WordPress is an amazingly powerful CMS on its own, but if you could make it even faster and better right in your Chrome browser, wouldn’t you go for it?
I would and that’s why I’ve compiled this list of the best Chrome extensions to pair with WordPress in this Weekend WordPress Project.
What’s covered? I’ve sorted the lightweight and free extensions below to help you with: blogging and writing, styling and design, productivity and organization, site performance, and development. With these tools, you can get help improving your workflow and efficiency, making quick work of your tasks in WordPress.
They all install in one click, making it easy to give them a test drive if you’re interested – and even easier to keep them if you fall head over heels. If you’re ready to go for it, then let’s get going.
Blogging and Writing
If you’re like me, from time-to-time you’ve been bothered by the WordPress admin bar that appears when you try to view your site’s front end. Sometimes it blocks important components of your site that you want to be able to view while you’re previewing posts.
Once you install this extension, you can hide the admin bar when you click its icon next to your address bar. It’s a super speedy way to see what you’re missing without having to resort to logging out or opening an incognito window.
When you have a stroke of genius and come up with posts that just can’t wait, you can now post them quickly right from Chrome and without logging into your site and navigating to the visual editor.
You can save drafts or go for it and publish your post. You’ll have access to all the basic functionality you’re used to, but with the added convenience of quick access.
Once you enter your login information once, you can access your stored sites with the WordPress Site Manager extension. You can edit main pages, add sites to your network, make adjustments to your theme and other basic changes.
All the available changes are neatly organized on the page to make quick work of edits and amendments.
Grammarly is one extension I’m not sure I could live without. It accurately helps you identify not only spelling mistakes with a red colored underline, but grammatical ones, too, marked with a green underline.
The most helpful feature is it conveniently displays correction suggestions when you hover over the word in question. You can then click on the suggestion you would like to use and it’s automatically placed into your post while replacing the original text or punctuation.
It doesn’t just work for WordPress posts, either. It works anywhere you can input text so you can improve your copy, pages, products and even your emails.
Although sometimes it can be a bit off, most of the time, it’s on point and I’ve been able to improve my writing as a result. If you would like access to advanced grammar corrections, there is a premium subscription available which extends outside of Chrome.
Styling and Design
This extension is great for making tweaks to your style.css file while viewing your public facing site. It’s great for making little changes that are instantly applied at the click of a button.
Just install the extension with one click and activate the Chrome developer window – F12 or Ctrl + Shift + I in Windows and Cmd + Opt + I on Mac OS X. Make all the CSS style changes your heart desires, then select the extension next to your address bar.
All you have to do is click Save style.css changes and you’re done. As long as you’re logged into your admin dashboard, you’re good to go.
While you might not be able to make the most advanced changes, you will be able to make quick work of those tiny style changes that will bug you if you don’t fix them right away.
Have you ever gone to a site where you nearly fell in love with their theme and color styles? ColorZilla makes it really easy to add an eye dropper tool to your browser so you can find the hexadecimal code for any color on the site you’re currently visiting.
After the quick installation of this extension, you’ll be able to click the button in your browser, then select the color you wish to use. You can additionally access your color picker history, reselect colors and other options in the drop down list that appears after click the extension’s button.
Lightshot is an incredibly useful screenshot tool because it can copy a selection of your choice, rather than the entire screen. You can copy only what you would like to save and annotate it before saving, uploading or sharing your selection.
Just install, click and you’re ready to go. You can start making a selection by clicking and dragging your mouse. That’s when options will be listed on the bottom, right-hand corner of the image area.
GooEdit is a great extension for making quick adjustments to photos on your post drafts before you publish them. After a quick install, clicking the extension’s button in your browser will deploy a bar across the top of the browser page with several editing options.
You’ll be able to select the image you would like to edit, then adjust options such as the brightness, hue, saturation, contrast, and sharpen – for starters – and many more such as bluring, color adjustment, cropping and access to a few different filters.
When you’re done editing, you can save the final copy to your computer to upload and replace the old image with the new one.
This is useful if you need to take screenshots for your posts. You’ll be able to edit images right in your browser and upload them to WordPress.
It’s no Photoshop, but for small changes, GooEdit does a great job.
Productivity and Organization
Asana users, feel free to start cheering and throwing flowers at your screen. You can use this extension to extend the usual functionality of Asana to help you boost your productivity.
You can add tasks while perusing the web and even enter the site your viewing as a task. That’s not all, either – you can assign team members, workspaces and descriptions. It’s the perfect tool to help keep you organized and focused on your tasks.
Here’s another reason for you to cheer, that is if you’re an avid Evernote user. With the Evernote Web Clipper extension, you can save entire web pages or simplified clips to your chosen notebooks.
You can also annotate your selection or take a full screenshot. It’s such a great way to keep track of your ideas and inspirations as they happen.
