Okay… first, if you don’t know what a browser is (don’t feel ashamed if you don’t – and no, it is not Google) but a browser is a program that allows you to access websites. Â Here’s a quick video explanation:
The 4 most popular web browsers are: Internet Explorer, Firefox, Google Chrome and Safari. Â Internet Explorer is the most dominant at 60% of the market (which is much lower than I was actually expecting), followed by 20% Firefox, 8% Chrome and 7% Safari. Â The latest versions of all 4 of these browsers allow you to add extensions.
As a web developer, extensions have become very important with helping me get through everyday things – mostly with debugging (i.e. finding issues). Â These are a few notable ones that I find the most useful.
1. Firebug (Firefox and Chrome)
2. Screen Capture (Chrome) andÂ Screengrab (Firefox)
Both of these are nice screen capture extensions. Â Yes, you can take screenshots by pressing CTRL + PrintScr (or ALT + PrintScr for a specific window only) but these are much better. Â For one thing, they allow you to choose between just capturing the visible content (which CTRL + PrintScr only allows), the whole page or even just a specific region. Â Screen Capture also has an additional feature that allows you to highlight/underline certain areas in your screenshot.
First, FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. Â FTP clients are used to copy one file from one host to another. Â So whether you have your own web hosting account or you are trying to access someone else’s, a FTP client lets you move files to and from that host. Â FireFTP is nice because you don’t have to install another standalone FTP client, such as SmartFTP or WS_FTP. Â Instead, you can easily open it directly as another tab right in your browser.
4. Web Developer (Firefox and Chrome) and IE Developer Toolbar (IE Versions 7 or Less)
For IE 8 users, you don’t need to install a separate toolbar. Â It automatically comes as part of the browser. Â You can find it under “Tools” -> “Developer Tools” or just press F12.
5. HttpWatch (IE and Firefox) or HttpFox (Firefox)
This one also is mostly for developers also. Â It’s great for monitoring how your website loads. Â If you were ever wondering if a certain element was slowing your site down, you’ll be able to see exactly in the order that it is loaded on the page and how long it took. Â You can also see other details in the headers and cookies.