Web Professional Tools - Recommended Firefox Add-ons

Unless you have been living under a rock for the last few years, or you are totally new to web design, you are probably aware that Mozilla Firefox is the web browser of choice for most web professionals. 

There are a number of reasons for this - anti-Microsoft resentment, hatred of IE (particularly version 6), etc. One reason for the success of the Firefox web browser is that it is incredibly flexible.  Firefox is extensible (or extendable if you prefer) via a system of extensions that add myriad new features and customisations.

Visit https://addons.mozilla.org/  to get a flavour of the add-ons available

Add-ons are categorised with many add-ons in each category.  One problem that many people find is that they simply don't have the time to filter through all of the available add-ons, and then there is the difficulty of how the uninitiated user judges the likely utility of each of the add-ons before him for consideration.  For example, at the time of writing (March 2010) there are currently 566 add-ons in the Web Developer category.

Wouldn't it be nice if you could click one link and have all your favourite add-ons automatically installed in your copy of Firefox? Mozilla makes it so with Collections, the newest feature of a revamped add-on site.

In June of last year the Mozilla Firefox website launched a new feature whereby registered users of the website can create a collection of add-ons that they recommend. Other users can search and read these collections and could with a single click install all (or a selection) of the add-ons in that collection.

To create your own collection you must register on Firefox’s site; after that, creating a collection is quite easy: choose a name, and pick which add-ons you want to be in your collection.

Collections go hand in hand with the Add-on Collector, a special extension which turns your favourite collections into subscriptions. It will notify you when new add-ons are published to one of your collections, and it also allows you to share add-ons with friends, publish add-ons to your collection, and set up a collection to be automatically updated in your Firefox.

The team here at Dean Marshall Consultancy have all been using Firefox for a long time and some of us have quite large collections of add-ons installed.  Some of the tools we use are used across the team, others just in specific roles. We have pleasure in offering our own collection of recommended Firefox extensions.

To access our collection of tools aimed at web professionals please go to:

For most users this will redirect you to this location

For users not from English speaking countries the final address of the installation page may be slightly different - the Firefox website will redirect you to where you need to go.

Our Aims In Recommending This Collection of Firefox Extensions

We've looked around at a few other 'collections' on the Add-ons website - and they seem to fall down in one of two related ways.  Some collections - such as Mozilla's own web developer collection - only contain six or eight extensions. In our opinion not enough to provide a comprehensive coverage of a topic.  Other extensions contain forty, fivety or more extensions - leaving the potential user of extensions to browse through page after page of extensions, exactly the issue that collections are intended to avoid.

We have decided that twenty is a reasonable middle ground, providing enough add-ons to cover the ground we need to cover, while not swamping the potential user with too much choice and too much reading.

Firefox Add-on Selection Criteria

To gain our recommendation an add-on *must* be used on a very regular basis by members of our team, whether they are primarily working in web design, development, project management or administration roles.  The add-on must have proven itself over a long period - so nothing too new, untested or without a proven track record of upgrades and maintenance.

Additional Firefox Add-ons

We continue to evaluate our existing installation of add-ons with a view to making further additions to our collection.  We have quite a number of extensions that we intend to add to this collection - perhaps at a rate of one or two per month.

In a series of up-coming articles we will detail the specific add-ons that we have chosen, we'll tell you why we believe that these are almost universally applicable to anyone who maintains a website

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