What is a Google Chrome Extension?

What is a Google Chrome Extension?

Most of us are familiar with Google Chrome as a web browser. But what exactly is a Google Chrome Extension?

What is a Google Chrome Extension?

Extensions are browser-based programs that do just that — extend the functionality of your browser.  Easy to install and easy to use, extensions offer an expansion to standard web use.  Once you start using, them you’ll wish you knew about them sooner.

Ky benefits include the ability to choose programs to make you more productive, stay organized and bring some enjoyment into your work life. These small programs operate within Chrome without the need of a dedicated interface like a standard App.

Compared to apps that may depend on content from the web, extensions are bundled into single files for easy download and installation. Once installed, Chrome extensions make themselves visible by placing a logo icon on your navigation bar. These shortcut icons can be managed and organized according to your specifications.

Now that you know what extensions are, here’s a look at their broad range of categories as well as their security and performance issues to consider.

Chrome Extensions for Small Businesses

What is a Google Chrome Extension?

One visit to the Chrome Web Store and you’ll see the broad range of extension categories. You can get productivity, organization, security, communications and more. In fact, you can find an extension to address virtually any functionality.

The following video from the Google Chrome channel gives you a quick intro into Google Chrome Extensions.

By using extensions as a tool and organizing their shortcuts for easy access, you are turning your web browser and tool bar into a working asset. Clip screen shots, organize content, sync calendars and share information — all with one-click operations.

Small businesses have access to a long list of extensions to help their operations. Most of them are centered on saving you time, keeping you organized, increasing efficiency and making your collaborations more engaging.

Extension Security and Performance

Similar to any other software, extensions can create an entry point for malware or adware. It’s important to stick to well known developers when installing extensions.

Since an extension is browser-based and operated, any security threats would include the extensions having access to your online behavior. Google does a good job of controlling permissions and making you aware of what resources the extension will require. You can minimize the risks by choosing only extensions that come from trustworthy sources and are well reviewed.

It’s also a good idea to limit the number of extensions you install so they won’t affect the performance of your system. Keep in mind, every extension comes with its own code and each one is pulling on system resources.

That being said you shouldn’t be afraid of using an extension that will add quality, efficiency and general enjoyment to your work life.  With so many options available in the marketplace, you can find a number of extensions that will suit your needs perfectly without affecting browser performance negatively.

Chrome Photo via Shutterstock

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Michael Guta Michael Guta is the Assistant Editor at Small Business Trends and currently manages its East African editorial team. Michael brings with him many years of content experience in the digital ecosystem covering a wide range of industries. He holds a B.S. in Information Communication Technology, with an emphasis in Technology Management.

One Reaction
  1. Chrome extensions can be especially useful. But it will depend on your goals. For SEO, there are a lot of chrome extensions you can use such as the Moz Toolbar and SEOQuake.