From The Blog

Create a Chrome App in just 20 minutes & for $5

how to create a Chrome App in 20 minutes - step by step instructions

Creating a Chrome App for your business is quite literally as easy as pie. The recipe is simple and you don’t need mad chef skills to do it just right, in fact, like puff pastry fresh from the freezer, you can pick up the hard stuff and then just work your magic.

So what’s the point of a Chrome App?

It’s mostly just like any bookmark but it places your brand on the screen of your likers. That’s valuable property. It’s also about making a visit to your site into a single click and reminding your customers, when it’s time to procrastinate, they should be doing it on your website!  We get sweet, sweet click through from our Chrome App (get it now) because our latest articles are always just a click away!

So, how do you create a Chrome App for your Business?

First, your Chrome App will require

  • A Google Account (if you don’t have one, get one)
  • You logo resized to 128×128
  • Promo images sized 440×280 or 920×680 or 1400×560 – I noted that .png files encountered fewer problems than .jpg
  • A credit card with $5 credit (even I can muster that)

Optional Extras:

  • Your YouTube Account to link to
  • As much wine as you can drink in 20 minutes*
*Results may vary depending on this value


How to build a Chrome App in 20 minutes!

  1. Click here to get the “ready-made code” and save it somewhere you’ll remember it.
  2. Unzip it (again, remember where you unzipped it to)
  3. Open the file manifest.json – you’ll need to choose the program to open it with, and select Notepad
  4. You’ll see a line of code. In the box after “name” put the name of your app. Make it something specific about your site that changes often – maybe your blog, new stock, sale page etc and name it with searchable keywords – So “Jane’s Guide to Living in Perth”
  5. In the box after description put a short description of your app – make it a great little call to action – “See What’s on This Weekend in Perth” or “Check Out What’s On Sale This Week”
  6. Scroll to the end, and after web_url, add the full web address of your “changing” page
  7. Remove the angle brackets from around all your changes (< and >)
  8. Find the “icons” part and add the logo name that is in that folder:
  9. “version”: “0.1”,
  10. “icons”: {
  11. “128”: “128×128 Talk About Creative Logo”
  12. },
  13. If you’re super tricky (or have access to a super tricky trickster) you can then add Google Analytics tracking code to see how well used the app is! It’s not essential though so don’t panic if you lack the necessary skills.
  14. Click save.
  15. Test it. Click the three parallel lines in the top right of your Chrome window and select Tools
  16. Click extensions and then click “Developer Mode” in the top right corner (now you’re super cool)
  17. Click “Load Unpacked Extension”
  18. Cross your fingers
  19. With any luck, you’re now looking at your app on the Chrome Extensions page. With no luck you may need to trouble shoot here. Open a new Chrome tab and it should be there with all your Google apps! BUT you’re not quite done yet.
  20. You need to compress the folder. To do that, just click on the folder, right click and go “send to/compressed (zipped) folder”
  21. Open the Chome Developer Dashboard
  22. Click Add new Item
  23. Thoroughly read and agree to the terms and conditions *cough*
  24. Choose your zipped file and click upload
  25. Add a more detailed, keyword rich description of what your app can offer people. Remember, the only way strangers will find your app is via search!
  26. Fill in as much detail as you can including plenty of categories
  27. Leave your app free, nobody pays for these things
  28. Add your Analytics ID if you used the tracking code
  29. Pay your $5 “become a developer” fee

And that’s how to create a Chrome App in 20 minutes! If you have trouble, check out the Chrome Developers Help Centre.