My FireFox on crack: the best extensions I could find.

My FireFox on crack: the best extensions I could find.

Updated: On 9/12/06, I updated this list with my current active plugins.

Because Amy over at GentleWhisper asked nicely, I hereby share with you my fabulous list of FireFox extensions I could not live without. This is my list of plugins at home … my work plugins differ a bit.

A couple recommended exceptions that I don’t list here and which I haven’t gotten around to installing yet are Aardvaark (to modify page layout before printing or copying and pasting) and GreaseMonkey — which allows for select javascript to be run on any page, which makes the options infinitely varied. Oh, and RSSPanel (providing a nice floating menu with links to the sites feed entries and links to the feeds themselves) … which can actually be done away with once you get the proper GreaseMonkey script installed.

  • A9 SiteInfo 1.0 (This puts a little icon in your location bar for the sites that support the extra info [like mine!] that gives you quick access to various areas within the site and quick links to futher information.)
  • Aardvark 1.1 (Ardvaark lets you remove unwanted elements from a page before you copy and paste or print.)
  • About site 0.4 (Provides more information on a site via your context menu.)
  • Advanced Search Sidebar (Nice utilty to improve searchability via your sidebar. Honestly, I don’t use this one much, but it’s there, just in case.)
  • All-In-One Sidebar 0.6.4 (Provides a neat sidebar function for many tools that otherwise wouldn’t show up in the sidebar, plus a whole lot more.)
  • BetterSearch 1.12 (This improves the output of various search engine websites, providing alternate links to other search engines, and more.)
  • Blogger Web Comments 1.3 (This updates the status bar if other posters have linked to a particular page. Clicking on it brings up their comments.)
  • Bookmarks Synchronizer 3 1.0.2 (This allows me to synchronize my bookmarks with my FTP site on–or any ftp site–then I can download them on any other browser using the same plugin. In some ways, this has been superceded by Google’s browser sync, but I still use it, especially since it allows me to keep my bookmarks on my website here:
  • Broadband Speed Test and Diagnostics 1.0.1 (A quick test of my actual ISP speed.)
  • BugMeNot 1.3 (Allows me to quickly bypass many newspaper login site forms.)
  • Cacheout! 1.10 (Allows me to query web archives of heavily used or 404’d pages.)
  • coComment (Allows me to track my comments online and quickly see what’s been responded to whether it’s on my site or elsewhere.)
  • Codetch (Nifty, quick HTML editor.)
  • CoLT 2.1.1 (Like Copy URL+, this provides a context menu item that allows you to create automatically formatted hyperlinks so you don’t have to do all the rearranging when pasting a link into your blog or a comment form.)
  • Compact Library Extension Organizer (CLEO) 1.0 (works with FEBE to package any number of extensions/themes into a single, installable .xpi file.)
  • Copy URL + 1.3.2 (A quick way to copy the title, selected text, and URL of a page … very useful when I’m emailing somebody a recommended page, or commenting in a blog.)
  • CustomizeGoogle 0.49 (Like BetterSearch, it modifies Google’s search page to my liking.)
  • Data Analytics 0.1.7 (Import, analyze, an extract tabular data from web pages. Haven’t really found a lot of use for this yet.)
  • 1.1 (Allows me to quickly tag pages for
  • DOM Inspector (Techie web page mechanics.)
  • Download Accelerator Plus Integration (Ability to quickly download single files more quickly or multiple files at one swoop. Similar to Down Them All.)
  • Download Manager Tweak 0.7.1 (Modifies my download manager page, not really useful now that I’m using a download manager.)
  • Download Statusbar (Similar to above, but it brings the download status up to the statusbar.)
  • DownThemAll! (A built in download manager for Firefox.)
  • Enhanced History Manager (Makes a much nicer history manager, especially when I’m trying to find that site I surved on a couple weeks ago and can barely remember it’s name.)
  • Feedview 0.9.8 (Makes RSS feeds pretty and much easier to read.)
  • Firefox Extension Backup Extension (FEBE) 3.0 (Allows you to quickly and easily backup your Firefox extensions and rebuild extensions individually into installable .xpi files.)
  • FireFTP 0.94.3 (Free FTP client, very reminiscent of WS-FTP. There are better FTP clients out there, like Beyond Compare, etc. but this is free and useful.)
  • Google Browser Sync 1.2.20060802.0 (Sync your bookmarks, search history, and cookies with another browser via Google. I turn off the cookies sync.)
  • Google Notebook (Neat way to bookmark sites without making them bookmarks. This is where I store stuff I want to research and delete the links to later on. It’s a notepad, too, so I can store research snippets and full-text paragraphs. It’s sort of a reminder space for me. Nice thing is, it’s stored on Google so it’s available at work and at home simultaneously.)
