Tech Insight : Some Unmissable Chrome Extensions

In this tech insight, we look at what Chrome extensions are and how to access them, then we look at 10 examples of popular and useful Chrome extensions.

What Are Chrome Extensions?

Extensions for Google’s Chrome browser are software programs, built using technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript that give Chrome more functionality and enable the user to customise their Chrome browsing experience.

Adding Extensions

Chrome users can add extensions by visiting the Chrome Web Store, finding and selecting the extension they want, and clicking on ‘Add to Chrome.’ It is worth noting that even though they are in the Chrome Store, there may still be a security risk from extensions and users should only approve extensions that they trust.

10 Top Chrome Extensions

Here are 10 examples of popular Chrome extensions and what they do:

1. Sidebar

The ‘Sidebar’ apps and bookmark manager extension puts a user’s bookmarks on the side of the screen. This convenient arrangement means that users can much more easily and quickly organise the websites they want to save without having to open a new tab. It can also help users to cut down on the bookmarks that they probably no longer need, thereby saving time in accessing the important ones.

2. Grammarly

Grammarly, as the name suggests, is a writing assistant that offers more than the usual spellcheck. Grammarly helps users to improve the quality of their writing and content by helping to spot and eliminate writing errors and find better words to express what users are trying to say. This extension also gives real-time feedback on Gmail, Google Docs, Twitter, LinkedIn and other programs and platforms, making it a very flexible tool.

3. Email Finder

The Email Finder extension offers a fast and convenient way to build leads and gather business contact information. Email Finder allows the user to find and instantly check and verify all email addresses associated with a domain.

4. GMass

The ‘GMass’ extension is an easy mass email and mail merge system for Gmail. It allows personalisation, scheduling, and tracks opens and clicks. This means that it could be a valuable, easy to access email marketing tool.

5. MozBar

MozBar is a handy SEO toolbar extension that provides users with instant metrics while viewing any page or SERP. The value is that users can quickly assess the SEO aspects of their own and competitors’ web pages (SEO, Page Authority and Domain Authority), as well as being able to quickly compare link metrics across pages in the SERPs, which can all give SEO pointers that could improve the user’s own search engine rankings.

6. vidIQ Vision for YouTube

The ‘vidIQ Vision for YouTube’ extension gives users fast insights and real-time analytics for the performance of their YouTube channel. This enables users to optimise and stay on top of the management of a YouTube channel, something which is often forgotten and left in the background by many businesses.

7. WhatFont

WhatFont is a handy and helpful extension for web designers, marketers, and developers because it identifies the font on a web page, html font size, colour, and font family.

8. Awesome Screenshot & Screen Recorder

The ‘Awesome Screenshot & Screen Recorder’ extension is a screen recorder and screen capture and annotation tool that’s good for remote work. It is ad-free, easy to use, and can help with all kinds of situations such as the need to develop teaching materials/tutorials, or even reporting technical issues.

9. Lastpass

LastPass is an award-winning password manager which the saves the user’s passwords and gives the user secure access from every computer and mobile device. LastPass is a very convenient and time-saving extension because it saves all passwords, addresses, credit cards and more in a secure vault, and automatically fills in the information when it is needed.

10. HTTPS Everywhere

HTTPS Everywhere protects users from issues such as surveillance and account hijacking while browsing by automatically switching thousands of sites from insecure “http” to secure “https”. The extension was created by EFF and the Tor Project, both of which are associated with anonymity and privacy technologies.

What Does This Mean For Your Business?

Chrome is by far the most popular web browser and it makes sense to use the many already existing extensions available to help tackle business challenges more quickly and efficiently and improve productivity. Some caution is needed to minimise the chances of compromising security when choosing extension(s i.e., by only downloading ones that are/look as though they must be trustworthy). Extensions are handy, can add value, and can save costs when compared to buying programs that provide similar functions where all the features would not be used anyway.

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