The Favorite Start Page: build a dynamic, portable start page from your browser bookmarks

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The Favorite Start Page is a free software that takes your existing browser bookmarks and creates a “home page” that visually represents them inside expandable “boxes.

It supports dragging and dropping to move/organize your bookmarks, and provides a search box to help find your bookmarks quickly and easily.

Ever wanted to build a big start page using your favorites? “The Favorite Start Page” does exactly that. What is interesting about this program is that it syncs with your existing bookmarks, and any changes you perform on it can then be synced back.

This means that any work that you put into refining and/or improving your favorites can be instantly implemented on your browser’s bookmark list. More notes on this program below:

  • Portable: consists of a single HTML file, which means that it is easily moved across machines or on a flash drive, backed up, shared with others, or synced on different machines. If you put it on the internet you can easily access your bookmarks from anywhere in any browser. Note that you can download an installable or zipped version.
  • Supported browsers: can only build/sync the page from Internet Explorer favorites, unfortunately, but you can access that page from any browser. The author’s to do list includes the option to sync with Firefox and
  • Expandable boxes: to cut down on clutter, “Favorite Start Page” creates a window or box for each one of the folders in your favorites list. The box displays only three entries, although hovering over it with the mouse will cause it to expand and display all of the favorites contained within it. Subfolders are highlighted or bolded and expand when you hover over them.
  • Drag and drop: to move favorites from one folder to another. To delete, dragging outside the boxed areas will produce a favorites “recycle bin”.
  • Favorites search: find favorites quickly using the search box. Keep pressing ’Enter’ to scroll through different
  • Can be accessed as a start page or run as an application: you can double click a shortcut to access your “Favorite Start Page” in its own window, independent of your browser.
  • Favicons: will use any loaded favicons for sites when building your page. If you care to have a complete set, you might want to refresh all of your favicons first (I use the freeware AM-Deadlink to do this).
  • Exclusions: you can exclude some folders from being included in the start page if you want to. By default the “Links” folder is excluded, although you can change that if you want.
  • Skins: yes there are some. Access these from the help menu.
  • Search engines: buttons to quickly search Google and a number of other resources are also available on the page.

Wish list:

  • Firefox integration: already on the developer’s to do list, but really essential.
  • The ability to drag and drop to reorder the boxes.

The verdict: there are bookmark managers with more bells and whistles (a good free one is Tidy Favorites), however I like this program for its simplicity, its ability to reduce clutter on the page, and for integrating with the browser’s built-in folder structure.

I also like that I can upload my “Favorites Start Page” on the net into my site and access it from anywhere (although note that re-syncing requires downloading to the hard drive and re-uploading to the site).

Version Tested: 1.77

Compatibility: WinAll. Requires Internet Explorer 5.5 and higher or compatible browsers. Runs on other browsers, but currently can synchronize only in IE.

Go to the program home page to download the latest version (approx 116K).