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Browser recommendation, or Why you should move to Vivaldi

cecilelebleu profile image Cécile Lebleu Updated on ・4 min read

Most of us are guilty of this. We keep too many tabs open. It gets difficult to find which one we were looking for, and the machine can get slow or hot from having to deal with so many tabs, auto-refreshes, data coming in, etc. We just don't know how powerful and personal our browser can be.

That’s why I want to recommend my favorite browser, not the most popular one, but by FAR my favorite. Vivaldi ❤️

BTW, this isn't sponsored or anything. I just really love the browser and I feel that you might benefit from trying it out and discovering the great features it has.

Why it's great

Let’s go back to the having-too-many-tabs-open thing. Some are related to work, others to a project you’re building, then there's social media too, and something you’re researching, a reading or watching list, etc. Well, if you do the switch, you’ll get Tab Stacking — just select related tabs with shift, then right click, and select “new tab stack”. This will group all of the tabs you selected in the space of one. You can also rename it, to quickly see what it’s about.

And what about performance? Here comes my favorite feature: Tab Hibernation. You can put tabs “to sleep”, so they are still there – but aren’t taking any memory or network. When you go to the hibernated tab, it will load as usual. This has dramatically improved performance in my daily work/study/research life.
Just to prove the point, I just un-hibernated my around 20 tabs, including a few instances of youtube, some CodePen, github, a couple dev.to, some articles, etc. Vivaldi was taking up about 20% CPU. Then, after selecting "Hibernate Background Tabs" (yes, you can hibernate everything else with one click), it was down to under 2%. Being honest, 20 tabs open is low for me — I just cleaned up yesterday. Usually, it's more around 50 tabs. So you can imagine the difference it makes if you're also using other apps other than the browser— the difference can sometimes be 60%+ to 1% CPU with a single click.

I could talk all day about Vivaldi, that’s how good it is. Some of the highlights for me include great themes and impressive customization — you can even select how round the corners should be, or changing theme at set times throughout the day (I have mine to change as the day progresses, with different colors to fit the light and mood), tabs on the top, right, left, or bottom (I have mine on the right), customizable panel where you can add any websites you want, on-page tools like blurring, grayscale, image tilting, CSS debugging; powerful dev tools, tab stack tiling (you can have multiple tabs tiled as you want them, vertically, horizontally, as rectangles, etc), hide all the UI with one shortcut, saving tabs as sessions you can come back to later, different users with different everything... I could go on. You can use it fully with keyboard only, I find it's faster this way. Anything you want, it's there.

The cons

Because, let's be fair, nobody's perfect.

Support

And, by support, I mean, Shopify. You can't edit a Shopify site using Vivaldi. (I haven't checked in a few months, though, to be fair.) But when I had to work on a Shopify site, I had to go back to Opera temporarily, because Shopify didn't support Vivaldi.

The looks

that people from support chats may give you. It's untold, but it's there. "Have you tried using Chrome?" or "It works on Chrome", as if the issue was related to the browser (it isn't, I already checked, no I don't have to check again, ugh ok I checked again and it's not working, see?). But this has more to do with being a woman requesting help, particularly being blonde.

The shock

When you have to use a different browser or computer. You look around, and see, there's only Chrome. [sigh]

The lack of mobile app

If you are a person who cares about syncing browser content between your computer and phone, well, Vivaldi won't be able to help you yet. Although they are developing the apps, they're not ready. I personally use Firefox Focus on my phone, and don't care about the syncing.

Update: Vivaldi now has an app for Android. Woohoo!

The alternatives

Vivaldi is the best browser I’ve ever used (and I’m a heavy browser hoarder). But no browser beats the customization that’s Vivaldi offers. Try it out for a couple of weeks. I highly, very highly recommend it.

In terms of other browsers, my second favorite is Firefox. It's Firefox, it's great. And then, Opera, with built-in free VPN and ad blocker. It was my main browser for months.
After these, every other browser is just... OK.

Feel free to tell me why your browser is better. As I said, I love hoarding browsers and trying our different features, and while I'm not looking to change — Vivaldi is better in most ways, I would love to hear what your browser of choice is, and why. And, if you'd like to know if there's a feature before downloading Vivaldi, I'll try my best at answering.

Posted on Jul 25 '19 by:

cecilelebleu profile

Cécile Lebleu

@cecilelebleu

Brand identity designer learning to be a proper dev. My tabs are 3 spaces long.

Discussion

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I think if Vivaldi is figuring out syncing, I might give it a try. Syncing for me is very important because I like to retrieve my history on my personal computer (sometimes I will take a break and will find some good stuff on Dribble so I can bookmark them and work on my personal project at home).

For me, at the moment Chrome is my go to browser because it has so much great tools for my daily job (web developper).

