start.me is the first extension from the Chrome Web Store we present here. With it, you can add bookmarks and news feeds. With one click, you can import all your bookmarks to your browser, set the homepage, as well as the new tab page. But you can do a lot more with it. In fact, you can use it to build a personal web portal.
You get many basic widgets for free: unlimited bookmarks widgets, pages, news feeds, to-do widget, notes.
Valuable PRO features, like a broken link checker, Google integration, Archived pages, and image gallery.
Teachers, business owners, or enterprises get advanced sharing and security options.
Fast loading experience.
Reliable Hosting in the cloud.
Accessible through any browser or device.
We love the modern, sleek design.
start.me is a versatile product. You can use it to make a start page with bookmarks to all your favorite sites. Adding widgets with the Add content button is a breeze. There are a lot of curated RSS feeds to choose from, so you don’t have to check different websites or open new tabs to stay on top of the news. You can also add notes widgets, to-do lists, weather forecast information, and more. The basic widgets are free, as well as the number of pages you can use to organize your data.
The UX design of the site can be called minimalist, which is a good thing since there are many ways to personalize your pages. You can choose color schemes, add photos, or select images from a database, and change the appearance of bookmarks in your bookmarks widgets. It loads fast, especially on your homepage.
The many options start.me has to offer are both a strength and a weakness. If you don’t personalize your homepage, you’ll never really enjoy its main benefits: increased overview, productivity, information location. We see an apparent learning curve in this product: you must invest some effort to get to know it thoroughly. It looks to us, that the developer’s team is aware of this, as they offer both a tour and an onboarding process to help you to add valuable content to your page.
start.me is a freemium product. There are four plans:
Basic: free to use. All essential widgets. Basic sharing options. Import and export your data.
PRO: $ 20 / year. Basic plan + premium widgets, archived pages, broken link checker.
Team: $ 30 / month, $ 300 / year. PRO plan + apply your branding, teams of up to 20 members, private sharing & collaboration.
Enterprise: custom pricing. Team plan + unlimited users, multiple teams, Single Sign-On.
In the entire New Tab extensions category, we consider start.me the most versatile, fastest, and most reliable option. A professional enterprise keeps on improving the product and offers responsive support in case of any problem. start.me is more than just an extension that runs locally, it’s a gateway to an entire universe of bookmarks, news feeds, and smart widgets you can access from any browser or any device.
The problem with Internet security is that it’s a giant, opaque, frightening world of possible hurt. And costly too. Where do you start to protect yourself? What are your best options? In our opinion, you can’t go wrong with SafeInCloud, a browser extension that makes your password management easy and secure. And it’s almost free to use too.
Free Windows and Mac apps for your computer.
Modestly priced versions for Android and iPhone.
No expensive subscriptions.
Save your passwords in your own cloud: the developer has no access to your data.
What we like about SafeInCloud isn’t just the price. If you were interested in nothing but saving a bit of money, you could rely on the save password function that’s built into any modern browser. And since many websites rely on an automated system of password retrieval, you could even decide to enter random passwords for every site, without bothering to remember them. A new password is requested almost without delay.
Still, with over 150 passwords in my SafeInCloud database, I see a clear advantage for trusting this data to a third-party app. What if you use more than one computer? What if you want to make sure you can use these passwords outside one single browser or on one device? The biggest benefits SafeInCloud offers is just this: save your passwords where no-one can access them but you. Fully integrated with important browsers and platforms. Safety couldn’t be cheaper.
The programming of SafeInCloud seems robust and reliable. The extension makes it easy to find and save passwords for the sites you prefer to visit, but it still needs the program to function properly. Sometimes the dialogues aren’t completely understandable. If you lose your password, you lose access to all passwords: that’s a pain, but it just might happen. It happened to us. And then it takes some effort te re-install everything.
Besides the already mentioned built-in password functions in browsers, that aren’t safe at all, apparently, there are several paid options. Lastpass is a freemium solution, with an attractive family tier, so everyone will be safe and secured. If you want to understand what their free plan has to offer, you have to try it yourself, on their website is not much information. It’s clearly geared towards the premium plan. Dashlane is another contender for the prize, but it’s limited to 50 passwords, which makes it just about useless without forking out $ 36 annually.
So, there you have it: in the almost completely free arena of reliable password managers, we really see no alternative. SafeInCloud might not feel as slick and user-friendly as it’s competitors, but it’s the next best thing. And it’s based on your own cloud, which is pretty much unique.
