Which Web Browser is the Best

This is more involved than just picking one for me. I converted to using Firefox exclusively years ago. And this had been a perfect solution for me up until last year.

Firefox has a couple of plug-ins that I just can’t live without. Firebug and IE Tab. Many times I will use Firebug to dig into other websites to see how they are building their pages or what technology it is based on. IE tab is a great way to verify cross browser compatibility when developing a site.  I have found if I just build my UI in Firefox it is usually only a few steps away in IE, however the reverse is almost never true. IE tab also allows me to run my Windows Home Server (WHS) in several tabs. This results in running multiple Remote Desktop Sessions (RDP) some physical some virtual.

I found that as I became more involved with good front end web site construction that without firebug you are just wasting your time. Another power feature for Firefox was the ability to clear private data quickly. You can set this up under options -> privacy -> clear private data. A couple of hints: I turn off confirmation and pre-select what items to clear when using the quick keys ctrl+shift+del.

When monkeying with css and JavaScript I just need to clear the cache. Everything else I leave intact.

When working with session data or login credentials I clear cookies.

Big downfall of this was that I would always get logged out of any of the accounts I was logged into, including the remote desktop sessions in my Firefox IE Tabs. Yes I know you can clear cookies per domain in Firefox but it is not as quick when you are making rapid changes to a site.

Enter chrome: I installed it when it first came out but without plug-ins and the simple interface I didn’t see the point. However now I found a purpose, I could use chrome to stay logged into all of my accounts when doing web development with Firefox. Over time I have really started to like chrome, it is fast, clean and simple. Further as I have added a second monitor at both home and work I now see a perfect use for removable tabs in chrome. Sometime I need to look at Gmail and my Google calendar or a Google doc at the same time…simple drag a tab out to the second monitor. When I am done I can either just close it or shove it back into chrome on the original monitor.

Now if you paid attention you will notice one hitch in this solution…WHS and RDP sessions. There are no IE tabs in chrome and you can not install active x controls in chrome (thankfully). Re-enter Internet Explorer. If I left these in Firefox I would drop all of my sessions when clearing cookies (sometimes I have 3 going at the same time).  As usual IE is painfully slow just opening new tabs and I just can’t use it for regular use but great for WHS/RDP.

So now to complete my trilogy I use Chrome for login accounts like Twitter, Facebook, Gmail, Tr.im, Stackoverflow, Pandora to name a few. Firefox to work on web UI (css/JavaScript) and to lookup anything I am researching. And begrudgingly I use IE8 to run my WHS/RPD sessions; occasionally I will view my pages to make sure they are ok in IE 7/8.

So which browser is the best, as usual it depends.  But I have given you some solid info on my strategy so maybe it will help you make an informed decision.

One thought on “Which Web Browser is the Best

  1. Well, I don’t have to use WHS so I’ve completely dumped IE and I use Firefox, I do have opera installed and have tried chrome as well but some of the addons of Firefox can’t be replaced and you can’t find them in other browsers, btw you said you use Chrome for your social life, I think it’s a good idea as it’s a pretty light one but I’ve one more social browser and thats Flock which is based on Firefox.

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