Best Personalized Start Page

Netvibes, Pageflakes and Protopage

Using Personalized Start Pages for your browser's home page is a tidy and efficient solution to keeping all your favorite and frequently visited resources on the Web on one handy and customizable page.

Essentially, a personalized start page is a site where you can drag and drop all kinds of gadgets (or widgets, flakes, thingabobs, etc!) onto the page that allow you to read your rss feeds, check news, log into your email, keep "to do" lists or write quick notes to yourself with a notepad feature. And then you get to move them around the page until they look just right, thanks to their Ajax interface.

You may already be familiar with the offerings from the big providers like iGoogle Windows Live and My Yahoo!, but here are a few other contenders you should check out that might be just right for you.


The aim of Netvibes is to provide a place on the internet where you can set just the content you like, a super easy way of building your personalized homepage, available anywhere, anytime. No registration is needed, however if you want to access your page from another computer you’ll be able to do it by registering with your email address and a password. From the Netvibes blog

Netvibes also supports logging into Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, as well as pop3 email accounts. Additionally, it smoothly intergrates Writely, ICal,, and dozens (maybe hundreds?) more.

Some Other Features

  • Full managing of the my feeds section
  • Bookmarks module
  • Flickr module
  • Todo-list module
  • Read/Unread status
  • Multiple pages
  • OPML export
  • Color themes
  • Video module
  • Search for feeds


Pageflakes is the personalized start page that I'm currently using. It offers a choice of six different color themes, as well as a ton of other features.

New Features as noted on the Pageflakes blog

Page Templates -Dozens of pre-created page templates for topics like work, family, sports, finance, entertainment, education and much more. Now it takes just a mouse click to add a whole page with the best modules for a certain topic area.

Feeds and Podcasts - A Feed Directory and a Podcast Directory with hundreds of news feeds and podcasts from all over the world and for almost every category.

Community Site- A new Pageflakes community environment at which allows you to search, submit, rate and discuss flakes and do much more.

Share your page! - Setting up a shared page with other users is now easier than ever.

Public pages - A Public Pages Gallery of all the pages which Pageflakes users have published.


Protopage is another popular choice for Ajaxified personalized startpages.

Some of the new Protopages features (list from Mashable)

"They’re claiming 30 new features, including instant collaboration (share your pages with others), color coded tabs and categories, the ability to add audio and video podcasts, a news reader, the option to add cartoons like Dilbert to your page and much more.

More importantly, there are now masses of widgets to choose from: 270 widgets in total, including 96 games, 71 financial modules and 26 sports widgets. As you’d expect from Protopage, which has always been one of the prettiest startpages, it’s slick and beautifully designed. One criticism is that the tabbed page structure can become confusing - on some views, for instance, you see three rows of tabs.

The widget side has been expanded dramatically: there’s now a widget showcase and a developer API - they even offer a development environment with revision control. Coupled with a host of new features, it’s a worthy rival to Pageflakes, Netvibes, Webwag and yourminis from Goowy. If you’re looking for a startpage, you’re really spoiled for choice these days, since all of the offerings are top notch."

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Comments 2 comments

jane krauss 9 years ago

Thank you for summarizing the features of these tools, very helpful!

Kippy 8 years ago

I like igoogle because of the google apps, which are becoming more and more useful. I've read about igoogle for business in which employees can share info and announcements on a personalized start page. I currently use which is similar to netvibes. I wish some of these were MORE customizable, however. I'd like to be able to change the layout and colors more and perhaps implement widgets for facebook and myspace. Are there any of these widgets out there?

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