10 Interesting Sites & Services That Can Be Ideal Start Pages
1) Startpage.com – Worlds Most Private Search Engine:
Since we are talking about Start Pages, its only right to start with a websites named after them – StartPage.com.
Startpage.com is an ideal search engine for the Privacy Conscious user. Regular Search Engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo Search store your IP address and USER ID cookies in a database. This helps them understand, what you search for. There is no evil purpose behind this profiling, the search engines just want information about your search habits, so that they can display relevant content according to your search habits.
Startpage is powered by Ixquick, which is reputed as the most Private Search Engine on the web – that’s right no more snooping by the Search Engine or your Internet Service Provider – Complete privacy.
Startpage has a number of options under “My Settings” panel, that let your further customize the looks as well as privacy level in your browser.
- Ixquick, which powers Startpage.com is the only search engine that does not record your IP address or save the user cookies.
- Ixquick has received the European Privacy Seal as well as Certified Secure Privacy Certificate which boosts its credentials.
- Startpage uses SSL Secure connection – not even your Internet Service Provider can see what you are searching for.
- If you searching for any images, Startpage doesn’t leave any trace of the picture thumbnails in your browser – this provides complete privacy.
2) Pageflakes – Awesome Start Page With Sleek Interface:
If you are looking for a Start Page that has all the goodies including News, RSS Updates, Weather and interesting Widgets like sticky Notes, Pageflakes is the perfect choice.
- Configure your Email, Twitter and Facebook accounts to view them in a single window.
- Calendar, to-do list and podcasts can also be displayed on the same page.
- Very easy to customize – Click and drag to rearrange various content blocks.
- Create page tabs and design your own pages.
Pageflakes has a huge collection of various blogs and websites on various topics like News, Politics, Technology, Business, Sports, Entertainment etc. You can choose any blogs from the ones listed to stay updated on any topic.
3) ShinySearch.com – Customize Google Search To Your Taste:
ShinySearch provides various themes to personalize the Google Search Engine. You can set it as the home page instead of Google and view your favorite search engine in a totally different avatar.
ShinySearch is powered by Google Custom Search. The site allows you to search in a webpage themed to your liking.
Go to ShinySearch and enter your name. Select a style of your liking from various categories like Movies/TV, Places, Animals, Cars, etc. A Google powered custom search page comes up with your name and browser background in your selected style.
At the tops left corner you have links to popular Email Services, Social Networking Sites, News Sources and other popular websites on various topics for easy access to any service you might need.
Check out ShinySearch.
4) Netvibes – Your Personal Internet Dashboard:
“Dashboard Everything” – is their tag line, and they mean it. Netvibes provides all kinds of widgets ranging from your Email, Social profiles as well as updates form your favorite news sources.
This is the default view of Netvibes Dashboard, but you can choose the reader view if you like to access blogs and websites in a RSS Reader format.
- Track all that you want in one place on your dashboard.
- Create as many different dashboards as you’d like to, track all your latest interests, etc.
- Various dashboards are available. Choose the category of your choice or design your own.
- Add widgets or feeds to customize your dashboard.
You have the option to add your own feeds or discover more news sources using the “Add Content” Button.
You have the option to customize the look of your Dashboard with Themes on various topics. They have a wide range of themes available on various topics, and most of them are very pretty.
Netvibes.com is free for all users, with no advertising or even a logo on the Users’ dashboards.
5) iGoogle – A Start Page That Lets You Organize Better:
If you are a fan of any Google Service and like the idea of all inclusive Start Page for your browser, iGoogle is a good choice.
iGoogle makes it very easy to get up and running with your very own personalized home page. One of the main advantages of iGoogle is that they allow gadgets from Third Party websites – so you can have access to your favorite sites and services just from the iGoogle Dashboard.
Like all other Google Services, iGoogle provides a lot of white space. You can use this space to to keep up with a to-do list, track important events with their calendar gadget, read the headlines from your favorite news source or blogs, or even try to solve the Crosswords or Sudoku, if that’s your thing.
Organizing iGoogle is easy. You can create tabs for different topics, as well as personalize your iGoogle page with custom themes.
iGoogle links to your Google account, so you can chat as well as check email from your iGoogle Dashboard.
6) Good Noows – Read News In A Well Designed & Functional Interface:
If its news you want, you should definitely check out Good Noows. Its not just its name thats Web 2.0, but also the interface. Good Noows would provide you news in the best looking User Interface, and its layout is highly customizable.
Good Noows lets you sign in with your Facebook, Twitter or Google account. It helps Good Noows to remember your setup preferences. Once you sign in your would see the Window where you can select your News sources.
