For many years Microsoft’s Internet Explorer ruled the Internet with a de facto monopolistic position. Thank god times have changed.
By now the browser landscape is much more diversified and Internet users can choose between a number of browsers.
One of them is Firefox, an open-source browser made by Mozilla. Some years back it was the first real contender for the Internet Explorer and the first sign that its monopoly could be broken.
While Firefox’s market share has been declining recently, for many people it remains the go-to browser. In fact, in my home country Germany nearly half of all desktop computers enter the web via Firefox.
For that reason it’s safe to say that many WordPress users and website admins (including yours truly) are using the orange fox for their browsing and site administration needs.
To make their life a little easier, in this article we will look at the best Firefox plugins, tools and extensions for increasing the productivity of WordPress users. After all the craftsman is only as good as his tools.
Rock Your WordPress Sites With These Firefox Extensions
The Firefox user base is not an idle one. They have produced a bunch of truly useful plugins and extensions for WordPress users. The ones in this article will be divided into these four categories:
- Content Creation
- Marketing and SEO
Sound good? Then let’s rock ‘n’ roll.
Firefox itself contains a number of useful development tools. You can find them in the menu under Developer. Alternatively you can also press Ctrl+Shift+I. This will open the bottom-screen console.
Here you find a number of tools for debugging, editing and analyzing your website. Among others, you can:
- Inspect and modify HTML and CSS
- Execute and debug PHP and JS
- Edit style sheets on the fly
- Monitor site performance
- Inspect cookies
- Select colors from the viewed page
That is just the beginning. The developer tools can do much more. Not bad, right? It’s free, too.
Firebug was an eye-opener for me. I remember the first time somebody showed me that I could use it to make live edits to my WordPress site – mind=blown. But I digress.
Firebug is very similar to Firefox developer tools. It allows you to edit, monitor and debug HTML, CSS and JS in any webpage. I use it pretty much every day.
The difference between Firebug and the Firefox tool set used to be much bigger. Today they are pretty much interchangeable. I am just so used to Firebug that I’m sticking with it. The choice is up to you.
This extension adds various tools for web developers to the browser. You can view source code, display the order of div elements inside a page as well as CSS classes and ids.
In addition to that you can also disable all styles, modify cookies and more. I mainly use it to display the size of my browser window to determine break points for responsive design. Highly recommended.
The HTML validation tool is connected to the W3C API. After activation, it will display the number of HTML issues on your page in the browser bar.
Should there by any, you can view the highlighted source code to fix them ASAP. Nice!
5. IE Tav V2
One of the most annoying parts of development is ensuring browser compatibility. In the worst case scenario, you will have to test your new site on all kinds of different setups, devices and browsers.
At least for Internet Explorer there is now a shortcut. This extension opens any page with IE inside a Firefox browser tab! Consequently you can test your site in Microsoft’s browser without having to use it. Win-win?
First of all, this extension was written by the same guy who does the Web Developer extension, so you know you have quality on your hands.
What it does is allow you to switch the user agent of your browser. That means you can see your site as an iPhone or Internet Explorer user or even the way a search spider would see it. While the extension comes with a few user agents, additional ones can be found here.
Most of us will use a dedicated FTP client for accessing our servers such as FileZilla. However, wouldn’t it be great if you could get to your server directly from the browser?
FireFTP makes exactly that possible by offering an FTP interface inside Firefox. Other features include directory comparison, SSL encryption, remote editing and drag and drop.
When looking at a website, do you ever find yourself wondering how it was built? Like, what software is running in the background?
Well, now you can find out quite easily.
The Wappalyzer plugin will tell you whether a site is using Google Analytics, Optimizely, Joomla, jQuery, WordPress, Google Fonts, Apache, PHP and other software. A great tool to learn more about the web and spy on the competition.
Have you ever doubted yourself after you made some edits to your site, refreshed the browser and they were nowhere to be seen? Then, after frantically searching for a mistake you finally discovered that it was merely the old site version in the browser cache?
Well, here is an option to clear your cache at the touch of a button. Clear memory, disk, offline data and favicons in a second. Plus, optional automatic cache cleaning. What more can you ask for?
If you want to find out the color on your own or someone else’s website, this handy tool is of great help. You can zoom onto any element, pick its color with an eyedropper tool, copy it in hex, RGB or any other form and paste it wherever you like. Also offers a color picker and gradient generator.
Likewise for the design-minded WordPress user, this little tool allows you to draw a ruler across the browser window and figure out the dimensions of any element on your webpage. Simple to use and really helpful.
13. WordPress Codex
The WordPress Codex is the bible for all developers. Now you can add it directly to the search engine options inside Firefox for quick reference. You’re welcome.
This WordPress Firefox plugin does the same as the one before, but for the new WordPress code reference. That way you can search for functions, hooks, classes and methods in no time.
This handy addon provides you with an additional tool bar when logged into a WordPress site. From there you can access any part of the site from the frontend without clicking through the WordPress menu.
Be aware though that it doesn’t work if you are running your site from a subdirectory. In my case it was also hidden by the actual WordPress toolbar, so test it for yourself.
Writing And Content Creation
Development is only one side of the coin. Once you have your WordPress website up and running, it’s time to fill it. The following Firefox extensions will help you produce high-quality content so you can get the visitors you deserve.
If English isn’t your first language (as it is for me) it’s only natural to make some mistakes here and there. Since not all of us can afford to hire an editor, there is After the Deadline.
