Make internet browsing an entirely customisable experience with these helpful (and only occasionally distracting) Chrome extensions.

Save time, increase productivity, block keywords from your social media channels, improve your internet security, measure stuff you never knew you wanted to measure, add doges everywhere!… There are thousands of apps and extensions that can enhance your use of the internet.

These are just a handful available right now that may improve your experience...

Awesome Screenshot

There are many screengrab extensions out there that can vanquish the ‘print screen/open in Paint’ nightmare, this is just the one I personally use.

They’re much better at this on Match of the Day.

Instagram for Chrome

If like me you think that the desktop version of Instagram is dreadful (I rant about it for at least half this article 13 major UX flaws in social media sites) then behold an answer to our concerns.

It basically just opens a pop out version of the mobile app in your browser, but you can now finally search for users and hashtags from your desktop.

HootSuite Hootlet

Our own head of social media Matt Owen recommends HootSuite Hootlet for social sharing.

This allows you to search for social content in a similar way to searching on Google, the ability to highlight text to share directly and lets you schedule posts.


Save any article, video or other piece of interesting content for a later date with this extension. It also automatically syncs to any device of your choice so you can read content offline too.

Google Dictionary

This is a fast way of checking definitions. Just highlight the word and click the dictionary button on your browser.


For fast and simple image hosting, I tend to use the imgur extension by Metronomik. It’s easy to upload images from your desktop to your imgur account and also a simple right-click to host screenshots.


If you have little-to-no self-control and the time you spend on social media or other less reputable sites is eating into productivity, then this may be the extension for you.

It’s entirely configurable allowing you to block or allow entire sites, subdomains, specific pages or types of  content. 

Social Fixer for Facebook

If you use this for no other reason than to block every post featuring the word selfie then it’s totally worth adding it to your extensions. I wish I had this during the time of Bitstrips.

Shield for Chrome

Previously this position was occupied by a Hover Zoom extension, but unfortunately it seems that a recent update has loaded it with spyware.

You can regularly check for potential adware, spyware and malware using the Shield for Chrome extension.


This extension will help you see who's tracking your web browsing. It detects trackers, web bugs, pixels, and beacons placed on web pages by Facebook, Google, and other ad networks and allows you to block companies you don’t trust or provides you with the link to a company’s opt-out page.

The Great Suspender

It’s difficult not to love a good pun, but even more difficult to halt the slowing down of your computer considerably when you have 20 tabs open at the same time. This extension automatically suspends any tabs you’re not using after a configurable amount of time to save on memory usage.


And with this, all of the good, time-saving work from above has been rendered defunct with a single extension.

One final plug

It would be remiss of me not mention our very own Google extension, which alerts you when and tells you how many new articles are published on Econsultancy within the topics you like.

Available for free by clicking the image below.

For more information about the world of online tools read seven useful Google tips for bloggers and publishers.

Christopher Ratcliff

Published 8 April, 2014 by Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher Ratcliff is the editor of Methods Unsound. He was the Deputy Editor of Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via Google+ and LinkedIn

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Comments (7)

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Stuart McMillan

Stuart McMillan, Deputy Head of Ecommerce at Schuh

Hi Chris, not that you asked, but some of the extensions I use regularly to assess our sites as well as competitors:
- PageSpeed Insights by Google
- Web Developer by Chris Pederick, for its extensive range of tools
- User-Agent Switcher, for when I want my desktop to pretend to be a mobile
- Accessibility Developer Tools by Google for auditing (you guessed it) accessibility
- Color Contrast Analyzer, again for accessibility

On a related note, I use the Chrome Developer Tools heavily, and have features like the layers panel turned on. I have also gone in to about:flags and turned on the FPS meter, so I can look at how well our pages scroll and animate.

over 4 years ago



over 4 years ago

Christopher Ratcliff

Christopher Ratcliff, Editor at Methods Unsound / Search Engine Watch

It was working for me fine a few months ago, but yes you're absolutely right, it's had an update and is now loaded with Spyware. I've removed the extension from the list and will replace it with a recommended spyware shield.

over 4 years ago

David Sealey

David Sealey, Head of Digital Consulting at CACI

I've been using Sprint Reader recently for speed reading articles. Highly recommend using it:


over 4 years ago


Jon Thomas

I really like the extension of as it allows me to add URL's to my start page by pressing one single button. No more hassle to keep my bookmarks organized.

over 4 years ago


chetan sahni, App User at 134112

I am wondering why nobody has mentioned Spell Bee! It is iPhone style autocorrect for chrome. It is the reason why I shifted from Firefox to Chrome.

almost 4 years ago


Alex Davydov, Product manager at Personal

There's another helpful extension Deskun (, we use it for task management. It's quite simple, works in Gmail, allows to create tasks and subtasks.

over 1 year ago

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