Four Great Homepages for Your Browser

Wed, Feb 27, 2008, by Felipe Sun

Web Design

Here are snazzy, useful homepages to start with your browser.

A good start page can be very practical and useful; nowadays, instead of displaying fixed news pages, you can get all of the news that you want through RSS feeds and more, all to your own customized page.

Customizable homepages these days are quite powerful, with some emulating what a desktop GUI for those on the move, and others which can be customized to your liking with widgets. These four pages all offer that little something that makes a start page into your own homepage.

  1. Netvibes

    This site is clean, easy to use, and can be customized with all sorts of different widgets to get the page that you want. By default, the site loads with a Facebook and e-mail widget; once you create a Netvibes account you can associate it with your other internet accounts.

    Having a homepage to load up everything you need to see on the internet can certainly speed things up.The content, layout, and number of pages it up to you; this is a great homepage to start with. However, the control you have over the layout is limited to the “three column” setup, rather than placing widgets where you please.

  2. Protopage

    Along the same lines as Netvibes, this site provides another highly customizable homepage; it essentially provides the same functions as Netvibes, but with the ability to place widgets wherever you please. This is a mix between a simple start page displaying relevant information, and the all-out web desktops that you can find. You can post “sticky notes” anywhere on your homepage, along with to-do lists to keep track of your life and remind you of important tasks. You can also set it up to fetch podcasts and cartoon strips, and you can add as many pages as you please.

  3. Widgetop

    Going a step further than Protopage is the colourful Widgetop; while the functions are essentially the same as the previous two pages, this provides more of a “desktop” feel. Your widgets can be dragged much like windows on a desktop. This also has “sticky notes” widgets so that you can post reminders which you can see every time you start up your browser.

    One difference is that this site can’t be organized into different pages like Netvibes and Protopage. There is plenty of room on the desktop, and it is functional while still looking nice.

  4. Jooce

    This is one of the more powerful solutions; one of the goals listed by the site is to provide a functional desktop which can be accessed from any computer. The site demo shows a fully functional desktop which can play media, display information, and provides all the IM clients you need to stay connected with friends. You even get multiple desktops along with the 3D “cube” interface, much like Ubuntu offers.

    It appears that this site is best for those who need their own desktop but are using different computers frequently. I haven’t personally signed up for the site, so I don’t know the space limitations (i.e. how much video/music can be stored) but this site looks quite promising, even for those who aren’t using many different computers.

These four pages all amalgamate most of our internet tasks into one page; as opposed to visiting several different sources, you can receive all of the important news that you want, and have it laid out the way you want.

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9 Comments For This Post
  1. the 0ne Says:

    http://allysource.com/ great hompage i use. everyday i use it and find that i couldn’t do without it

  2. dr-spangle Says:

    GOOGLE :P

    Google rules all.

  3. Ema Says:

    Yeah, i wouldn’t want a slow-to-load homepage, that’s why google is the best.

  4. Jared Stenzel Says:

    iGoogle is what I use, can’t believe you left that out…

  5. Steven Kim Says:

    @Jared: Hah! iGoogle is what I use! I figured that most people would be aware of Google, so I didn’t bother including it in the list. Besides, when it comes down to what you can do to customize your homepage, these other sites can do a lot more.

  6. danlang Says:

    I used to use iGoogle, but switched to Netvibes, because I felt it had more options for customization. I tried all four of these out and still like Netvibes the best. Jooce is super cool, but as far as I could tell lacks the widget-y customization that the others have.

  7. memoryporte Says:

    Awesome article. I might try Netvibes. Thanks for writing!

  8. Miguel Says:

    I liked igoogle alot, but I just closed my google account because these suckers are getting out of hand with privacy invasions. For folks that don’t know, following the “integration of their data collection efforts” (improved spying) that takes effect on March 1, they are now developing a software that will use built-in computer microphones to listen in on your home (not kidding). They claim the computer just uses the audio coming from your home ‘to better target advertising’. See, it’s to help US. I am not a stupid person, and I read the details of what it does. The software will even pick up what you are watching on TV, the music you are playing, etc. I don’t want these suckers collecting data on me, tracking everywhere I go and now even listening in on my home. Enough is enough.

  9. Dan Says:

    jooce no longer exists apparently

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