Archive | March, 2009

Most Popular Search Engines to Add to Firefox

We have looked at the ten most popular search extensions for Firefox, however we can not overlook the many popular search engines you can add to the Firefox search box.

Add to Any Search Bar Most Popular Search Plugins for Firefox *

  • YouTube – Find all kinds of cool web videos.
  • IMDB – Quickly find that one actor that was in that movie you just saw.
  • Wikipedia – The web’s encyclopedia.
  • Album-Cover-Art.org – Quickly find album art from your favorite musical artists.
  • isoHunt – BT search – Find ISO images quickly using this search plugin.
  • Merriam-Webster – It is like the dictionary, but Online! (insert ooh and awe here)
  • Live Search – Microsoft’s lovable underdog of a search engine.
  • Flickr – Find photos by searching via the image tags.
  • Weather Channel – Is that a tornado in your pants, or are you just happy to see me?
  • Amazon – Use Amazon’s A9 search to find Amazon products, and anything else on the Web.

Roll Your Own Search Plugin

Want to roll your own search plugin using any web site search box out there.  That is an easy task to accomplish with the Add to Search Bar extension.  If you want to “do it by hand” you can also create your own plugins with this handy tutorial from the Mozilla Developer Center.

More Search Plugin Databases

Now with those mentioned, you can’t mention the search engine box without mentioning the MyCroft project.  There you can find a search engine plugin or search provider that you can quickly add to the Firefox search box.

To check out their most popular search engines, be sure to check out the Top 100 listings.

What tools and plugins do you use to keep your searching in order?

* – Yes,I left Google off the popular plugin list, cause everybody knows about Google.

10 Popular Search Tools for Firefox

Searching in Firefox is a very easy thing to do.  Just type a phrase into the search box in your upper-right corner of the browser and hit the “Enter” key.  Now the trick is, how can we make searching in Firefox better?  Here are ten of the most popular Firefox add-ons to revolutionize the way you search the Web.

  • Googlepedia – delivering relevant Wikipedia articles along with your search results.
  • Google Assistant – Surf Canyon – helps to unleash the power of search by helping you find relevant information buried in the search results of Google, Yahoo!, Live Search and more.
  • VideoSurf Search Plugin – Use VideoSurf’s visual search engine to find videos from all over the web.
  • Add to Search Bar – Make any pages’ search functionality available in Firefox’s built in search box.
  • Advanced Dork – Get quick access to Google’s advanced operators (such as site:, intext:, and others) directly from Firefox’s context menu.
  • AutoPager – Automatically load the next page of any site that has inline results.  When you reach the bottom of one page go to the next!
  • CustomizeGoogle – Add tons of extra information and tools to Google and remove unwanted information you don’t need.
  • Infoaxe – Full text history search synchronized between multiple computers and multiple browsers.  Think of it as bookmark syncing for your browsing history.
  • Who Is This Person? – Highlight any name on the Web to see matching information from services like Wink, LinkedIn, Wikipedia, Facebook, Google News, and more.
  • BetterSearch – An add-on for Firefox and Flock which enhances Google and Yahoo! with all their international flavors, MSN and Delicious by adding previews (thumbnails) and additional functionality.

Have another favorite search add-on for Firefox that did not make it onto the list?  Leave it in the comments, because I would love to hear your opinion on which would be the king of the search extensions.

Hexxya! Theme for Firefox

1237374348As the author puts it, capturing the theme of the 80’s era spirit, Hexxya! for Firefox looks to be a really unique theme that is very easy on the eyes. 

I really enjoy the simple icons and the softer use of colors in this theme for Firefox.  It all just works together very well.

Here is more about the theme from the developer:

You might notice that random arrangements of icons will not work with this theme. You will need to play around in the Customize Toolbar settings to get the icons to fit together in a manner that works, or just follow the order used in the sample screen shots for the best results. The large version has more space between the icons and is more flexible to different arrangements.

If the style of this theme looks familiar, the author of the theme also brought Slickerfox into the world.  The two don’t look exactly the same, but if you like one – I am willing to bet you will like the other.

Pick up the Hexxya! theme on the Firefox Add-ons web site.

Find Similar Sites in a Sidebar

SimilarWeb in Action for FirefoxWant to discover great web sites without the work of searching for them?  SimilarWeb, an add-on for Firefox, will do the searching for you.  Its job is to suggest similar web sites you might enjoy as you browse around the Web.

I am always looking for new ways to find new and interesting sites out there so this is an add-on I really enjoy.  There are several ways to customize the way you view the similar sites too, that are displayed as a sidebar on the left of whatever web site you might be browsing at the time.

Here is a rundown on the various cool features:

For more information on SimilarWeb be sure to check out their web site at SimilarWeb.com.  Right now the extension is available for both Internet Explorer and Firefox.

Go Wii With Your Firefox

WiiFox theme for Firefox

Ready to make your Firefox browser a little more Wii-like?  WiiFox, a new theme for Firefox, is based on the highly popular video game system the Nintendo Wii.  It doesn’t really rip anything off directly, it just takes inspiration really from the Wii’s own internet browser and interface. 

If you like the theme, be sure to let the developer know.  Since it is right now an “experimental” theme, I am sure feedback would be appreciated in any way you can give it. Savaden, the theme’s creator, is becoming a favorite of mine to watch – as he also brough us the Mushroom Kingdom Firefox theme too.  You can pick up the WiiFox theme on the Firefox Add-ons site.

10 Popular Web Designer Tools for Firefox

Thanks to Firefox and some of the great add-ons that have been developed for it, your browser is your best friend when it comes to web site design.  From CSS tools, to promoting your domain, here are 10 of the most popular web designer tools for Firefox.

