO for Firefox. 🙂

    avatar free acne care info says:

    I’ve never being impressed with IE either…buggy and loading speed is slow. Firefox is much better. As the author has pointed out it FF comes with add on goodies and pampered with choices as well.

    Use it and you’re hooked. 🙂

    Thanks for this list. Whilst I don’t do as much design work as I should, this list has gave me some great solutions to the annoyances I encountered – particularly ColorZilla! (print screen -> photoshop – > inkdropper = no more!)

    Thanks again

    avatar John D'oh says:

    I too fired IE, not only because it kept crashing, but also because I discovered that Firefox is such a great browser (by the way, IE8 does seem to have stabilised in recent weeks)

    It’s really helpful to learn which Firefox plug-ins have worked for Donna, and I’m looking forward to trying them out for myself, so many thanks for sharing the list with us.

    avatar Lisa Pecunia says:

    Another excellent article, Donna. I am going to try at least three of these today!

    – Lisa

    avatar Fred Morgan says:

    Great article. I too moved over to FF about a year ago for the same reasons (about the time of IE8) and already have some good pluggins but these are the icing on the top.
    Thanks for giving us the update.

    avatar SKETCH3D says:

    I still need to use IE for some tasks which have IE only plugins, however on the whole I find Firefox a better experience.
    A favorite plug in for me is FireFTP, simple and easy to use.

    avatar Anime says:

    Thanks for a nice list but as mentioned above I feel you have missed out some great plugins that are of more value than coloured tabs, way about firebug which allows you to view code by hovering over any part of the site and also seo for firefox as mentioned above and video downloaded

    avatar Sharon says:

    Zotero is a free Firefox plugin that’s fantastic for college students and professional writing. It can insert bibliography citations into a Word Document (additonal plugin) for MS Word, and OpenOffice or several Word Processors.

    Zotero supports APA, MLA, and several more formats. It’s great!

    avatar Free SEO Submission says:

    I’m glad I read this. I rarely post comments…not because I don’t like this…but because I thought it was self-serving.
    Thank you
    Blogging TipsDownload Free CSS Templates

    avatar Pam Brown says:

    We recently fired Internet Explorer as well because we couldn’t do SEO without the SEO web tools such as SEO Quake.

    avatar Kate says:

    The eyedropper tip is much appreciated — this is something I’d use multiple times per day.

    avatar Uncle Indie says:

    I am surprised it took you so long. Since you are in the business you are in and all. 🙂 Internet Exploder has been the heartache of my web design existence for years. IE8 is pretty decent though compared to most of their offerings. And most of the add ins you talked about are kind of fluff oriented. Their are fantastic DOM scripts out there for Firefox.

    avatar Plugins for Firefox says:

    […] From: FireFox Pugins […]

    avatar Garfield J. says:

    Great list, but I disagree with the rankings in terms of usefulness. I believe XMarks should be #1!

    avatar subske says:

    There are some great extensions here although I think you have missed a few for web developers;

    Firebug web development tools

    Delicious Bookmarks 2.1.062

    View Source Chart 2.7

    Web Developer 1.1.8

    AnyColor 0.3.0

    AddThis 2.1.0


    English (Australian) Dictionary 2.1.1

    avatar Copywriting Newcastle says:

    I always find if i have more than one plugin at a time running on firefox it just dies, it’s got alot worse over the years, glad chrome came around, just wish all the plugins for firefox would come out for chrome

    avatar seo copywriting services says:

    I heard that Microsoft announced Internet explorer is more secure than Firefox, shame 99% of the world don’t use it 🙂

    Quirk Search Status looks worth a look into.
    Thank you Donna

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