Firefox logoDue to its excellent support for web standards, multiple platforms, extensibility, and ability to validate web pages natively, I recommend using Mozilla Firefox to develop web pages. There are other browsers that could be used as alternatives, including Chrome, Safari and Opera.

First, make sure you are using the latest version of Firefox, as it comes with useful built-in developer tools. (Right-click on any web page content and choose “Inspect Element”)

Like all , Firefox needs customization for optimal use; primarily through the addition of extensions, also known as “add-ons”. Installing extensions is very straightforward, mostly a matter of clicking on a series of “OK” buttons. The most important part is to remember that a restart of Firefox is required in order for freshly installed extensions to be used, rather than merely closing a window. (When you have finished installing the extensions you wish, there is a prompt to restart the browser at the top left of the browser window.)

Vital Web Development Extensions

There are additional extensions, not related to web development, I load into every new installation of Firefox:

  • FireFTP: adds FTP functionality to Firefox. Combined with the above extensions and the built-in developer tools, this essentially converts Firefox into a free, open source, integrated web development environment.
  • AdBlock Plus: Blocks advertising on most websites.
  • FlashBlock: Blocks auto-play for Flash content on websites, and leaves playback up to the user.
  • ForecastFox Weather: Local weather conditions and forecast at the bottom of the browser window.

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