Extensions in Firefox are exactly what you probably think they are. They extend the browser and add extra functionality that is not built in by default. There are thousands are extensions to choose from, but you don’t need to install every single one. Just pick up the ones you really need.
The easiest way to download new extensions is to open up Firefox, then go to Tools then click on Add-ons. When that Window pops up, click on the “Get Extensions” link on the bottom. This will load up Mozilla’s official Firefox extensions Web site. If you don’t want to go through all of that to visit it – just bookmark this link:
From there you can navigate yourself around and find some extensions that might interest you. For an example, lets say you want to use the Download Statusbar extension. All you need to do is click the “Install Now” button on that Web page for it.
After you do that, a new window should pop up asking you if you really wanted to install this. Wait for the countdown on the button to run out, and then click “Install Now”. After that you should see it downloading and when it is finished Firefox will ask you to restart the browser. Go ahead and do that, then when it returns your extension should be installed.
One more thing you might watch out for is that the extension works with the version of Firefox that you are using. Via the Mozilla Addon-ons Web site – they give you a version number of Firefox that the extension should be compatible with. If you have a problem getting it loaded, that might be the reason why.
You can download Firefox extensions from other Web sites as well. When you do, and you click on their install links you’ll get a warning message come up under your tab bar saying something to the effect of “this Web site is not authorized to do that”. If you are sure you want to install it, just hit OK and you should be good to go. Another nice thing about Firefox, it’s secure – but it keeps it simple.
What about plugins?
Plugins help your browser perform specific functions like viewing special graphic formats or playing multimedia files. Plugins are slightly different from extensions, which modify or add to existing functionality.
You can download plugins for Java, Windows Media, Quicktime, Flash and more from this Web site.