As of September 2019, Google Chrome accounted for about 70 percent of the global desktop internet browser market share, increasing by around 13 percentage points in just three years. It’s fast, user-friendly, simple and secure - but its real strength lies in its extensive library of extensions and add ons.
With the huge variety of Chrome extensions available in the Chrome store, one can add new functionality or modify existing functionalities to make it more convenient for the user. More often than not, being a reputed custom chrome extension development company, we are approached by clients wanting to know why they should develop chrome extensions. We, in this article, will give an idea of the purpose of chrome extension development and what to keep in mind before hiring chrome extension developers!
Before deciding on whether or not to develop chrome extensions, let’s see what small extensions of Gmail can mean for a business. Email tracking, meeting scheduling, scheduling your outgoing emails, offline email lookups, grammar checks, etc are some of the many things that you can access with the Gmail extension without opening any extra chrome tab.
Extensions have the power to propel businesses to new heights. With the help of the right chrome extension, you can automate and streamline areas of business that otherwise would need to be a lot of manual effort. Take a look at one of our articles here to know the importance of chrome extensions and how businesses can earn some extra revenue from developing chrome extensions.
Looking to develop a Chrome extension? Start with answering a few of my questions below.
- What particular business problem will the chrome extension automate?
- How will the chrome extension make a difference to your user’s life?
- What will your business gain with the help of the chrome extension and what do you have to lose if it didn’t exist?
- Are there sufficient other chrome extensions similar to yours?
This question answer round is important because understanding the purpose behind developing a chrome extension will keep you aligned to your goals and help keep you focused. And always remember, the best idea is the one that solves the problem that you personally face on a daily basis.
So, if your extension solves a particular problem and is pretty unique, then, you might just go ahead and develop one. Assuming you are not a developer yourself, you would first need to actually hire chrome extension developers to do the job for you.
Start with the most daunting task - Create a detailed business spec. Whether the engagement is for a year or for 2 weeks, a BRD (Business Requirement Doc) is important. While it’s really convenient to bind a contract with the first available chrome extension development company, it’s not advisable. It’s better that you do your due diligence so that you make sure that you are going to be delivered with the chrome extension that you envisioned.
Take a look at a few tips that you should keep in mind before developing chrome extension.
 Have an idea about the chrome environment
Before the development starts, make sure you have minimal knowledge of the chrome architecture. I'm not advising to go read all the docs, but a vague idea of how it works overall would be good for you.
 Make sure it doesn’t increase browser memory consumption
One very important thing to keep in mind is that though chrome extensions are useful, they can sometimes happen in a way that they increase browser memory consumption, thus making the browser slow.
 Support Google Accounts
If your chrome extension requires user login, make it a point to support Google accounts. This is because when a user is purchasing or installing the chrome extension from the chrome web store, odds are that the user is already logged in the google account at this point. So, reducing the no. of logins improves the user’s experience.
 Have an idea where user credentials are stored
So, you can store data either as window.localStorage OR chrome.storage.local. We at BinaryFolks, highly recommend chrome.storage.local. This is because window.localStorage is HTML5 storage. Unless that is running in the background, the data can be set into storage for a specific domain. So, there is no way data can be shared across different web pages unless you use localStorage in the background page.
Chrome extension stats
chrome.storage.local, on the other hand, is designed for Chrome Extensions to store data in a more central location. This way each extension gets its own storage. With unlimited Storage permission, it can hold arbitrarily large amounts of data. Also, if extensions sync is enabled, it can be automatically synced between signed-in Chrome instances.
Also, according to Chrome’s basic guidelines, user data should be stored for a minimum of 30 days even after they cancel the subscription or uninstall the chrome extension. There might be a lot of reasons for users unsubscribing or uninstalling or even if their exit was intentional, they might sometimes come back.
 Follow basic guidelines while publishing chrome extension to store
Last but not least, once the chrome extension development is completed, be wise to choose your primary app category as that determines where your app will appear in the web store. Each category is further organized into logical groups and you will be displayed under the group heading in the filtered category.
Also, list keywords to improve search relevance, or to influence future versions of the category list. All chrome extensions go through an automated review process and then almost immediately published in the Chrome store, in most cases. There may be some instances in which a manual review will be required before the app is published.
-:: Parting words::-
In order to stay ahead of the competition, customer-centric chrome extensions are a must. Whether you are just starting up or an established market leader, you’ll need to have a
consistent design, a detailed project spec for successful completion, and a clear vision for timely development and release.
Browser extensions are proving to be one of the biggest enabling technologies all geared to
optimizing our workflow and making us a tad bit more productive.