Google Chrome has come along way since its introduction in 2008.
With 66 percent share of the global market, Chrome is the most widely used web browser in the world.
There are tens of thousands of Chrome extensions in the Chrome Store. Some good, some bad and some ridiculous.
When it comes to using Chrome for communicating online, whether you’re blogging, emailing, using social media or want to improve your online security, there are some useful extensions you can use to enhance the experience.
Below are 25 of the best Chrome extensions for online communications. Most of which I personally use myself.
Let me know if I’m missing any.
The Grammarly Chrome extension is useful for anyone who writes online. It identifies both spelling and grammar mistakes and provides alternative suggestions.
When I’m in the proofreading stage of writing a blog post I turn this extension on to correct any errors.
It also helps when writing posts on social media sites like Facebook and Twitter as it’ll point out your mistakes there also.
Social Meter accesses the APIs to all the major social networks to help you understand how well an article, blog post or any other URL has been shared on social media.
It includes social shares from Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, Hacker News, Buffer and more. It used to provide share data for LinkedIn and Twitter too until both companies recently decided to shut off access to it. Still useful, nonetheless.
Bought by Facebook in 2016, the CrowdTangle Link Checker allows you to see how often a link has been shared, who shared it and what they said on the Facebook platform. It also shows you who has driven the most Twitter engagement of that link too.
When you install the extension, you’re asked to log in with your Facebook account and from there you can begin tracking the URLs of your choice.
Social media automation is becoming less common as more social networks (as Twitter has recently announced) begin to put a stop to it.
That said, there are still various tools you can use to automate some of the processes and LinkedHelper is one of them.
LinkedHelper is a LinkedIn tool that will automate your LinkedIn activity. It can bulk send messages to your connections and even automate adding 100 connections every day using a personalised message.
I tested this tool and added around 2,500 senior execs and founders as LinkedIn contacts within the space of a couple of months. This is grey hat social media so tread with caution but it’s worth a look.
If you run multiple Twitter accounts then Twitcher is a great tool that allows you to switch between them without having to log out of one and into another.
When you’re logged into one of your Twitter accounts simply click on the drop-down menu of your profile pic and you’ll see Twitcher has added a list of all your other accounts to the menu.
If you use Pinterest then Tailwind is a must. At $15 a month it’s not cheap but using it along with its Tailwind Publisher Chrome extension can save you a ton of time by automating the pinning process.
Pinterest is one of those under-used social networks because people don’t understand it but if you’re selling a consumer product or want to drive a lot of traffic back to your site, Pinterest is one of the best.
VidIQ helps you “uncover the secrets to success behind your favourite YouTube videos” by providing you with the back-end data to a YouTube video.
It provides an SEO score which includes everything from the video tags, channel tags, keywords, social shares and more.
If you’re using YouTube and you want to optimise your videos for search then VidIQ will help.
SimilarWeb is a digital marketing data service with a great Chrome extension that allows you to see the traffic data of most websites.
Once you install the extension head to any website and it will provide you with traffic data like monthly visits, traffic sources, social shares, geography and much more.
Within a minute of landing on a site, you can have the traffic data, top URLs and ranking keywords to it including any of your competitors.
Checkbot is a new service which provides a comprehensive analysis of your website’s SEO, speed and security.
Once the extension is installed and you’ve signed up for the service, you can run a deep analysis on your website where it will test thousands of pages and links in minutes.
The first time I used Checkbot on my own site it highlighted a lot of issues I was unaware of. It’s still in beta and therefore free to use but I doubt it will stay free for long.
The Mozbar was one of the first SEO Chrome extensions and is still used widely today.
It helps you get a quick understanding of a website’s page or domain authority and also provides the same data for Google search results.
ContactOut is another controversial Chrome extension for LinkedIn. This one helps you find both the personal and work emails of someone on the platform even if they’re not a connection.
Install the extension, go to a profile and click ContactOut in Chrome, and it will retrieve a list of personal and professional email addresses belonging to that person. It sometimes includes a phone number too.
