If you’re someone who uses Chrome as their primary browser for general browsing and reading the news, but also does website testing, you may have wondered how you can keep your work and your general browsing separate.
Chrome has built-in functionality that lets everyone have their own personalized copies of Chrome on the same computer. You can use this to your advantage to create a a separate Chrome profile for a “Tester” user which you use separate from your main browser for just that purpose.
Your testing user can then have its own custom set of extensions that you use exclusively for development and website testing, and keep your primary profile from becoming inundated with all your development extensions.
Step 1 – Add a new Chrome user
This is an essential step that will allow us to have a “clean” browser environment that we can use for development & testing.
- Click the Chrome menu on the browser toolbar and select Settings.
- In the “Users” section, click Add new user.
- A confirmation dialog appears, choose a picture and enter a name for the new Chrome user. In my example I created the “Tester” user.
- Click Create.
You will then get a shortcut on your desktop to launch Chrome with this users, or you can simply switch to the user from the profile link in the top left corner.
Step 2 – Install these awesome Chrome extensions
Here are great Chrome extensions organised by category, that will make your website testing, and even just your general browsing experience much better.
One click extension manager – Allows you to turn extensions off/ on without digging through Chrome’s settings.
Scraper – Highlight a portion of something on a page, right click, and choose “Scrape similar…”. Scraper will pull everything similar to what you’ve highlighted into a table that you can export straight to Google docs.
Page Monitor – Monitors pages for changes. When a page changes, it will notify you on the icon with a small number. You can click through from the extension and view the changes that were made (they’ll be highlighted in green).
Web Developer – Adds a web developer toolkit to your browser.
Canonical – Displays the URL found in the canonical tag on any given page.
Check My Links – Quickly checks links on a page and reports which ones are working and which ones are broken.
PageSpeed Insights – Analyzes the performance of your web pages and provides suggestions to make them faster.
Builtwith Technology Profiler – Shows what technologies are being used on the site, like type of server, CMS, frameworks, widgets etc.
Analytics Helper – Displays a notification in your address bar that tells you what kind of Google Analytics code is present on a page, as well as the UA ID. It will also tell you whether or not the script is in the correct position in the code.
Google Analytics Opt-out Add-on (by Google) – Prevents your activity from being tracked in GA. Useful to not inflate your clients website data.
Ghostery – See all of the tracking platforms your client or competitors are using just by loading the page with this plug-in enabled. Detects everything from Google Analytics to Web Trends to Crazy Egg and more.
MeasureIt! – Activates a ruler that will help you get the pixel height and width of something on a page. Not SEO-specific, but helpful nonetheless.
Eye Dropper – Allows you to select colors on any web page and displays the hex code.