This extension may not be as delicious to eat as its name suggests, but it’s an incredibly helpful tool for those of you who use many organizational tools such as Asana, GitHub, Trello, Gmail, Basecamp and a total of 40 other services.
You can take tasks from the different services you’re signed up for and place them all in perfect view on Chrome’s new tab page. You’ll be able to more easily keep track of your to-do list to help you keep focused, productive and organized.
The Simple Time Track extension helps you keep track of the time you spend on the items on your to-do list. To use it, click the icon in Chrome after installing it and begin adding your tasks. Clicking the play button starts the timer and it counts up, continuing until you push the pause button.
You can keep track of the hours you work to make billing to clients easier. You could also track your time to help you become more productive and observant of how you spend your time. Once you know where your time goes, you can better understand what steps you could take to improve your workflow.
If you have troubles sticking to your work because you like to surf the web, check Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other sites that aren’t exactly work-related, the Time Tracker extension can help. It will track the time you spend on each site to help you see the bigger picture of how your time is spent throughout the day.
It will track the time you spend on each site to help you see the bigger picture of how your time is spent throughout the day. This is particularly best displayed by percentages – you can see your time divided in a way that’s difficult to ignore.
If you’re able to visually see how much time you spend on sites that aren’t so productive, it might be easier to stop wasting time and focus on the task at hand. After all, if you can see you spent 83% of your time online viewing your Facebook news feed, you might be more willing to make a change – not that this was my actual result or anything.
Your Site’s Performance
After SimilarWeb is installed in one click, you can visit a site and click on its icon in your browser to view the site’s traffic stats and search engine ranking.
It can be helpful to know this information when comparing your competitors to your own business. You’ll be able to find out if there are any improvements you should implement or if you can sit back for a minute and bask in your success.
It might also be helpful for you to know that not all sites on the entirety of the internet are stored in SimilarWeb’s database so you may not see your site’s stats if you’re just starting out or don’t currently have many page views.
App.telemetry makes it easy to quickly test your site’s speed by clicking its icon in your browser once it’s installed. You can see exactly where you can improve your site’s speed with the categories listed for you along with the total load times.
Some of the categories you can see include redirects, cache, DNS lookup and on load events. While it doesn’t show detailed stats, it’s a great solution if you need a quick way to check the progress of your site while you’re in development.
Open SEO Stats helps you get a snapshot of where you stand on the internet by displaying the Alexa, Google, Compete and Quantcast page ranks when you click its button in your browser.
It also has the ability of showing WHOIS information and the number of pages that are indexed in search engines. If you opt for a premium account, you can unlock several more helpful features.
This isn’t your typical extension – a button doesn’t show up in the top of your browser. Instead, a button displays for pages in the WordPress plugins directory.
Underneath the usual download button, you’ll also see an SVN Repository button once this extension is installed. Once clicked, you’ll be able to check out the plugin’s code first-hand.
You’ll be able to take a look under the hood and view the code’s quality before deciding to download the plugin. You’ll be able to have the opportunity to catch bloated or malicious code before installing the plugin, helping you to avoid disaster before it strikes.
If you’re working on your site’s design and want to make sure it’s responsive, what do you do? If you’re using the Upfront theme, you could check your site’s responsiveness with one click in the drag and drop, front end editor – otherwise, you would need to have different mobile devices on hand to check.
Once you install this extension, you’ll be able to click its button in Chrome a select different device sizes to automatically resize your current window. You’ll be able to see what your site looks like to determine if you need to make any changes.
You’ll be able to see what your site looks like to determine if you need to make any changes. Unfortunately, you can’t make the changes right then and there like you can with Upfront, but it’s still a great way to double check your work while you’re in development mode.
If the current site you’re on is powered by WordPress, WPSNIFFER will detect its theme. Just click its button after installing and you’ll instantly see the theme’s name.
It’s a super quick, easy peasy way to find eye catching themes as you come across them. You won’t even have to delve into code.
Hovering over the icon will display a tool tip with more frameworks listed if the site is using them. Versions aren’t currently displayed, but it’s in the works.
You’re now armed with 20 cool tools to help you create and manage your WordPress site with speed and efficiency. Use one or as many as you would like to help give you an edge in content creating.
It might help you to mention that many of these extensions require you to enter personal information including (but not limited to) your site’s login information. It’s important that you exercise the appropriate amount of caution before giving out your information, although, I have been able to use the free versions of these extensions without issue.
If you’re excited about improving your productivity, workflow, site and posts, you may also like to check out some of our other posts to help continue your progress: How We Are Using Crazy Egg to Radically Improve Our Product Pages, 12 Not-So-Obvious WordPress Tweaks to Improve Posts and Pages and Improve the WordPress Visual Editor With These Cool Hacks.
We also have a post called Leveraging Chrome Developer Tools for WordPress Development if you’re interested in making improvements to your site with Chrome including tips you might not have considered before.
Were any of your favorite Chrome extensions missing on this list that you like to use with WordPress? Feel free to share them with the community in the comments below.