Our top 8 Favorite Browser Extensions

We couldn’t live without browser extensions. These glorious (and usually free) widgets are a godsend to anyone who does their work inside a browser. In this day and age, that’s just about everyone.

Today we’re going to share some of our favorite extensions for website management and maintenance. Browser extensions span a wide-range of categories, from super productive work widgets to pure time wasters. According to this ZDNET article from 2019, there are over 188,000 extensions for Google’s Chrome browser. So we realize that we’re just barely dipping a toe in the water by sharing this short list of our favorites. Nevertheless, with all the extensions that are out there, maybe we can help you find a few jewels.

As you might guess, there are some security concerns with using third party browser extensions. Because extensions have full access to the data from the pages you visit, it’s important that you carefully read the reviews for any extension you’re thinking of installing. The browser vendors, Google, Mozilla, Apple, etc., do review the extensions they offer in their online marketplaces, but they don’t catch everything.


Available for Chrome, Firefox and Opera

Screenshot of WAVE Tool assessment of Chicago Tribune Homepage

WAVE, from webaim.org, is hands down the browser extension we use the most. WAVE is an acronym for Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool and the name says it all. With this extension you can instantly review any web page to see how it stacks up against WCAG, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines put out by the World Wide Web Consortium or W3C. This tool is a must for anyone managing a website and especially those charged with website compliance.


Awesome Screenshot

Available for Chrome, Firefox and Opera

An example of a long page screenshot taken at latimes.com

Taking screenshots is an all too frequent practice when working on websites. But, as you know, most web pages are taller than the height of your screen or viewport. Trying to get a single image of these long scrolling pages can mean taking multiple screenshots and ‘sewing’ them together with image editing software.

The Awesome Screenshot extension will allow you to create an image from a full, scrolling webpage in just one click. You can also create basic screen recordings with the tool. And, if you upgrade to a paid account for $5 per month, you’ll be able to create 4K resolution video screen captures and to connect your images and recordings to services like Jira, Slack and Asana.


Available for Chrome, Firefox and Opera

An example of a long page screenshot taken at latimes.com
An edited version of the nytimes.com front page

The VisBug extension allows you to inspect and make edits to the elements of any webpage. The edits you make will only show on your screen (i.e. they don’t affect the live webpage) and can’t be saved. But the tool provides you with a great way to quickly test different changes you’re considering making, without enlisting the help of a designer or developer..

icon of magnifying glass


Available for Chrome, Firefox and Opera

PixelZoomer at work, getting up close to an iPhone on apple.com

For those times when you need to find a precise color or measure a specific area, even down to a tiny cluster of pixels on your high resolution screen, PixelZoomer is the tool for the job. This extension will blow up the active webpage (in a new tab) up to 32x its native size. With the extension’s selector tool you can measure the width and height of any page part. With the eyedropper tool you can copy the color value of any pixel, which is essential when you need to match web colors and don’t have a web style guide to reference.