With the browser extension Whatruns, you can click to discover what makes a site run. Which platform do they use, serverside or clientside? Do they use a CDN? Google Analytics (hint: always!)? A necessary tool for any developer or anyone interested in knowing more about the Web.
As always with an extension from the Chrome Web Store, the installation is a breeze.
Use it on any site, including Whatruns.
Do you blog yourself? See the themes and plugins your competitors rely on!
Useful for competitor analysis, sales intelligence, and website profiling.
The major benefits of this Chrome Extension are easy to divine: you get to pop the hood and take a peek at the machinery. Now you see just what technology your prospective new client or the company relies upon, so you can prepare yourself for that important first contact. Or the job interview. You know just where to invest your time and effort. And if you want to learn from their success: this is a quick and dirty way to stay ahead of the game.
The information you get isn’t always easy to interpret, especially for someone without a background in coding. And for a real coder, there are a lot more informative ways to get to the heart of a strangers website: Devtools, for example. And also, if you really want to learn about alternatives to the products Whatruns discovers: don’t rely too much on their categories or background information. It seems arbitrary at best. You’re better of checking Alexa or the discover section of start.me.
There aren’t many alternatives to Whatruns, but the Chrome Web Store does mention Snovio web technology checker. With no more than 4000 installations, they can’t really compete with Whatruns, though. They clock over 175.000 installations. This inspires trust.
So there you have it: again an extension we propose to anyone who wants to get a quick look at the Internet that’s hidden in plain sight. Whatruns will astonish you, and help you become a better coder, if you’re so inclined. At the very least it will help you see through the CSS and visual spectacles, to get at the bottom or heart of things.
There’s nothing more annoying while traveling or working in your favorite coffee shop, than coming across a slow internet connection. What’s causing the delay? With this extension from the Chrome Web Store, you don’t have to guess anymore: one click, and you see precisely the speed of your connection.
Runs in a pop-up once you click it.
You don’t have to wait for it, after clicking, it runs in the background.
Use it with or without an account.
Information about Ping, Upload, and Download speeds.
Bonus: see how fast the website loads.
Benefits Speed Test Ookla
With a separate website and an entire suite of apps for all devices, this extension is more than just a speed test designed by one lone programmer. Based in Seattle Washington, acquired by Ziff Davis in 2014, it once offered a stripped-down version of a paid, premium service. Now programmed in HTML5, it’s the industry leader, as far as we’re concerned.
They’ve served over 21 billion speed tests to date, which is no small feat.
The website this extension leads to, speedtest.net, is filled with obtrusive banners, which doesn’t inspire trust. Still, they might keep the service free of charge, which is a beautiful thing. In the extension itself, you’re not bothered with any of this, so we can live with it.
When it comes to knowing more about the internet speeds you’re experiencing, there’s no real competitor. Ookla offers a free, reliable, and fast impression of everything you want to know. The company behind it seems legit and built for the future. You couldn’t go wrong here.
Open Graph Preview shows how people will see your site in a few popular social networks. It useful when you post to Facebook or Twitter, or to some Russia based social media platforms (vk.com or ok.ru).
It also works with just the preview of your posts.
If you like it, you can donate a cup of coffee.
Over 15.000 developers use this extension.
Benefits Open Graph Preview
Anyone who wants to make sure their WordPress post is broadcast correctly to social media should use this extension. Before actually posting anything, so before you can use the Twitter Card validator or the Facebook Sharing Debugger, you want to make sure there are no real problems. That’s why you need this browser extension. You don’t want to share anything without making sure it’s perfect.
In the review and the support section of this extension, you see a lot about the programming behind this extension. Pavel Rybin seems to be a lone developer, who managed to write a useful addition to the developer’s toolbox. He has to do this in his free time, which is remarkable. Still, with a bit more effort, and some more platforms added (like LinkedIn or Instagram), this extension might become a necessary tool for any blogger.
There are a few other options for this extension, but none of them are as complete and useful as OGP.
We should mention, however, that there are several free or paid automated services to post your pages or articles to the various social media platforms, who offer almost the same service. Like Buffer or Tweetdeck (just for Twitter). You’ll see the link, the featured image attached to the link you want to share, and more. For these solutions, you still need a live post, though.
The extension we feature here is one of the great examples of the value even a small team (or a single programmer) can add to the internet. In this case, Pavel Rybin has developed a unique, useful addition that should be useful for anyone blogging, or even for anyone browsing the Internet. Sure, it’s more like a developers tool (as categorized in the Chrome Web Store), but once you’ve published an article or post by error, you’ll quickly see you’ll need it.