PORTALS (YOUR HOME PAGES)
What is a portal?
A portal is a web site that the user sets up as an entrance to other sites on the internet. A portal typically has search engines, email, news, etc.
What is a Home Page?
A Home Page is the page that loads whenever you start your web browser.
How to Set Up Your Home Page?
For Internet Explorer:
- Click on "Tools".
- Click on "Internet Options".
- Use the "General" tab to set your home page. (See Figure P-1)
- Click on "Tools".
- Click on "Options".
- Use the "Main" tab to set your home page. (See Figure P-2)
- Under Tools --> Preferences --> Home page, you can define a global home page.
- You can set Opera to open this global homepage when you start it in the "Startup" section of Opera's Preferences accessed through the "Tools" menu. The global home page can also be added here.
I currently have three different home pages that I use and have tried many more. Home pages are web sites that can contain news, games, RSS feeds, e-mail, calendars, bookmarks, clocks, search engines, TV/movie listings and other items. These pages can be customized in a variety of ways. Here I review my three favorite home pages: My Yahoo!, Google and Netvibes.
The Google IG homepage lets you add numerous gadgets, arrange them by dragging and dropping and search Google. There are some themes but features little control over its appearance. It has literally hundreds of modules but browsing them is cumbersome. Clicking on the little plus signs in order to view an item is no fun.
My current favorite, Netvibes features easy customization, a huge variety of feeds and modules, and it looks cool. To make setup easy, there is a collapsible sidebar listing popular modules and a directory of feeds which you can drag, drop and rearrange. You can also browse the thousands of modules, feeds, podcasts and events. You can even share the tabs you've created with other users. Netvibes offers a choice of 10 themes.
With My Yahoo! you can add lots of content such as modules, feeds and podcasts with a limited degree of customization. It's great for browsing the news because of My Yahoo!'s ability to display a short summary below each headline. My Yahoo! limits you to three static columns (two narrow and one wide). You can rearrange modules within each column and you can drag modules from one narrow column to another, but the wide one is locked. My Yahoo! features dozens of themes.