5 Firefox Extensions Changing the Face of the Web
As much as we love our favorite websites, there are probably a few that are just downright ugly. Your content may be exactly what you need, but it can be difficult to navigate an overly busy layout or make sense of a poorly chosen color palette.
However, you don’t have to put up with bad web design. If your browser of choice is Firefox, there are some extensions that allow you to partially or completely change the look of any website. Some are more user-friendly and others require more sophisticated skills like CSS coding.
We’ve tried every extension on this list and we’re confident you’ll find one that suits your needs.
Of all the extensions on this list, AutomaticDark is by far the simplest, but it can still be incredibly useful. This tool changes Firefox’s theme depending on the time of day, making your browser and its content go dark along with the outside world.
[Related: 5 browser extensions that will keep you from drowning in tabs]
You can share your location with the extension so it can automatically determine the perfect time to switch. If you value privacy, you can also set the time manually.
But going from dark to light and back again is not a revolutionary feat. Macs have had this feature built in for a long time, and the Chrome app for Android can too, as long as you enable an experimental option. What sets automaticDark apart is that you don’t have to stick to dark mode – there are 21 themes to choose from, including Firefox’s built-in ones.
This doesn’t affect the content of a website very much, but changing your theme to a darker theme in low light conditions will help protect your eyes from strain.
Well, if you really want to do a web makeover, Stylebot is the way to go. With this extension, you can tweak a website’s code and change properties such as font, text color, background color, and text alignment. The best part is that you don’t need to know how to code to do this.
After installing this extension, a sidebar with options will appear every time you click on the Stylebot icon in the top right corner of your browser. Select the element of the site you want to change – a headline, body text, etc. – then go back to the sidebar to see all the ways you can tweak it.
The process can be a bit tedious as websites contain many different elements, but as long as you don’t clear your cache or open the website in secret mode, your changes will remain even after you close your browser.
If you know CSS (you Smart Cookie), go to the bottom of the Stylebot sidebar and switch to code Mode. There you get a clean canvas to do your thing and play around with the site’s code as you please.
Right next to Code you will see the magic Tab where you can activate readability mode. This strips a website down to its more basic elements, removing ads, videos, and other distracting content. If you leave this feature on, Firefox will remember your choices and every time you click on an article on this site, you’ll automatically get the stripped down version of it.
Another benefit of the readability mode is that you can also apply light, dark, and sepia themes, tweak things like the font, text width, and line height, and use a slider to apply a grayscale layer to the page to reduce contrast.
With Stylus you can install themes on your favorite websites – you can make even the most sober news outlet look like a cute kawaii shop. You can also create your own templates, but you need to have some knowledge of CSS to do this.
If coding isn’t your thing, you can stick to browsing topics from the community archive. Choose your favorite and install it by clicking Install with stylus Button.
Stylus isn’t as intuitive as Stylebot, but it has plenty of themes to choose from and even fun, random elements like this Nyan Cat YouTube progress bar that might be worth downloading this extension for.
Tranquility Reader turns web pages into more readable interfaces. It removes most of the images, as well as all ads, videos and other elements that might distract you while trying to read any article online.
If you’re thinking that’s not that different from Firefox’s built-in Reading View, you’re right – it’s not. However, we’ve found that Tranquility Reader is much better at choosing which elements of the page to keep (the main image and all body text) and which to remove.
Another feature that makes Tranquility Reader stand out is the fact that it’s a quick toggle that you can toggle on and off at any time without having to refresh the page.
The name of this extension says it all: Enhance YouTube! is a comprehensive extension that allows you to tweak a whole lot of the video platform’s interface – from the color of the player to the side of the screen where the list of recommended videos is located.
[Related: Why YouTube is hiding dislikes on videos]
The best part is that this extension is intuitive and super easy to use. Just click on the icon in the upper right corner of your browser and select one of the categories you want to optimize: you can choose between player, subjects, The appearance, and more. Click on one and you will see all the items that you can edit. Most of them use drop down menus, toggles or sliders so you can easily see what they are doing and undo the change if needed.
Improve YouTube! also has a bunch of themes you can apply to Google’s video site. So if you just want a pop of color, you can simply swap out the black, white, and red palette for your favorite shades.