There is wide range of topics and sources, so you would cover any topic thoroughly. You can select “Add Custom Topic” option in the Setup and add your favorite RSS or ATOM feeds. Once selected click the “Ok” button at the right bottom corner and your page would be displayed with selected options.
Each posts can be shared by clicking on the share icon on top right of each News column.
There are several customization options in the main windows that can help you Filter content by source, Translate feeds into your language, change the Visual Style of the page as well as quickly view Local News.
Good Noows Features:
- An elegant and functional news reader with minimalist User Interface.
- Login with Google, Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn ID.
- Select from a huge list of news sources.
- Customize the way your page should look.
- Browse, discover and share latest news from sports, politics, business, technology, etc.
Visit Good Noows.
7) Symbaloo – Webmixes Lead The Way:
Symbaloo is a free tool to organize and share the best of the web. With Symbaloo you can create your own webmix with links, find and use webmixes from others and share your webmix with the world.
Like many other Start Pages, Symbaloo is highly customizable and has several cool features. For instance here we see neatly arranged blocks of RSS feeds from our favorite news sources.
With Symbaloo, You save time by always keeping your bookmarks online and thus organize your online life better.
Various background images are available and you can add new sites in place of the empty boxes. There is search box provided which can search the web, images and maps directly from Symbaloo.
You can access you social Media profiles, Email and various other websites used daily from Symbaloo. Did I mention it was very pretty, I guess I did, so definitely check it out.
As you click on more and more icons you would see that several awesome Webmixes have been created by others and would find them useful. For instance, I found a Webmix that updates with awesome new iPhone Apps daily.
- Symbaloo is a visual interface to your bookmarks.
- Symbaloo works with pages called Webmix.
- Each Webmix has multiple ‘Tiles’ that are linked to the sites you like.
- Edit, delete or create new Webmix or select from the various ones available.
- Create tiles for sites that are not currently added to Symbaloo.
- Very customizable and a beautiful interface.
- Search anything you want in all popular search engines right on the Webmix.
If you like to have a wide array of choices at your hand, formatted as you want, you would like this start page.
8) Gpanion – Your Google Services Start Page:
Many internet users visit Google services like GMail, YouTube, Google Reader, etc. first when they come online.
Gpanion makes this easier by providing the popular Google Services in a single page.
You can sign in with your Google Account and Gpanion will display the unread email count as well as your calendar agenda for that account. You can access all other services just by clicking on the specific icons.
The 2nd tab that reads “More Apps” lets you access all the Google Apps that aren’t on the My Apps page. You can move any of these apps to “My Apps” page, by clicking on customize icon at top right.
The settings link at the top, shows some more customization options, which we see in the screenshot below.
The last tab lets you see the “Status” of the Google Services, whether they are working or if they are under maintanance.
If you are an avid user of Google services, this can be an ideal start page for you.
9) iCurrent – Stay Updated With The Latest News On Any Topic:
iCurrent does justice to its name, by keeping its users updated with the most current news You can think of any topic and iCurrent would show you the latest news on that topic. It is a News aggregation service done well with many useful features and ability to share news with ease.
When you sign up for iCurrent, it asks you to define atleast 3 channels to get started. If you are into Technology, you can give diverse topics like Technology, Mobile Phones, Gaming or anything else that interests you.
iCurrent does a good job of bringing in the best news about the channels you have selected. If you search for news about any topic, it gives you the option to add the search as a channel to your sidebar.
On the front page of iCurrent, you get stories from your designated topics in the middle column of the page, and general and trending news on the right. If there’s a channel you like, you can invite other users to it, and invite them to join iCurrent in the process. If you invite someone outright, you can also pre-populate their channel lineup with your channels.
If you like to keep updated with the latest news from a number of reliable sources, this is the start page for you.
10) Likebutton.me – Ideal Start Page for Facebook Fanatics:
If your online activity is based on your friend circle or on social media, especially Facebook, this is the start page for you.
Likebutton.me is a site that displays the most liked posts from the Top websites in their respective fields.
It covers almost all topics like Technology, Politics, News, Sports etc. You can even add your own favorite websites. This is a good page to monitor what is being shared from popular websites as well as the ones that you follow. In order to start using this service the right way, you would need to sign in with your Facebook account. This enables you to view what your friends are sharing.
- A start page that is powered by the social media sharing.
- Based on Facebook, like button shows updates from various sites in multiple categories.
- See the activity and likes of your friends.
- Add any sites of your choice and check the social media activity there.
- Option to post tweets to Twitter.
These are some of the interesting Start Pages that you can use to be more productive, secure and efficient. Do let us know which ones you liked the best in the comments section below.