8 Firefox Add-ons I Can't Do Without

Whenever a new version of Firefox arrives, I know that a certain number of the add-ons I use will break. Most of them aren’t that important; my colleagues kid me that I use way too many of them anyway.

But when I upgraded from Firefox 3.5.7 to 3.6 the other day, I discovered that a few of the add-ons that weren’t yet compatible were important to me. In fact, they had become such an integral part of my daily workflow that I was significantly slowed down without them. Luckily, almost all of the add-ons were updated within a couple of days so I’m back up to speed now, but I realized how much I missed them when they weren’t available. In this post I’m going to share the add-ons that I find it hard to be without.

Some of us at WWD have ditched Firefox in favor of the faster Chrome, but until these add-ons are also available in Chrome for Mac, I won’t switch. In the meantime, I’m sticking with Firefox, and hoping that 3.6, the newest version, lives up to its claims of increased speed.

Mozilla Prism. This add-on allows me to create a site-specific browser for locations I visit frequently. I’ve used it to create a “Google Reader” application that appears in my dock, can be placed in a separate Space, and operates separately from Firefox. I’m not sure why Mozilla hasn’t updated this yet; I’m using Chrome to view Google Reader for now.

LastPass. This password manager not only keeps track of my passwords, it syncs them between browsers and computers. I imagine most web workers have as many passwords as I do — they’d be impossible to keep track of without a program like LastPass. I also use 1Password for the Mac, and sync its data using Dropbox, figuring that it doesn’t hurt to keep such important data in multiple places.

Xmarks. This handy extension syncs my bookmarks between browsers and computers.

Adblock Plus. I appreciate all of the content that is available on the web, including WebWorkerDaily, thanks to the support of advertisers. But some sites have such obtrusive advertising that they are unusable. Google (which makes most of its money from advertising) is allowing ad blockers in its Chrome browser in the hope that advertisers will make “useful” ads that no one will want to block. Until then, Adblock Plus is a necessity for me.

Gmail Manager. This is the Firefox add-on that I use the most. It’s the best way I know to manage multiple Gmail and Google Apps mail accounts.

I’ll also add two tools that are incredibly helpful to web developers: Firebug and Web Developer. Both help me and my colleagues to test and debug web sites.

…and finally, Cards. Well, OK, I guess I can live without this one, but I’ll have find something else to do while I’m on the phone.

What browser add-ons do you rely on?

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