Being a webmaster while living under Google’s shadow sucks. No really, it’s not just about providing great content or even using proper Web site code to make things work anymore. Now we’re faced with adding ugly little +1 buttons, begging Google for forgiveness when something doesn’t go according to plan after a big media blitz, plus other related hassles. End result? The search results are still gliding downhill because everyone is trying to game the system.
The only place we really have to hide from Google is in the design of Web sites themselves. And as you might have guessed, this means using various tools to make sure the sites are designed well and to the best of our ability. In this article, I will highlight some Firefox add-ons I use that help to give me a quick handle on what my Web site needs to provide the best experience possible.
Web Developer Add-on
This add-on provides me with immediate viewable access to the CSS style sheet of a given page, display various attributes, resize images, plus get a handle on the cookies being offered as well. At its purest, Web Developer is a very handle tool for Web developers! This add-on is best with Firefox, although an older version is also available for Chrome users.
Firebug and Page Speed Add-ons
Both of the above add-ons are fantastic as they provide me with both the ability to see various errors with a Web site, but also get clear explanations as to page load times. Firebug is the reason many people will bother using Firefox at all. It offers so many great diagnostic tools, it’d be insane to use anything else. Then you bundle that power with Page Speed, and you are then able to see exactly where Google penalties might be coming from due to a lack of proper compression, poor CSS usage, etc. Page Speed is available for Firefox and Chrome.