🚀 How I build and launched my first web extension

P.S: This was my first side project to get published

💡 Ideation

It was a Saturday evening having my cup of coffee, thinking about the problems I use to face while building web applications. I took my note, started listing out problems and the solutions I used at that time. By analyzing I found a simple problem that can be solved on the usability of temp-email extensions.

🙈 Problem

I use to test a lot of products for gathering ideas and motivation, I get spammed a lot. And while testing my product modules like registration, emails I need a quick inbox where I can access email in-ease to test out my emails. Tried various quick extension plugins, Most of the plugins either takes me to a new tab or their website.

💻 Develop

I don't have prior knowledge of developing web extensions. I googled and found that MDN Firefox web extension docs. I followed with getting started and tried out their examples. I tried to modify the codes and play around with them. Then I started to work out a small idea in order to explore more I developed a simple extension called Responsify viewer. It gave an idea about how to use 'content script', 'browser local storage', and 'manifest file'.

I thought to get started with developing the app extension. I took my notebook again started drawing the user flows, UI of the views, and list the functionalities related to the UI's. I chose VueJS framework for developing the extension. Research and found a generator call vue-cli-browser-extension. Framed a plan with the following todos

  • Give a name
  • Design extension logo
  • Design icons for the app
  • CSS Loader
  • Build HTML layouts
  • Add VueJs to the project
  • Split the HTML into Vue components
  • work on icons for all resolution
  • Add JS functionalities
  • Build a website and write content myself

⛳ MVP

It took me 5 days to develop the application. It came well. I did most of the development testing manually, didn't create any test cases because I haven't done it. I shared the project with my dev friends and asked them for their feedback on the usage. Meanwhile, I chose versoly website builder for building the website. It took me just 4hrs to work on the layouts and contents and then share with the same people for feedback. I was surprised with feedbacks they gave and I started to work on it and updated both the app and website. The product is ready to publish.

⛵ Ship the product

I was planned to publish extension for firefox and chrome. I followed the steps and submitted for review and get approval. After 1 day got a mail from firefox that my extension that app is added to their gallery and another mail in the next few hours from google stating I need to add a privacy page to my website. I worked out with a simple privacy page and re-submitted for review. It took nearly 4 days to get approved for the public.

Hurray! what a journey it was to work on from an idea to publish. Next comes the most important part How to market the product? Where I wasn't successful in that, but am still figuring it out away. I will write a post on Success or failure soon.

I am sharing the extension website link and addon links here, Try out! and I am open to any feedback and comments.

Website: https://tempemailify.versoly.page/
Chrome Addon: Link
Firefox Addon: Link

Karthikeyan Rajendran
Author

Karthikeyan Rajendran

I'm a front-end engineer with 6+ years of experience developing UI/UX for cloud products. I write about my journey as product developer, ideas and startup. You can reach me from karthik_ricssion@yahoo.com