Great Google Chrome extensions for web developers

Here at Exact Abacus we develop websites with a number of modern browsers in mind, but I must admit that I have a soft spot for Google Chrome. It’s fast, slick, renders CSS properly and has a huge number of optional extensions available via the Chrome Web Store.

With that in mind, I’ve put together a list of my favourite extensions that I feel will appeal to other web developers, along with an overview of each one:

User Agent Switcher for Chrome

This is my most used plugin on a daily basis by far. This extension allows you to spoof your user agent. This means you can view websites on a desktop machine through Chrome, but view the content that is normally delivered to a phone or iPad. Absolutely priceless when developing responsive websites.

Web developer

Considered by many to be an answer to Firefox’s Firebug, this plugin is a toolbox of handy functions for web developers. Among numerous other functions it will allow you to clear your cache, disable javascripts, resize your window and validate your CSS. There are a number of other extensions that will perform one of these tasks, but Web Developer really wraps them all up together in a great package.

Builtwith Technlogy Profiler

Builtwith is designed to allow you to find out information on any website that you visit. Interested in what content management system your favourite website uses? How about what type of server they’re hosted on? Builtwith can give you that information, as well as details on Frameworks, Advertising, Javascripts and more.

What font

What font is pretty self explanatory. When activated it will add a tooltip to your mouse pointer, which will inform you of the name of any font you’re hovering over. Although this can be achieved through the inspect element panel, What Font makes the process much quicker.

Project Naptha

This one is really clever. Project Naptha allows you to copy text, not just normal text, but text appearing in images! This proves to be extremely handy at times, and saves you typing up information that’s already available in image format in front of you.

Junkfill

Junkfill is a great extension for developers who are testing out a website. It will instantly fill in forms for you with Junk Data. Every web developer has faced a situation where they’ve had to fill in the same form over and over again. With Junkfill it’s a much quicker process!

Awesome screenshot

Another straightforward extension that will allow you to quickly and easily grab screenshots of windows or areas of your screen, as well as allowing you to add notes. Awesome Screenshot may not necessarily be great for developers, but it can come in very handy as a recommendation to help with client feedback!

Evernote web clipper

I am a recent convert to this particular extension, but in my opinion it’s absolutely essential for anyone who is a fan of Evernote. While on a website, Evernote Web Clipper lets you save articles, simplified articles (which is actually super clever and just removes the core text from the article) as well as bookmarks and screenshots. And it’ll sync them with your Evernote account instantly.

Pagespeed Insights

Just like the Pagespeed service now provided by Google, their Chrome extension will analyse your site and then display a pagespeed rank. You’ll then be presented with a number of suggestions (ranked from high to low priority) on how you can help improve your website loading time.

Responsive Inspector

Responsive inspector, when activated, displays a screen which shows you all of the breakpoints that are in use on a responsive site. You can then select any of those ranges, and it will even resize your browsers so that you can see the breakpoints styles in action.

Stylish

A feature that was once common in browsers now seems to be missing from a lot of them; the ability to use your own stylesheets! Stylish allows you to install or create themes, that can be applied to multiple or specific websites. Style the web your way!

Ghostery

Tired of being tracked everywhere you go by social networking sites? With Ghostery you can disable social networking requests, so that like/share buttons are hidden. With a little tweaking, it’s a handy little program. Just remember that you’ve got it enabled if social icons start disappearing from every site you visit!

Do you have any favourite Chrome extensions that you can’t live without? We’d love to hear about them!

by Paul Devine on 23/12/2014

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