Funnily enough the blank page extension was made by a Chrome developer, so I assume there were some team internal tensions and those who wanted to keep that feature were overridden..
Installing an extension is a much more obvious process - it has a description and screenshots showing exactly what it does, so nobody should be surprised.
Both chrome and Firefox have been shifting to moving any behaviour that could appear as "broken" out of their settings and into extensions. I wouldn't assume tension in the team because a chrome Dev built the extension, more likely just normal process.
Yay installing an empty HTML page on my server just to have basic functionality.
The reason I started using something like this is because the "top sites" I visit is not something I want on my screen if I'm showing it to other people.
It will change the artwork daily by default, but you can change the settings to change on each new tab.
One that I love: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/githunt/khpcnaokfe...
OP does have a regular page you can use though: https://hello-extension.netlify.com/
Not commenting on your plugin.
I did not notice any typing / suggest box lagging or performance problems and I do not have the strongest laptop. The same thing for some extensions that I used before and rendered background image.
AFAIK these things should also run in separate thread, so lag in the web page should not freeze omnibox.