I know this has probably happened to you…
You’re trying to use two different accounts at the same website. But because of how most browsers work, you can only be logged into one account at a time. So you either keep logging in and out, or you open a new Incognito window for each account.
Whether you’re trying to test different user roles on a WordPress site or switching between social media accounts for marketing, the process can be frustrating.
So what if I told you that there’s a new web browser that lets you run multiple sessions of the same website in a single browser window. Would that pique your interest?
Today, I’m going to review a brand new web browser called Ghost Browser. It aims to improve the lives (and productivity) of developers, QA testers, social media managers, and anyone else who likes using multiple accounts.
What is Ghost Browser?
Ghost Browser is a Chromium based web browser from Loving Cup Productions. I’ll get into what Chromium means in a second, but first I want to talk about Loving Cup Productions because the parent company is what ties Ghost Browser to WordPress.
Besides developing Ghost Browser, Loving Cup Productions also develops two popular WordPress plugins:
- WP Inline
- Woo Deposits
That means they have the unique insights required to make a browser for WordPress developers (amongst other uses).
Now, let’s get back to that Chromium thing. It’s beneficial for a few reasons:
- You can install any Chrome extension.
- You can sync history, cookies, etc. between Chrome and Ghost Browser.
- The interface will instantly feel familiar if you use Chrome.
- You still get access to the normal Chrome Developer Tools.
Also, the devs explained a very cool feature that they custom coded - you can directly import all of your Chrome extensions. They estimate it only takes two minutes to go from Chrome to a fully-synced Ghost Browser (that includes downloading and installing Ghost).
So Why Should You Use Ghost Browser Over Chrome?
Other than a different skin, Ghost Browser is entirely focused on improving productivity by making it possible to run different sessions of the same website in one browser window.
It also includes a nifty feature to save sessions or groups of sessions as a “Project”, so that you can quickly reopen all of your sessions at a later date. And yes, each session will still retain its cookies and be logged into the relevant account.
So how does all of this work?
Ghost Browser gives you an isolated cookie jar for each tab that you open. That means you can log in to your WordPress admin account in one tab and a normal user in another tab. Or, you could do admin in one and unregistered user in another. You can open as many new tab sessions as you want.
But, you’re not forced to make each new tab a separate session. When you create a new tab, you can also have it be part of an existing session. In such scenarios, Ghost Browser will use colors to differentiate between sessions.
In the screenshot below, I have four separate sessions open. For two of the sessions, I opened an additional tab for that session.
Ghost Browser in a Real World Scenario
Let’s take Ghost Browser for a ride in what I imagine to be a real world scenario.
For purposes of this example, let’s say you’re working on creating a WordPress membership site. Because of how membership sites work, you need to constantly be testing how the site functions for a variety of different user roles.
At a minimum, you probably have different user roles for:
- Site admins
- Premium users
- Free users
- Unregistered users
That’s a lot of incognito windows if you’re using Chrome or Firefox (or if you’re the one person out there using Microsoft Edge!).
With Ghost Browser, you’d just open up one tab for your admin account:
Then, you’d open another three tab sessions for the other user roles:
So, now you have a different tab for each user role. BUT, it’s still a bit confusing. As nice as the different colors are, it can still be tricky to remember which tab equates to which user role.
Thankfully, Ghost Browser comes to the rescue again: renaming tab groups. Clicking the Ghost Browser icon allows you to rename each tab session:
Once you do that, you can always quickly find out which tab group is which by clicking the Ghost Browser icon:
And if you do find yourself wanting to work in separate windows (maybe one session has a lot of individual tabs), you can quickly extract that entire session to its own window:
Another nifty feature is that you can refresh all of the tabs in a single session from the same menu. I imagine that’s great if you make an update and want to preview the changes in all of that session’s tabs.
Now let’s say you’ve been working hard all day and want to call it quits. Rather than trying to leave your browser window open or bookmarking all of the tabs, Ghost Browser lets you save all of your sessions as a single project:
Then, when you’re ready to start working again, all you need to do is open your project and you’ll instantly see all of your sessions again:
Who Can Benefit from Ghost Browser?
While I think web developers are the main beneficiaries of Ghost Browser, there are plenty of other job descriptions which can be more productive with multiple sessions in one window:
- WordPress Site Owners - anyone running a WordPress site with multiple user roles will save time.
- SEO Professionals - when I did SEO, I was constantly clearing my cookies and opening incognito windows.
- Social Media Marketers - easily log into different accounts without third-party tools. Just open up a project to interact with all of your different accounts in one click.
- QA Testers - quickly test for different scenarios with separated sessions.
- Anyone else who needs multiple sessions or wants to save tabs as projects.
How Much Does Ghost Browser Cost?
Ghost Browser is free...but the free version has limits on the number of projects and sessions you can open in a window.
The free version only lets you create three different projects and open three different sessions in one window. While that’s enough for some uses (e.g. SEOs will probably be fine), if you’re doing serious work you’ll probably run into situations where you need more than three different sessions or projects.
The premium version costs $25 per month or $250 per year. For an average user, that probably doesn’t make sense. But if you find yourself running into this "multiple window" issue frequently, I’m betting you "earn" more than $25 per month in increased productivity.
The Developers have also been kind enough to provide an exclusive wplift coupon.
Using the code wplift will give you a free 30-day trial of the unlimited version. It will also lock you into a lower price...for life! As an early adopter, you'll only pay $15 per month or $75 per year. Again, that's FOR LIFE. That's a steal in my opinion.
Ghost Browser is a slick solution to a problem that always vexed me. Opening up new incognito windows for each session sucks, especially when you only have one monitor.
Ghost Browser fixes that. ‘Nuff said.
If you’re a developer, SEO, SMM, or anyone else who shares my feelings, download the free version of Ghost Browser and play around with it. You’re not risking anything except your time.
Then, if you see that the productivity gains it gives you are worth more than $25 per month, upgrade to the premium version for unlimited sessions.