How to Create a Home Page
|Published:||Jul 17, 2006|
Whenever you launch your Web browser, the page that loads first is called your home page. In Microsoft Internet Explorer, the default home page is www.MSN.com, but did you know that you can change this setting? No matter which browser you use, there is an option to change your home page to whichever site you prefer. In this article, I'll show you how it's done, and we'll also take a look at some great customizable start pages that are sure to enhance your browsing experience.
Customizable home pages (aka start pages, launch pads, or home portals) are certainly nothing new, but the Web 2.0 era has given us many new features, like RSS and ATOM feeds, that can greatly enhance the functionality and usability of such services. As a result, there's been a steady increase in sites that offer the ability to create personalized home pages that can be accessed from any computer with an Internet connection, wherever you may be. Once you've created your own, you'll see how convenient they can be and you might wonder how you ever surfed without one. You can access your favorite bookmarks, get current news updates, check your email inbox, and even see the local weather forecast all from just one location. For example, let's take a look at my personal favorite, PageFlakes. You can see a sample of the many "flakes" available for you to choose from, but there are nearly 100 flakes in their flake gallery that can be applied. Simply choose which of the selections you would like and drag it around on the page where you want it to show up. PageFlakes even lets you build multiple pages, and with so many flakes to choose from, you just might need at least a couple. You can drag and drop flakes between pages quite easily as well. You can import RSS feeds from news sites or blogs, import your bookmarks from Blinklist or Simpy, watch YouTube Videos, search multiple engines, and integrate your personalized content from a number of other Web 2.0 sites such as iRows and Upcomming.
Many other sites like PageFlakes exist and they have a lot of the same basic features and functionality. I will provide a list of them at the end of this article so you can choose the one that best suits your needs. Some of you probably already know how to change your browser's home page, but for those of you that don't here are some basic instructions.
For MS Internet Explorer:
1. Go to Tools in the toolbar and click on Internet Options
2. Right at the top under the General tab, you'll see a section that says Home page. Enter the URL of the site you want to make your home page, or if it is already open in your browser, click the Use Current button. Then click Apply and OK at the bottom of the window. The next time you open Internet Explorer, it will automatically load that page.
1. Go to Tools in the toolbar and click on Options
2. Right at the top under General, you'll see a section that says Home Page. Enter the URL of the site you want to make your home page, or if it is already open in your browser, click the Use Current Page button. Then click OK at the bottom of the window. The next time you open Firefox, it will automatically load that page.
See how simple that is? Some people like to use Google as their home page; some people prefer to use a favorite news site or blog they visit every day. Some ISPs offer home pages for their users that update news, weather, and entertainment information on a daily basis. You can use any page you like, but as I mentioned before, there are many Web 2.0 home page services to choose from. It can be very beneficial to have a central location for all of the information you'd like to track and keep updated. You'll find a list of some of my favorites below:
Stacy Reed is Tucows' resident software librarian and editor. She has been reviewing PC and mobile software as well as web services for over a decade. Helping developers improve and promote their products is only one of her areas of expertise. Stacy is also an advocate for Open Source, Creative Commons and freeware, taking special interest in educational resources, social media, cloud sharing, and mobile technology.