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There are many different add-ons available for Firefox that you can use to enhance the functionality of the browser. These add-ons have a wide range of functions, from productivity tools which keep tabs on what you’re doing while online, to your social media tools that you can use for better integration into your popular social services like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Firefox is a very popular browser for web designers; this is because there are so many add-ons available for it that can make building a website all the more easier. Here are the top 10 add-ons that I recommend you use, not just for web designers but for your average user:

1. Firebug

Firebug is a very popular web development add-on for Firefox. If you were to ask any web designer or developer which add-on is a must, Firebug would be at the top of their list.

Firebug is basically an open source add-on which adds additional functions to your browser, such as the ability to debug and inspect a web page. Through the use of this add-on, you can work out which CSS style is being used in which element on a web page. You can also inspect the structure of a site and determine the various attributes, such as height, colour, HTML elements and more.

This extension is pretty complex and thus, can take some time for you to get to grips with. But the immediate benefits to having it on your browser are almost instantly apparent.

2. Page Speed

When it comes to user experience and usability, the speed of a website is very important. Most internet users dislike sluggish websites, so it’s in a web designers best interest to make their websites as fast as possible.

Page Speed is a browser extension, developed by Google, for both Firefox and Chrome, to analyse webpages to determine where improvements can be made in order to improve their speed. It makes for an excellent testing tool. Alternatively, you can use the online Page Speed tool, if you’re not too fond of the add-on. There are many of such tools, but this one is definitely the best, especially for web site owners.

3. AdBlock Plus

If you’ve grown sick and tired of all the advertisements littered across all the websites that you visit, then AdBlock Plus is a must.

That said, its best you create your own whitelist of sites, that way, you can have advertisements show on the websites that you love, as advertisements is typically the primary source of revenue for most sites.

4. DownThemAll

Another favourite of mine, this download manager helps maximise your downloads speeds while managing all your downloads.

5. RightToClick

When you stumble upon a website that prevents you from highlighting its text, RightToClick is here to help you. This tool has additional functions, such as a list of items which the end user can choose from to determine what is disabled on a page and what isn’t.

6. SeoQuake SEO Extension

If you need help with social media or search engine optimisation, then SeoQuake is the tool for you. This tool has a whole host of features, such as the ability to view keyword density of a document, investigate site parameters, and see both the external and internal links of a website.

7. SEO Doctor

When it comes to optimising a website for the search engines, the optimisation component should be the first thing tackled. SEO Doctor is a tool designed to help you check the SEO of a web page.

SEO Doctor works by giving a web page a score between 0 – 100% while highlighting areas of the page that can use some improvement. One of the best features of this tool is that it allows you to export its findings to a spread sheet file, which you can use for additional analysis.

8. Xmarks

If you use several different browsers on your computer, then this is the tool for you. Xmark allows you to sync bookmarks and passwords across several different browsers (Firefox, Safar, Internet Explorer and Chrome). This means all your bookmarks and passwords will be accessible across all these browsers when you install this add-on.

9. TinyURL Generator

This is an excellent add-on, that generates small URLs for any page that you’re on, simply click on the small icon at the bottom corner of the browser and you’ll have your link. Tiny URLs are most ideal for sharing, whether via email or across social platforms.

10. Time Tracker

This useful tool allows you to keep track of the amount of time you’re spending on Firefox by displaying a clock in the status bar. Such an add-on can be used for an array of tasks.

Uchenna Ani-Okoye is a former IT Manager who now runs his own computer support website Compuchenna.co.uk

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