I recently realized that my core set of Chrome browser add-ons that I have been using for many years has morphed and changed over the years. Yesterday, I wiped one of my laptops to reinstall a fresh operating system and during the process of re-setting up my work environment, it occurred to me that many of the addons I used to use… I no longer need or use. So this post is to hopefully help other freelance web developers find new and useful tools for your browser.
The first addon is one that has stuck around forever. Different users may prefer different options but I’m a big user of the Web Developer addon by Chris Pederick. It gives me all the tweaks and tools I need to quickly analyze and manipulate a site.
Security and encryption with some of my communication are very important and due to my transient nature of my work (floating between multiple computers and locations) I don’t really have a “desktop encryption” setup. Instead I use the Mailvelope browser addon to generate and exchange encryption keys to protect my web-based email.
Because of my need to share my screen and record it for other users to watch at times when I’m not online, or to record a webinar for upload to a video sharing site, normally I would use Screenflow when I’m on my Mac. But I also do a bunch of work on Chromebooks so I need an option that works solely within a browser. So that is where Screencastify comes into play. It allows me to record my screen, a browser tab, or my camera, along with audio from my microphone or browser.
I would be lost without my Full Page Screen Capture addon that “gobbles” up an entire page (it doesn’t matter how long the page is) and outputs a single image file. This is so helpful when dealing with clients and being able to grab an image of the site AS IS without any cut/paste issues.
I’ve only recently come back to an oldie but goodie. I have found that once again, Pocket works well in within my workflow to grab content, posts, ideas, that I want to look at again at a later time into a simple (and fast) collection method.
I no longer use Ad Block Plus or any of those ad blocking plugins that because so popular. I now use uBlock Origin which seems to be a much better and faster solution.
I have tried so many different “screengrab”-style add-ons, plugins, applications and finally settled on Gyazo. It works with how I do my work and the benefits of the premium version (at only $2.99/month) work perfectly for me.
There are several other add-ons that I use mainly on Chromebooks in order to extend the functionality I need since they are installed through Chrome.
- Caret – Almost the perfect replacement for Sublime Text on a Chromebook.
- Chrome Remote Desktop – Allows me to connect and work on any of my computers when I’m away.
- CIRC – When I’m using my Chromebooks and I need a solid IRC solution I use CIRC.
- PlutoTV – Just keeps getting better and a solid solution for TV cable cord-cutters who don’t want to spend ANY money. (It is free!)
- Secure Shell – Sometimes I just need to quickly SSH into an environment and this fits the bill.
And before you get too worried, yes, I also have a number of the Google add-ons that cover things like Google Drive, Google Talk, Google Docs, Play Movies, Play Music, etc installed since I use most of those tools on a daily basis.
So… what do YOU install on Chrome to make it work better for you?