Customizing Firefox

What are Extensions?

Extensions or plug-ins add extra functionality to Firefox. Simply put, they are extra apps that give Firefox some extra bells and whistles to make it yours. You can get add-ons that do just about anything like check the weather, listen to music, update your social accounts.

There are three types of extensions:

Extensions

Extensions add new features to Firefox or modify existing ones. There are extensions that allow you to block advertisements, download videos from websites, integrate Firefox with websites like Facebook or Twitter, and even add features from other browsers.

Appearance

There are two types of appearance add-ons:

  1. complete themes, which changes the look of buttons & menus,
  2. background themes, which decorate the menu bar and tab strip with a background image.

Plug-ins

Plug-ins let you add support for all kinds of Internet content. These usually include patented formats like Flash, QuickTime, and Silverlight that are used for video, audio, on-line games, presentations, and more. Plug-ins are created and distributed by other companies.

How do I find and install add-ons?

Here is an overview to get you started:

  • At the top of the Firefox window, click the menu button, and then click Add-ons. The Add-ons Manager tab will open.
  • In the Add-ons Manager tab, select the Get Add-ons panel.
  • To see more information on a Featured Add-on or Theme, click it. You can then click the Add to Firefox button to install it.
  • You can also search for specific add-ons by using the search box at the top. You can then install any add-ons you find with the Install button.

Below are the ones we’ve used that we found useful, the ones in bold are what we are currently using ourselves. Check out the entire list here. If you have an add-on that you find useful, let us know in the comments.

Security and Privacy

We’ve separated these ones to make it easier to get the ones that matter most. 🙂

Lightbeam is a Firefox add-on that enables you to see the first and third party sites you interact with on the Web. Using interactive visualizations, Lightbeam shows you the relationships between these third parties and the sites you visit.

Protect your privacy. See who’s tracking your web browsing and block them with Ghostery.

Enables Tracking Protection feature of Firefox. Works with Firefox on Android too.

Annoyed by adverts? Troubled by tracking? Bothered by banners? Install Adblock Plus now to regain control of the Internet and change the way that you view the web. Also enable Malware Blocking and Disable Tracking once installed.

Protects you from Phishing or Scams (through XSS injection attacks) while you’re on Facebook™

Do Not Track Plus blocks web beacons and other tracking technologies that hundreds of advertisers and social networks use to track your browsing behavior. Easily see what trackers are behind each website you visit and block any or all of them. Once installed and you reboot, you will get the DNT (Do Not Track) page asking you to install MaskMe, we suggest you install that as well. MaskMe – Stop giving away your personal information on-line by creating disposable email addresses, phone numbers, and credit cards with MaskMe. Websites don’t need your personal info, and now you don’t have to give it to them.

HTTPS Everywhere is a Firefox extension that encrypts your communications with many major websites, making your browsing more secure.

Privacy Badger blocks spying ads and invisible trackers.

Simplifies the use of temporary e-mail addresses in order to protect your real address from spam.

One click to clear your cache, cookies, history, html5/local storage, http logins, all of them or restart your browser with/without notifications.

Fix the web. Gets rid of a site’s cookies and LocalStorage as soon as you close its tabs. Protects against trackers and zombie-cookies.

Unblock the web and change your IP with 4 locations across the globe. ZenMate secures your browsing with encryption – protecting you from hackers, snoopers and data thieves who prey on unsecure connections.

Make the web faster, more private, and more secure.

Plug-ins

Show tabs like a tree.

Integrates location bar and search bar into one. Shows search and URL suggestions. Quickly switch search engine using search keywords. Provides different auto-complete pop-up styles for compact displays.

A customizable mouse gestures extension which enables to execute various commands and user scripts with five types of gestures.

View and manage downloads from a tidy statusbar – without the download window getting in the way of your web browsing.

A Statusbar with speed, percentage, time and loaded size (similar to Opera’s one)

Restyle the web with Stylish, a user styles manager. Stylish lets you easily install themes and skins for Google, Facebook, YouTube, Orkut, and many, many other sites. You can even customize Firefox and other programs themselves.

Get international weather forecasts from AccuWeather.com and display them in any toolbar or statusbar with this highly customizable and unobtrusive extension.

Draw a ruler across any webpage to check the width, height, or alignment of page elements in pixels.

Advanced Eyedropper, ColorPicker, Gradient Generator and other colorful goodies…

StumbleUpon is the easiest way to discover interesting photos, videos, web pages and more, recommended by people sharing your Interests. Click the “Stumble!” button, to see page after page of amazing stuff you’d never expect to see.

Color tools for web development. Color picker and eyedropper + saving colors and trying out colors with drag and drop.

Removes the new Facebook ticker from the page.

F.B. Purity hides application spam and other annoying clutter from your facebook homepage, lets you increase the font size, and generally makes Facebook a lot less annoying to use.

DuckDuckGo is a search engine that does not track you. Adds DuckDuckGo as the default address bar, search bar and right-click search engine. Adds a handy toolbar button for easy access to !bang tags. Adds DuckDuckGo instant answers to Google/Bing.

Xmarks is the #1 bookmarking and open tab add-on. Keep your bookmarks, and open tabs backed up and synchronized across computers and browsers. Mobile phones with Premium access.

LastPass is a free online password manager and Form Filler that makes your web browsing easier and more secure. Also for IE, Safari and Chrome. Your sensitive data is encrypted _locally_ before upload so even LastPass cannot get access to it.

Adds a button to your Firefox that enables you to quickly empty your browser cache and optionally reload your page with just one click.

One click to clear your cache, cookies, history, html5/local storage, http logins, all of them or restart your browser with/without notifications.

Expand your email area by blocking and removing ads on the right hand side of the screen when using Gmail, Hotmail, Outlook.com and Yahoo Mail.

An extension to silently generate a TinyURL for your current page at the click of a button. Also shows you where TinyURLs on the web will take you.

Encode selection, links and images to QrCode with right-click.

Converts obfuscated/nested links to genuine clean links.

The most lightweight and easiest translator. Translate between more than 50 languages with one click or a hot key. Translate from one word to a whole page.

Themes

Simple clean glass effect with color accents.

This is an animated persona. Lightning bolts flash in the clouds and loops.

This is an animated persona based on The Matrix.

The waterfall is animated.

This cat is animated and moves it’s tail.

This persona is animated, there are 3 lightning strikes in the loop.

Animated Snoopy

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