By default, firefox is nothing more than a web browser and can make little difference for those who are using Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome etc. And as such, you might not find firefox to be great. And that is true, infact, firefox in it’s default “avatar” offers nothing more than tabbed browsing, basic bookmarking, search etc.
Though there might be many users who like the simplistic firefox browser, I believe the majority of them love firefox because of it’s plugins or add-ons. Firefox provides a rich set of plugins for so many things that you cannot even imagine. And sometimes it is very difficult to choose the right plugin for you from the plugin ocean.
There are plugins to download video, block flash-ads, manage blogs, manage bookmarks and so on and on..Add the innumerable “themes” and list is mind boggling.
These plugins turn firefox into such a powerful tool that you can hardly come out once you start using it. I would like to mention my favourite firefox plugins which makes my life easy when I surf. I’m a kind of person who prefers “simplicity” and as such I don’t use lots of plugins. I use what I need most and as a result, the plugins I use are few. So here is my list (in no particular order)…
This is my personal favourite among the firefox plugins I use. I use bookmarks heavily and the default bookmark option provided by my browser is not going to be enough especially when I use more than one system. With delicious, I need not worry about this because alll my bookmarks are saved in my delicious web account which I can access from any computer. And this plugin makes life very easy by providing a bookmarks sidebar, bookmark buttons etc.
“StumbleUpon discovers web sites based on your interests“, says the official website. You need to create a stumbleupon account and give your “areas of interests” in surfing. And you need to download a firefox plugin. That’s it! stumbleupon will start displaying websites related to your interests randomly. You can also share some websites with the stumbleupon community so that others can “stumble” the page you recommend. This is a very powerful tool to enrich your knowledge and I heavily recommend you to try this out. I started using it recently and the more I use it, the more I love it.
(No this is definitely not for VoIP :-) )
I never bothered about the default home page displayed by firefox until I tried Google Chrome. Google Chrome displays the thumbnails of your most visited pages as the default home page. That stirred me and I started looking around for a similar (if not same) feature in firefox and found the “speed dial plugin”. This plugin enables firefox to display the thumbnails of 9 of your “preferred” (not most visited) websites. I’m pretty happy with this plugin.
This plugin may not appeal to you unless you are a blogger. I use this plugin to write posts to my blog and manage them without needing to login into my blog service provider. I’ve written a separate post about my experience with scribe fire.
That’s not the end of the road. There are tons of firefox plugin to suit each of your taste. Some of the other firefox plugins you may find very useful are:
IE Tab – To view pages in Internet Explorer without needing to leave firefox.
AdBlock Plus – To block those annoying flash ads displayed in websites.
ServerSpy – To find out the server used by the website you are surfing.
FoxClocks – To display the time of different timezones.
Related articles: Enable Chrome’s best feature in firefox
And that’s the reason why I love and use firefox inspite of the advent of new browsers like Chrome and others.