5 Firefox extensions that are changing the face of the web
As much as we love our favorite websites, there are probably a few that are, well, just plain ugly. Their content may be exactly what you need, but it can be difficult to navigate an overly cluttered layout or make sense of an ill-chosen color palette.
However, you don’t have to put up with poor web design. If your favorite browser is Firefox, there are a few extensions you can use to partially or completely change the look of any website. Some are more user-friendly, and some will require more sophisticated skills, like CSS coding.
We’ve tried every extension on this list and are confident that you’ll find one that meets 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 the theme of Firefox based on the time of day, so your browser and its content darkens 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 that it can automatically determine the ideal time for the change. But if you value your 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 do it too, as long as you enable an experimental option. What sets automaticDark apart is that you don’t have to stick with Dark Mode – there are 21 themes to choose from, including those built into Firefox.
It won’t affect the content of a website much, but changing your theme to a darker one in low-light conditions will help protect your eyes from strain.
Now, if you really want to do a web makeover, Stylebot is the way to go. This extension allows you to modify the code of a website and change characteristics 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 anything.
After installing this extension, each time you click on the Stylebot icon in the upper right corner of your browser, a sidebar with options will appear. Select the element of the website you want to edit (a title, body text, etc.), then return to the sidebar to see all the ways you can edit it.
The process can be a bit tedious because websites contain many different elements, but as long as you don’t delete your cache or open the website in secret mode, your changes will remain even after you close your browser.
If you know CSS (your smart cookie), go to the bottom of the Stylebot sidebar and skip to Coded fashion. There, you’ll get a clean canvas to do your thing and play with the site’s code to your heart’s content.
Right next to Code you will see the Magic tab, where you can activate readability mode. This will reduce a website to its most basic elements, removing ads, videos, and other distracting content. If you keep this feature, Firefox will remember your choice and each time you click on an article on this website, you will automatically get the lite version.
Another benefit of Readability mode is that you can also apply light, dark, and sepia themes, change things like font, text width, and line height, and use a slider to apply a grayscale layer. to the page to reduce contrast.
Stylus allows you to install themes on your favorite websites. You can make even the most understated media look like a cute kawaii shop. You can also create your own templates, but you’ll need to know some CSS to do so.
If coding isn’t your thing, you can stick to the community archive browsing themes. Choose your favorite and install it by clicking on the Install with stylus button.
Stylus isn’t as intuitive as Stylebot, but it has plenty of themes to choose from, and even some fun random stuff like this Nyan Cat progress bar for YouTube, which may be worth downloading this extension on its own.
Tranquility Reader transforms web pages into more readable interfaces. It removes most images, as well as all ads, videos, and other elements that might distract you when trying to read an article online.
If you think it doesn’t look all that different from the view of Firefox’s built-in player, you’re right, it doesn’t. However, we found that Tranquility Reader does a much better job of deciding which elements of the page to keep (the main image and all body text) and which to get rid of.
Another feature that sets Tranquility Reader apart is the fact that it’s a quick switch that you can turn on and off at any time without having to refresh the page.
The name of this extension pretty much says it all: make YouTube better! is a comprehensive extension that allows you to change much of the interface of the video platform, from the color of the player to which side of the screen is the list of recommended videos.
[Related: Why YouTube is hiding dislikes on videos]
The best part is that this extension is intuitive and super easy to use. Simply click on its icon in the upper right corner of your browser and select one of the categories you want to edit: you can choose between Player, Themes, Appearance, and more. Click on one and you will see all the items you can edit. Most of them use drop-down menus, toggle switches, or sliders, so it’s easy to see what they’re doing and undo the change if needed.
Improve YouTube! also has a number of themes you can apply to Google’s video site, so if you just want a splash of color, you can easily swap out the black, white, and red palette for your favorite hues.