Archive | Add-ons Reviews

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.

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. 

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/.

Convert YouTube Videos to MP3

The experimental add-on YouTube 2 MP3 will convert and download YouTube videos in the .mp3 audio format.  There is no doubt that YouTube has a large collection of music videos, so this type of service was bound to happen eventually. 

Download YouTube Videos as MP3 files!

Once installed, the add-on will add a link to each YouTube video page that says, “Convert & Download as MP3”.  Once clicked, the extension takes you to another web site where the mp3 will be available for you to download.  The only downside I could find, is that it takes some time to convert the videos to the .mp3 format. 

As a bonus, if you want to use the YouTube video to mp3 converting service without the add-on you can do that too.  Just bookmark this link:  http://youtube2mp3.wmn.eu/

You can download YouTube 2 MP3 extension on the Firefox Add-ons web site.

Add Another Bookmarks Toolbar to Firefox

Have more than a few bookmarks you want to keep handy on the bookmarks toolbar in Firefox but don’t have the room?  Multirow Bookmarks Toolbar, an extension for Firefox, will help you solve that issue by letting you add as many bookmark toolbars as you need.

Multiple Bookmark Toolbars in Firefox

Once installed, the options here are simple.  You can enable or disable the multiple bookmark rows, and you can also set the max number rows to display.  If it doesn’t exactly match up with your current theme or you want to tweak it some, check out this post from the mozillazine.org forums

If you need more bookmark room in the browser, this add-on will do the trick.  You can pick it up on the Firefox Add-ons site.

Find Out What Web Pages Are Watching You

Ghostery

What a minute, what was that?  Was it a bump in the night or a cookie in my browser?  Ghostery, the add-on for Firefox, will help you find out what web sites out there are keeping an eye on you, even when it isn’t overly obvious. 

Alerting you when you visit a web site with web bugs on it, Ghostery is a good extension to have if you are worried about your online privacy.  The web bugs in question are usually hidden scripts that track your behavior and are used by the site to understand you better.

Currently supporting over 130 services (with weekly updates and additions) here is a sample of the supported services:

  • Google Analytics Ghostery in Action in Firefox
  • MyBlogLog
  • Quantcast
  • IndexTools
  • SiteMeter
  • Lijit
  • Omniture
  • CrazyEgg
  • Snap
  • Omniture
  • Statcounter

Well deserving of it’s rank as a “recomended add-on” for Firefox, Ghostery does a great job at helping you keep an eye on what sites, ad networks and widgets are keeping an eye on you.

Add a Recently Closed Tab Button to Firefox

Recently Closed Tab ButtonSure, keyboard shortcuts are handy to have – but sometimes a button is even better.  The Closed Tabs Button add-on for Firefox will give you an easy one button access to all of your recently closed tabs.  If you are tired of going to History > Recently Closed Tabs just to undo a closed tab, then this extension is for you!

Not only does this add-on give you a fancy new button, it also gives you a new keyboard shortcut to access the most recently closed tab (CTRL+SHIFT+Z). 

After installing the extension, to add it to your own browser interface you must add the button by going to View > Toolbars > Customize, then drag and drop the button anywhere on the toolbar.

The Closed Tab Button add-on for Firefox might be a little on the simple side, however when there is just a little problem to be fixed – nice to see an extension that gets the job done right without too much bloat.

Foxmarks is Dropping the Fox (Xmarks Review)

Foxmarks is now Xmarks Foxmarks, one of my favorite Firefox add-on suggestions for bookmark syncing and backup, is changing names today.  Foxmarks is becoming Xmarks(Waits for the “X marks the spot jokes)  The new Xmarks service looks to be more geared towards sharing links, ala Stumble Upon and Digg. 

Why make the move?  Well, one would guess that sharing links might be a more profitable business model, more so than bookmark syncing alone.  Via the Xmarks blog, here are some FAQs for those of you who might have questions about the change:

  • Xmarks is a superset of Foxmarks – it adds web discovery features to our world-class bookmark sync.
  • If you choose to upgrade to Xmarks, it will work seamlessly with your existing Foxmarks account and will sync with your other computers running Foxmarks.
  • Foxmarks.com and our existing Foxmarks add-ons won’t change overnight. We expect to have upgrades to all three Foxmarks versions available by the end of March and we’ll provide you with more detailed info once we return from the DEMO conference.
  • We’re still hard at work finding better, faster ways to sync more things in your browser.

So what new features will be brought on with the new business model?

Smarter Search – In your Google search results, Xmarks will highlight the top three sites based on bookmarking history.  Put your mouse over the special icon to the side of the search results to learn more information such as reviews, and rankings.

Smarter Search in Xmarks

Site Info Lookup – Clicking on the Xmarks logo in your location bar will bring up a detailed box letting you know more information about the site you are on, and help you discover other sites just like it.

Site Info Lookup in Xmarks

Then of course, you have the bookmark and password backup and syncing capabilities that Foxmarks already brought to the table.  The Xmarks browser add-on is Firefox only right now, but they promise to have Internet Explorer and Safari versions running soon.  Firefox fans can grab the Xmarks add-on here to try it out.  It is worth pointing out that you can install Xmarks even if you have the Foxmarks add-on installed on your computer. Xmarks will upgrade your current Foxmarks add-on and continue to sync and back up your bookmarks (and optionally passwords).

So what do you think about the change?  Excited about the new features, or disappointed that an old Firefox friend is changing its ways?