It’s been about a week since I decided to switch to Chrome. I’ve been very good about not automatically launching FF, though I noticed I still have it as the default browser. Here are my impressions so far.

The good:

  • It’s really fast. So much faster, it’s a pleasure to use – I’m not sitting here waiting on everything.
The not-so-good-but-I-found-a-way-around-it:
  • Searching in the address bar seems weird, so I got the Search Box extension that gives me a little box for searching on Google, Yahoo, Bing, Wikipedia, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, Ebay and Amazon.
Still not-so-good-but-improving:
  • I find the built-in developer tools to be a little awkward but I’m getting used to it – I like the ability to look back through the cascade and see what CSS rules are impacting the element I’m looking at, but it’s not intuitive yet. The Web Developer Toolbar for Chrome is missing a couple of the tools it has in FF, and a few times this week I’ve found myself opening FF so I could quickly see what was happening with a site.

There isn’t really anything I don’t like about Chrome – it’s just a matter of getting used to it. I do miss FF but the speed difference is huge and has made work a lot easier this week.

I love Firefox. I’ve been using it as my primary browser for years – but FF7 is just too slow.  I run the minimum number of extensions that I need as a web developer: Web Developer Toolbar, Firebug, Measureit, Colorzilla and a couple of others, that’s about it. It’s just gotten way too slow.

So today I started looking around for similar extensions for Chrome, my second-favorite browser. I found a good set that will take care of most of the things I was doing in FF plus a few other things I wasn’t doing in the browser, like screenshots. It’s definitely going to take some getting used to, but the speed difference is huge even with more extensions. Here are the web design-related ones I picked:

  • Chrome Sniffer – see what CMS or Javascript libraries are being used on a website
  • Eye Dropper – a nice color picker
  • Firebug Lite – a lightweight version of Firebug designed to be used with Chrome Developer Tools
  • MeasureIt! – an invaluable ruler tool to get pixel dimensions of any web page element
  • Web Developer – the Chrome version of my go-to FF extension. Not sure if I’ll need it with Developer Tools, but it’s familiar and easy to use
  • YSlow – Yahoo’s page loading speed tool

I wasn’t thrilled with the native bookmarks so I installed Neat Bookmarks, a popup bookmark navigator. I also got TabJump which provides a popup list of recent tabs and most-used tabs, and Chrome Toolbox that has a lot of quick-access functions (like opening all the tabs in one bookmarks folder on an Alt click).

Here are some other collections of web designer/developer Chrome addons:

It feels weird (see! I’m typing this post in FF because I just open it without thinking). But I’m going to try to get used to it and see if it will work for me.

I’ve used a number of plugins to backup WP – none of them (the free ones, anyway) have ever really fit the bill as an all-in-one solution. You usually either get the database or the files, and you need both to fully recover from a server failure or hack job.

I’ve been using WP DB-Manager for quite a while for database backups – it seems to work very well except for the annoying nag message that comes up every time you upgrade it. The only  way I’ve determined to get rid of the nag (following the detailed instructions given by many bloggers does not work) is to open up the PHP file and manually comment it out – which only hides the message, but since backups are working correctly I can live with knowing that. This is a pain, though, and it scares those diligent clients who actually do those upgrades when they see the notice.They have no way to remove it.

Today I installed BackWPup, a plugin that was updated in April 2011. BackWPup has a comprehensive interface that seems to do it all. You can set up and schedule different types of jobs: DB backup, file backup, WP XML export and optimize/check the DB tables. You can choose which DB tables or files/folders to exclude from your backup, too.

Lots of options for storing your backup as well – from emailing a zipped copy to yourself, to backup to a WordPress directory or FTP, and other options like Amazon S3, Rackspace Cloud, Dropbox or Sugarsync.

It looks promising and has had many positive reviews – over 55,000 downloads to date with an average rating of 4 1/2 stars. I’m giving it a try and the first backup will occur tomorrow night. Fingers crossed – maybe this will be The One that handles all my WP backup needs.

As I’m doing some spring cleaning on my blog (note the new theme and updated links list), I’m using a brand new Logitech mouse. It feels odd.

The G5 gaming mouse I’ve been using for about 2 years was starting to wander – it wasn’t so precise anymore. This new one is smaller and lighter, and I had to turn the speed all the way up in the settings to get it to move at a halfway reasonable rate. Not sure what I think about it yet. I have to move it quite a bit to get it across both monitors and it feels really slow…

Yesterday I cleaned up my Blackberry curve to get rid of the ‘insufficient memory’ error and moved all my images and videos to a new 16gb media card. It’s running much faster today and I installed the WordPress app.

This is being posted from my BB using WordPress. What a great app – even better than I expected.