  • Lighthouse: I use it a lot, it saves me some precious time fixing easy SEO and performance issues.
  • Code inspector: Also very important for me, their feature of highlighting the visual part of the page as I hover over the CSS properties panel is so much useful, a real time savior.
  • Application panel: To be able to turn on/off my service workers, check what is in my local storage,... Very important also because I use more and more of these tools on my newest web project.
  • Device simulator: Great with their pre-configured real devices (iPad, Samsung S5, ...). They really know what is a good developer experience.
  • Feature support: Chrome just ships new APIs, features, faster than the others. I mean for the ones that matter for me (Firefox still not support <meta name="theme_color" />!), Webp support (Firefox did not until this 2019 January, ...).

Actually, I think my job would be worse without Chrome so personally and for my job, it is part of my dev toolbelt right now. But honestly Vivaldi my might be cool because one thing Chrome did not manage very well is memory consumption when a lot of tabs are open.

Thank you for sharing!

 

Syncing is fully integrated (I just forgot to mention it). You create an account and decide what you want to sync, and of course, it's encrypted, with your login credentials or with a separate password.

As Vivaldi runs on Chromium, pretty much all the tools available on Chrome are also available in Vivaldi, including all the extensions.

  • I didn't know about Lighthouse, but I just checked, and using DevTools > Audits, I find that it is available. I don't know if it works exactly the same as I have never used it, but Lighthouse is there

  • Code inspector: It's built in into the DevTools. You can also toggle "Highlight Hover" from the bottom toolbar (from the screenshot in the original post) and get an edge with shadow over any element you're hovering on.

  • Application panel: Again, haven't used it, but it seems to be there as well in the DevTools.

  • Device simulator: You got it! It's included too out of the box.

  • Feature support: I'm not sure how this works exactly. I would say it's available at the same time, because Chromium, but I can't say for sure. I'm not usually up to date with the latest features, so I couldn't say.

I used Chrome for years before moving I had the urge to try out other browsers. I moved to Firefox for a year, then Opera for another, and now Vivaldi. I don't think I'll be moving anytime soon, it's just got the best of all worlds :)

Thanks for commenting!

 

I love Brave, which is an excellent, privacy-centric Chromium-based browser. Vivaldi is gorgeous, though.

The looks that people from support chats may give you. It's untold, but it's there. "Have you tried using Chrome?" or "It works on Chrome", as if the issue was related to the browser (it isn't, I already checked, no I don't have to check again, ugh ok I checked again and it's not working, see?). But this has more to do with being a woman requesting help, particularly being blonde.

It can't be just because you're a woman. I get this every stupid time. I finally just started telling them I'm using Chrome (and claiming I cleared cookies when I'm really just in private browsing mode). After all, technically, Brave and Vivaldi are both Chromium-based, so for all technical purposes, they're Chrome.

In my experience, most tech support cannot comprehend the idea of "Chromium-based" anyway, although that's not really their fault. Based on conversations with a few very close friends who have worked extensively in call centers, most phone tech support jobs are at the lower end of unskilled labor. If you have functional vocal cords, you're basically hired. Becoming a receptionist is a major career upgrade.

So, long story short, when you're on the phone with tech support for anything connected with the web, make it easy on the suffering person on the other end and just tell them it's Chrome, even if it isn't. Their mandatory script is a poor substitute for the training they'll never receive.

 

That's usually what I do. I try to be as nice as I possibly can (generally with everyone — but especially with support people) because I know so many people who work in customer support / tech support. Where I come from, and in many other developing countries, it's regarded as a pretty good career in general, and it can actually provide an above-standard lifestyle. Most people who know more than one language will go for a career in call centers.

But back to browsers; well I'm still very happy using Vivaldi and keeping a close eye on updates and new features. I tried Brave for a while a few months ago, but eventually came back to Vivaldi, it's just become part of my workflow very deeply. It's like an IDE, it's not so easy to change. I recently moved from Atom to VSCode for performance, and it was a major change in lifestyle (haha!)

 

Vivaldi is barely crawling on the way to becoming THE browser and due to usage of crippled Chromium Extensions API you can't do much to improve it
You should move to Waterfox: it does what Mozilla deemed impossible by providing you security updates while still allowing you to use your extensions and will do as long as possible, additionally next gen will bring improvements from Quantum while still allowing powerful extensions to exist (unfortunately some won't work without modifications, but in mainstream Firefox none of them are possible to recreate at all)

 

Very interesting! Downloading... I will definitely try it out. Thanks for the recommendation! :)

 

I like to have the same browser on desktop and mobile to have a good sync of tabs, favorites and history. It seems Vivaldi doesn't have a mobile version, so it is impediment to me. I use Opera and one of the features I like more about it is My Flow, where I can post links and I can have access to them on desktop and mobile.