Ok, so this is a blatant attempt to jump on the “top X reasons” wagon, but something occured to me today as I was compiling some information for my colleagues – most people don’t use Firefox. They just don’t know why it’s useful. So let’s remedy that.
1. It’s not a Microsoft Product.
I’m not a Microsoft basher. I remember when I had to install the printer over and over and over again for every single program I ever put in my computer and I hated it. The consolidated operating system is the best thing to happen to personal comptuers. But let’s face it – because Microsoft is the big dog, it’s the target. The only reason Macs are considered “more secure” is because so few (and the wrong type of) people use them it’s not worth a rogue programmer’s time to write a Mac virus. The same is sort of true for Firefox but in a different way. It’s not universally adopted by big corporations so why pick on it? Plus, it’s open source – this means ANYONE can fix it if it breaks. There are literally thousands of people out there who have contributed to creating and upgrading Firefox – when a vulnerability shows up, there are dozens of fixes submitted within 24 hours. You can’t get that sort of fervent attention from a huge, red-tape constricted company like Microsoft.
2. It’s Open Source
There are lots of reasons to use open source products but the main one is: it’s FREE, hello.
3. It’s Innovative
You know that nifty thing you can do with the latest IE where you have TABS in the window for all the open sessions of IE. Guess what – Firefox had that first.
4. It’s NOT Part Of The Operating System
You can install, remove, upgrade or otherwise fool around with Firefox and you don’t have to worry about accidentally changing anything else on your Windows box. The program is not integrated into any other functions on your computer unless you come up with a way to do that yourself.
5. The Library of FREE Extensions and Add-ons
This is why I started this article – about once every three months I send out a company-wide email containing a list of the most useful Firefox add-ons that I’ve run across. Some of these little gadgets are just gadgets, like IP address readers, or weather updates in the status bar. Some of them, however, are invaluable in my day to day work with search engine marketing.
For the curious – here are the links to my faves:
- Colorful Tabs (make your browser tabs different colors) – https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1368
- Customize Google (add additional info to Google SERPs) – https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/743
- Google Preview (little picture of the web site in the listing) – https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/189
- Kgen (see what keywords are most prominent on a given page) – https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/4788
- Screengrab (screen capture tool) – https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1146
- WASP (look for analytics code) – https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/4001
- Professor X (see inside a web page’s HEAD tag quickly and easily) – https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/2823
- Niche Watch (get seo-pertinent info on any website) – https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/2279
- RankQuest (SEO toolbar) – https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/1471
- SEO Quake (SEO toolbar) – https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/3036
- Search Status (SEO research tool) – https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/321
- External IP (shows the IP address the internet knows you by) – https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/3372
- HighlightAll (highlights all occurrences of text) – https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/4240
- Get Company Info (searches business and financial info on the company name highlighted) – https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/2961
- iWebTool (webmaster’s toolbar) – https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/5171
Oh, I forgot the part where you just use Firefox to go find find these add-ons (at www.firefox.com) and generally just click on the big green “Add to Firefox” button, wait three seconds for the “install” button to become live, click that, and restart the browser – no traditional downloading required.
There ya go, reason number 6. Enjoy!