Building Better Websites with Web Browser Plugins for Developers

The websites we browse through on the Internet everyday do not just spawn right out of the ether and emerge as fully-functional web systems. These websites are the product of months of hard work by a dedicated team of web developers and designers, putting together the logical foundations of the website, translating them into programming code, and sticking an attractive and catchy design aspect to them to make it appealing to the eyes of the Internet user. Indeed, the websites of today owe the miracles that they can do to the countless web developers that strive to build a better Internet for the world.

Developing a website would be an otherwise arduous and cumbersome if not for the assistance of our very own web browser to help give developers an idea how the website would look like if deployed to the Internet. Many web developers today consider web browsers as an essential debugging tool and has even augmented it with specific plugins and extensions that target web development as a whole!

Turning the web browser to a programming implement

Add-ons such as Mozilla Firefox’s Firebug extension are just part of a suite of web browser plugins that have been separately developed and installed on web browsers with the sole purpose of assisting web developers in creating better websites in a more efficient manner. Web developers who have not started making use of these tools might find these features attractive and useful for their own web projects:

  • Javascript / Client-side script debugging – while most web browsers have a built-in means of detecting scripting errors during a website’s runtime, these plugins extend that feature to a more comprehensive level, actually displaying the “traceback” or cause of such problems and attributing it to the part of the code that has made the issue for easier tracking and correction. It also sports a debugging console that can be used to verify if certain scripts are working as intended.
  • On-the-fly design tweaking – designers often have headaches when checking if a site’s layout is according to specifications down to the very last pixel and color. This is true especially for remote designers locked in VoIP (learn more about VoIP phone systems) conferences and just looking at what the web browser in their computers is presenting. With developer plugins, they can tweak with the design aspect of the site from their browser and watch how it affects the site’s look and feel overall without actually changing the site’s codes!
  • Exposing hidden website variables – as browsers are designed for general public use, it does not trifle much with certain pieces of information that will not be relevant to the common user. To a web developer, however, every variable and element that is passed around in a website’s runtime become of paramount importance when verifying features and functionalities, and developer plugins help expose those hidden pieces of information, allowing developers to better see the server content being fed to the web browser itself.

The next generation of web development

As more tools become available to web developers to ease the effort of building websites, it will be apparent that web browser extensions will play a huge role in the creation of better, more efficient, and less error-prone websites that can continue upholding its standards of quality and excellence to the World Wide Web. If you’re a web developer or designer and have not considered incorporating such a plugin in your browser for use in development, now might be a good time to get one!

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