Mozilla Firefox internet browser has a definite upper hand over other web browsers owing to its excellent range of add-ons. Firefox has made tracking errors and optimization of webpagesan extremely hassle free and less-time consuming task. Huge volumes of information can also be accessed with the help of Firefox add-ons. There are quite a few add-ons available for Firefox in the market, especially for web developers but we will single out the top 10 add-ons for web developers here.


1. Web Developer Firefox

The Web developer Firefox add-on is perhaps the best add-on for Firefox. Its main characteristic is its toolbar for working with different options to manipulate web pages.Its highly functional, easy to use and best suited for developers who need quick access to these indispensable tools to increase their efficiency by coding quality websites and troubleshoot problems easily.

Without customization, it displays as a toolbar on the top of the browser with menu options like CSS, Resize, Cookies etc. to name a few. For all web developer’s needs, be it to inspect the CSS of a page, measure design elements or simply validate a web design for W3C compliance, Web developer Firefox will likely have a tool.


2. IE Tab2

IE Tab was introduced to cater to a web developer’s need to switch back and forth between Internet Explorer and Firefox layout engines, with the click of a button. This add-on helps developers to test and compare how each browser furnishes and displays the designed web page without having to leave Firefox or having to install Internet Explorer.

The first version introduced was IE tab, however the latest version available now is IE Tab2 as IE Tab is non compatible with Firefox 3.6.


3. Color Zilla

The most inevitable component for a web designer is Color. And when we talk of colors, Color Zilla is a simple yet amazing extension for Firefox.This add-on includes a color picker (similar to the one seen in Photoshop) and an eye dropper that helps the developer to create and also identify the colors used on the web page. TheCSS gradient generator is a powerful tool which allows quick and easy modeling of beautiful gradients. It basically gives the HTML and RGB code of any color that one finds on a webpage. Clearly ColorZilla is an essential add-on for designers and web developers alike.


4. Firebug

Firebug is an extremely comprehensive, user friendly,opensource add-on that gives web designers powerful tools to inspect and debug a web design.With this aid, web developers can inspect and edit HTML & Java script on the go, monitor network activity, explore the DOM, analyze CSS metrics,debug and much more. This add-on serves as a useful tool for experienced hands as well as amateur web designers.


5. Measureit

This useful add-on is used to gauge the visual appeal of any web page in terms of its dimensions. It gives an in-built ruler for measuring, calculating, sizing and alignment of elements of the web page in pixels. Correct sizing of web pieces is of vital importance to web designers. Hence MeasureIt qualifies to be an extremelyimportant and inevitable tool in the Firefox add-ons kit.


6. CSS Usage

This is an add-on which reduces the use of redundant or outdated styles. CSS usage is essentially an extension of Firebug and therefore requires Firebug installation as a pre-requisite to its usage. This add-on basically discloses unused CSS rules, along with recommending what unnecessary/unused portions can be removed. This helps web developers to keep their CSS files as light and streamlined as possible and reduce overheads.Latest features of CSS usage include: Line numbers, Autoscan, Links to the CSS files (which open in a new tab).


7. Fire FTP

The Fire FTP is an efficiently and economically contoured Firefox add-on which helpssolve all the web developers’ problems related to files transfer without having to navigate from the Firefox browser. It is a free, impregnable, cross-platform FTP/SFTP client for Mozilla Firefox which provides easy and intuitive access to FTP servers. It offers several benefits to standalone FTP applications, such as its operating system independent functioning. This browser add-on has all the characteristics of standalone applications. Fire FTP also showcases several advanced features viz: SFTP, comparison of directories, checks on integrity, directoriessyncing while navigating and more.


8. Y-slow

Yslow is a web browser Firefox utility that benchmarks a web page’s front-end design performance. Yslow analyzes web pages and also recommends improvement measures based on a set of pre-defined rules for high performance web pages. Suggestions can be sought for improving the page’s performance, summarizing the page’s components etc. Additionally, it displays statistics about the page and provides tools for performance analysis.It helps in optimizing web pages for fast response times by performance tuning.


9. HTML Validator

A Mozilla add-on that adds HTML validation to Mozilla and Firefox. The number of errors of an HTML page is seen in the form of an icon in the status bar while browsing. The HTML validator can validate the HTML sent by the server or the HTML in the memory. Theerror details are highlighted when tracking the HTML source of the page. The algorithm is embedded inside Mozilla/Firefox and makes the validation on the local machine, without sending HTML to a third party server. Validator works on the following platforms: Windows, Linux &MacOS.


10. SEO Doctor

Search Engine Optimization process should be carried out in the design phase when the site’s HTML is still changeable. SEO Doctor is a useful tool to carry out a web page’s SEO.

Salient features of SEO Doctor are:

  • Gives a score between 0 and 100% and highlights portions in the web page that need optimization in the search engines.
  • Shows link structure for web pages and helps track page rank flow
  • Provides single click access to most popular SEO tools and allows one to additionally inspect a website.
  • SEO doctor is fully customizable to the needs of the web developer
  • The data can be exported to spreadsheets for further analysis and data logging

This add-on is made with both beginners and experienced SEOs in mind.

The primary purpose of these add-ons is to enhance a web developer’s browser functionality, along with providing the desired aesthetics.

debarshiWritten by Debarshi: Debarshi is a freelance writer and web developer currently working for WebCreationUK as a website designer.