Whether you use it to keep up to date on the latest news or as a launching point for the rest of your browsing, you want to find a solid start page to fit your surfing habits. Earlier this week, we asked to share your favourite start page, and at over 350 comments later, we're rounding up the five most popular answers. Hit the jump for an overview of each.
Once a very limited, bare bones collection of links, iGoogle has grown into a fully customizable dashboard of tabs and web widgets. iGoogle can keep you on top of everything from the weather and your Gmail account to your to-dos and RSS feeds. Like any self-respecting start page, you can organize all of your widgets (which it calls gadgets) via drag-and-drop and add new gadgets from an enormous library.
If you're not a fan of the dashboard start page, then the about:blank anti-start-page is perfect for you. No, about:blank does not give you any information, but it does ensure a quick startup every time you open a new browser window. While about:blank is technically more of a home page than a start page, it's the overwhelming favourite for folks who don't like the traditional start page.
Web site Netvibes does one thing and one thing only: start pages. And you can tell. While sites like Yahoo and Google have a built-in slate of users as soon as they release a new product, Netvibes' innovation, speed, and all-around good looks have earned a place in the hearts of a growing and loyal slate of users—so much so that it even earned a spot as a reader-favourite RSS newsreader.
Speed Dial is a feature built into the Opera web browser that provides live thumbnail previews and keyboard shortcuts to some of your favourite web sites. Speed Dial's functionality was such a hit that it was quickly released as a Firefox extension and mimicked by web-based applications. Whatever your flavor, Speed Dial makes keeping an eye on your favourite sites a breeze.
My Yahoo / Yahoo
Yahoo has been courting users as both a start page and a search engine forever, and while many people still prefer regular old Yahoo.com as their start page, the newer My Yahoo Beta builds on that idea with a more customisable interface along the lines of start pages like Netvibes and iGoogle. If you never liked the original Yahoo homepage then My Yahoo isn't for you, but if you were, My Yahoo adds more and better features to the already popular news-based start page.