To start off, let us get a proper understanding of what extensions truly are. The idea behind extensions is a simple one. Let’s give the browser-user a set of tools and features which allow a greater level of personalization. Be it privacy & security, shopping, or web development. It’s up to the user to create their personal experience.
Understanding their importance in regards to “quality of life,” Mozilla’s Firefox team developed an array of tools that are now at the end-users disposal and, as such, are only compatible with Firefox-based browsers (Mozilla Firefox, TOR web browser, Waterfox, etc.). One might ask themselves, “How does an extension work?”.
A special category of extensions has been made with developers in mind. As such, they are meant to be used to boost their productivity and make their life a bit easier. Allow us to introduce you to some web extensions which will prove to be great assets to any developer’s “toolbox.”
1. React Developer Tools
Facebook’s response to the question “What does modern UI design need to look like?”. Since its inception, ReactJS has proven to be the go-to technology for dynamic UI development. Keeping in mind the massive size of its fanbase, getting an extension or two was just a matter of time. React Developer Tools is a tool that allows inspection of a React component tree, including the hierarchy of its elements, props, states, etc.
2. Selenium IDE
If there is one rule for quality software, it’s testing, testing, and again testing. Truly, a quality product needs great quality assurance. This extension was built with product testing in mind. Selenium IDE allows developers to write automated tests, test the functionality of a website, or find bugs hidden in plain sight.
3. Sharp Color Picker
Part of a front-end developer’s job is to make sure the site is appealing to the audience. As such, picking the right colors for the right site is an important task. With Sharp Color Picker recognizing and finding the right color proves to be a truly simple task.
4. HTTP Header Live
The HTTP protocol is the foundation for communication over the internet. The protocol is based on requests and responses. Important information about the sent and received data is stored in something that is called the header. To be able to access mentioned information, HTTP Header Live has been made as a developer extension. With it, one can display, edit and send headers.
JSON is a data format used for sending important data through the web. It is quite readable and really easy to understand. Also, it is mostly used for safety reasons. With that in mind, an extension like JSON-formatter comes in handy. Like the name suggests, it takes data and formats it into the JSON standard for further use.
6. Live Server Web Extension
A great extension for developers. Simply put, instead of having to refresh a web page whenever some change is applied to it, this extension is “listening in” on the activity of a page and automatically refreshes it. Live Server Web Extension comes in handy not having to think about it, especially after long work hours when one’s attention is not at its best.
7. Load Time
One of the most important attributes of a web page is its speed. Too long of a loading time, and a potential user might never revisit the same page. It’s a good thing then that extensions like Load Time were made. Once added to the browser, an icon appears in the address bar, which provides detailed information about loading times. As such, it proves to be of great help for those who want to optimize the response time of their web pages.
8. MDN Search
9. What Font
A front-end devs job is to make sure that the site is visually appealing to the biggest number of users possible. From the site layout, color choices, all down to the right font used for the text. Speaking of which, that’s exactly the purpose of What Font. This useful extension allows for an easy search of fonts. Once installed, the user simply needs to click once to activate the tool and move the mouse over(select) a text of interest to find out which font was used.
10. JetBrains Toolbox Extension
The tools and IDEs made by JetBrains are among the best in the industry. GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket are among the most used services with Git for source control. So, the idea behind this neat little toolbox is to combine the best of two worlds. It helps big time by allowing the cloning of projects from self-hosted GitHub/GitLab/Bitbucket instances. The JetBrains Toolbox Extension also highlights code in a project that was previously cloned. A must-have extension for anyone who mostly uses these services.
Extensions have come a long way since their inception. Be it to improve the experience of a typical user or a professional developer. These tools prove their worth in day to day use. Taking into account the nature of a web devs job, the making of specialized tools that would improve their workflow and the quality of work they produce was only a matter of time.
We hope that our list proves to be useful and that any developer can find something they might add to their toolbox from it.