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
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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
And there are also cross-platform browser extensions
that work on multiple browsers. These are made possible via browser extension
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
Google (big brand backing)
Security (Quite safe)
Design (Simple, sturdy)
Speed (mostly fast)
Synchronization (across accounts, devices)
Large user base (most used browser)
Google apps integration (unified user experience)
Restores last browsing session
-Privacy issues (Google’s invasiveness and evasiveness)
-Chromium vs. Chrome (often mixed up)
-Constant notifications to change to default browser on non-Chrome/Google OS
-High memory and CPU usage (space taking)
-Closing tabs without warning
Should You Use
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
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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)
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.
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.
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
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.
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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.
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
You can connect with him on
Twitter: @amos_onwukwe LinkedIn: Amos Onwukwe
WibiData Provides Tech Reviews and Tech News to its readers and Gets the latest gadgets news and analysis on AI, How To, and Gaming.