25 Dec 2013

How-to create Chrome App and Extension for your Blog or website

Finally, after giving much thought, I published a Chrome app and an extension for this blog on the Google Chrome store. It has been an amazing experience, to know that it is nothing more than a small tweak from what Google has already provided. Even a beginner can write a basic Chrome app and publish it on the Chrome store in less than five minutes.
My Chrome app basically is an icon in Chrome’s New Tab page, that takes you to the blog upon clicking it (like bookmark). The Chrome extension however, no matter how seemingly difficult it may look to be created, surprisingly offers a little more functionality with a few little more clicks. Upon installation, it adds an icon to the Chrome toolbar, from where you can access the Blog or search and browse for other posts.

Steps to create a Chrome App for your Blog/ website

It is very easy, as you need to only change the relevant information. Download the zip file for application Gadget Buzz.zip to desktop, extract it  and open the included manifest.json file in Notepad. You just need to make a few changes to the file.

1) Replace the blog/ website name.
2) Replace the Short name as per your convenience (Tip: Use Application or Extension to identify)
3) Give a short description of the website(less than 132 characters)
4) Replace the URL with your own website URL.
5) Save the file.
6) Design or create a 128×128 website logo.
7) Save the file as icon.png in the same folder where the manifest.json file is saved.

Note: Ensure that you are the actual owner of the website.
Tip: Changes required are highlighted by RED boxes.

Publishing App to the Chrome Store

1) Create a zip file with the icon.png and manifest.json files, and upload it.
2) Select a category (eg Blogs), add detailed description and some eye catching screenshots
3) Set default language and publish your app.

Note: You need to pay a one-time registration fee of $5 to Google to activate your developer account.
This is optional if you want to use it for local installation and do not wish to publish it.

Create a Chrome Extension for your Website

This is even more simpler, than you might have possibly imagined.

1) Download the chrome-extension_gb.zip file and extract the contents.
2) Change the manifest.json file similary to the app, to include your extension name and description.

3) Then open the gadget.js file and make changes in the URL of your RSS feed.
4) Edit the gadget.html file, to change the feed URL
5) Like what we have done earlier, put all the files in a zip and upload it to your Chrome Dashboard.

You can check out the Chrome extension here and Chome app from here.


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