Must have extensions for Firefox

Other than WordPress, Firefox is one our favorite open source products because it’s a fast and stable web browser. We prefer it to Internet Explorer on Windows because of the wealth of extensions aka plugins available for it.

Here’s our collection of favorite Firefox extensions aka plugins to save you a lot of time when you’re trying to collect or share information or if you happen to be the CEO and webmaster of your startup and need to fine tune and debug your WordPress site.

So these plugins can be organized into two broad categories:  On the top of the Firefox browser toolbar are information collection and sharing . The bottom of the browser (status bar area) hold the design and development tools.

On the top left is Evernote, a multi-platform cloud based note taking system. With the Firefox plugin, you can quickly clip the contents of any web page into your Evernote account. Evernote is available as a web application and also as a dedicated app for virtually every device out there so you can read your notes almost anywhere.

Then’s there’s Delicious, which is a cloud based social bookmarking service. Bookmark, tag, and write down notes for each web site you’ll want to look up later.  Note that Delicious maybe jettisoned soon by parent company Yahoo, you can still export the bookmarks at anytime for now. A possible (paid) alternative is Pinboard but it’s currently without a Firefox plugin.

You can use Lite toolbar add-on to quickly generate a “” (Google’s shortener service) URL of the current page. With one click on it save the current URL to your clipboard immediately.

Email This lets you quickly launch your email client including web based Gmail to quickly send the current page to someone.

Try the amazing Fox to Phone, which will launch the current page from your desktop Firefox onto your Andorid device web browser with minimal intervention. Install the Firefox extension and download the companion app in the Android marketplace. If you’re on an iPhone, try out Firefox Home which will sync your browsing history, local bookmarks, and tabs on your iPhone.

On the bottom are design and development tools:
From left to right, we’ll start with MeasureIt, which lets your measure the pixels by drawing rectangles on the current web page. It’s really useful if you trying to shift pixels around a page.

Want to grab the color value (RGB or Hex) of any web page object/component without snapshoting the screen and pasting it into Photoshop? Try Colorzilla.

Want to write something about the page you’re looking at without opening up WordPress admin? Try ScribeFire. Read my quick review.

If you’re constantly making changes to a single page and want to clear the web browser cache with one quick click? Try Cache Status.

Want to grab a screenshot of the entire web page even if it’s taller than your current monitor resolution? Try Screengrab.

Want to see how your page looks like at 1024×768 resolution or other monitor size without resizing your OS resolution? Try Firesizer.

And finally one of the most popular and useful Firefox extensions of all time, use Firebug to help you debug HTML, CSS, and Javascript. You can use it in a combination with Y!Slow to speed up your web pages.

Summarized list
Information collection and sharing: 
Evernote LiteEmail ThisFox to PhoneFirefox Home

Design tools: 
ColorzillaScribeFireCache StatusScreengrabFiresizerFirebugY!Slow

Replacement content editor for WP

Have a love/hate relationship with the built-in HTML (rich content) editor for WordPress? Why not give Foliovision’s Foliopress editor a try?

It has a simpler one row toolbar, ability to strip pasted text formatting, and best of all the ability to use simple <br> without them being stripped out like WP’s built-in editor.

It also features a different image upload and library dialog window but we had some problems with adding an image to this post on Firefox for the Mac. It looks promising with larger thumbnails of images in your media library but we couldn’t get it to work at this point. 🙁

Update: if you’re looking for something that will allow code like iframe or embed tags, try the Extend KSES plugin here.

Get it: Foliovision’s Foliopress editor

Edit your WordPress site from the front end or public view

Wouldn’t it be great if you could edit your WordPress site as you browsed the site like a regular visitor? Of course you’ve probably noticed that when you’re logged in as an editor or an admin, you’ll see an “edit” button in the meta information area of your site for posts and pages. The down side to that is that clicking on that link takes you into the WP admin post or page editor.

The next step to being able to access admin features while viewing your published site is by installing admin bar. This gives you access to much of WP’s admin functions with a menu bar at top of the site similar to

What if you wanted something even more direct that allowed you to much more quickly edit your WP site? This is where Front End Editor comes into play. After installing the plugin, login to your WP admin, and then start browsing the site. Want to change the title of your headline? Simple, just double click on it. Or do you want to edit the entire post? Again, just double click on it. In the place of the static text, it’ll bring up the rich text editor with most of the same functionality you get in WP admin.

It’s super powerful and easy. So far it seems to work in conjunction with Admin Bar, so far so good! Watch a quick screencast of this FrontEnd Editor plugin in action.

Update: I’ve noticed that at least with the “Sight” theme mentioned above, Front End Editor causes some problems with the site logo hyperlink and built in social network features.

Get it: Front End Editor

Yet another way to quickly post content with new Tumblr-like feature

I’d like to think of myself as fairly web savy. But today I learned something new – a web app called Tumblr. Yes, it’s yet another social media platform to allow you to post updates and more about your life. For whatever reason it’s gotten a popular following and yes their website looks web 2ish. What’s the WordPress tie-in? Woothemes and Konobi studios are now offering WordPress users a way to update their WP site using a system similar to Tumblr.

Easy ways to update your WordPress site

Sometimes I don’t feel like updating my blog (like this site) with new content because I have to login to my WordPress dashboard and click a bunch of stuff. There are a bunch of ways to avoid having to do that including WordPress’ new iPad app, 3rd party services like Posterous, or a web browser plugin.

One of my favorite ways to do that is using a web browser plugin called “ScribeFire.” It’s a plugin for Firefox, Chrome, and Safari that adds a button the bottom of your browser. Simply click on it to bring up the writing screen, start typing, and click on “Publish”.  Of course you’ll have to first set it up by entering your WordPress URL and credentials before hand. But once that’s done, you’ll have almost instant access to adding content to your WordPress blog when you see an interesting article on the web! There’s a full formatting tool bar with bold, italics, and inserting links. It even has a draft save mode so you can come back later and finish off that long post you’ve been putting off!

Get it: ScribeFire