Any of these add-ons would be great to add to your own proverbial web designer’s toolbelt.

  • ColorZilla – This advanced eyedropper and color picker will help you find out exactly what color is being used on somebody else’s web site, so you can use it on your own.
  • Firebug – Firebug integrates with Firefox to put a wealth of development tools at your fingertips while you browse. You can edit, debug, and monitor CSS, HTML, and JavaScript live in any web page.
  • FireFTP – Looking for an FTP client you can reach from inside of Firefox?  FireFTP is a free, secure, cross platform FTP client built into and for Firefox.
  • IE Tab – Quickly embed Internet Explorer into an open tab of Firefox, for cross browser web site checking and testing.
  • Picnik – Get quick access to your own online image editor with this add-on.  It adds a menu option to import images right into the Picnik online image editor.
  • Stylish – This add-on is often considered for web site tweakers, however it can also be used to add or remove CSS and design elements on the fly, without even having to login to your web site.
  • Web Developer Toolbar – By far, the king of the web development Firefox extensions.  It adds a menu and a toolbar with various web developer tools.
  • User Agent Switcher – Another good one to have for cross browser testing.  It adds a menu to the toolbar so you can quickly change the user agent of the browser.
  • FireShot – Take a screenshot and also add notes to it.  If you are a designer, wanting to highlight key features of a design to a client, there is no better Firefox add-on out there to do just that.
  • SeoQuake – Aimed at the search engine optimization crowd, this extension will help webmasters deal with the promotion side of their domains.

What Firefox add-ons and services help you get the job done when it comes to web design?  Drop in a comment, and give me your own “best of” suggestions.


Welcome Digg.com Visitors! Appreciate you stopping in to check out the list. If you have any other suggestions for web developer Firefox add-ons, please add them to the comments, and I’ll be putting out a “reader-inspired” version of the list soon!

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Beginner Guide to Stylish

Stylish Add-on in Status Bar Have you ever looked at a web page and thought to yourself, “it would look better if I could only move this over there, or change the color of that or..” well, there are a lot of things you could change about a lot of the Web’s most popular web sites.  One tool for Firefox lets you customize the look and feel of Firefox and the Web, Stylish.

Using what is called “user styles” the Stylish add-on for Firefox can empower your browsing experience by letting you personalize or fix the features of Firefox or the Web in general that bug you the most.

How do I get started with Stylish?

Once installed, all you have to do is right-click the status bar icon, select “Write Style” and then choose if you want to write a style for the URL you are on right now, or create an empty style not related to any web site, for now at least.  You can also tag your style, giving it a few descriptive words. 

Write a New Style in Stylish!

Now how do you know what to put into the window, to customize Firefox (as I have done in the screenshot above) or your favorite web site?  I suggest checking out userstyles.org. 

Where can I find and learn to create user styles?

Not only is userstyles.org a great repository of scripts others have written that you can use, it is also a place where you can view the code they used, so you can try it out when you create your own user style.

Here are a few resources to get you started finding the user style that you need or want to use:

There is also a user styles blog and set of forums for you to follow too.  If I had a top 10 list of my favorite Firefox add-ons, Stylish would be in the top 5, at least.  Anything that helps the users of Firefox customize the Web or Firefox to meet their needs better is a winner in my book.

Tab Mix Plus

Tab Mix Plus It has been a long time since I have taken a look at Tab Mix Plus.  I know a lot of people who use it, and it continues to be one of the most popular Firefox add-ons out there.  So the first question to ask is, what makes it so darn special?

Well, the main goal of Tab Mix Plus is to give Firefox’s tabs more capabilities.  You can quickly duplicate tabs, control the tab focus, you get all kinds of tab clicking options, undo tabs and windows, and that is just scratching the surface. 

It also includes a full-featured session manager with crash recovery that can save and restore combinations of opened tabs and windows.

Tab Mix Plus Options

Need help using one Tab Mix Plus’s features?  They have a handy set of user forums here:

All in all, Tab Mix Plus is still a great addition to the Firefox browser if you need to do “more” with your tabs than the default Firefox install or any other add-ons give you. 

Skin Facebook to Look More Stylish

Since the recent Facebook re-design, there are not many themes or skins out there that work with it.  However, I have found one that is fully compatible and (for some) a much more pleasant viewing experience, the Vista Ultimate Skin for Facebook.

facebook-vista-skin

Vista Ultimate Skin for Facebook – Want to make Facebook look a ‘bit more Vista-like?  This user style will give Facebook the look and feel of Windows Vista.

Also, if you want just the Vista-like taskbar inside of Facebook, you can pick up this user style.

Facebook Vista Taskbar

For these two user styles to work, you have to have the Stylish extension for Firefox installed.  Once you do,  be sure to check out our entire archive of Stylish tweaks and tips.  Also, if there are any Firefox Facts fans on Facebook, be sure to look me up and add me as a friend.  Have any favorite user styles you like to use with Facebook to tweak the interface? 

Easy Access to Hidden Firefox Settings

gui:config in actionIf you need to edit some of the advanced preferences of Firefox, and you need a neater way to get that done, gui:config is right for you. 

This extension of Firefox will give you a lot of the “about:config” preferences, in an easy to navigate menu box.  It displays the options, included in the current version, using checkboxes, dropdown lists and textboxes.

If you want to check out all the advanced settings that gui:config makes available to you, Lifehacker has done a nice gallery of each tab you see in the screenshot above.

I would consider this extension well worth trying out, at least.  The add-on, gui:config is a must have for anybody who likes to tweak and customize their browsing experience.  You can find out more about the development at:  http://guiconfig.freedig.org/.