  • Google Toolbar for Firefox 2.1.20060807W (Just what it says it is!.)
  • Greasemonkey (This is an interesting tool and invaluable once you get used to it. It’s like a super-extension that runs javascript on every page you visit–or only on select pages if you desire. With GM you can add widgets to your favorite pages, remove unwanted elements from the display, add new functions like improving search results with keywords and links to other search engines, automatically hyperlink scripture text, and more, more, more.
  • History Menu 0.44 (Divides my history menu up into days and weeks into the past.)
  • Html Validator (Automatically validate the HTML of every page you visit. When you want, you can examine the errors and warnings. Useful if you’re fiddling with your blog all the time, like I can never seem to stop doing.)
  • Hyperwords(tm) 1.3.1 (A nifty context menu word lookup / reference utility.)
  • IE View 1.3.0 (Just in case I need to see a page in IE, I can pop over to it via the context menu.)
  • Image Toolbar 0.6.3 (Puts an annoying but useful toolbar over images to save, expand, copy, email, etc.)
  • InfoLister 0.9e (A plugin that generates this basic list. Handy for when you want to try to sync plugins across browsers. But there’s a new plugin that actually will export your plugins so you can install them elsewhere that I haven’t tried yet.)
  • LinkChecker 0.4.5 (Test the hypertext links in the page you’re viewing.)
  • Linky 2.7.1 (Validates links in a seperate tabbed window.)
  • Live HTTP Headers 0.12 (Techie view of the server and browser communication bethind the scenes.)
  • lori [Life-of-request info] (This puts info in your status bar telling you exactly how long you waited for the first byte, last byte , page size, and number of requests for every page you visit. Yeah, it’s more information than a mortal needs to know, but it was useful when figuring out why my web pages were loading so slowly. It won’t tell me, however, why I write so much.)
  • Mozilla Archive Format 0.6.3 (Allows you to save HTML pages as HTML, MAF, or MHT.)
  • MR Tech Disable XPI Install Delay 2.2 (Quickly install plugins because, you never know, that five seconds could be spent writing a blog post.)
  • NeedleSearch 3.1.2 (For any website that provides a search query, you can add it to your search toolbar. Need to search Bible Gateway, add it to the needlesearch by performing a search at BibleGateway in three steps. Google search, image searches, newsgroup searches, and more.)
  • Options Menu 1.1 (This provides a menu to get at all your extensions options without having to click through on each extension to find options to modify.)
  • PDF Download 0.7.4 (Choose whether to download a PDF link, view it in browser, or send it to the application.)
  • People Search and Public Record Toolbar 1.0 (Toolbar with extensive links to various free and paid online databases allowing you to stalk nearly anybody online.)
  • Platypus 0.64 (Works with Greasemonkey. You can remove elements from any page and modify it to your heart’s desire, then turn the result into a Greasemonkey script that will run automatically every time you return to the site.)
  • Resurrect Pages 1.0.1 (Provides an one-click way to grab the archive of a slow-responding web page, can pull it from Coral, Google Cache, Internet Archive, and others.)
  • RSS Editor (Quick tool to edit standalone RSS text files.)
  • Send Page By Email 0.1.0 (Quickly and easily send the web page you’re viewing without having to load GMail or your email client.)
  • Slim Extension List 0.3.1 (This makes the extension list much easier to read and browse.)
  • StumbleUpon 2.83 (Yet another social networking toolbar like However, this isn’t as much about bookmarking as it is about random discovery of content enjoyed by like-minded web surfers. It has two great benefits, after it learns what you like, it helps you discover great related content that you are very likely to enjoy. The other benefit is for bloggers who want their content found by strangers. Get your pages added into the stumble database and Stumbleupon will literally drive traffic to your blog.)
  • Tab Mix Plus (This puts a close control button on every tab, which is handy, and provides some other controls, even handier.)
  • Text size toolbar 0.5 (Don’t really need this now that I’m accustomed to using CTRL-+ and CTRL–, but it’s nice to have in the toolbar for when I’m feeling keyboard lazy.)
  • VideoDownloader 1.1 (Can open up a popup window with links to the source media for the videos embedded in a Web page, like YouTube, etc.)
  • View Source Chart 2.4 (Nice way to view the source of a page with all it’s nesting and confabulation.)
  • ViewSourceWith 0.0.8 (Send the source to my favorite text editor, or anything else.)
  • Web Developer 1.0.2 (An indispensible techie toolbar that I wouldn’t live without. It’s varied options are astounding in their usefulness and variety. This is my first install every time.)
  • Sidebar 1.5 (Nifty sidebar to get at administrative functions on WordPress. Only works on your blog, though.)


