As some of you who follow my Twitter feed or Facebook page will already know, I’ve recently switched to Google Chrome. I’ve been reluctant to switch from Firefox for a long time purely because of my huge admiration for Firebug and the Web Developer Toolbar, however that’s all changed thanks to the Google Chrome Extensions in this post.
Google Chrome Extensions
Firebug for Google Chrome isn’t quite up to a par with the Firefox version but the beta version isn’t that far off. I’ve also not found a way to see the line number in the CSS which would be really useful but it’s certainly not a reason for me to continue using Firefox anymore.
The Firefox Web Developer Toolbar was one of the first extensions I used for Firefox and was a great tool for debugging problems. I don’t use it as much since the release of Firebug but it still has some useful features. Pendule for Google Chrome does replicate some of these features and especially useful is the ability to switch off images and CSS so this is another must have tool for any web designer using Chrome.
Unfortunately one of the things missing from Pendule is the ability to resize the browser window to a specific size at the click of a button. However, the Resolution Test extension makes that easy and also allows you to launch a number of browser window sizes in separate windows which is a pretty nice feature.
I was using Fireshot within Firefox to quickly take screenshots but the Webpage Screenshot extension provides the same functionality for Google Chrome and in my opinion is a little more usable.
I previously used Xmarks within Firefox so having this available in Chrome was a bonus. Xmarks simply allows you to synchronise bookmarks across different computers and different browsers which is very useful if you want to bookmark something at work and then have it available on your home PC or laptop.
I’ve been using Tweet Deck for most of my Twitter updates but having this available quickly and easily from within my web browser is extremely handy.
I use Remember the Milk as a daily task list. I’ve previously been using the desktop app but having an extension within the browser itself is a little time saver. You’ll need to register for free on the Remember the Milk website but if managing your tasks across different PCs or mobile devices would be useful for you then this is definitely something to consider.
The Eye Dropper extension is a simple colour picker which allows you to select any area on a web page to see what colour is being used.
Most designers will use latin text within an initial design before the content has been written and this simple extension quickly launches a new tab containing latin text. You can specify number of words per paragraph and number of paragraphs very easily to quickly create that placeholder text.
This extension adds a little icon to the toolbar which notifies you if you have any email in your gmail account. Clicking it will jump to your gmail tab if you already have gmail open or will launch a new tab if you don’t, simple but a little bit of a time saver for checking your email.
Useful little tool for viewing number of pages indexed by the major search engines, number of backlinks, traffic, bookmarks on social media sites and few other useful snippets of information. Obviously it’s not the total solution to SEO but a nice summary of information.
This probably shouldn’t really make it onto a useful extension for web developers but I find it useful so thought I’d share it anyway. It’s basically just a mini version of Google Maps that pops up from your toolbar which you can use to look at a location or get directions from one place to another. Again it’s not a huge time saver but having a little icon that you can click to quickly launch Google Maps without even having to launch a new tab is pretty cool.
Any good SEO expert will tell you that purely chasing PageRank isn’t a good SEO strategy but it’s still something that I like to have at hand. This extension simply provides a small bar that provides PageRank information.
I’m sure that there’s many more extensions that can provide value to web designers so please feel free to share any other ones that I’ve missed off the list in the comments below.
I’d also be interested to hear if you’ve switched to Google Chrome or your reasons for using your current browser?