Tue

20

Jan

2015

10 Favorite Free Google Chrome Extensions

On its own, Google Chrome is an incredible internet browser, and one that you should definitely consider using if you don't already. Once you have Chrome (it's free to download and use), there are thousands of different “extensions” you can add. These are little tools, mostly free, that give you added superpowers when using the web. Best of all, you don’t need any sort of expertise to install them or use them.

 

10 Google Chrome Extensions We Love
Personally, I use these extensions for all sorts of things; better shopping, productivity, bookmarking, email. If you’re poking along in an old browser, don’t settle for good enough. Add these extensions to your version of Chrome and supercharge your experience online.

 

How to install a Google Chrome extension


“Install” makes it sounds way more complicated than it is. Basically all you have to do is find the extension you want in the Chrome Webstore, click on the blue button (free extensions will say “+Free”) and follow the instructions. Some extensions will work behind the scenes, while others will be available as little icons to the right of your toolbar.

 

Seriously, though...update that browser! If you don't have Chrome or another modern browser like Firefox yet, consider some of my reasons for upgrading: security, speed, better features, and a better overall experience surfing the web.

 

Additionally, web applications like Jimdo use advanced technologies that require modern browsers to work correctly. By having an updated browser, you’ll ensure that you’re able to edit your website, recover your password if you forget it, and have a great experience as you build the website of your dreams.

 

Once you download Chrome, remember to use it by making it your default browser:
  1. Open Chrome and click the menu on the far right of the toolbar (it looks like three vertical lines)
  2. Select Settings
  3. Scroll down to the Default Browser section and click "Make Google Chrome the default browser."

Free Chrome extensions for productivity


Chrome Extensions All the little icons for my Chrome extensions are ready to go in my toolbar.

1. LastPass


Online security nowadays is just as important as locking your home upon leaving for the day. On the other hand, remembering a different password with weird characters for each of your online accounts is also nearly impossible. No more! LastPass helps you come up with randomly generated, military-grade passwords that will keep you safe as you navigate the internet. And the best part is that LastPass saves these passwords so that you don’t have to. Next time you visit your Jimdo site to log in, simply enter your LastPass master password, and LastPass will take care of logging in for you.

 

Read more: Everything You Need to Know About Password Security

 

2. Pocket


I love reading blogs! And I hope you’re enjoying the Jimdo Blog as well. Next time you see an article that you like, but don’t have time to read it immediately, use Pocket to save it for later. Try it now: follow the link to download the extension, log in to your account (or sign up), and then click on the Pocket icon while you are on this page to save this article for later. Because Pocket is an online service, you can simply log in to your account from any other device to keep reading saved articles. My favorite feature, though, is their mobile app, which can save a local copy of any article, and it strips out everything but the text so that you can read it in a clean interface.

 

Chrome Extension Pocket With a single click, Pocket helps me save articles to read later on.

3. AdBlock Plus


Advertisements on the web can sometimes be intrusive and can potentially ruin your experience online. AdBlock Plus is the perfect solution for those websites that have an overwhelming number of ads by removing them automatically upon visiting those sites. However, with great power comes great responsibility. Keep in mind that some websites’ revenue comes solely from selling ad space, and if you choose to block those ads, that website will not be compensated. If you frequent a list of websites, consider enabling the ads on those sites to show your support and help pay for their services.

 

Free Chrome extensions for email


4. Checker Plus for Gmail


Aside from having a remarkable web browser, Google also has the best email service around. However, constantly navigating away from your task at hand to check email can put a dent in your productivity. Enter Checker Plus for Gmail. Jason Savard has created one of the most flexible extensions around, allowing you to choose how you’d like incoming emails to be displayed. Whenever a new message comes, Checker Plus for Gmail will flash a box with a notification of what just arrived. From there, you can choose to read the email, archive it, or to simply trash it. There are a myriad options to explore in this extension.

