Lead Digital Developer
Posted on December 2, 2016
Web browsers have become just as important to financial marketing professionals as any word processor or spreadsheet application. In fact, they’ve evolved so much over the last couple of decades, that now much of the work you do can bypass software applications altogether.
Of course, that doesn’t mean they’re perfect. We still all get moments where we wish our browsers could do more or solve a common frustration a little more neatly.
Here are just a few extensions we’ve found and loved. Install them to your browser, and you’ll soon have it working even harder for you.
Page Analytics (by Google)
If it’s your job to look at website traffic, you’ll be no stranger to Google Analytics. While the software itself puts an incredible amount of data at your fingertips, sometimes you just a want a quick glance at the stats without all the hassle of logging into the main GA website.
Google supply an incredibly useful Page Analytics extension that displays all the usual information but at the top of your browser window. You can configure the extension to report all the particular stats you need, and it’s quick and very easy to use.
If your financial marketing involves a good, hard look at the world of SEO and how your website performs in search results, you’ve probably got a Moz account to help with that. This plugin is the perfect way to use it to its full potential.
Working in a similar fashion to the Google Page Analytics extension, MozBar provides at-a-glance values on domain authority, page authority and the spam score of each web page you visit. One more click away and you’ll find further info on keywords, metadata, link metrics, and a host of other useful on-page stats.
Nimbus Screen Screenshot
Taking screenshots of a web page is handy and something many of us need to do fairly regularly. So it’s always a bit of a surprise to find that producing a screenshot isn’t all that straightforward. You could use your computer system’s clunky screenshot features, or delve a bit deeper into the developer settings of your browser, but that’s not very convenient for most of us.
Fortunately, with an extension like Nimbus Screen Capture, you’ll be just a click away from capturing entire web pages, selecting areas of a page, or just the visible browser window. Then you can save straight to your computer as a graphic file, upload it to the Cloud, print it, or copy it to the clipboard.
It even comes with some mark-up tools allowing you to quickly annotate your screenshot. It’s an all-round massive timesaver. Thanks, Nimbus!
A multi-device tech culture is here to stay. Responsive web design, then, is constantly having to think about how web content will appear differently, depending on the device it’s viewed on. There’s no real way of rigorously testing this without either the actual hardware to test it on, or more conveniently, with virtual machines provided by a service like BrowserStack, Email on Acid, or Litmus.
But often, we just want to get a rough sense of how a project is progressing and if responsive elements are doing what they should. Taking a look via your web browser is a good first option.
Instead of guessing a browser size to replicate the size of a device such as a smartphone or a tablet, we use Window Resizer instead. It comes with a few preset sizes which you can easily add to. With a click of the mouse, it’ll resize your browser window accordingly. It’s nice and quick, and for most of us, it’s all we need to get a good idea of how a site will look.
Every now and again, you might need to find out the colour used in a web page logo or a heading. Maybe you want to replicate that colour in your PowerPoint or Word document or make sure that the colours you see on screen follow your company’s brand guidelines.
By moving an eyedropper over the page, ColorZilla can tell you the value of any pixel on your web page, both as an RGB or HEX value. There’s also the option to see all the colours created by the web page’s style sheet.
The extensions we’ve listed here are just a handful of the many thousands available. In fact, if you have any particular task you’d like your browser to perform, there’s a good chance that something is already out there.
If you have an “I wish my browser could” moment, get searching and start making life easier. Let us know if you find any especially useful ones!