The Benefits of Switching from Chrome to Firefox
Since I fully switched to Firefox, it’s been hard to use Chrome again. I use it sometimes to test cross-browser compatibility in websites and to load some pages that don’t work with Firefox (yes, they exist), but that's it.
Apart from the privacy and security benefits of Firefox, its ecosystem of extensions is pretty cool. Coupled with the core functionality and the dev tools, Firefox has become an essential part of my workflow.
Here's my Firefox setup and the tools I use, hopefully you'll find this helpful.
I’m a big fan of dark themes. When a website or application has it, I use it as default right away. I spend most of my time staring at screen, because of work and personal projects as well. I do it less nowadays than before, but still, dark themed websites are easy on my eyes and help me easily read content on the screen.
I have a set of extensions that I always use and have been using for years. Even when I used Chrome. Every time I get a new laptop, I keep everything synced by using a Firefox Account, so when I install Firefox I login and all my extensions are installed automatically.
These are the extensions I can’t live without.
- Bitwarden. A password manager should be a default for everyone’s online activities. It helps me save passwords of new accounts created, generate secure passwords, and automatically fill login forms. It’s open source and the service behind it is, too. A great alternative to LastPass.
- OneTab. Are you the type of person who has 20+ tabs open and only really uses two? Do you like to keep the others open just in case, or as a quick bookmarking technique? This extension helps you deal with this in a very clever way. It converts all your open tabs in a list of links available for you when you need them. This helps you clear your thoughts, your browser and your computer memory (probably the most important feature).
When I have more than 5 tabs open and find myself using only one of two for an hour without checking the other ones, I click OneTab then open only the links that I was using. It has improved my online workflow a lot.
- Form Filler. This one is simple. Sometimes I need to test contact forms to see if the email is going through. Instead of typing the contact information every time, one click of this extension will fill all the fields with dummy data. Very handy.
- Firefox Multi-Account Containers. This is the killer feature that made me love Firefox again. It allows you to use multiple identities or accounts in different tabs but in the same browser window. Every container keep cookies isolated from each other. If you need to test a website with logged-in and logged-out status, you can do it in the same window with two different container tabs. In Chrome, you’d have to have to separate windows for this, with one in incognito mode and the other in regular mode.
Super handy for testing websites, keeping your privacy and managing different accounts in the same browser. If you are a community manager handling different Facebook accounts, you can have two different Facebook accounts open in the same window in two different tabs.
- uBlock Origin. Most of the ads on the Internet suck. They eat up your bandwidth, slow down your connection and take too much real estate from your screen. This extension blocks ads based on a host list of advertisements, trackers, malware and annoyances.
I use a paid service for general bookmarks, links that I might need later. For links that I use daily, I use built-in bookmarks. This is pretty 2000s but it’s really useful for me.
Here are some of the links that you will find in my bookmarks:
- Astronomy Picture of the Day
- Texas Electronic Music - Events Listing
- Easy Checks - A First Review of Web Accessibility
Back in my Chrome days, I used way more extensions for my workflow, but now, Chrome and Firefox have added tons of new features on their dev tools. Also, I try to keep my apps as close to the default settings as possible so I’m not dependent on third-party tools.
That's it. I'm just trying to share a little knowledge here and there on this blog and hopefully make the web a more productive, less junky place for all.