So here is another brief sub-post to my How To Start an Ecommerce Website Series
Make Firefox 6.01 look and Act like Google Chrome
This is an issue I noticed before but have not wanted to deal with. I was correct in assuming it would be very annoying but there are some great benefits.
Firefox plugins are generally much better than Chrome. As a developer, you may want to use Firebug (the most popular and useful development tool for look/feel design of websites. Firebug only works in Firefox. As an SEO you may want to use SEOquake – and the Firefox Version is much easier to use than the Chrome version. With KeePass for storing passwords, Using the plugin KeeFox works flawless, whereas the Chrome equivalent was very buggy.
This stems from the fact that Firefox is really Open Source. Chrome claims to have some kind of open source functionality through something called Chromium, but in actuality that’s not really how things work.
So the dilemma is this: I prefer Chrome in many ways, but I figured it might be possible to “fix” the issues I have with Firefox, since overall I believe Firefox to be a superior browser.
Fixing the Address Bar to do a Search in Google
This is a bit trickier for me since I am writing from China through a Proxy server. The solution was made easy by Installing the Foobar add-on. This transforms your Address bar into a Google Search similar to Chrome.
Fixing the Layout
Firefox is VERY busy, whereas chrome is sleek and minimal. First I added the Movable Firefox Button. This allowed me to move the bright orange Firefox down from the top left corner, into the position where the Google Wrench is located.
I then Right Clicked the Firefox button, navigated to Options, then Toolbar Layout.
I removed the Google search bar, having replaced that functionality with the address bar. I re-arranged everything to my liking. Moved the Stop/Reload button to the left hand side, set my bookmarks bar to be below the address bar, and moved my plugins into place to the right of my address bar (left of the firefox button).
Next, I added a skin to make the appearance more like Chrome – I found one that slims things down a lot which is my favorite feature of Chrome. Shine Bright Was the best option I could find for this. While it’s not 100% perfect it’s pretty good. Below you can view my screen-shots to view the results side by side:
Now that you see how to make it look basically the same, you need to change a few more things to get the functionality to work the same.
Changing the way Firefox Tabs work to act like Chrome
I have seldom felt like more of a geek for caring about something so silly, but I can’t believe how annoyed I was by how the tab system works in Firefox. I pictured my parents listening to me complain about all the issues I have with tabbed browsing in Firefox, and realized they probably hadn’t even realized there could *possibly* be that many problems with something so simple. They would have just learned to accept the system “as-is” and move on with their lives.
Well not me. And apparently not a LOT of other people. For the last step in the process of converting Firefox into Google Chrome, you will need to join 1 million+ people and download Tab Mix Plus.
This program actually handled all of my issues with Firefox Tabs – but it took a few adjustments to the settings.
First, install the plug-in and pull up the options menu. Then:
(1) Go to “Events – Tab Opening” check “Open tabs next to current one” (Check it in both places). Under the second, put a check next to “Change opening order.” Also check “Open duplicated tabs next to original.
(2) Go to “Display – Tab Bar” Set “New tab button” to “After Last tab.” Set position to “Top (Above Content).” Set “When tabs don’t fit width” to “scrollable, with buttons on right side.”
The way tabs scroll is ridiculously bothersome to me. As you can see in the image above, I normally have a LOT of tabs open. The Firefox, Scrollable tab bar is so annoying since it only shows a very small number of tabs. Scrolling is annoying!
To fix this, next navigate to the “Tab” tab under “Display.” There you can set the “Tab width.” Make it 30-250 and you will achieve the same functionality as Chrome, where tabs just keep getting smaller and smaller as you add more.
(3) Another benefit to Tab Mix Plus is you can now click on a tab, and open a new tab right next to it. In Chrome I used this feature all the time. In Firefox for some reason all new tabs would always open at the end. With the adjustment we did at the beginning you should have fixed this problem. However you will want to make sure Under the “Menu” button, “Tab Context Menu” you have a check next to “new tab.”
This will allow you to right click an open tab in Firefox and add a new tab immediately to the right.
There are loads of other options in Tabs Mix Plus and loads of other add-ons to Firefox. If you know anything good, leave me a comment.