A while ago I wrote about, and rated, some Firefox add-ons that I use regularly, or have tried.

Recently, Firefox on one of my computers was taking so long to open it prompted me to delete the profile and start again. (Actually I just renamed the profile – deleting is a bit too drastic for me!)

The speed problem actually has more to do with the computer, but it turned out to be a worthwhile exercise, and I’ve managed to whittle my add-ons list down to just 20 😮 installed by choice, which I feel enhance my browsing experience.

Of course if you have a special use e.g. developing websites, or using a social media site, there are other add-ons that make life easier (like Web Developer, Firebug or Twitterbar), but listed here are some for general web browsing and webmail (esp. Gmail):

To install:
– click on the link below, which will take you to the Add-on’s homepage on addons.mozilla.org, then click the large green button to install.

  1. Adblock Plus 10/10
  2. Adblock Plus: Element Hiding Helper 10/10
    – Both of these are essential if you dislike ads distracting you on your favourite websites.
  3. Add Bookmark Here 2 8/10
    – Makes it easier/quicker to add a bookmark to the right folder, therefore keeping your bookmarks tidy.
  4. Add to Search Bar 7/10
    – Say you have a favourite site that has a search facility (e.g. the search box at the top of this page ;-)) this add-on lets you add that search to your Search Bar allowing you to search the site directly from your Search Bar without having to visit the site first.
  5. Better Gmail 2 6/10
    – IMO essential if you use Gmail, but not needed for everyone, hence only 6/10
  6. British English Dictionary 6/10
    – Highlights spelling errors in form fields (e.g. using webmail, or typing in forum message boxes.
  7. Copy Link Name 9/10
    – Copies the name of a link, rather than the link location (shortcut URL).
  8. Fast Dial 8/10
    – Visual bookmarks. Create a page of thumbnails of your chosen websites for quick access. Can be configured to open with a new tab.
  9. goolash 6/10
    – “GOOLASH keeps you logged out from the search engine of Google, regardless of any other “G” services you might be using, like Gmail for example. GOOLASH keeps your web searches disassociated from your Google username, meaning that the results are not being filtered according to the profile Google has on you, neither the context of your requests is being attached to your persona.”
    If you like using Google services, but are a little concerned about everything you do on your computer being tracked, then you might find this useful.
    This add-on has disappeared from AMO, but I have found the original author’s site and taken a copy of it.  You need MR Tech Toolkit (or similar, or hacking abilities) to make it work with the latest version of Firefox, but IME, it does).
  10. HTML Validator 9/10 – Windows only from AMO, but versions available for other OSs on the author’s website
    – Adds HTML validation inside Firefox and Mozilla. The number of errors of a HTML page is seen on the form of an icon in the status bar when browsing.
    Even if you’re not a web developer, it’s a quick visual check to see how much the site’s authors care about writing good code.  Even if there is a white cross on a red background, right-click to check how many errors, if only 1 or 2 that’s good 🙂
  11. Mr Tech Toolkit 7/10
    – Provides the tools needed to install and manage extensions and themes locally and tons of other features.
  12. NoScript 6/10
    – Allow active content to run only from sites you trust, and protect yourself against XSS and Clickjacking attacks.
  13. Remove Cookie(s) for Site 7/10
    – A very simple extension to remove all the cookies of currently opened site. Very useful if Gmail ‘hangs’ during an operation.
    I’m trying some alternative Cookie control/removal tools at the moment, so I don’t have this installed, but I may we go back to it.  What it does it does very well (and simply which is always a plus!)
  14. Searchbar Autosizer 9/10
    Searchbar Autosizer reduces the size of your Searchbar when not in use (increasing the available space for those long URLs) but grows to fit a search when you start typing in it 🙂
    I have toyed with moving the Address Bar (Awesome Bar) to different places, and fiddling with the location of the Search Bar, but moving them makes things confusing for anyone else who uses my computer, or for me if I’m on someone else’s.  So I’m trying not to change the layout of my screen too much!
  15. Searchload Options 7/10
    – Tweak the searchbar’s functionality.
  16. Tab Mix Plus 10/10
    – Tab Mix Plus enhances Firefox’s tab browsing capabilities. It includes such features as duplicating tabs, controlling tab focus, tab clicking options, undo closed tabs and windows, plus much more. It also includes a full-featured session manager.
  17. Tidy Browser Button 7/10
    – A toolbar button to toggle the size of the FireFox browser between the two standard web page widths on the Internet.
    I’ve modified this add-on for my own use.  I need to contact the original author to see if he has any objections to me releasing my version.  I usually have my browser window on the right of the screen, so my modification “docks” the window on the right, and resizes from there.
  18. Update Scanner 9/10
    – Monitors web pages for updates. Particularly useful for websites that don’t provide Atom or RSS feeds.
  19. WiseStamp 7/10
    Enhance and customize your email signatures. Use multiple Business and Private email signatures, inserts HTML to signatures & much more. Works with Gmail, Google Apps, Yahoo, Hotmail, and AOL.
  20. Xmarks Bookmark Synchronizer 9/10
    – If you use Firefox on more than one computer, you’ll want Foxmarks. Install Foxmarks on each computer, and it works silently in the background to keep your bookmarks and (optionally) passwords synchronized.

Gmail Manager might make a re-appearance on this list at some point in the future, but for now, while the 0.6 version doesn’t work with Gmail’s latest changes, I’ve haven’t added it to my brand new profile 🙁 Read the latest developments in the mozillazine topic.