How many add-ons do you have stowed away in your Firefox browser? Okay…how many of them do you actually use? If the answer to both is somewhere in the highs, then it means you can be awarded the ‘Firefox Add-ons Power User’ badge.
Installing those little helper applications to do everything from search to security is always a temptation. The numbers keep stacking up and ultimately we are forced to look beyond manual means to a few automatic ways of add-on management.
So, let’s check out a few add-ons that are sure to help out the average Firefox user as well as the user who installs a lot of add-ons.
We wish we didn’t have to restart our browser every time we installed a browser extension. Something like the system in Chrome would really help with productivity. Firefox has a few add-ons which do not need a browser restart and it marks them out as such. But if you keep on adding add-ons and uninstalling them, Restartless Restart is the first add-on you should install if you ever have to manually restart your browser. The 12KB restartless add-on works very simply by adding a restart option in the right click menu and a CTRL/CMD + Alt + R hotkey to restart Firefox or Seamonkey. With its help, you don’t have to search for the Firefox start icon every time.
As a long-standing Firefox user, you probably don’t wait around for the final release version of the browser; instead opting to try out the alpha and beta releases. That creates a few compatibility issues with your current set of add-ons. The Add-on Compatibility Reporter helps by letting you try out your add-ons with the current version of the browser and test if they fit. If they don’t work as expected, you can send a report to Mozilla that says – This add-on no longer works. You can also let Mozilla know if the add-on does indeed work. This add-on turns you into an add-on tester and helps to ensure the development of your favorite add-ons.
This is a very simple add-on that displays the compatibility versions for each add-on in the Add-ons Manager window. This add-on helps you to make informed decisions about avoiding upgrading the browser immediately or sacrificing a few of your favorite add-ons with an upgrade.
This add-on is a one-click solution for all your backup and restore needs. It can help you backup your extensions, themes, bookmarks, preferences, passwords, cookies, and any other file or folder. Then, it gives you the option to selectively restore the ones you want. You can schedule your backups and store them in date stamped folders. All backups can also be uploaded to a Box.net account automatically. For the guy who installs a lot of extensions, FEBE also backs up all or specific extensions and saves them together in a single, installable xpi file.
CLEO works like an extension packager. It’s really useful if you have lots of add-ons and want to keep them together. CLEO packages them all in a single installable file which can be kept as a backup, exported to someplace else, or used across multiple computers as a single installable package. CLEO works with FEBE as a multiple add-on packager and installer.
I was a bit surprised that browser extensions to manage add-ons weren’t that large a tribe. In fact, these are the best I could find, with a few others being either incompatible or getting some not-so-hot remarks from users. Of course, I would like to put in a good word for the Mozilla Firefox Add-on Collector. I did a full review of this tool last year. It still remains relevant if you want some help managing your extensive add-on collections.
Do you have a Firefox add-on in mind that you like to include here? At last count, how many add-ons do you have installed?
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