Note: A few months ago when I started drafting this post, Firefox v3.0 had just been released and I was enjoying it immensely. I started this post with a rant against IE (still included) and a call to Sarafi users to “get with the movement”. Well, a lot has changed since then. Safari 4 is really slick, Google did the unthinkable and released a browser of their own, and Internet Explorer 8 actually likes web standards. So, I am finally publishing this post with a few slight updates and edits.
I’ve been playing around with Mozilla’s latest release, and I’ve got to say: Firefox is where it’s at! If anyone out there is still using Internet Explorer, you deserve anything that comes to you by way of malware, adware, spam, viruses, etc. Seriously, get with the times and install a real browser! And to you Apple/Mac users out there: Yeah, Safari is nice, but don’t let pride keep you from branching out of familiar territory.
One of the great thing about Firefox is its add-ons, and I’ve decided it’s time to dedicate a post to a few of my personal favorites:
To me, Adblock Plus is THE most incredible thing about Firefox (and its #1 selling point). This add-on actually strips about 99% of “web spam” and annoying banner ads from websites *before* they load into Firefox.
Note: Some web sites are financed soley by revenue from visitors loading ads on their sites. Keep in mind that stripping out ads may in some cases also affect the income generated by your favorite blog/social site.
Similar to Adblock, Flashblock turns flash elements into “play buttons” instead of auto-playing all those crazy flash items on pages.
A more technical add-on, Tamper Data allows you to view and modify request headers and form submits (as well as any other communication between the client & server). Very geeky, but very powerful.
FireFTP turns Firefox into a full-featured FTP client. A must, especially if you’re a Windows user (mounting FTP sites in Windows Explorer is still weird)
Give these a whirl… you’ll be glad you did!