The smartest decision Mozilla made when building the Firefox browser was the robust extension support. The extensive collection of extensions now available are the key to its success and a prominent factor in what makes the browser great. As most of you know, extensions are browser add ons that build on the functionality of the Firefox browser. It can be as simple as adding toolbar buttons, or as complex as a complete application, such as a RSS feed reader. Extensions enable Firefox to be customized to meet individual needs and preferences.
We have compiled a list of what we consider to be the best extensions for Firefox. When evaluating extensions for recommendation, not only do we consder the functionality and features of the extension, but we also test to ensure it works well with all the other extensions we recommend. This has been a lengthy evaluation in which we have taken great care to recommend high quality extensions that serve a useful purpose. The recommended extensions will also be updated on an ongoing basis. Therefore, be sure to check back for updates periodically.
Adblock Plus does an exceptional job of blocking ads and annoying content in pages. It is very customizable and can also easily eliminate any desired elements of a page on command. A complete subscription-based, automatic update solution is available for the block list, free of charge, as well as the ability to setup custom block lists. The only downside about Adblock Plus is that on occasion, it can also result in a page not displaying as designed, often omitting necessary content. However, it is easy to either disable Adblock Plus temporarily or set it to always be disabled on certain sites only.
If you operate one or more web sites, chances are that you are currently or have in the past used AdSense for web site revenue. If you’re currently using AdSense, the Adsense Notifier extension is very handy. It provides quick, convenient access to the revenue for the date range of interest. It can be set to show the revenue for the follow ranges: Today, Past 7 Days, This Month, All Time, Yesterday, Two Days Ago, Last Month, This week, Last Week, Last Business Week, and Since Last Payment.
- Download Adsense Notifier
As we have mentioned before, we’re big fans of AI RoboForm. If you use RoboForm for web form filling, site logins, and/or password management, be sure to use the extension for Firefox.
Always Remember Password
By default, when a web site instructs the browser to never allow a password manager to retain the login information, Firefox will honor this. However, if your PC is not accessible to others, it can be very handy to have these passwords saved. This extension will enable passwords to be saved on any site, including Yahoo Mail, Hotmail, and banking sites. Note: This extension was not updated for later versions of Firefox by the author. We have modified the extension so that it will work flawlessly with the current version of Firefox.
- Download Always Remember Password ( modified version )
When your password has been saved for a HTTP authentication dialog, using this extension will cause the login to occur automatically, without you have to click the OK button on the dialog.
The Converter Firefox extension offers unit conversion from any page. For example, if a page contains the text “15 m”, you can select it, and right click. It will show the length in yards and feet. The extension supports a wide range of unit conversions.
- Download Converter
Copy Link Text
When you right click a link in Firefox, it shows an option called “Copy Link Location”, which is very handy for copying the URL of a link. Likewise, the Copy Link Text extension adds an option called Copy Link Text. When you right click a link, and select the option, the anchor text of that link is copied to the clipboard. This is a quicker method than selecting the text and then copying, plus it works on sites that block copying normally.
- Download Copy Link Text
Instead of showing a dialog for your downloads, this extension includes downloads conveniently in the Firefox statusbar. Downloads can be easily paused/resumed; double click a download to run it; right click for an option to open the containing folder; download speed display; and much more. The extension’s options also provide the ability to automatically clear files of certain extensions from the bar to keep it tidy, such as files that open automatically.
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We have not been using this extension for very long, and do not have a lot of experience with it yet, but what we have seen of it seems quite handy. When a page fails to load in Firefox, ErrorZilla Mod will show options for “Try Again,” “Google Cache,” “Coralize,” “Wayback,” “Ping,” “Trace,” and “Whois”, which can be used to gain access to the page, even with the site down or access information about the site.
- Download ErrorZilla Mod
The Fireshot extension makes taking a screen shot of a web page a snap. Even if entire page is not visible, Fireshot can still capture the entire page. If you prefer, it can also capture just the visible area of a page. With a single click, Fireshot can capture the page and upload, copy, mail, print, or open the file for editing (in the internal editor or an external editor of choice). The internal editor provides the ability to add shapes, pointers, text, another image, or draw on the image.
