Chrome Extensions and the Wordpreneur Toolbox
I remember when the Google Chrome browser first came out in 2008. If there was the usual fanfare that’s all too familiar with that kind of release, I didn’t notice. I probably just wasn’t paying attention; I wasn’t really actively looking for an alternative browser. But I definitely wasn’t happy with MS Internet Explorer (sluggish) and Firefox (getting increasingly bloated and, ergo, sluggish too). That, however, was fairly common performance behavior then, so my expectations were low. Netscape was long out of the picture already.
Then the brand new Chrome came on my radar. Probably via a simple notice during one of my frequent sessions on AdSense. A Google product, so worth trying out, I figured. Didn’t really expect much (hell if I even bothered reading anything about it first), so its speed caught me off guard and blew me away. Everything else on it pretty much looked and behaved as expected. That’s all it took; I’ve been a Chrome user ever since. Note that this was even before there were Chrome Extensions, which went public about a year or so later. From the start, the browser just had the basics covered, and covered well.
The Chrome desktop version’s browser extension functionality made it an absolute no-brainer for me. What I suspected way back then came true: there will be no shortage of really useful extensions for Chrome, because from what I saw those very early days, I bet that Chrome was going to win the browser wars. What I didn’t anticipate, however, is how dominant Chrome would turn out to be, now with a whopping 66% share of the whole market, according to Statcounter.
Second goes to Safari (appleheads) at about 19%. The closest non-Apple browser? All the way down to a bit over 4%, for Microsoft Edge, which is pathetic, by the way—Firefox’s 3%+ is a more respectable measure—what with Edge being bundled with Windows and Microsoft pushing and integrating it every chance it gets. Even with all that going for it, that open source Firefox is still nipping away at its heels tells us something.
That all brings us to the point of this post: Chrome extensions are a hell of a rich source of free tools for wordpreneurs. A quick Google query reveals there are currently 137,345 extensions available from the Chrome Web Store. All that for us to sift through, looking for killer tools we can put to work!
However, you’ll need to be running the Chrome browser to use them. And that’s why to date, I’ve been generally minimizing tapping Chrome extensions for the Wordpreneur Toolbox, since there’s still a significant number of you using other browsers (heck, there are an estimated 5 billion Internet users now; do the math to see what a single market share percentage point equals).
But after spending some time perusing the Chrome Web Store the past couple of weeks, I’ve decided to heck with that unspoken “rule.” You’ll now start seeing more Chrome extensions in the Toolbox.
I figure even if you don’t use Chrome, being exposed to neat Chrome extension solutions will prompt you to look for something similar that works with your set up; if you use Firefox, maybe there’s a version of the Chrome extension for your platform, or a similar alternative.
On top of which, like I have Edge installed anyway on my system, used only when I have to, I don’t see why having Chrome installed and handy to run a useful extension for your wordpreneur enterprise is an issue. It’s 2022, and storage in the Terabytes is now commonplace, so if that’s a concern, it’s in phfffft territory now. Yeah, there’s the usual privacy concern folks have with Google, but I’ll let you wrestle with that one on your own.
I like to try thinking like a wordpreneur, which pretty much means think pragmatically. That’s the whole point of the site. So, as far as I’m concerned, if there’s a special, unique hammer you can use for your work, I think you’d be nuts not to use it just because it doesn’t say Sears Craftsman on it.
Expect to see lots of Chrome extensions in the Toolbox soon.