Google Chrome may still be streets ahead of other browsers – both in terms of popularity and performance – but if you want a little less Google in your life then Mozilla's Firefox is still an excellent option, especially if you value your privacy. While Chrome can keep tabs on everywhere you go and report back to Google, Firefox has no user tracking built in and also has tools to block online tracking.
Firefox also boasts a healthy collection of add-ons to make your life easier, so if you rely on a bunch of Chrome extensions (opens in new tab), rest assured that you can set up Firefox to be just as useful. We've gathered together 10 of the best to get you started.
- 22 essential browser extensions for web pros (opens in new tab)
01. TinEye Reverse Image Search
Google's reverse image search can be a useful tool for tracking down the original versions of images you see online, but it has its limitations. It's not so hot at coping with pictures that have been cropped, or edited, and that's where TinEye (opens in new tab)'s image search excels.
TinEye uses image recognition tech that means it can easily track down modified versions of images. It's perfect for identifying sites that are using your work without permission, and it's also great for sourcing legitimate versions of images that you can license to use yourself.
If you're not happy with the look of your favourite websites, Stylus (opens in new tab) can sort that out. You can use it to inject new CSS into sites that aren't easy on your eye, and restyle them into something more aesthetically pleasing. If you know your CSS, then you can simply create your own styles from scratch, but for the less technically-inclined there's also an option to install custom themes from popular online repositories.
03. React Developer Tools
React Developer Tools (opens in new tab) is an add-on for Firefox's devtools, and it enables you to inspect a site's React tree, including its component hierarchy, props and state, to see how everything fits together. Often the best way to learn to code is by poking around ready made examples, and this puts a whole load of examples right at your fingertips.
There are thousands of fantastic free ebooks (opens in new tab) out there, but actually reading them can be difficult if you don't have the right device. With EPUBReader (opens in new tab), however, it couldn't be simpler; just find an ePub file online and then, when you click on it, Firefox will download, process and display it in your browser window. It'll also work with any ePub files you've already downloaded.
Responsive web design (opens in new tab) means you don't have to be as exacting with image sizes these days as you used to in the old days of the fixed-width web, but Measure-it (opens in new tab) is still a handy tool to have in your web design arsenal. It enables you to draw a ruler across any web page to see the width and height of page elements in pixels, making it ideal for creating pixel-perfect mockups and wireframes among other uses.
A handful of well-constructed macros can make life much easier for you, reducing tedious and repetitive tasks to a single click that does everything for you in an instant.
And with iMacros (opens in new tab) installed you can bring the joy of macros to the browser; whether you want to download a bunch of files, fill out yet another web form or extract text and images from a site, you can quickly record a macro to do the work for you. The free version of iMacros limits you to 50 actions and has a few other limitations; if you find it ridiculously useful and need more features, check out the various paid versions.
Without an add-on, getting screenshots of websites can be painful, especially if you want to grab an entire long page in one go. FireShot (opens in new tab)'s the most versatile way we've found of taking web screenshots; we love it on Chrome and it's just as good in its Firefox flavour.
With Fireshot you can screenshot an entire page, or just what's visible, and it you're really picky you can grab an area of the screen. Once you're done you can save your image from FireShot, or simply copy it to paste into an image editor.
Another essential add-on that we already love on Chrome, ColorZilla (opens in new tab)'s an amazing tool for working with colour in the browser. If you see a colour palette you love the look of, you can pull out ColorZilla's eyedropper tool or advanced colour picker to quickly grab colour values from anywhere on the page, or you can simply create a palette based on a site with ColorZilla's webpage colour analyser. It even comes with its own palette viewer and CSS gradient generator.
If your site's not getting the pageviews you'd hope for, add SEOQuake (opens in new tab) to Firefox and see what you can do to make it more visible. It'll instantly provide you with the key SEO metrics you need to know about, and provides useful tools such as SEO Audit to help you nail your Google mojo, a keyword density tool to help you identify the search terms to aim for, and it'll also keep you up to speed with the latest Google algorithm updates.
10. Dark Reader
Having trouble sleeping? It could be that you've been staying up late looking at over-bright websites that trick your brain into thinking it's awake time. Show your eyes a bit of love by installing Dark Reader (opens in new tab); it enables you to create custom dark modes for your favourite sites, inverting bright colours and making them much easier to read at night.