Update: I have now now switched to Netvibes for my personal start page. I recommend the same for others. In July, 2019, I will be publishing a post about how to get started and Netvibes and show you what I have on my page.
I began to feel igHome was being neglected when many of the gadgets in the library were no longer working. A reader later alerted me that when a link on the black bar was changed, all black bar links reverted to the defaults. In addition, the ability to pick a search engine was no longer available.
Most disturbing is that igHome no longer offered any method for contacting the developer.
I have an email for the developer saved from previous conversations. I’ve emailed four times but have received no response.Open your computer’s browser. What do you see? In other words, what is your “home page”? For too many people, it’s whatever it was the day the computer came out of the box. More than likely, it’s not very useful.
What if the browser opened to a page showing your calendar, to-do list, new emails, a weather report, news stories, information on current movies, and links to your favorite tools? That would be useful. It’s called a “personalized start page.”
The idea has been around for over a decade. Today, users have quite a few choices. I’ve looked at all of them, and offer my pick.
At the top of the screen is a search window, allowing a Google search right from the home page. Prefer, Yahoo or Bing? Make the change in the “Profile.”
Across the top of the window is a black bar featuring 12 buttons. In the “Profile,” the user gets to decide the name for each button and the URL each one will open. The body of the page contains “gadgets” of the user’s choosing.
My black bar links are set to the following:
- Google Calendar
- Google Contacts
- Google Drive
- Google News
- Google Bookmarks
- Google Maps
- Google Photos
- Advanced Google Search
Every time I open my browser, I am one click away from each of those 12 common sites.
The body of the my igHome page includes miniature views of my most important tools: Google Calendar, Toodledo, and Gmail. Imagine being able to open your browser and see what’s on your calendar, your top tasks, and new email messages as soon as you connect to the Internet!
One of my favorite gadgets is my “Fingertip Bookmarks.” I’ll be doing another post to tell you about its contents.
Getting Started with igHome
igHome is free and the setup takes only minutes. Go to igHome.com. Click the big blue button that says, “sign in to personalize.” Create a new account.
Next, click the cog in the upper-right corner. The two main things to do here are choose a search engine and choose the black bar links. More than likely, what you want in the black bar will change over time. That’s OK. Return to the Profile to make a change.
Here is where the fun begins. Click the big blue “Add Gadgets” button. Enter a subject in the search window and see whether the gadget you want exists. For example, enter “Google Calendar.”
On the left-hand side of the screen, view the list of categories. Clicking on a category name reveals a list of suggested gadgets.
The page can have the weather forecast, news, a calculator, language translator, or the performance of your stock portfolio, just to name a few.
If you don’t find a gadget you want, create your own. At the bottom of the “Categories,” click “Create Your Own Gadget.” From there, click “From a URL.” A blank gadget labeled “Custom Gadget” appears. Click the “Add it now” button. The gadget appears on your igHome page with blanks for you to supply a title and input the URL.
Drag the gadgets around on the page to organize them as you see fit. Want to get rid of one? The “x” in the upper-right corner of any gadget will remove it.
The whole idea behind a home page is it needs to be the site that displays when the browser opens. So, the last step is designating igHome as the home page. Scroll to the bottom and find the “how to set your home page” instructions.
Access Your Personalized Home Page from Anywhere
Congratulations, you have created your personalized home page with igHome. So, what does it take to duplicate it on any other computer at home or work? The good news is all you have to do is go to igHome.com and log into your account. There’s your stuff! You may have to scroll to the bottom and follow the instructions to make igHome your home page there as well. Other than that, you’re done.
One of the advantages to a personalized home page comes when working on a computer at the public library or hotel business center. Go to igHome.com and log into your account. You’re never without Internet resources. (Of course, don’t forget to log out when finished. Better yet, use an incognito browser.)
If you like this idea of having a personalized home page, why not share it with others? Use one of the social share buttons. Or, click the Tweetables above. Finally, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.