The Flagfox extension shows a flag icon for the country in which the current web site is hosted in the statusbar or address bar. A tooltip is provided that also offers the name of the country, in case the flag is not familiar. The extension uses an IP address database rather than relying on the top-level domain. When the flag icon is clicked, GeoTool will be loaded, which provides a location map, as well as information on the ISP, city, IP address, local time, country code, region, postal code, and more.
Google Cache Checker
The Google Cache Checker Firefox extension automatically checks visited pages to determine if the current page is Google cached. The result is immediately shown conveniently in the browser statusbar. This extension is available exclusively from Gadget Advisor.
When you click a link to a URL that’s already open in another Firefox tab, the Highlander extension will cause the already opened tab to be focused, rather than duplicating the URL in a new tab.
- Download Highlander
IE View Lite
The IE View Lite extension provides a context menu item for opening the current page in IE. The extension also has the ability to enter sites that will always open in IE. It can close the tabs for pages being opened in IE automatically, and send any additional parameters to the of the page to the Internet Explorer EXE. As much as we like Firefox, every once in a while, we run into a page that will not work properly in Firefox, which makes this extension handy.
- Download IE View Lite
When this extension is enabled, Firefox will play the Windows OS start and end navigation sounds when pages start and finish loading (the “click” from IE when a page navigation begins).
- Download Navigational Sounds
Nightly Tester Tools
We recommend this extension only for those who are experienced or desperate. If you’ve been using Firefox for a while and use a number of extensions, you have no doubt experienced the anguish of an extension no longer working after a Firefox update. Even worse is when the extension’s developer decides not to update it anymore. This extension can be used to force extensions to work with the new Firefox version. Most extensions will work normally with minor Firefox updates (some even work properly after major version upgrades), and you can always disable an extension again if needed. However, we do recommend being careful when using this extension, nonetheless.
For those who dislike the new “AwesomeBar” introduced with Firefox 3, the oldbar extension will cause Firefox to maintain the familiar address bar from earlier versions of Firefox. The browser will still benefit from the enhanced autocomplete algorithm of Firefox 3, but with the appearance of Firefox 2.
- Download Oldbar
The OpenBook Firefox extension provides customization for the Add Bookmark dialog, including the ability to automatically open the bookmarks tree and resize the Add Bookmark dialog.
- Download OpenBook
The SearchStatus extension provides extensive search-related information about visited web sites, including Google PageRank, Google Category, Alexa popularity ranking, Compete.com ranking, Alexa incoming links, Alexa related links, and backward links from Google, Yahoo, and MSN. The key information is all presented conveniently in one discreet and compact area, with the remaining data available via a right-click. The information displayed is also customizable. For example, if the Compete.com ranking is not inportant to you, it can be easily disabled, thus making more room available.
- Download SearchStatus
Tab Mix Plus
Tab Mix Plus is a very robust extension that enhances Firefox’s tab browsing functionality. It provides options for controlling tab focus, link opening, many new tab display capabilities, tab clicking behavior, undo closed tabs and windows (as well as a list of previously closed tabs), advanced session management, and much more.
- Download Tab Mix Plus
The Text Link extension enables URLs that are not linked on web pages to be easily launched via a double click. Settings are also provided that enable URLs to be executed with different key and/or mouse combinations.
The WeatherBug extension provides quick access to local weather conditions and forecasts. Icons representing forecast are shown in the statusbar, and more information is available via tooltips for the icons. The current temperature (or other information) can also be shown directly on the statusbar. The data presented as well as its placement is highly configurable.
- Download WeatherBug
Web Directory Form Filler
The Web Directory Form Filler is a web form filling extension that is similar in functionality to AI RoboForm, except that it is designed specifically for use in submitting to web directories. It is feature-rich and easy to use. The extension features title rotation, deep link support, and even deep link title rotation. The sidebar also provides exceptional submission management.
- We are making this extension available free here exclusively