There are many websites that are perfect for using them as the browser’s homepage. In this article I wanna show you some of them including reasons for and against ‘em to make you choose your most favourite one or the one that just fits your needs.
Those of you who use Firefox do already know about the quality of customizable or changing homepages for your browser. Many web users do set either their e-mail provider’s homepage or their default browser startpage as their permanent begin of the daily internet usage. But there are websites out there that are specially made for using them as your homepage. One of the most common and largest sites of that kind is Netvibes. Instead of providing unique things like “style” and “freedom”-like uniqueness, Netvibes focuses on crowding the screen with loads of applications and boxes that you can add to your customizable startpage and use temporarily. Whilist its competitors are providing less applications and tools to add, Netvibes offers a wide range of sponsored widgets to allow companies to reach exactly those users they want to get traffic from. This is how they finance themselves, mainly. On Netvibes you can add most social networks as well as a preview of your e-mail inboxes which leads to the fact that they have to store all your data somewhere which is why you need to register for that service. The apps available are covering all subjects from Weather and News to Games and Useless Crap. It’s up to you what kind of junk you want to add and fill your barely design-changable Netvibes homepage. The only thing about the design you can change is the header graphic and the colour scheme … which is poor because users today are expecting more than just that. This wish a site called Vareside takes seriously and allows you to change the background image, add bookmarks to many social networks and stuff without crowding your homepage too much. One thing does really disturb about Vareside – they do not have that many apps or widgets to add. An e-mail writer which lets you write e-mails without logging in to any kind of service isn’t really enough to convince users to stay and use it. But at least the guys behind it care about the people’s wishes because they’re happy not to be a company that depends on investors or sponsors. They are just ordinary people who want to do something. Another competitor of Netvibes and Vareside is Pageflakes. Now, I do not want to criticise everything about it but … seriously it looks like a piece of crap. The design, first of all, looks horrible. I mean, changing the colours is definately not enough – and surprisingly it has more users that Vareside. Pageflakes allows you to add many many apps, just like it is a complete rip off Netvibes. Instead of creating their own stuff, they rely on the same partners and the same widget-styled homepage as Netvibes. But not everything about them is negative, they do have a nice to-do-list. I’m not sure whether that is what keeps visitors on that page. If they had a special countdown clock like Vareside, I’d understand, but under the current conditions, I don’t. AwesomeStart is a similar site but with a completely different way of presenting themselves. They are offering a simply pre-customized version of the Google homepage. If you want Twilight, Hello Kitty or Tokio Hotel as your Google background – move to that service. Something similar we all read or heard about is the change of Yahoo’s homepage from a portal page that offers search, news, weather and a service-overview to a homepage that allows you to add and manage your Yahoo services and bookmarks perfectly together with social networks, news and weather (as usual). It looks kinda good but I have to say that the idea has been stolen. There have been Aplha Versions of Vareside with the same structure. Lame! Anyway, Yahoo has quite changed a bit and is now targeting for younger clients than before. The design is great and the tools are well-thought but the customization possibilities are limited. You can change, who didn’t think about it, the colour scheme again. Wow! What a fantastic new invention! On Yahoo you can’t add more apps. You can just use the floating contents from the bookmarks and the exisiting boxes in the middle. That’s it. But still, well done, Yahoo! A clearly new attempt to have a flash-based startpage is Fav4.org which lets you have four websites or social networks on the homepage plus, drums please, a search box. The customization menu is nice but it offers quite NO damn feature that’s worth mentioning. Please take this evaluation seriously and think about what page you want to use. Comment and tell me what page you use and why OR which of the mentioned pages you like most.