Five fantastic Firefox extensions you might not know
I wrote this post a while back. The content can still be relevant but the information I've linked to may not be available.
Like many other Firefox users, the large number of Firefox add-ons that extend what I can do with Firefox means that it is my default browser. I probably use many of the add-ons that you know and love but I thought it would be interesting to list a few that are not so well-known… but that I find really useful. In no particular order, here they are:
LinkChecker enables you to check the validity of links on a page with a couple of clicks. The extension moves through the page and gives each link a background colour (green for valid etc). It is something that I do quite often and the ability to see valid and invalid links in a colour coded way is really useful, particularly if you have a few personal sites that contain many links. I also find LinkChecker useful when I am asked to work on a website that I am not familiar with; it means I can quickly check page and document links for the client.
I use Google Reader a lot and it’s a functional RSS reader. However, even its biggest fan will say it’s not so pretty and, in my opinion, it’s rather old-fashioned in its approach. That’s where Feedly (download) comes in. It organizes your favorite RSS sources in a magazine-like start page and integrates with Google Reader, Twitter, and other web services. Feedly has a variety of layouts (digest, latest, most popular etc) and it makes browsing and organising RSS feeds a dream! I love it!
3. Rank Checker
Rank Checker is an extension that enables you to check where your website ranks in the search results. It searches Google, Yahoo (USA and international) and Bing search engines for your domain against specific search terms that you enter. The results show the position of your website for those terms. It makes this task so much easier.
…an easy way to track the effectiveness of your website optimisation/SEO campaign
The best things about the extension though is that you can repeat the process on different dates, store the information, and export as a spreadsheet (perhaps to report back to your client?). With a bit of spreadsheet manipulation you can graph/chart the results as well. The end result is an easy way to track the effectiveness of your website optimisation/SEO campaign. I find this particularly useful when I launch a new website and want to track the search engine positions over the first few months. Sure, there are paid services that do this but the (free) Rank Checker extension works really great!
4. Measure It
Have you ever wanted to take a few simple website measurements when you are working on a layout? Measure It allows you to draw a ruler across any web page to measure the width, height, or alignment of page elements in pixels. You can also move/nudge the ruler in 1px and 5px increments. Simple but effective.
…change the style for a website and manage the styles you create
Stylish is a great way of managing user styles. For example, if you just hate that font/color/style for a specific website – or even if you just want to try something different for a while – Stylish lets you change the style for that website and manage the styles you create. In addition, there is a companion website that has many user styles from other Stylish users for you to try. I am not suggesting that you go overboard with user styles but they can be useful on some occasions. For example, I tried out the BBC website with different fonts since I am not the biggest fan of Verdana…. or you may have a font that you want to try out on your own website for a few weeks (perhaps before you change fonts). Stylish will let you do that.
More, more, more?
There are thousands of Firefox extensions and I’m sure there must be lots that I don’t know about. What are your favorite ‘unknown’ Firefox extensions?