Its accuracy is around 90 percent and it’s a mystery where it gets the information from but it works. Plus you get 50 uses per day for free.
Like ContactOut, Hunter is another email address discovery tool but it works by finding emails based on a website URL.
Once you’ve installed the extension, you can visit any website of your choice and use Hunter to dig out people’s email addresses related to that site.
If the company is large and you’re looking for a specific person’s email address within it, Hunter will tell you the most “common pattern” (e.g. [email protected]) for you to guess it.
Mailtrack is a Chrome extension that allows you to see if and when someone opens an email you’ve sent from your Gmail account. It’s sneaky, but let’s be honest, everyone’s doing it these days via email newsletters and regular email.
Depending on the level of service you require, Mailtrack has different pricing options from the free limited-feature option to the high-end business plan.
If you use the Facebook Pixel (and why wouldn’t you?) then the Pixel Helper Chrome extension helps you understand if it’s set up correctly and firing at the right times.
It also allows you to see what your competitors are doing with their Facebook Pixels and how they’re tracking visitors with it.
Pinterest Tag Helper
The Pinterest Tag Helper is similar to Pixel Helper and helps you discover if your Pinterest tag is set up and firing correctly. Pinterest is beginning to model its ad service like Facebook’s so it’s worth keeping an eye on.
The BuiltWith Chrome extension calls itself a “technology profiler” as it allows you to see how any website you visit has been built.
The extension will run an analysis of the site you’re on and provide you with all the known technologies it uses.
It provides information on the type of CMS, plugins, widgets, hosting, CDN, email marketing tools and much more.
The Ghostery Chrome extension allows you to ‘ghost’ yourself from trackers when visiting any website.
Most mainstream news websites have 50+ tracking pixels on them which are used to serve visitors ads or track how they use their site.
They can seriously slow down your browsing experience, not to mention the privacy issue.
With Ghostery you can prevent all website trackers or just specific ones from monitoring you when you visit a site.
The LastPass Chrome extension makes it easy to access your favourite websites that require a login. LastPass helps you create long and complex passwords to help prevent you from being hacked.
The best thing about it is you don’t have to remember any of them as it will save them for you provided you know your master password.
LastPass, or a service like it, should be a part of your overall online security prevention strategy.
HTTPS Everywhere makes your browsing more secure by encrypting all your activity. Lots of sites still run on the unencrypted HTTP protocol and the extension will rewrite them as an HTTPS.
Browsing, Reading and Researching
Diigo is a social bookmarking service that allows you to save web links, images, PDFs etc and categorise them by tags.
The Diigo service is great for research and when you’re collecting information on the web as you find it.
The extension makes it simple to save and revert back to anything you find interesting online.
Zest.is is a Chrome extension that pulls in useful articles on digital marketing, PR, growth hacking and more at the click of a new open tab.
All articles are vetted by the Zest.is
team community so there is no spam and each one is usually high quality.
It’s a great way of finding useful information, tools and blogs without having to search for them.
Video and imagery
The Nimbus extension allows you to take screenshots and screen recordings with a few clicks. It has a range of features depending what you want to clip and you can also send your screenshots to the cloud to share the links with others.
You can edit, crop and draw on your screenshots directly from your browser and then upload them to your Nimbus account for free.
Loom is a screen recording Chrome extension you might assume comes with a price because the quality is so high.
Instead, Loom is free for anyone to use. There are different ways you can use Loom from recording your screen, your computer’s built-in webcam or a combination of the two.
If you’re looking to create a video tutorial or demo and upload to YouTube or Facebook, Loom is an excellent free extension that will help you do it.
If you find clicking on images just to view a larger version is a pain then instal the Hover Zoom Chrome extension.
It allows you to get a higher resolution version of an image (even a thumbnail) without having to click on it.
Hover Zoom works across all social networks and most websites and blogs. I find it particularly useful with images on Twitter as you don’t have to click on and open a new tweet to view them.