One of my friends on Facebook was recently hacked when they went to a non-reputable site. Then I thought, why not post something to help with their browsing. I decided to write a quick post (<100 words) on the DanylkoWeb Facebook page and sent it out to my readers.
After writing that quick post, I thought most of my readers are kind of "in-the-dark" about browser extensions. So today, I thought I would review some of my favorite extensions I've collected over the years.
The WOT extension is what I wrote about on Facebook. This extension is meant to prevent people from clicking on links that are malicious or contain spammy links or malware on the other end.
The extension is available for most popular browsers, and once you install it, you will see small circle icons next to URLs on the page.
I referred a lot of readers to this and it's quite a good extension, especially for those individuals who do not know where that mysterious link will take them.
XMarks (Bookmark Synchronization Service)
XMarks is a great extension to sync bookmarks across multiple devices. Again, it works with all of the popular browsers and provides a valuable service.
You can view all of your bookmarks on the XMarks server by logging into your account online to make sure everything is in sync, and when you add bookmarks through your browser in your Bookmark Manager, it automatically sends the updates to the XMarks server.
You also have the option of uploading or downloading the bookmarks at any time based on the need to overwrite your local bookmarks or your server bookmarks.
This gives you the freedom of collecting a lot of bookmarks and allows them to travel with you from computer to computer. The other bright side is when your computer goes down, or something else happens, you still have your bookmarks on the XMarks server.
It's a great extension for bookmarks "in the cloud."
Dashlane (Password Manager)
I've been using Dashlane for the past 5 years and I'm extremely pleased with its seamless integration with each browser. I wrote a review about Dashlane and gave it five stars. The review explains how well it works.
Dashlane keeps track of each URL that requires a username/password. If you visit a website where the URL is in the database, it will automatically populate the username and password and continue on to the site.
It has saved me a boat-load of time with password management. If I am registering to a new site, it will ask if I want it to generate a password for me. The password is definitely cryptic and has a strength gauge to determine if it's a good password or not.
I have some passwords that I couldn't even tell you what they are.
Overall, this is a browser extension that integrates very nicely with the Dashlane client you download.
Evernote Web Clipper (web hoarder)
With Microsoft's OneNote competing with Evernote, I still feel that Evernote has the market cornered with their note-taking application. When installed, the Evernote Web Clipper takes any type of web page and can clip the image, video, article, or news post directly into Evernote.
You decide how you want it saved and to which notebook.
To this day, I can't live without this extension. I keep a good deal of notes in Evernote and use it for my web research. I use my notes to determine what the next new web technology will be in the future.
Quora (question and answer site)
Quora is more of a notification extension than anything else. For those who don't know what Quora is, it's a question and answer site. People post questions about any topic you can think of...and I mean ANY topic. If you think you can answer the question with some authority behind it, by all means, write an answer.
The extension notifies me when I receive possible questions that need answering, or to let me know that my past answers are becoming popular in that category.
There are tons of people asking questions. Join in the fun.
Web Developer (Developer and Designer Tools)
The Web Developer extension provides a large number of designer and developer tools to assist in debugging and writing web pages. While there are too many features to cover here, it gives users a solid list of tools for just about anything you can think of.
It even comes with a ruler. ;-)
The Web Developer extension only works for Firefox and Chrome browsers.
Cookies Button (Utility/Quick Access)
The cookies button is merely an extension to quickly access a buried Cookies dialog box in Chrome. I use it to clear out cookies for a particular domain whether it's for development purposes or for removal of cookies from elsewhere.
The Next Web Stories (Tech News)
This extension provides up to the latest news from the The Next Web site. Click on the icon in the extension list and you immediately view the latest articles.
Qualys Browser Check for Windows (Security)
The Qualys Browser Check is an extension to find and fix security issues in your browser. This along with the WOT extension are a great pair of security guards for your browsing experience.
It's a cross-browser and cross-platform tool using SaaS (Software as a Service) to make sure your browser is safe.
I've been using it for close to 2 years and haven't had a problem with it yet.
Honey (Deal Hunter)
Who doesn't like a good deal on online merchandise? Honey is a shopping assistant that automatically finds and applies coupon codes when you shop online.
It scours through it's database and applies the codes instead of you attempting to find them on various coupon sites. It brings the promo codes and coupon codes to you. I've been using this extension for close to two years now.
HTTPS Everywhere (Security)
Finally, HTTPS Everywhere is an extension used to force an HTTPS connection from a standard HTTP connection if it's available. As we all know, one of Google's ranking factor is that sites use HTTPS for everything now.
It instills trust in your users when they visit your site.
These are the active extensions I have enabled in Chrome at this time. There are others, but they're disabled because I don't have a need for every extension enabled.
I always feel it weighs down the browser. Just check out Chrome's "Task Manager" by hitting Shift-Esc.
As you can see, even extensions take up memory. Disable them when not in use.
The browser is important to not only users wanting to "surf the 'net," but it's also important for developers and designers to create cross-browser web pages. What looks good in one browser may not look good in another (or even function properly).
Also, for those who remember DCS-Media.com, there was a section on my website called Fireday where I posted a lot of reviews about Firefox extensions every Friday.
There are so many extensions out there, it's hard to keep track of them.
What are your favorite extensions? Post your favorite in the comments.