If you're a web designer or digital creative, chances are you've gotten distracted by a website before. If you're looking to increase your productivity, setting up an extension or software package that blocks websites during your work day could be incredibly helpful.
For example, all of the major social media networks like Facebook, Reddit, Instagram, and more have web versions of their platforms. It's incredibly easy to get distracted by simply typing in the URL and scrolling through the site. Next thing you know, you've spent two hours being unproductive.
This isn't good in any situation, but especially if you're a digital creative that needs to be productive all the time, the mere temptation of going to a bad website needs to be blocked. Here at Isotropic, we experienced the same issues so I've put together this article To discuss how to increase productivity by blocking problematic websites.
As you can tell from the title of this article, this is going to be discussing outright blocking websites for certain hours of the day.
For example, if you work between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM, you can block all social media and distractions in your web browser quite easily. Blocking websites is your best bet if you're looking to become more productive during the day. It removes the distraction of web sites such as Facebook, YouTube, and more.
If you worked in an office, especially with the current remote working situation, blocking websites is becoming increasingly important when it comes to productivity. We are going to take a look at several solutions (both software and browser extensions) that help you block specific websites, domains, URLs, and more. members of our agency have used and recommended all of these solutions.
First, let's take a look at some software that allows you to block websites, regardless of your browser. (We will discuss browser specific extensions next. You can use the table of contents to skip around this article).
When it comes to blocking unproductive websites on your computer, there are a series of conditions and requirements that each of the solutions need to meet. For example, once you've set it up it should be almost impossible to remove the restrictions during the day. We should also be able to block websites for certain hours of the day. I personally use my computer for both work and personal matters, and would like to browse social media sites after the work day is completed.
The tool also shouldn't require intense technical knowledge. There are ways that you can block websites by going into the firmware behind modems, and stuff like that, but this isn't on that list because it's difficult to do for an average person.
The gold standard when it comes to blocking unproductive websites on your computer is a software package called Cold Turkey.
Once you set up your restricted websites, there's no way to turn back (no this is a feature that can be disabled). That means that all unproductive websites will be blocked during your work day.
Originally, this software was made for people who were legally restricted from viewing websites, or trying to overcome addictions. Now, it has morphed into a productivity software suite which allows you to restrict access to websites during your work day.
There are also some advanced features like setting up a time limit. For example, if you want to allow yourself to access an unproductive website for 30 minutes during the work day (a nice break in between tasks), You can do that. After using up to 30 minutes, the website is blocked until the day is over.
This isn't just for workdays, if you're looking to block access to a website for good , that's easy to do as well.
This supports all major browsers, like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera, Brave and Vivaldi (for Windows and macOS). There's a free version with basic features, but if you're looking for the scheduling , you'll need to opt for the paid version of Cold Turkey.
If you don't need something as heavy duty, there are several extensions that allow you to block websites. These are browser specific, but the majority of them are free and easy to use. Let's take a look at the best extension to block sites for each of the major browsers.
Chrome has one of the best collection of extensions and addons, so finding an extension that allows you to block sites on Chrome is fairly easy. It's choosing between them which is the difficult part.
From our research, the best extension to block websites on Chrome is called “Block Site - Website Blocker for Chrome™” (who would have guessed).
This has over a million users and comes with a ton of advanced features. Some of our designers use it personally and recommend it highly.
If you're simply looking to block a website on the Chrome browser, this is your best bet. In terms of productivity, it allows you to block a collection of domains for the work day, while unblocking them in the mornings and evenings. You can set up your schedules, and even synchronize it between the desktop version of the Chrome browser and the Chrome app for mobile.
There's a premium version of this extension that allows you to block sites on Google Chrome which helps you set up redirects. For example if you try to access Facebook, you could make it redirect (during the schedule) to another website. However, the basic features that come with this plugin are more than enough if you're looking to block sites on Chrome.
The second most popular browser after Google Chrome is Mozilla Firefox. We use the developers edition for our web design, and need a way to block sites on FireFox. There are a collection of add-ons and extensions that will allow you to do this with the browser, though some are much better than others (we've tried most of them!).
LeechBlock NG Is the best FireFox extension to block websites. It's really simple and easy to use. well it doesn't come with the crazy features that you might find in Cold Turkey, It allows you to block websites during certain hours of the day on the Firefox browser.
Simply specify the URLs, time that you want them to be blocked, and enable the plugin. The rest is done for you. You can also set up specific groups of websites that will be blocked at different times in Firefox.
If you are trying to block unproductive websites on Microsoft Edge, The selection of extensions to do this isn't as fully featured as some other browsers. You can choose to manually block websites, which is the official Microsoft method to do this. https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/insider/forum/all/how-to-block-websites-on-microsoft-edge/4e01de0f-04a9-447d-9c86-89f12c78365f
If you're looking for something that is difficult to work around, this is your best bad period however, if you're only looking to block unproductive websites during your work day, Microsoft Edge does have some extensions that allow you to do this.
The best Microsoft Edge add-on to block sites is Block Site by Bermet. Simple to use, actively maintained, and it has good reviews.
The addon comes with the basic features of scheduling when the websites will be blocked, Blocking a range of domains, setting up redirects, and more. It's very powerful , and has some features that compare to the premium versions of some other extensions that allow you to block websites mentioned in this article.
If you're looking to block sites on Oprah, you can easily use Chrome extensions. We would recommend going this route and making use of the recommended Chrome extension “Block Site - Website Blocker for Chrome™”, as the purpose built offerings to block websites on Oprah don't work very well.
Because the Oprah browser is basically a reskinned version of Chrome, Chrome extensions work well. To enable this functionality, you need to install an official add-on created By the Oprah developers which will allow you to install extensions directly from the Chrome Web Store.
Once this is enabled, simply navigate to the Chrome Web Store and install the Website Blocker.
Voila, you can now block unproductive websites on the Oprah browser.
This article should have outlined the best ways to block sites on your web browser, and computer in general. Blocking sites like Facebook, Reddit, and more can definitely increase your workday productivity. Especially if you're currently working from home or have recently transitioned into a remote office situation, making use of some of these extensions to block websites is definitely in your best interest!
If you have any suggestions in products that you use yourself, leave them in the comments!