It may be a new year, but I suspect you are still using Chrome to browse the Web. Chrome is still rising in popularity and went from 36% market share around this time last year to almost 44% of all internet browser usage today according to Statcounter. Things change fast on the internet, though, and all the useful Chrome extensions we shared with you back in 2013 are just no longer up to par.
So what extensions do you need to be using right now?
#1 Bookmark My Tabs
Bookmark My Tabs is an essential extension to help you organize and save your Web tabs. You can save all your open tabs with one click and reopen them just as easily. It’s perfect for saving a bunch of sites you visit often or just saving your work for later. This extension comes from the makers of DashBurst and rumor has it there is a very useful update coming soon!
#2 AddThis – Share & Bookmark
AddThis is the best extension to share to every single social network that exists like Facebook, Twitter and over 300 others. You can tailor the set of working buttons to your specific network interests, which is useful for when you want to share to social sites like Tumblr or StumbleUpon, but the article you’re reading doesn’t include those sharing options.
#3 Evernote Web Clipper
Evernote is a popular note-taking app that synchronizes your thoughts across multiple devices so you can access them anywhere. It’s also a great tool for collaborating with others. You can use the Web clipper to save websites, images, screenshots and other notes.
Buffer is a nice way to share and schedule posts to Twitter and LinkedIn along with a few other sites. You can schedule posts to Facebook too, but doing so will probably get your post degraded in the News Feed as Facebook doesn’t favor posting via third party apps. Plus posting via Buffer to Facebook, where your actual friends look at what you post, just seems more disingenuous than posting via Buffer to Twitter, where most of your followers are bots anyway.
#5 Awesome Screenshot: Capture & Annotate
Awesome Screenshot, as stated, lets you take clean screenshots and add text and shapes to either whole portions or any part of the Web page screenshot. You can then save these images as PNG files to your computer, Diigo (the makers of the extension) or your Google Drive, making the extension very handy. This extension is a new addition from last year, which took out Google’s own Screen Capture extension that got some weird update and became pretty useless by no longer allowing you to save your screenshots.
#6 MakeGIF Video Capture
MakeGIF Video Capture is a neat tool for citizens of the Web today looking to make quick a GIF animation out of videos. There are options to control the GIF’s quality and size, and you can create the GIF using frames from any portion of a video. Also, you can then post your GIF to social media or share on your blog like the time-lapse footage of Earth as seen from the ISS above.
#7 SEO for Chrome
SEO for Chrome is a good tool to quickly gauge the authority and traffic of your website or any other site. While the extension displays a lot of data points, you can look at the Google PR (0-10) to assess the authority of a site in Google’s eyes and the Alexa traffic rank to see how well the site is doing visitor-wise relative to the rest of the world’s sites.
#8 RSS Subscription Extension
RSS Subscription Extension allows you to quickly subscribe to the RSS feed of any blog with a little orange button that becomes available in your browser toolbar. This became a go-to extension for the many people who used the Google Reader version that was discontinued. Though some prefer to use Feedly‘s extension (I use Feedly too), I’ve had problems with it in the past. Plus, RSS Subscription is useful for subscribing to most of the popular RSS readers out there including Feedly, Newsblur and The Old Reader (with options to customize). With this extension installed, for example, you should be able to see an RSS icon to subscribe to our feed here.
Hopefully these extensions will be useful to you in 2014. But again, remember: only install the extensions you need, those that you will use often! See, the processes from extensions continually run in your browser and if you install too many they won’t feel like enhancements anymore and will instead ruin your browser’s performance.
Google is set to reduce the data consumed by Chrome on mobile devices by 50% soon. Now if they make these cool extensions work on mobile devices too…
What’s your favorite Chrome Extension?