[tags]BlogRodent, FireFox, FireFox extensions, FireFox plugins, Aardvaark, GreaseMonkey, javascript, RSSPanel, A9 SiteInfo, Aardvark, About site, Advanced Search Sidebar, All-In-One Sidebar, BetterSearch, Blogger Web Comments, Bookmarks Synchronizer 3, Broadband Speed Test, Diagnostics, BugMeNot, Cacheout!, coComment, Codetch, HTML editor, CoLT, Compact Library Extension Organizer, CLEO, xpi, Copy URL, CustomizeGoogle, BetterSearch, Data Analytics,, DOM Inspector, Download Accelerator Plus, Down Them All, Download Manager Tweak, Download Statusbar, DownThemAll, Enhanced History Manager, Feedview, RSS feeds, Firefox Extension Backup Extension, FEBE, FireFTP, FTP client, WS-FTP, Beyond Compare, Google Browser Sync, Google Notebook, Google Toolbar, FireFox, Greasemonkey, History Menu, Html Validator, Hyperwords, IE View, Image Toolbar, InfoLister, LinkChecker, Linky, Live HTTP Headers, lori, Life-of-request info, Mozilla Archive Format, MAF, MHT, MR Tech, Disable XPI Install Delay, NeedleSearch, Google search, Options Menu, PDF Download, Platypus, Resurrect Pages, Google Cache, Internet Archive, RSS Editor, Send Page By Email, Slim Extension List, StumbleUpon, Tab Mix Plus, Text size toolbar, VideoDownloader, YouTube, View Source Chart, ViewSourceWith, Web Developer,, Sidebar[/tags]

19 thoughts on “My FireFox on crack: the best extensions I could find.

  1. carl

    Well this explains why you have so many plugins on your site. You are plugin mad! Drunk with the nector of electronic add-ons. I use 3 firefox plugins. You use 33. Is there any room left on your screen to see the actual webpage?

  2. Rich Post author

    Ha ha, yeah. I am a little drunk with the power of the plugin, or at least ecstatic with the bliss of extensions.

    Truly, I can surf just fine! Of course, I use a fairly high resolution (1280×960), but I’ve resized my browser window and you can see a screenshot here. Just click the image at left.

  3. carl

    yeah, not sure how i missed that one.

    btw — do you use a plugin to differentiate your comments? I see in your css that it has a different layout for comment_author but how does it call that?


  4. Rich Post author

    Hey, Carl. Yeah, I looked for WordPress plugins to do this, but most of what I found really pointed me toward simply modifying my comments.php file. I put off doing it for a long time until some of the longer discussions made it difficult to figure out who’s saying what easily.

    Naturally, I am constantly tweaking my theme. I like lots of comments on posts, I like people interacting, but I want it to be easier to read. So, I first looked for a way to differentiate my own posts from the rest. That was easy enough to do with a couple PHP script changes and a stylesheet change. Then, when I added a plugin to get more pingback and trackback references stuck into the comments section, I went looking for another plugin. What I’d prefer is to have all the pingkbacks and trackbacks listed seperately, but that looked a little too daunting to do, so I opted to just visually identify them with a new style.

