Homepage Startup

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Homepage Startup is a web service that consists of a page of thumbnailed website links intended to be used as a home page. Users can define the URLs they would like on their page and arrange their positions at will by simply dragging them.

A couple of months ago I put together my own browser home page using an HTML editor that is very similar to this. I noticed, at the time, that I was using about a dozen websites almost every single day, so I put links to these on a page, clustered by category, and made that my home page.

Homepage Startup does something very similar to what I describe above, although by using thumbnails it certainly looks much prettier than my page of links. Note that Hompage Startup is neither a so-called webtop (i.e. a web-based desktop such as Pageflakes, Netgear, or Protopage), no’r is it as a social bookmarking site in the vein of Del.icio.us.

Here are some notes on this service:

  • Layout: You can create a page with any configuration of up to 5 rows and 5 columns (i.e. max number of possible links = 25).
  • No ads: which I must say is a very good thing for a service such as this.
  • Customization: choose your preferred background color. You can also choose whether you want your boxes to be moveable or fixed. Drag your thumbnails around to arrange them, but they do tend to behave a bit unpredictably.
  • Sharing: choose between having a private vs. a shared page. In case of the latter your page Url would be: http://<your-username>.homepagestartup.com.
  • Search box: set to Google by default but can be changed to any of the major (and some not so major) engines.

My wish list:

  • A “snap to grid” command or setting. Once you start moving your thumbnails around, its hard to keep them in a nice alignment.
  • The ability to create text labels and move them around (in order to describe the themes of clustered thumbnails).
  • More than 5 rows (how about 10 rows, guys).
  • Real thumbnails from any page. Currently, thumbnails are taken from the root domain (e.g. google.com/adsense, google.com/reader, and google.com/analytics all have the same thumbnail, despite that they look very different from the main google page).
  • Thumbnails for local (network) pages. These currently do not seem to be supported.
  • Bugs: for some reason I had to define each page twice before it would take. Is this a bug? If so I am sure it will be promptly fixed.

All in all an interesting service which I find very exciting and plan to use.

Version tested: 8/31/2007

Go to the Homepage Startup page.