Essential Firefox Add-ons for Web Developers

Firefox has some cool add-ons which make the job of website designers much easier. These add-ons are definitely going to improve your work-flow and enhance your overall internet browsing experience. Don’t miss this chance to work quicker and better!

Firebug
Firebug integrates with Firefox to put a wealth of development tools at your fingertips while you browse. You can edit, debug, and monitor CSS, HTML, and JavaScript live in any web page.
http://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1843

Web Developer
The Web Developer extension adds a menu and a toolbar with various web developer tools.
http://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/60

ColorZilla
Advanced Eyedropper, Color Picker, Palette Viewer and other colorful goodies for your Firefox.
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/271

FireShot
FireShot is an advanced screen capture add-on for Firefox. In addition to giving you the ability to capture an entire web page, FireShot also allows you to add add graphics and notes directly to your screen captures.
http://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/5648

Codetech
Get the feel of Dreamweaver in a Firefox extension. Edit your documents right next to your web pages as you surf.
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1002

CSS Validator
Validates a page using the W3C CSS Validator.
http://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/2289

HTML Validator

HTML Validator is a Mozilla extension that 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.
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/249

W3C Offline Page validator
Validates the source of a HTML/XHTML page via the W3C Markup Validation Service using the direct-input form.
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/6006

Greasemonkey
Allows you to customize the way a webpage displays using small bits of JavaScript.
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/748

GridFox
Draws a grid on top of a website. This is useful for checking designs that are supposed to follow a grid-based layout.
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/4904

HttpFox
HttpFox monitors and analyzes all incoming and outgoing HTTP traffic between the browser and the web servers.
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/6647

CSSViewer
A simple CSS property viewer.
http://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/2104

IE NetRenderer

If you are like me and design your sites for Firefox then this is a great tool for you. IE NetRenderer will create you an image of how the website looks in IE 5.5, 6, 7 and 8 so you can get an idea of whether or not it looks right in IE.
http://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/6455

Foxy SEO Tool
Foxy SEO Tool offers tools for search engine optimization (SEO), web traffic and page analysis for webmasters and web professionals.
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/9440

Basic Tips for SEO

  1. Use Correct Doctype
  2. Use Semantic code while htmlizing your website.
  3. Use Meta Content and Meta Keywords
  4. Use unique page titles
  5. Use SEO friendly page name or URL
  6. Use Alt tags for Images
  7. Use Heading Tags (e.g. H1, H2)
  8. Use Valid HTML and CSS Code (Make your code W3C Standard)
  9. Use Div based coding and avoid using Tables
  10. Make a Detailed Sitemap
  11. Use Breadcrumb
  12. Use Footer links
  13. Use Optimized images and code to make your web site load fast
  14. Use External JavaScript and CSS files
  15. Use a meaningful and helpful 404 error page

Important reasons for using web standards

For web programmers who are already using web standards, this list may come in helpful when you want good arguments and feel free to add any extra benefits you can think of. If you’re new to the idea of web standards and are unsure on whether you should spend the time to study all about them or not, here are some of the most important reasons for doing so.

Get better search engine rankings
Well-written content delivered through clean, well-structured, and semantic markup is delicious food for search engine spiders and will help our rankings. This will lead to increased traffic, which is what most website owners want.

Maximize website visitors
You don’t know which browser visitors will use to access your site. The only thing you can be logically sure of is that they are using something that can parse HTML. By using web standards properly you make sure that you have completed your job in making your website work with the largest possible number of browsing devices.

Faster page loading
Clean and well-structured HTML that separates structure and content from presentation will be smaller and faster for visitors to download.

Accessibility
Web standards do not guarantee that all features of our website will be accessible to people with disabilities, but it is a very good start. Make sure your html documents are valid, well-structured, and semantic, and you’re well on the way towards having an accessible website.

Make our HTML easier to maintain
When we need to update our website then we will like to browse through a clean and well-structured document. Using CSS to organize layout also makes it much easier to make overall website design changes.

Look professional
Our colleagues, competitors, friends and potential employers will be able to look at our work and know that the person likes to keep up with changes in technology and make sure that his knowledge and skills are always current. It will make us look like a real web professional.

Making our clients feel good
Use web standards combined with best practices for accessibility and give your clients a chance to talk about how they cater to all people, and how they find it important that everybody can use their services or find information about their products. You will also avoid the bad publicity that can be caused by shutting out visitors like disabled people, Mac users, and mobile phone users.

Future-proof content
If we separate content from presentation and use current web standards, we have done the best we can to ensure that our website content can still be read even after fifty years or hundred years.

Good business sense
Any business owner will like to have more visitors, a faster website, improved search engine rankings, potential good publicity and it does make sense to do so.

Accurate way to do things
Web standards provide the way to build the web from the beginning and now that we can surely do something the right way and have a really important reason to feel good about ourselves.

Guidelines for a clean HTML code

A good HTML is the base of a beautiful website. A good CSS can only exist with similarly good HTML markup. The advantages of clean, semantic HTML are many, yet lots of websites suffer from badly written markup.

Let’s take a look at some points to improve your written HTML code.

1. Use Strict DOCTYPE for HTML 4.01 or XHTML 1.0

2. Declare Character set just after the opening <head> tag.

3. Use properly encoded Special/funny characters like “&amp;” for “&” instead.

4. Proper indentation of markup for readability of code.

5. Keep your CSS and JavaScript external.

6. Nest your tags properly.

7. Remove unnecessary divs/tags.

8. Use better naming conventions for CSS classes and ids.

9. Leave typography to the CSS (Text uppercase and lowercase etc.)

10. Apply unique class or id to the page content lies in the “body” tag.

11. Use heading tags like <h1>, <h2> etc. for page headings.

12. Validate your code using W3C validator tool.

13. Logical ordering of the sections of your website in code.

14. Just do what you can to make it right.

3 Must Do Things When Revamping or Shifting Website

If we are moving/revamping our website for any reason like new look & feel, changing hosts, technology updation, seeking branding benefits, to make our URL more memorable etc. then there are some things that we should definitely do to make our change go more smoothly for our self and for our regular readers.

The top 3 things are:

Implement Universal 301 Redirects
It’s a way to configure your website or web server, in order to indicate that some of your pages have been moved, permanently, to another location. We should not just redirect all of our old pages to our new index/home page at the time of creating 301 redirects. That will turn our readers off and we’ll lose some business as our visitors won’t go searching for the corresponding page they found in the search engine. Rather, we should do a 301 redirect on each page to the corresponding page on the new domain. If we have created new pages in our website, those don’t need redirects. If we are deleting old pages and not using them on your new domain then we should redirect those pages to a page on our new domain that has similar information.

Create Custom 404 Page
When someone enters a URL or follows a link to a page that does not exist they will get a custom 404 error page. So, if we are deleting pages from the old domain or website and not using them on the new website then we should make sure to create a custom 404 page for those pages. On 404 pages, we should place a link to our home page and offer some suggestions on pages that our visitors might want to look at which have similar information to the one they were looking for. Make it easy for the site visitors to find the information they want. We might even put a site search feature on our 404 page if we have a large enough site that visitors can get lost easily.

Contact Your Top Referrers
We should also send an e-mail to our top referrers to let them know that we have changed domain names or file names in website. We should do this because those referrers can change their links to our new link addresses.