The great thing about browsers like Chrome and Firefox is that they’re simple and lightweight out of the box, but they have endless add-ons and extensions to customize them exactly how you want. You can use the options and tools you need, but your browser isn’t cluttered with buttons and features you don’t want. Here’s a run-down of my favorite add-ons and extensions so far. But they are only the beginning — when you start searching, the options are nearly limitless! What are your favorite extensions?
Chrome extensions are per-profile, so I can have web developing extensions in my work profile and an Amazon wish list extension in my personal profile. (Have I mentioned how handy Google Chrome’s user profiles are?!)
Extensions are easy to install (click here for detailed directions): just click the “Add to Chrome” button.
- RSS Subscription Extension (by Google)
one-click access to subscribe via RSS
- Google Reader Notifier (by Google)
in case you really want to remember how many unread posts you have
- Google Mail Checker (by Google)
shows you new message notifications at the top of your browser
(or there’s Checker Plus for Gmail if you want more than just notification of new messages)
because I don’t Tweet without this handy little tool
handy little tool that automatically keeps track of how much time I spend on my top-visited websites, even giving me a graph I can share to keep me accountable
- Add to Amazon Wish List
because it makes it easy to wish
- World Clocks
it’s display options aren’t as nice as FoxClocks, but it works until I find a better one
displays an easy-to-find Print button in the taskbar (otherwise, printing is a right-click)
- Print Selection
easily print any selected text from the right-click menu
- IE Tab
Use a website with features that will only work in Internet Explorer? You still never have to leave Chrome, thanks to this extension!
Distraction-free reading — eliminate the ads and sidebars of any blog or website in just one click so you can focus only on the text.
- Read Later Fast
save posts or pages to read later
- Stay Focused
limit yourself to an allotted amount of browsing per day for time-wasting websites
- Nanny for Google Chrome
just in case you need to block Facebook during your work day
- Screen Capture (by Google)
useful in so many different ways, especially if you still have Windows XP with no “Snipping Tool”
Chrome Extensions for Bloggers & Web Designers
not quite as user-friendly as Windows Live Writer—especially for images–but it’s definitely an option, especially if you don’t have Windows!
- WordPress.com Extension
keep track of your notifications and easily start a new blog post on WordPress.com
grab the hex code for any color on any website
- FireBug Lite for Chrome
though Chrome’s “inspect element” works for almost everything
- Speed Tracer
I have yet to explore its depths yet, but it looks amazing!
- Yast—The World’s Easiest Time Tracker
I’m going to experiment with this for timing my web design jobs.
Want more? Check out these ideas from Mashable:
- 10 Free Google Chrome Apps for Increased Productivity
- 5 Chrome Extensions That Improve Google+
- Top 10 Google Chrome Plugins for Small Businesses
- 10 Essential Chrome Extensions for Web Developers
- 8 of the Best Chrome Extensions for Web Designers
- Top 5 Google Chrome Extensions for Bloggers
Firefox takes a few more clicks to install an add-on than Chrome does, but it’s still pretty simple (click here for detailed directions): just follow the on-screen directions after you click the “Add to Firefox” button.
- Adblock Plus
a robust adblocker
- Adblock Plus Pop-up Addon
blocks pop-ups better than Firefox does
- Element Hiding Helper for Adblock Plus
hide those text-based ads on Facebook and Gmail
shows current time zones along with their country’s flag for easy identification
- Amazon Wish List
easy as pie to wish for something
again, I don’t Tweet without it
adds Swagbucks as an option in your search box drop-down
- IE Tab Plus
visit websites that work only in IE without leaving Firefox
Firefox Extensions for Bloggers & Web Designers
- FireFTP (and FireFTP Button)
the only thing I miss about Chrome
fabulous tool for website designers
A few more ideas?
- 5 Firefox Add-Ons for Increasing Productivity (from Mashable)
Looking for Safari extensions?
I don’t use Safari enough to know what extensions I’d need, let alone want. But check out Mashable’s article:
Top 10 Safari Plugins and Extensions for Better Productivity