Firebug is one of the best Firefox plugins I’ve ever used and one that I don’t know how I lived without for so long. If you are new to web design, Firebug will really help you get a handle on how web pages are constructed and give you the information you need to tweak your own site to perfection.
What is Firebug?
Firebug unveils the code of any page on the internet and gives you access to a wealth of tools that will help you monitor and improve your own site. Here are some great ways it can help you better understand the web and improve your game as a webmaster.
1. HTML Code Visualize: Have you ever looked at a website and wondered how they put that page together? With Firebug installed all you need to do is click the Firebug icon and you’ll see the entire HTML code for that page revealed, so you can go line by line and look at the code on the page, how it functions, and how they did it.
2. Element Inspector: For newbie web designers, looking at all that code may be way too much information at once; what if you just want to look at one element on the page? You can use Firbug’s element inspector to hover over and click on elements of the web page, and those elements will be highlighted in the code, allowing you to look specifically at the parts of the page you want to see.
3. Multiple Layers: But HTML isn’t the only code you may want to know about. Firebug doesn’t just reveal the main code page, but it allows you to look at different layers of the code, like the CSS, DOM, as well as the layout parameters of certain objects on the page. For example, if you are trying to figure out what color is used in the headline text, use the element inspector to highlight a headline, then scroll through the style window to see the hex code for the color used on the element.
4. Search: Firebug makes it even easier to find specific code with its search feature. Type text into the search field and Firebug will highlight instances of that text in the code, allowing you to search for specific commands and keywords and their locations in the code.
5. Load Times: Why is your webpage taking so long to load? Open up the Net tab, load your page, and watch as Firebug measures how long each element on the page takes to load. Maybe your graphics are too big or maybe it’s time to switch hosting services. Without Firebug, you can only guess. If you are a newbie designer or a veteran web master, mastering these 5 Firebug features will give you quick and easy access to website code across the internet so you can diagnose, monitor, and gather information about your site and others quickly and easily. Give it a try yourself and let us know how its working for you!
Guest Post by Greg Bucksin