Firefox plugins are such a great resource for improving productivity on the net. Here is a list of 11 such plugins which are very useful to improve your search experience and productivity.Each of them has been explained with detailed images (and even a video turorial created by us) so that you can have a feel of the plugins even before installing them.
- WebMynd : Installing this plugin enables you personalize the right-hand side of your search results page with sources such as Wikipedia, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, Amazon,Linkedin,CNN and a number of other sites. So you can actually see results from 5-10 search engines conveniently (can be more though) with one single query. It does not spoil the search experience of the original site (eg Google) since you are getting these results on the right side which is the ad area. It also enables Playback and full-text search your visual browsing history though you can this recording off and on. A very useful application for those who want to do multi-searching.
- Drag and Drop Zones : This is a very powerful plugin which enables one to search multiple search engines of choice easily by dragging and dropping keywords on webpages. After installing it, when you are on a webpage and you want to search a word, just highlight the word – drag the highlighted word – you will see a the image grid of all your selected search engines- drop the word into that engine – get results for your query. See more details on Read Write Web . We have created a video (and put it on youtube!) to explain this plugin as it might take too many images to explain it . Hope you find it easy to understand.
- Add Search box to Firefox Search bar : You might have seen many sites which provide a Firefox search plugin and adding the search box to your firefox search bar becomes easy with this plugin. However, there are many sites where these plugins are not provided. But with this plugin, you can search any site from your firefox searchbar. Just add this plugin and when you are on any site – just place your mouse in its search box right click add click on ‘Add to Search Bar. Thus within few seconds, you can search your favourite site from Firefox search bar instead of going to that site and then searching. Cool , isn’t it? Now I have just right clicked on the search box of Techcrunch.com and added it to my search bar in 3 seconds flat !..And see how it is done.
- Cloudlet : Adding this firefox plugin enables you to get a Tag Cloud over the search results page of Google, Yahoo and Twitter. It suggest the tags on the basis of your query and provides multiple options . Eg in Google/Yahoo, it will also show you related sites ,clicking on which will search these sites for your query. Its functionality in Twitter is most useful as it enables you to find people who have tweeted about the query, provides a tag cloud over a twitter homepage and clicking on one of the tages enables you to search that homepage for the keyword. Besides there are various other options to enable you play around. It can be easily turned off with a click.
- Search Status : This is one of the most simple but useful search plugin especially for those who like to have a quick evaluation of a site . Once installed in the firefox, it sits in a corner and you can easily evaluate any webpage/website for its
Alexa Rank &
Google Page Rank
Though sounding simple, you can easily understand a lot about a site by using these two parameters. If the Google PR is high but Alexa Rank is low, it shows that the site is highly linked (and thus respected) but does not get too much traffic. Or if the ALexa Rank is high and the PR is low, then it shows that the site is getting popular fast but Google is yet to recognize it . If both are high, then it speaks high of that site. Alexa rank , however, tends to be more accurate for high traffic sites .And right clicking on the Alexa Rank image brings up many details about the site without needing to open Alexa.com
- Cool Iris : With over 12 million downloads, this plugin provides a very different search experience . What it does is that it enables you to watch the search results on a 3D wall and lets you scour through thousands of results in a few minutes. It is very pleasing to use and specially useful for those visually inclined.
- Search Keys : Can you want to open Google search results without using the mouse ?
Well, with this plugin you can do it. Just install this plugin and you will see a number “1,2,3 etc..” against the search results. If you want to open the first result, just press ‘1’ on your keyboard and the first result will open. Now, one can do the exactly same with your mouse. But using keys is much easier on your hands and once you get used to this , its difficult to use the mouse!
- Cybersearch : This plugin saves you one more step in searching. It makes your firefox location bar a mini search engine in itself. As you type the search query in the location bar, it starts showing search results in a drop down , which may save a good lot of time for quick searches.
- FireGestures : Though this one is strictly not a search plugin , it is very useful for improving every aspect of Firefox usage and affects your search capabilities also.It has numerous functionalities which enable you to :
-Move between different tabs absolutely easily .
-Use your mouse scroller to scan hundreds of tabs in a few seconds.
-Create your own mouse gestures to move back,forward,reload,stop and more…
- Infoaxe : This plugin enables you to automatically bookmark all the pages that you have browsed on all your computers..Means, that you don’t need to bookmark pages , and can access the history of all pages that you have bookmarked , on all your computers and all your browsers.The advantage of this history storage is that when you make Google searches, it shows you results from your web history on the right side (see image below) . Thus you are actually getting results served to you from the web pages that you have visited in the past.But there is a catch. You need to install their toolbar on all your computers and create an account on Infoaxe. I personally do not like installing new toolbars and therefore do not use this plugin.But those who do not have such inhibitions may find it quite useful.
- Google Preview : This plugin, though mentioned at the last, is one of the most popular and useful search plugin(with over 100,000 weekly downloads). It inserts preview images on the left side of Google results . It also shows popularity ranks of the websites alongwith so that you can immediately know whether you are opening a very popular site or not so popular one .