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Cool firefox addons you need

4 Cool Firefox Add-ons You Need

Copyright (c) 2008 Jim Edwards

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer Web browser still rates as the most popular and widely used browser for one simple reason: it rides along with every Windows installation.

But in response to security scares over the last few years, another browser took a bite out of Microsoft’s monopoly.

FireFox often represents the browser of choice for those who either dislike Microsoft (for whatever reason), or want more flexibility and functionality in their browser, specifically in the area of add-ons (also know as “plugins”).

Add-ons (little programs that enhance a web browser’s functionality) can trick out your browser to help you do everything from upload website files to speed dialing your favorite websites.

The overwhelming majority of add-ons for FireFox come free of charge (though donations are appreciated). Just log on to http://addons.mozilla.org and check out the free add-ons you can snag.

Note that once you get to the page, the little programs you can run with FireFox are under the “extensions” link. Here are a few of our favorites here in my office – just search for them by name once you log on to the Mozilla site (or use the links below).

** Forecastfox ** “Get international weather forecasts from AccuWeather.com, and display it in any toolbar or statusbar with this highly customizable and unobtrusive extension.” That’s a fancy way of saying you can always know what the weather reports say just by glancing down at your browser’s lower right corner.

This makes very handy tool to keep an eye out for thunderstorms or remind yourself that a sunny day awaits when you finish up a marathon session on your computer. http://tinyurl.com/yqv54y

** SpeedDial ** Everyone uses bookmarks or “favorites” at one point or another. But those who use them frequently create a problem for themselves. Every time you want to log on to your favorite sites, you must wade through dozens, hundreds, even thousands of links to find what you want.

Enter the “SpeedDial” add-on that helps you organize your most frequently used websites into a “dashboard” you can customize. You can even organize multiple speed dial directories around groups of web pages (business resources, shopping sites, etc.). http://tinyurl.com/2hhn7a

** FireFTP ** Anyone who owns a website needs the ability to upload files to their hosting account. You can either install a standalone FTP program, or you can use this nifty little browser add-on that turns FireFox into a neat little FTP utility.

“FireFTP is a free, secure, cross-platform FTP client for Mozilla Firefox which provides easy and intuitive access to FTP servers.” I really found this add-on helpful in my own business when it comes to fast access to the files on my websites. http://tinyurl.com/yv56ru

** Download Statusbar ** One annoying feature of Firefox involves the download window that opens up every time you download a file from the web. This can get in the way and actually disrupt your activity.

Enter the “Download Statusbar” add-on, which promises “View and manage downloads from a tidy statusbar – without the download window getting in the way of your web browsing.”

Even though this add-on does make downloading more convenient, make sure to read the instructions before using it just to make sure you don’t get frustrated. http://tinyurl.com/29a456

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