The status bar of a browser is a quick way to view the destination URL of any hyperlink, but it has little use beyond that. Hence, having it turned on all the time and occupy some vertical screen space isn’t really a good idea.
Chrome was the first browser to introduce an “intelligent” status bar – one that pops up only when it needs to show some browser action. Firefox 4 and Internet Explorer 9 have since followed suit, but Opera and Safari are still stuck with the old style always-on-or-always-off status bars.
Thankfully, both Opera and Safari support extensions, and there’s a different extension available for each browser that introduces the Chrome-style status bar to it.
Safari 5+ users can get the Ultimate Status Bar extension from the Extensions Gallery (you’ll have to search for it, because stupid Apple doesn’t provide a separate page for each extension).
Opera 11+ users should get the Popup Statusbar extension instead.
I have only tested the Safari extension of the two, and it works as advertised. The Opera extension does have a very high rating, so it must be working perfectly well too.
Do note that neither of these extensions won’t automatically remove the old-style status bars, so you will have to do that yourself. Use the Ctrl+/ (Command+/ on OS X) combination in Safari to hide the status bar. In Opera, hit the Menu button on the top left, go to Toolbars, and uncheck the “Status bar” option. Opera’s status bar does have some buttons for Unite, Link, Turbo, and some page viewing options – if you use any of those buttons, better not install the mentioned extension or disable the status bar.