Find Web Developers
Find Web Developers

Top 8 Firefox Add-Ons for Web Development

August 26th, 2018

As a web developer, you can never have enough tools to help make web development faster and more efficient. Mozilla’s Firefox web browser has a feature called add-ons (similar to extensions or plugins), which add extra features to the browser. Note: Not all add-ons are available for all OS platforms. The add-ons discussed here are compatible with Firefox 11, OS X Lion 10.7.3.

Firefox 11 by default already has very impressive tools for web development. It includes (descriptions from the Mozilla website):

  • Web Console – Lets you see logging messages from your JavaScript code, JavaScript and CSS errors and network activity. Search and filter to find just the events you need to look at. Plus, you can directly interact with and explore your page via JavaScript.
  • Page Inspector – Peek right into the styling of any Web page by visually selecting the page element that you’re interested in.
  • Scratchpad – Scratchpad lets you write JavaScript code that can interact directly with the contents of a Web page.

With these powerful tools already included, there are actually even more features you can add to Firefox for even more power. Here are my favorite add-ons specifically used for web development:

  1. Web Developer 1.1.9 – Also known as the Web Developer Toolbar (WDT), this add-on installs various web developer tools to the browser. It will allow you to quickly disable any JavaScript, CSS or image files on website. The toolbar also gives you easy access to any cookies, meta tag information, and forms on the web page you are viewing. One of my favorite features is the ability to auto fill forms for form testing. The “name” of the form element will be used as the form value, so when testing a form with many fields, this feature will save you plenty of time. The truth is, the WDT has so many different features, I haven’t been able to use them all yet!
  2. Firebug 1.9.1 – 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. It’s like the built in Web Console and Page Inspecter but with more features. Some developers will debate on which is better, WDT or Firebug. From my experience, WDT is more suited for front end designers that do a lot of CSS coding and Firebug is better for JavaScript/AJAX debugging and web development. I say use them both.
  3. MeasureIt 0.4.10 – Draw a ruler across any webpage to check the width, height, or alignment of page elements in pixels. This ruler is one of the handiest add-ons I’ve used.
  4. Firesizer 1.7 – Allows you to resize the window to specific dimensions. This add-on shows the dimensions of the current browser window in pixels.
  5. HTML Validator 0.9.5.2 – Adds HTML Validation to the View Page Source of the browser. The add-on is based on Tidy and OpenSP, both algorithms that were originally developed by the Web Consortium W3C. The details of the errors are seen when looking the HTML source of the page. If you care about your code being valid, then try this out. Although the WDT has a HTML validator feature, those validation results are shown to you from an external website, rather than being shown along with the page’s source code.
  6. Rainbow 1.5.1 – This add-on has a color picker and eyedropper + saving colors. It allows you to try out colors with drag and drop. Want to know the hexadecimal notation (HEX) color of a particular blue that is in a jpeg image without needing an image editor (like Photoshop)? With Rainbow, it’s no problem.
  7. Lazarus: Form Recovery 2.3 – Lazarus securely auto-saves all forms as you type, so after a crash, server timeout, or whatever, you can go back to the form and get the form data back. If you have a lot of forms that need testing and would like to use actual form content, this add-on will make it a less tedious task.
  8. FireFTP – FireFTP is a free, secure, cross-platform FTP/SFTP client for Mozilla Firefox which provides easy and intuitive access to FTP/SFTP servers. If you are experienced with FileZilla, FireFTP will be familiar.

And of course, the latest version of Firefox can be downloaded from the Mozilla website.

What Are the Web Development Trends for 2014?

August 25th, 2018

With every passing day, web development is going through tremendous change. Web developers and programmers keep working on making the websites look good in order to build a strong impression on the targeted audience. But it is equally important to realize that your website should offer what your customers are looking for.

Many businessmen and web developers work on making their website look stylish or tech savvy. Their websites look amazing but when the visitor tries to find something they are looking for, they can’t see it because the website isn’t designed by keeping the customers in mind. Among the multiple factors that one needs to keep in mind while offering web development services in 2014, few important ones are:

1. The website should offer what the customers are looking for.

Making your website simple and to the point is very important these days. If you have a heavy website which takes more loading time, it will annoy your audience and they’ll ultimately leave. On the other hand, if your homepage offers everything that the customer wants, the chances of their doing business with you increases. Basically, homepage holds utmost importance. Web developers and businessmen should sit together to design what actually works for the homepage and what a prospective customer would be looking for.

2. The website should offer smarter transitions.

With the introduction of quality displays such as Apple’s retina screen and development in pixel density such as 4K resolution, the web developers need to ensure that their websites offer smarter transitions. Few years back any transition between a website used to be a huge problem but now, developers ensure that websites have enough room for transitions.

3. The website should be tested for all OS and browsers.

There is a new trend of operating systems launching their own browsers for mobile and desktop. Google laptops run on a modified version of Chrome whereas Mozilla also released a Firefox Mozilla OS for mobile. These options are helpful for those buyers who can’t afford to buy expensive smart phones. That’s why; web developers should make sure to test the websites for every OS and browsers.

4. The websites should be launched when they are fully functional.

If you have a huge brand name and you are planning to launch your website live, make sure that it’s fully functional. The testing phase of any website holds utmost importance. Most of the times, businessmen commit to launch the website on a particular date in a jiffy and when the website is launched, it’s a disaster. The owner, web developers and marketing team needs to sit together to figure out a launch date with a little cushion, so when the website is launched, it offers everything you promised.

5. The mobile websites need to have larger text and smaller layouts.

The major issue with most of the mobile websites is the typography. This issue needs to be resolved by the developers with larger text and smaller layouts. With the influx of mobile website users, you need to ensure that your website is compatible with mobile and smart phones or you’ll be losing a big chunk of business.

The Basics Of Web Development

August 24th, 2018

For the business owners and marketing heads finding an experienced web developer, one that can bring your vision to life, can be an extremely difficult task; particularly if you have no knowledge of what web development is and what it involves.

Understanding web development is no easy task but often, it is OK to skip the details and instead come to grips with just the basics. Web developers take years to develop their talent (no pun intended) and you, yourself may never quite get there so instead don’t set the bar too high; just focus on the basics because a little can go a long way.

To put it simply, web development has one main focus; to make a website do the stuff that it is supposed to do. Whether it is for the internet or a private intranet network; for a one page website or a large site offering a multitude of applications and services it is your chosen web developer who will be in charge of the construction of your website. Often working with a team of in-house designers, a developer will provide the functions and features that are expected; rather like an architect bringing a scale model to life, with an in-depth knowledge and understanding of coding.

Coding is a complex subject that even I will not claim to have full knowledge off but to put it simply (which is probably the best that I can do) it is the way in which developers describe the functionalities of a website to the browsers. Coding is a language so to speak, that tells a browser what each part of the website is supposed to do.

With years of programming skills and an understanding of coding tools such as JavaScript, HTML and CSS; web developers can describe the content and design of your website to ensure that it is correctly interpreted. So whether you are after a simple website that offers a little of your company information or an e-commerce website that offers users a great shopping experience that can even be ‘tweeted’ about; your web developers will lie at the very root of your success.

In many cases, developers will have skills in graphic design and possibly even SEO but more often than not, they will work with a qualified designer and a team of other online marketing specialists to ensure that whatever it is you want from your website, whatever experience you wish to provide your customers and the results you wish to achieve; you can easily do so.

When searching for a web site development team or a single web developer, it is not vital to have any in-depth knowledge. By simply ensuring you are aware of the basics and the results you desire; finding the perfect person to work alongside your business, needn’t be such a frightening thought again.