 

5. KeyRocket for Gmail


While on the topic of Gmail, here’s another extension that will make you more productive when it comes to the ever increasing task that is email. Did you know that there are a ton of keyboard shortcuts that can help you fly through your email? They exist, but sometimes it’s hard to remember them. KeyRocket for Gmail turns you into a keyboard ninja by giving you a hint whenever you don’t use keyboard shortcuts. For example, if you click on the Inbox label to see your inbox, KeyRocket for Gmail reminds you that you can use g + i to go to your inbox instead.

 

6. Boomerang for Gmail

Boomerang lets you choose exactly when to send an email, even if you won't be there to do it. Just set it and forget it. Boomerang lets you choose exactly when to send an email, even if you won't be there to do it. Just set it and forget it.

The last Chrome extension for Gmail in this list is Boomerang for Gmail. Just as a real-life boomerang leaves and returns, Boomerang for Gmail can make it so that you’re reminded about a certain email at a later time. But my favorite feature is the ability to schedule emails to be sent out at a later date. For example, you can go on vacation and schedule an email to be sent out to your boss Monday morning, explaining that you’ve caught a cold and need some time to rest. Not that we would ever do that, of course...

 

Free Chrome extensions for shopping


7. Smile Always


Last year, Amazon began a new initiative to give back to charities through its AmazonSmile Program. In essence, whenever a purchase is made through AmazonSmile, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the entire order to charity. I may be forgetful, so Smile Always makes sure that I’m redirected to the "smile.amazon.com" link whenever I visit the regular site. This way, the charity of my choice can benefit whenever I shop on Amazon.

 

8. Honey


Forget waiting for coupons to arrive in the Sunday edition of the newspaper. Honey expedites the process of finding coupon codes for online services by doing it all on its own. Simply visit a site that is supported by Honey, click on the “Apply coupons” button that appears on the site, and then sit back as Honey goes to work finding awesome online deals. As of press time, Honey has saved me more than $150 from various online stores, and it continues to be one of my favorite free Chrome extensions. Just last month, I saved $50 when I booked a hotel!

 

Free Chrome extensions for design


9. Font Face Ninja


Font Face Ninja Love the look of a certain font on your favorite website? Font Face Ninja will tell you what it is and what size and spacing they're using.

Helvetica, Lobster, Comic Sans—these are just three fonts that are easily recognizable at a glance. Font Face Ninja is a godsend for those times when you see a stylish font, but don’t quite know what it’s called. Simply click the extension’s icon and then hover over any text on any website to see some properties of that font. See what font that text is using, how big it is, and how much vertical and horizontal space it’s using.

Jimdo users: Did you know that the entire Google web fonts directory is available for your Jimdo website? So if you see a Google font you like using Font Face Ninja, you can use it on your own site. We even have a guide to choosing the right one.

10. ColorZilla


Color is powerful. Truth be told, I’m not an artist, a designer, nor do I have an eye for which colors complement other colors. Just like Font Face Ninja, ColorZilla helps bring out the designer in you by helping you identify colors on the web. Simply click the extension icon, click on anything on a website, and voilá—ColorZilla will give you insights about that color. Not only that, if you see a website that you think has a color scheme that’s pleasing to the eyes, you can have ColorZilla analyze the colors so that you can see which specific ones are being used.

 

Read More: The Psychology of Color in Web Design

 

Changed your mind? How to remove a Google Chrome extension


Even though Chrome extensions are tiny little programs, they are also extremely powerful, If you find that any of these extensions don’t work for you, you can remove them from your browser right away. To do so, click the menu icon to the right of the extension icons, choose “More tools,” and then click on “Extensions.” When this new page opens up, remove the extension by clicking on the trash can icon.

 

These extensions have made me much more productive at work and with my personal projects, but I’m always looking for new extensions that can help further. What recommendations can you offer me and other Jimdo Blog readers?

 


William Molina

William Molina

Customer Support Geek

 

Helping people with their technology needs comes easy to William. He came to Jimdo from EPA.net where he helped local businesses and organizations get online. When he's not answering tech support questions at Jimdo or at home, you might find him playing video games from the comfort of his couch.