Chrome on a Mac can be buggy, slow, and unreliable. For me, that’s partially because of all the extensions and customization I have. I don’t want to give them up, but I don’t want a messed up Chrome. The cool thing is I found Chrome SSB and that made me fall in love with Google Chrome on OS X again.
A site-specific browser app creates a customized app for a website. The app has its own preferences, extensions and cookies. Fluid for Safari already does this, but Mac Chrome users were left out of the party. Once I found Chrome SSB, I created site-specific apps along with just the extensions I need for that site.
For example, when I shop at Amazon I use the price matching and comparison extension, and when I use my Facebook SSB, I have all that stuff off, but turn on my Facebook extension. I could use an extension manager each time I browse a different page, but that’s a pain and I never do it.
The other reason I like SSB is I have a ton of Google logins; one for my business, another for my alma mater, and yet another for my non-profit volunteer work. I have a different extension for each of these. Switching is a pain. Now I have a separate app for every Google login. Any site that you go to often is a good candidate for a stand-alone app. I’m likely to get distracted by social media, so using a stand-alone app instead of a browser keeps me on course. Yes, I could just navigate to Facebook, but that’s an extra step.
Getting Started With Chrome SSB
First you need to download and install Chrome-SSB from github. After you launch the app it asks you which URL to use for your site-specific browser app. I, of course, chose groovyPost for this example.
Here I named it groovyPost, but I also have ones for my different Google Voice accounts and some social media sites. These apps are easy to find with a Spotlight search.
Configuring Your Site-Specific Browser
After you create your app, the cookies, logins, and bookmarks stay within that app. In this example, I’m logging into my groovyPost email. All the bookmarks and extensions I need for writing or browsing groovyPost are right there.
Customizing my browsing experience for an individual website in Chrome keeps it from being slow and unreliable. I load just the extensions I want and I stay focused on the work at hand. To prevent my extensions from synchronizing to these SSBs I turn off Sync Everything under the Advanced Sync Settings.
If you’re a Mac user, give Chrome SSB a shot and let us know how you think about it in the comment section below.