Like most of us, iGoogle may be your favorite start page because of the numerous updates that can be seen on that single webpage including Gmail, Google News, Calendar, Facebook, Twitter, Google Reader and Twitter. Work is faster when you can schedule events, send messages and share on social networks on just that page. Thinking of loosing this awesome app actually brings some worries, but thanks to some other online start pages that have similar and high quality features.
Great alternatives to iGoogle for customizing online start pages
Change is an opportunity for growth and development. So, we shall discuss a lot more start pages including the ones that closely match iGoogle and others that may suit your needs better.
For iGoogle addicts, Netvibes is a good place to pitch your tent. On NetVibes, you can stay in touch with all the media that are relevant to you, including tweets, emails, news, tasks and much more. You can determine the number of columns for your dashboard and arrange them as you desire. You can create as many tabs as possible with different sets of widgets, and you can create up to four columns of widgets and arrange them differently.
NetVibes is definitely one of the top alternatives to iGoogle that you should think of. At the top of NetVibes’ page, you will see a button that lets you switch from the widget mode to reader mode, depending on your need.
Protopage is another very close alternative to iGoogle, just like NetVibes. The site provides several widgets for designing the exact layout that you want. You can drag and drop existing widgets or add more widgets from a large collection of other tools. The interface is easy to use and attractive, but Protopage offers less features compared to NetVibes. With Protopage, you can stay abreast of new emails, podcasts, Tweets and other media.
UStart is also worth trying as an alternative to iGoogle. UStart allows you to add widgets for monitoring different feeds. You can create multiple tabs having different sets of widgets and also change the theme of your page to further customize it. In addition, Ustart allows you to completely finish creating your dashboard to test out their service before creating an account.
The RSS reader provided by UStart will also be of great use for you.
Symbaloo is best described as an online visual bookmark organizer. It lets you organize your online start page with your favorite sites. Symbaloo lets you make pages with tiles and customize the tiles as you like. It comes with some interactive widgets like weather widget, social media widgets and much more.
5. My Faves
My Faves has a minimalistic interface that is very easy to customize. It is so beautiful that it is difficult to come up with an ugly page. You can customize the background and add several sites from their list with inbuilt icons as well as your favorite sites.
6. All My Faves
For a homepage that shows the feeds of your favorite sites, All My Faves would be a great choice for you. You might at first be overwhelmed by their large collection of sites, but you’ll get a more impressive display of tabs, represented by thumbnails, when you sign up.
When you create an account, you can then create your own faves and also select areas of interest like technology, Movies and so on. Their AMF bookmarklet also lets you to add more sites easily.
Rather than emails, social networks and events, staying abreast of news may be your most important need. Using MSN as a start page will be a great solution for you in this case. You will be able to quickly scan news headlines and latest stories under different categories at the start of the day.
8. My Yahoo
Yahoo offers a decent start page that allows you totally customize your start page content and appearance. They have a wide collection of widgets you can choose from. You can immediately see trending stories and top stories under several categories.
9. My Way
You can also try My Way. They allow several options for personalizing your page so that you can add finance, weather, local TV and other customization options.
Genieo might be appropriate if you don’t have the time to set up a start page. Genieo simply monitors the sites you visit most often and presents their articles in a newspaper style whenever it is launched.
You might also want to try Spaaze, which comes with a scrollable corkboard. It lets you add Twitter widgets, bookmarks, Google gadgets, notes and YouTube videos to your corkboard.
Browser Extension Online Start Pages
If you are not particularly interested in iGoogle alternatives but are looking for a better start page than the default that comes with most browsers, then you should look into some of these:
Chrome Extensions Online Start Pages
12. Speed Dial 2
Speed Dial lets you add thumbnails to your favorite sites, with inbuilt logos for popular sites and screenshot of other sites plus lots of customization options. You can mouse over the right hand side for a quick display of your Chrome bookmarks and recently closed tabs.
Start is a Chrome extension that lets you add thumbnails to favorite pages and access Chrome apps. Importantly, it lets you add RSS feeds to the bottom of the page. You can customize it with a custom background image.
This chrome extension lets you save several sets of websites as “sessions” so that you can access each set any other time. It is a cross browser session manager that lets you browse and store sessions conveniently, even if other people use the same computer.
Firefox Extensions Online Start Pages
15. FVD Speed Dial
This extension lets you add shortcuts (shown as logos or previews) to your favorite sites. You can customize FVD Speed Dial to a large extent.
16. New Tab King
New Tab King shows your most visited pages under three categories – “Ever”, “Month”, and “Week”. It is perfect for you if you don’t have time to set your preferences.
You can switch to thumbnail or RSS view.
TabCloud is a browser extension that supports Chrome, Firefox and Android. It lets you save your favorite sites as groups of open tabs so that you can access them any time you like.
Time to pick one
We have come up with a long list of alternative start pages that can help you replace iGoogle satisfactory or totally try a new experience. You should be ready to make a choice now.
Have we missed any really powerful online start page? Let us know in the comments section below.