I like it when I can say with assurance that we have specific experience to back our claims about certain kinds of software development projects. And when it comes to browser extensions, it is truly so.
We have worked on a project (as usual, protected by NDA) that allowed to sync contacts with a certain messenger app to save time greatly and automate a routine scrupulous process.
Not surprisingly, we did it for Google Chrome, the most popular web browser in the world. Even though we cannot share the details of this project, we are sure that we have understood the subject better and so our research of it now has more substance and more original insights behind it.
Step on board and let’s get to all the ins and outs of browser extension development.
Keep in mind that Google Chrome browser extensions cannot be made with software constructors – only custom
Top Best Chrome Extensions
Browser Extensions are very useful tools, yes. But, before discussing the extensions per se, let’s have a look at the most popular ones. After all, extensions are very popular since they save time and help you organize the work do on the web.
Serving a specific purpose for a certain target audience, they can be effectively marketed to the end consumer as a great product. You can build an extension to help you optimize/automate some of your own business processes or you can find a niche to develop a product and make a business by selling it to others.
Here’s the list of some of the best extensions for Google Chrome Web Browser that are widely popular across the world.
- AdBlocker Plus
- Google Translate and Dictionary
- Awesome Snapshot Capture & Annotate
- EXIF Viewer
- Boomerang for Gmail
- Lookup Companion
- TooMany Tabs
- CHrome Remote Desktop
You know what AdBlocker does and Google Translate and Dictionary does what the name says it does. Ginger and Boomerang are more interesting. Ginger is a proofreader that allows you to check your writing, grammar, syntax, and usage. And Boomerang for Gmail makes it possible to schedule the answers to your emails to be sent automatically on date that you indicate.
With Chrome Remote Desktop you can securely access the browser on your computer at home from the one at work. And one of the truly exciting ones is Extensions. Now that you have so many extensions you need the extension … to manage your extensions. Using Extensions, you can see what extensions are active, switch off the ones you don’t need at the moment, switch one the ones you need, etc.
Browser extensions can only be done when you have a dedicated team to provide you with custom software. This requires you to pick a software provider with solid programming knowledge and experience in adoption of the latest development technologies.
Moreover, the average browser extension is harder to develop than your average app or a website, even though there is less design and minimum user interaction with the program.
Price and Deadline
Your average extension will be faster to do than an app or a website. However, it is going to cost around $25 000 mostly because it requires better programming skills and more focused back-end work. It can be shipped for release in about 2 months on average. There’s no MVP, since all extensions are by definition a niche-oriented programs that only serve 1-2 specific purposes.
Most of the entrepreneurs who decide to develop browser extensions do not do it for direct profit. If you have a team and a brilliant idea, you can build up a product from scratch and then spend a year or two, successfully shipping it to market.
If your proposition can be of real value to the end user, then it would definitely serve your interests to promote, update and upgrade your product. I personally can come up with something like 5 ideas for great browser extensions but we’ll look into it some time later, after all, one of them can be a million dollar idea, who knows, right?
Look for the ways your web platform can benefit from a browser extension. For example, you’re a CEO and you frequently access admin panel of your web platform to get the names/numbers of your subscribers. For some reason you need them exported on a different platform which means manually ctrc-c/ctrl-v them from the field on one site to the other one because there is no cross-service integration (happens all the time, whether you need to ship something or make an order for your client somewhere else).
You need some kind of a program to do that and a Chrome Browser Extension can do that for you, scrapping the info on one (or more) of your tabs and copy pasting it automatically while you don’t look. This kind of thing is useful since it saves your time and discards routing automatic work that drains you down.
All in all, to develop your own browser extension that serves a certain reason may very well be a very profitable idea. If you market your product properly and develop it with a consideration of the needs that user have, you can hit the right point. Extensions are simple tools but with the right approach they deliver a lot of value.
Want to develop a browser extension?