Firefox Extensions

I highly recommend switching to Firefox, which is a much better browser than Internet Explorer. To really get the value, I recommend installing a bunch of extensions. I took the time to go through the ones currently available, and here is what I’m currently using:

Adblock – Essential extension for removing all banner adds (and even Google AdSense iframes). Just makes the web a more pleasant place. The only trick is that a small number of pages won’t render correctly, in which case hit Ctrl-Shift-B to disable (the status is in the bottom right), then Ctrl-R to refresh the page, and then Ctrl-Shift-B to enable again.

Bloglines – I highly recommend using Bloglines as a news aggregator to keep track of unread articles from blogs and other periodicals. The toolkit provides an icon in the status bar shows when there’s new unread articles.

Bookmark synchronizer – If you use more than one computer, this is a great extension that syncs your bookmarks by uploading them to an FTP folder or WebDAV share and download them at startup.

– If you develop websites, you should care about validation to make your pages accessible to the most users. Checky makes it easy to validate pages.

Forecastfox – Great extension that displays weather icons on the status bar and can rotate through cities of interest.

Foxytunes – Control your music player (such as iTunes) from within Firefox.

Gmail Notifier – Status bar icon to let you know if you have new Gmail.

Googlebar – Provides a Google toolbar. I right click the toolbar and choose hide by default. But I’ll then bring it back if I want to search for text within the current website or use the highlight feature. Even hidden, I can select any text on a page, right click, and submit the text as a google search.

Htmlvalidator – For website development, this integrates the Tidy validator into the View Source command. I don’t have it validate all documents by default, since so few documents are valid.

Launchy – No Firefox install should go without this extension. By default, Firefox doesn’t stream Windows media files, it fully downloads them before playing. With Launchy, you just right-click on a WMV or AVI link and can get Launchy to have Windows Media Player stream the content. I also use Launchy to occasionally open a webpage in Internet Explorer when it’s not rendering correctly in Firefox.

Livelines – Livelines makes it easy to subscribe to news feeds, which I do through Bloglines.

Tab clicking options – I just use this one to get double clicking on a tab to close it.

Tabbrowser preferences – Essential extension for adding tabbed browsing to the Options menu. I set all links to load in new tabs.

Tweak network – This would be bad for the Internet if everyone used it, but selecting power will significantly improve browsing speeds by enabling more simultaneous connections.

Search status – Great extension for displaying the Google PageRank and Alexa rank of sites you browse, plus does searches for backward links. An older version would sometimes cause Firefox not to startup correctly, but they seem to have fixed the bug.

Sessionsaver – Great application that restores all the tabs to how you left them if you need to shut down Firefox.

Spellbound – Very powerful, well done spell checker, essential for blog entries, editing wikis, etc.