Most of the tweaks that we carry out on WordPress are aimed at making the website functional and eye-catching for a visitor. We stress a good deal on user experience for the readers. But do you know that there are some nifty tools that bloggers and site owners can use to make WordPress tasks easier for themselves? These tools are not found in themes or plugins. Rather, these are apps and extensions that you can add to your Chrome browser.
Some of these apps and extensions for Chrome will help you to carry out routine WordPress tasks without having to log in. You can make quick changes in your browser and save them to WordPress. A few extensions need you to do a one-time registration of your WordPress login credentials with Google. Subsequent changes can be made by clicking on the extensions, working in the browser and saving to WordPress.
These apps and extensions can make working with WordPress delightful. They can be used while writing or blogging, They are lightweight and easy to install – simply add them to your Chrome Browser. And if you no longer need them, you can remove them from your browser.
Some of these tools are not exclusively for use on WordPress alone, and can be used generally while you are working on the web. Are they necessary for WordPress? No, but they make blogging a more pleasant experience. Let’s take a closer look at some of them.
1. WordPress Admin Bar Control
You may be using WordPress to do a number of things – and often you simply love that the admin bar makes it easier. But there will also be times when you feel that it is just in the way. It takes up screen space and makes the page look a little cluttered.
To get this bar out of your screen, you can add the WordPress Admin Bar Control to Chrome. The WordPress icon will appear in your Chrome bar. Click on it and the Admin Bar will disappear from your WordPress page. Click again and the bar will reappear. So you can keep or dismiss the bar as you wish.
This bar is to be added to your Chrome only if you want to hide the Admin bar. It will not make the bar go away completely.
WPSNIFFER is a nifty extension for Chrome. If you have ever wondered which theme a WordPress site is using, this extension will help you out. Simply click on the extension in your browser and the WordPress theme being used on that page will be displayed in a box.
The extension will then redirect you to wpsniffer.com, where you can find a great deal of statistical information about the theme. You can see in the website showcased above, the theme detected by WPSNIFFER is WPExplorer’s flagship WordPress theme, Total.
3. WordPress Style Editor
WordPress Style Editor will help you to style your WordPress theme. Normally, using the developer tools in Chrome, you can access your theme stylesheet and make any changes you like. But these changes will be lost when you refresh your page.
This extension will save the changes directly to the theme stylesheet, without the need for any FTP. These changes happen in real time, so take extra care when you work with CSS.
Also, it can modify only those style sheets that rest in the theme’s root folder. This extension is great for making small changes to the theme without having to log in.
4. BuiltWith Technology Profiler
BuiltWith is a useful tool for developers and designers. Add this extension to your Chrome Browser and click on it to see what tools are used to build the webpage that you are currently viewing. The technology profile of the webpage is displayed in a drop down fashion from the icon on the browser.
Developers can use this to view the tools in action on the webpages and decide if they want to implement it in their projects. BuiltWith can detect content management systems, analytic tools, frameworks, widgets, hosting software and content delivery networks.
Writer’s block? Can’t come up with a topic for your next article? Turn to ExpressCurate, a high quality content creation tool. It helps you with ideation, creation, search engine optimization and publishing your post, all from the Chrome browser.
Based on the keywords that you feed in and the pages that you browse, topics will be suggested. When you come across an interesting webpage, click on the Curate button in the toolbar, pick images and text. They will be added to a quoted comments field in a popup window.
You can add, edit and annotate and then click on Curate Now. A draft post will be generated in your WordPress. You can log into WordPress, make changes as you like and then publish the article. A nice extension to prod your creativity.
6. Shareaholic for Google Chrome
Sharehaholic for Google Chrome is not just for WordPress websites. It is a cool extension that lets users share instantly to many social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and about 250 additional services. You can also bookmark the webpages.
The extension does not slow down your browser and in the archives, you can view all the links you’ve shared and also the links of friends you follow on Shareaholic.
7. Eye Dropper
Eye Dropper is a great aid for developers. Add the extension to your browser and when you come across any color that catches your eye, simply click on the color. The extension will give you the exact code of the color used. You can save as many colors as you like to history and then access it when you are working on a website.
If you are curious about the shade of blue used on WpExplorer, you can read it in the drop down box where I have picked the color using Eye Dropper. Add it to history and recall it whenever you want.
8. WordPress Site Manager
This extension needs you to enter the login details of all the WordPress sites you want to manage. WordPress Site Manager will store the information and allow you to access the sites’ main pages from your browser.
You can switch between sites, add and edit sites and carry out quick edits on your theme by accessing the theme editor via this extension.
Grammarly is one Chrome extension that no blogger should skip. Once added to your browser, it will scour through your post and pick out all the language mistakes you make – spellings, punctuation, contextual errors and place the error count at the bottom. It’s like having an Editor in your computer !
The errors are highlighted and when the mouse hovers over it, all possible alternatives are displayed. When you click the correct choice, it automatically replaces the highlighted word.
This extension can be used by everyone in nearly everywhere they write on the web. You can be more confident about your writing. A premium version makes sure that your writing is error-free, offers suggestions for vocabulary enhancement, checks for plagiarism and suggests writing styles.
If you are into creating posts by searching the internet, you will find MultiPress really handy. This extension helps you to share links from anywhere and create new posts with ease.
Before you use this extension, you have to install Press This bookmarklet (accessible from WordPress dashboard) in your bookmarks bar. Go to Tools in your dashboard and then Available Tools. You will find a tool called Press This. Drag the bookmarklet icon to your bookmarks bar. You will have to do this for each new blog that you want to create.
While being logged into WordPress, if you find any snippets on the web that you want to copy, simply highlight the snippet and press the Press This bookmarklet in your browser. Images can be added using the Add Media button. An attribution is added automatically at the end.
When the MultiPress extension is added to your browser, you can add multiple blogs at the same time. It can help you work on 5 posts at a time. It is a better alternative to having multiple bookmarklets in your bookmarks bar.
That’s the list of extensions that I find useful for WordPress. Have you tried any? Know of any Chrome extension that can make it easier for bloggers? Let me know in the Comments below.