I’ve been a cheerleader for the FireFox browser for a couple of years now, insisting that everyone I come in contact with in a professional capacity at least knows what FireFox can do for their business and peace of mind. Internet Explorer, while it used to be a leader in browser technology, is a follower now and is highly targeted by hackers across the globe. In contrast, FireFox’s browser is open-sourced, very stable, and offers plugin functionality that currently offers top of the heap user experience. FireFox helps me get things done everyday that would be much more difficult without it – or, forced to use Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) browser.
The effect of making this one change to a new browser has on your business and your stress levels will be earth-shattering, I assure you. The cost? FireFox is totally free. All plugins available directly through FireFox and created by developers as open-source code also – are free. Of course you could donate to those that help you getting things done (GTD).
About 4 years ago I was trying to login at my domain registrar and it wouldn’t work with Internet Explorer. I had used IE for many years prior and I wasn’t interested in trying any other. When my registrar suggested I use FireFox instead, I thought they were nuts. Switch my entire browser so I can login at your site? Fat chance. I gave up and went on to other things. Later that day I had trouble logging into Google Analytics. Their tech support recommended I switch to FireFox. I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t ignore it either.
I read a lot about FireFox that day. I even installed FireFox 2.x. Right away I noticed, it was heaps faster than IE. IE was taking time to go forward or back pages even, and Firefox was blazing fast in comparison. I logged in to my domain registrar and Google analytics and had no problems with any other site. I’ve yet to have have problems four years later.
After I installed FireFox and my world opened up to the wonderful world of GTD. FireFox has become my dashboard. It’s where I go first thing in the morning because almost everything I need is right there. The next thing I wanted to try were the “add ons” or “plugins” that were available for FireFox. These are open-sourced programs written by developers to help you accomplish something without leaving your browser. My favorite program, FireFTP, is a full-featured FTP program that works without ever crashing, right in my browser. That’s amazing – is it not?
I use about two-dozen plugins daily. Here are some I can’t live without:
Live PageRank – displays a site’s PageRank (PR). I still use it, though PR has lost its original meaning, it is still an indication of the authority a site has in Google’s eyes.
PDF Download – this plugin starts on auto-pilot when you click a PDF link so downloading and opening the huge files don’t lock up your computer. Quite helpful.
ScribeFire – a simple and full-featured easy to use blog editor that helps me create blog posts with photos, videos, or other media with little effort. You can save posts as drafts and publish directly from this program.
Simple Timer – a small timer program that stays resident in the bottom of the Firefox browser frame. Handy!
Speed Dial – a very useful application that gives you many thumbnails of website pages you often visit. This way you just click on one to go visit and don’t need to type anything into the address bar. Once you try it you will wonder why nobody else thought of it. It is very useful.
FireShot- a screen-capture program that captures the entire page – not just what you can see in your browser. If the page is 600 lines long – it captures all of it – text, photos, Flash images and more.
FireFTP – I mentioned earlier. Rather than pay $35 to $70 for one of the standalone FTP programs have a look at this. I doubt you will need more options than it has.
Those are some of my most often used plugins that you must check out on your own. The user experience with Firefox is comparable to using a computer rather than an abacus. It is just that good. Try it yourself and see whether you think it is worth the switch. I just know you will.