Each of the main browsers on the market has the capability to add in extra features and functions through the form of add-ons (sometimes known as extensions or plugins).
As a Tester these add-ons are invaluable at helping you gain insight as you test. There are too many to list here, but I’ve included some of my favourites here for the popular browser Firefox.
(Note: the URLs sometimes changes and some of these extensions come and go. If the link doesn’t work a quick search should find it)
Fast becoming an industry standard tool. This is the IDE version.
Visit http://seleniumhq.org/ for more information on other tools in the set like Selenium Grid.
Flips your Firefox tab in to Internet Explorer mode.
Re-sizes your window to different screen sizes
Allows you to see and manage cookies through the Firebug add-on.
Social bookmarking add-on.
Never lose a site of interest again and share them with the community too.
Perfect for bookmarking testing sites, information, snippets and blogs.
Clears out the cache within the browser at the click of a button.
Copy Plain Text
Copies any text from the browser in to a plain text format losing all formatting.
Firefox add-on for integrating with fiddler (a debugging tool).
Shows your downloads in a toolbar at the bottom of the browser window.
Keeps it nice and tidy and easy access to your downloads.
Allow you to save your bookmarks and sync them between browsers on different machines. Works across browsers too. This is great if you test on several different machines. It means you can save your bookmarks once and find them on other browsers you have synched.
W3C Page Validator
Check your page against W3C standards and compliance.
Great for screen mocks and notes.
Does exactly as the name suggests
Restarts Firefox maintaining all tabs and open docs when it launches it again.
How can you test websites without this one?
Regular Expressions Tester
Tool for testing and creating regular expressions.
Quick Locale Switcher
Good extension allowing for quick switching between browser locales.
Good tool for analyzing the http traffic through your browser.
Accessibility checking tool. Awesome.
Firefox Accessibility Tools
Accessibility compliance checking tool.
This is barely scratching the surface but you can already start to imagine how useful some of these would be for your testing. Add-ons allow you to be more efficient with your time, perform tests you might normally not be able to and allow you to let the tools do the hard work.
These are obviously for Firefox, but some of these also exist for Chrome and other browsers.
Open Firefox > Tools > Add-ons > Extensions and then search for, and download each add-on. (or copy and paste the links above)
Each tool will work in different ways but the documentation on the site is normally pretty good.
Did you know you could make Firefox quicker to load? Do the following (only really for those with broadband):
- Type “about:config” into the address bar and press return
- Say “yes” to the “I’ll be careful” message
- Create a new Integer by right clicking and then choosing New > Integer.
- Call it “nglayout.initialpaint.delay”
- Set it’s value to “0” (this will now tell Firefox to wait for zero seconds before acting on the information it is receiving)
- Type “network.http” in the filter field
- Set “network.http.pipelining” to “true” (Double click to switch the value)
- Set “network.http.proxy.pipelining” to “true” (Double click to switch the value)
- Set “network.http.pipelining.maxrequests” to a number. (Double click to edit) Try setting it to 20. (This number is the number of requests the browser can make at one time)
Main extensions website for Firefox – https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/extensions/
Chrome extensions – https://chrome.google.com/webstore/category/extensions/
Opera extensions – https://addons.opera.com/en/addons/extensions/
Safari extensions – http://extensions.apple.com/
Cool hacks to Firefox like making it quicker – http://www.lifehack.org/articles/technology/15-coolest-firefox-tricks-ever.html
If you want to talk Testing – catch me later this year at EuroSTAR conference.