The extension developed by Automattic checks grammar, style and spelling on almost all websites.
When using it with WordPress, you get a little tickmark in your editor. After clicking on it, the plugin will show you where your content could be further improved.
Alternatively, you can also add spell checking directly into Firefox with built-in dictionaries.
This little goodie lets you take screenshots of the websites you are visiting. Whether the entire page, everything above the fold or a custom selection, anything is possible. I have found it an indispensable tool for tutorials.
ScribeFire is a full-featured blog editor inside your browser. It does away with the need to log in to each site separately and works with several platforms including WordPress.
The plugins lets you perform all normal blogging tasks and can even schedule posts ahead of time. Plus, it saves all your work upon closing so everything is still there the next time you sign in. Cool tool, if only it worked offline.
Usually, putting a link into WordPress involves several steps. While not the most complicated thing, this extension makes it even easier.
Right-click a link on any site, choose “copy as HTML link” and paste it right into the WordPress editor. Done.
In case you didn’t know, Evernote is an awesome tool to collect information, ideas, things you discover on the web and more. Super useful for research, blog post ideas and to have everything in one place.
Their web clipper tool for Firefox lets you send anything you discover on the web directly to your account at the click of a button. Easy peasy.
Alright, now that your site is full of excellent content, it’s about time we get it to the people. It’s time for some marketing and search engine optimization.
This SEO extension allows you to view many site parameters directly inside your browser bar. PageRank, number of indexed pages in Google, Yahoo and other search engines, age, keyword density, backlinks and more.
Plus, if that isn’t enough, you can also create your own parameters for tracking. What’s more, SeoQuake shows important information in the SERPs. Did anybody say competitor analysis?
Moz is a real heavyweight in the area of SEO. To help others make sense of it for themselves, they created this set of tools.
The Moz browser bar gives you information on any site’s domain authority, page authority, link data, page load speed and more. It also allows you to browse as differen user agents and export your data for further analysis. A PRO version is available.
21. SEO Doctor
This SEO diagnosis plugin for webmasters was made by none other that Vladimir Prelovac of ManageWP.
With a click on the little flag icon in the browser bar the extension will check your alt tags, page rank, HTML tags, url and link structure, inbound links and other information. After that it will show your site’s performance with a scoring system.
I probably don’t have to tell you that page loading time is now part of SEO. For good reason. Nothing turns visitors away faster than a slow-loading site.
The Page Speed Monitor will tell you exactly how long your website takes to be loaded, from first request to finish. Awesome for some quick feedback when trying to optimize your site.
Buffer is by far my favorite piece of software for social media marketing. It is a scheduling tool that automatically publishes social updates according to a set timetable.
While you do need an account, its basic functionality is free. Plus, with $10/month the lowest tier account isn’t expensive either.
The Buffer browser plugin for Firefox makes it easy to share pages, quotes and images on the fly. Click, format and the next update goes right into your queue.
Feedly is an RSS aggregator. It lets you easily subscribe to other websites in order to discover useful content and is a great addition to Buffer. I find pretty much all of the content I share on Twitter from there.
The Firefox extension gives you an extra button in the browser bar which takes you to your Feedly account, no login required.
Here is another app for sharing things on social. Shareaholic allows you to share content on on many, many services (including WordPress) and also helps you discover interesting and trending topics to share with your readers.
An important part of blogging is building relationships with others in the sphere. One of the best options to get a foot in the door with someone is to leave insightful comments on their websites. Yet, it can be a cumbersome task.
To improve your workflow, easyComment will automatically fill in your information into comment fields. That way you can completely concentrate on what you want to say. While the time saving might only be a couple seconds each time, it will add up.
Other WordPress Firefox Plugins
The final entries are mix of useful Firefox extensions and plugins with various functions. They will help with day-to-day tasks of WordPress users and will hopefully make your life a little bit easier.
Very few of us in the WordPress sphere take care or are involved with only one website. That also means, we sometimes have to remember dozens of different user names and passwords.
With LastPass you only have to remember one, your master password. After that, the plugin will automatically log you into any site you have saved credentials for.
You can also sync your data across other devices, encrypted of course.
With this plugin installed you can perform many standard browser tasks with mouse gestures. Open tabs, go back and forth in your page history, open new windows, reload, you name it. Trust me, once you get used to it, it will seriously speed up your workflow.
One of the biggest enemies of getting stuff done are distractions. Thankfully, there are few of them on the Internet. Just kidding, it’s a nightmare.
With Leechblock you can block all the sites that keep eating your time. You can keep yourself out of there permanently or set time intervals during which they won’t be accessible. For example, you can give yourself permission to get back on YouTube after the workday is over. An alternative is BlockSite.
30. WordPress Themes
For the true fan, you can even deck out Firefox in WordPress style. How? With themed browser skins.
Hover your mouse over any skin you like and you will instantly see a preview in Firefox. One click and you are good to go. For example, my browser now looks like this.
Though not as popular as it used to be, Firefox is still a great browser used by thousands of people to develop, design and most importantly browse WordPress sites.
One of its main advantages is that it is highly extendable and offers many useful tools for WordPress users and admins. Whether web development, content creation or SEO and marketing, there are plugins for almost every part of running a WordPress site.
I hope the above list will help you improve your personal workflow and make your life a little bit easier.
Do you have any favorite Firefox plugins and extensions for your WordPress needs? Let us know in the comments.