Google Chrome extensions extend the functionalities of your chrome browser, transforming it into something more. They are relatively lightweight, live in your browser and quite handy for several tasks.
Extensions exist for to-do lists, task and time management, fitness, meditation, games, themes, wallpapers, password management, photo and video editing, MS Office, Google Suite, etc.
Extensions like StayFocused help you stay focused by blocking access to online or digital distractions like social media sites, so you can get work done. This is great for productivity.
Similarly, there are thousands of other different extensions in the chrome web store designed to carry out several functions. However, certain precautions need to be taken when dealing with extensions.
In this post, we shall be looking at what is Google Chrome extension, pros and cons of Google Chrome extensions, as well as highlight some key mistakes to avoid with Google Chrome extensions, but first
What is a Google Chrome Extension?
In simple terms, Google Chrome extensions are small software programs designed to help you do more with your Chrome browser. In other words, they extend browser functionality.
Google Chrome browser is among the top 5 browsers which include others like Safari, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Internet Explorer, and others.
Other popular browsers like Mozilla and Edge also feature extensions that help to transform and customize user browser experience.
And there are also cross-platform browser extensions that work on multiple browsers. These are made possible via browser extension APIs.
One of the reasons Chrome is popular with internet users is because of its many helpful extensions.
Some Pros and Cons of Google Chrome Browser
Should You Use Multiple Browsers?
For balance, some users adopt multiple browsers to improve pros and minimize cons. However, there are drawbacks to this such as space constraints, joggling between and among browsers, multiple installations of platform based browser extensions, etc.
Speaking of extensions, the following are
Some Key Mistakes to Avoid With Google Chrome Extensions
Installing Large Extensions
Some extensions are only a few kilobytes in size. Others are larger and heavier and will take up more storage and RAM. This can affect the speed and performance of your browser or other system tasks running in the background.
If you’re a solopreneur, beginner freelancer, dropshipper or small business owner, you want your PC, laptop or tablet functioning optimally. For forex traders, a few seconds of delay can impact outcomes, and you don’t want that coming from heavy browser extensions.
- Installing Too Many (Large) Extensions
Large extensions are one thing, too many extensions another thing. Both create the same effect; can take up large storage space and increase RAM usage.
There are scores of business-friendly extensions among the tens of thousands of extensions in the Chrome Store. It is better to select the best you need at the moment. As you grow bigger and scale, you can acquire devices with higher configurations that can adequately contain all the extensions you want. Focus on needs over wants.
- Ignoring Updates
Some extensions in the Chrome store aren’t regularly updated. It could signal neglect or abandonment. In either case, it could be a sign of something bigger.
Regularly updated extensions are often safer, user-friendly and more reliable. They are regularly updated to reflect new trends in design, UX, or to prevent new cyberthreats. Always check the date of the last update. If longer than two years, it could be a huge red flag.
- Foregoing Support
Speaking of updates, one of the benefits of constantly updated extensions is the probability of availability of support when you need it. Extensions can malfunction, if they do, can you contact the developers?
Extensions last updated four years ago may likely not have active support and may leave you stranded. Whereas 24/7 support is ideal, any length or duration of support can prove helpful when needed. For each extension, ensure to check if support is active by contacting the developers and noting response rates and helpfulness.
- Not Counting Number of Other Users
The number of active installs and users is another key indicator of extension quality and usefulness. However, this number can be tricky and should be used in combination with other key indicators.
As a general rule, there’s safety in numbers. The more the users, the more the extension can be trusted. If LastPass has 1.5 million users, it means that many users probably trust it to securely store their passwords. It could also mean that some of the users simply installed and didn’t use or leave a review, or tried it, liked it then found something better and didn’t remove or uninstall.
- Skipping Ratings
Another way to tell if an extension is worth installing or not, is the rating. Users usually leave a rating based on a rating system of one to five stars. Five stars means it’s an absolute keeper. One to two stars are low ratings.
Before you install any extension, ensure to check the rating system to see what the average user rating is. Also, make sure to read the entire overview, noting important features. This will give you insight into the extension’s capabilities and functionalities.
- Overlooking Reviews
Reviews detail users experiences with any product or service. They’re one of the key purchase decision influencers. Reports tell us that 94% of buyers trust them as much as personal recommendation.
Google Chrome extensions reviews highlight the strengths and weaknesses of extensions in the Chrome store. The more, the merrier, as it helps you fully understand how each works and what its limitations are. Beware of doctored reviews and other reviews fraud by consulting a large pool of reviews from independent sources.
From installing large extensions, too many large extensions, ignoring updates, ongoing support, other users, to overlooking ratings and reviews, among others, we may install extensions that will come back to hurt us.
Which Chrome extensions mistakes have you made in recent times and how did it affect you? We’ll like to hear your thoughts.
Amos Onwukwe is an AWAI trained Business and Ecommerce Copywriter who also covers Tech and Social Media. When not writing, he’s thinking of writing or making music. He’s been featured in Huffington Post, Dumb Little Man, Ecommerce Nation, eCommerce Insights, Understanding Ecommerce, Result First, Floship, GrowMap, Self Growth, among others.
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