    Here’s the code I use–minus a lot of the style, divs, and what-not. I may have introduced some coding errors by shortening this down, but these are the relevant pieces of code I have gotten away with.

    <?php if ($comments) : ?>

    <?php foreach ($comments as $comment) : ?>

    <?php if($comment->comment_author_email == get_the_author_email()) { ?>
    <div class="comment_author">
    <?php } else { ?>
    <div class="<?php echo "comment_". $oddcomment; ?><?php comment_type(__(”), __(‘ ping-track-style’), __(‘ ping-track-style’)); ?>">
    <?php } ?>

    <div class="content" id="content">

    <?php comment_text() ?>


    <?php /* comment or comment_author */ ?>
    <?php /* Changes every other comment to a different class */
    if (‘1′ == $oddcomment) $oddcomment = ‘2’;
    else $oddcomment = ‘1’;

    <?php endforeach; /* end for each comment */ ?>

    Now, I’ll step through that….

    This identifies the looping section of code that runs for each comment on a post.

    <?php foreach ($comments as $comment) : ?>

    This begins an IF/THEN segment that tests for the email address of the author of the post.

    <?php if($comment->comment_author_email == get_the_author_email()) { ?>

    If the post author matches the comment author, it will write the following HTML, which uses the “comment_author” style.

    <div class="comment_author">

    Otherwise …

    <?php } else { ?>

    If the email address doesn’t match, this line of code gets written. Within it you’ll see a variable for $oddcomment, which is a number, either 1, or 2, so that I could alternate colors for each comment if I wanted to. Then I added a bit of code I found elsewhere to simply add another style declaration identifying each comment as to whether it’s a pingback or trackback. I’m using one style for both of those: ping-track-style.

    <div class="<?php echo "comment_". $oddcomment; ?><?php comment_type(__(”), __(‘ ping-track-style’), __(‘ ping-track-style’)); ?>">

    This little bit ends the if/then section.

    <?php } ?>

    This creates the container for the contents.

    <div class="content" id="content">

    This inserts the comments of the comment (I skipped all the other styling and meta-data presentation.)

    <?php comment_text() ?>

    This ends the container for the contents and ends the container for the comment block.


    This is the section of code that increments the comment style from 1 to 2 or back again to 1.

    <?php /* comment or comment_author */ ?>
    <?php /* Changes every other comment to a different class */
    if (‘1′ == $oddcomment) $oddcomment = ‘2’;
    else $oddcomment = ‘1’;

    This ends the processing for each commment, which starts the loop over again for the next commment.

    <?php endforeach; /* end for each comment */ ?>

    Hope that helps.


    PS: You might find the following useful. First up is a comment highlighter that should do what I described doing manually, but there’s still some editing you have to do:

    AuthorHighlight — WordPress Plugin Repository

    And if you do have to edit some PHP and wonder what a particular piece of code does, visit the WordPress Codex and search for the snippet you’re interested in:

    WordPress Codex

  5. RC22Fires

    I’m suprised IE View is up there and not IE Tab , it’s a much better extension. Not onlt can you open up a link or the current page externally in IE, but you can also open them in an IE tab from within Firefox.

  6. Rich Post author


    I uninstalled IETab some time ago due to it’s documented memory leak issues, which were immediately resolved for me when I dropped it.

    I understand the issue was being worked on, but I have no idea if it’s been resolved. But it’ll take some convincing before I reload it since IEView works just fine for me at this point.


  7. Rich Post author

    Yes, i agree … FireFix does exhibit leaky symptoms from time to time, but the most frequent culrit is usually a badly written extension or loading too many extensions.

    Let’s see, right now my FF is using up 70MB of RAM, plugins and all, compared to IE’s 20MB. (But IE is “cheating” since it’s more closely tied into the Windows operating system, several of the dlls and binaries it relies on are already loaded in memory, whereas FF has to load itself complete from disk.) I long ago applied the config.trim_on_minimize trick (from the website you mentioned) and it’s useful. When minimized my FireFox shrinks down to 40MB. But I still find it useful to shut FireFox down and just restart it from time to time.

    I also use a memory manager called “SpeedUpMyPC” to help clear out and compact my RAM from time to time–especially when I have to load a resource hog like a video editing package.


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