What is your homepage?

I’m actually quite amazed how many people out there cling to the ancient idea of a “home page”. I’m sorry, I’m amazed how many people who use modern browsers still use “home pages”. IE users of course have no choice. I mean, you can’t really expect much from a browser in which the CSS support is only slightly better than in Lynx (which has virtually no CSS support). Most people who use, normal, non-retarded browsers (and I mean retarded in non-derogatory way of course – as in developmentally challenged) – like Firefox and Opera sessions have their browsing environment restored to the previous state when they open the browser, so they can pick up exactly where they left off.

What I do have is a set of tabs that usually opens when my browser opens and I get upset if for some reason my session gets messed up and I am forced to re-open all of them. These are usually google reader, google callendar, twitter homepage, terminally-incoherent administration panel. On top of that there is whatever I was browsing before, and what I want to revisit next time I open the browser. In other words, I do not have a singular homepage but a whole set of dynamic pages that I want to have open at all times.

Working in IT I had ample opportunities to see what technology-impaired people usually set as their home pages. The breakdown was something like this:

  1. Most people used MSN which clearly indicated that they never figured out how to change their homepage. When I switched their page to our company website many people remarked “how fast the internet loaded” for them after that. That’s because our page did not have flashy flashing flash, jumping, moving and scrolling adds and all that crap
  2. A lot of laptop users had their home pages hijacked by their home ISP – so all Comcast users had comcast.net, all AOL users had AOL.com and etc…
  3. Quite a few people had some strange Yahoo fetish. My theory is that they all first got “the internets” back in the ancient past when “Yahoo” == “Searching the web” and never moved on. Go figure.
  4. The rest of the people used Google but not iGoogle.
  5. Some of the more clueful people used about:blank for speed

Naturally none of these people actually used browser sessions but then again these are the same people who send emails like “when I open microsoft I get an error” to our help desk. Expecting them to actually enable a non-default feature that is both convenient and helpful (at least IMHO) is silly. This sort of people like to do things the hard way. :P

Here is a question for you, the reader: do you use a homepage, or sessions? If you do, what is your homepage and why. If you don’t then do you have a set of tabs/pages you always keep open like me? Let me know!

[tags]homepage, tabs, sessions, browser sessions, browsers[/tags]

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28 Responses to What is your homepage?

  1. Jake UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Linux says:

    I use iGoogle on my desktop and laptop (with FastDial a Ctrl+T away), and Google on my N800 (fast loading and I usually want to look something up.

    In support of Yahoo!, which my dad uses, he enjoys reading the Yahoo! news and so forth. He still usually uses the Firefox search bar for searches (and on Google).

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  2. Brian Kelly UNITED STATES Safari Mac OS says:

    I have a custom page with a number of my own links on it. Since I’m constantly on multiple computers, it’s easier to remember this one site and then I have my bookmarks there.

    I do use a couple of “sessions” on my laptop — one for work pages and another for news and other quick reference stuff.

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  3. in my case “Homepage” means the following Tabs:
    -Google Reader
    -GMail
    -G33KY.de (my blog)
    and on some installations Google Calendar
    but most times i start Firefox (which i do only once or twice a day) i simply restore the last session.

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  4. Steve CANADA Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    I do the saved session thing as well…too simple…my “homepage”, such as it is, it Google :)

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  5. Nathan UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    My homepage, which I only see when I open a new tab, is about:blank. I just have Firefox open whatever I had open last time (which by the way is a great feature, and I’m glad they rolled it into Firefox 2).

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  6. Keith UNITED STATES Konqueror Debian GNU/Linux says:

    I belong to the #5 camp, I have Konqueror start with about:blank. I use yubnub.org in the search bar and occasionally Surfraw from the CLI for quick searches (being able to type ‘google 29.92 inHg = ? hPa‘ and get an instant answer is great).

    My parents use a personalized excite.com page from back in the day for news/weather/TV guide/etc. along with a few other tabbed sites between them as their ‘home page’.

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  7. Starhawk UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Linux says:

    Homepage I about forgot what that was. lmao

    I use sessions of course with multiple tabs open and even several instances of FF running on different workspaces. Actually I kinda view the use of homepages as indicating someone is a moron. Perhaps unfairly as I actually know people that use homepages. Still it is a weird idea to me. I even removed the homepage button from FFs toolbar tho I have it set to google… who needs it I already have a google (and more) search box ;)

    The internet is for reading things and researching things to me as much as anything so when I shut down firefox (or it crashes :( ) I want it to open where I was at so I can continue… I would say finish here but it seems reading things online is a never ending task. There is always another blog to read or a link to click on or something to look up in Wikipedia et al. lol

    And as far as losing my sessions goes I really really really hate that. I can reopen the tabs and maybe go thru my history and hopefully find the sites I spaced out but it usually means I lost my cookies and have to resign into all the sites I log into. Way to many btw. That is a major bummer to me.

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  8. Dax UNITED STATES Opera Windows says:

    I start with a blank page. That’s it. Opera has “speed dial” which gives you a decent starting home page, but I don’t use it. I wasn’t aware people used home pages still.

    Where’d the captcha go? I haven’t posted in a while and just noticed it missing. Did I glaze over while reading the post that talked about that?

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  9. Mats Rauhala FINLAND Mozilla Firefox Linux says:

    I mostly use about:blank, but occasionally restore the session.
    Firefox 3 has a “bug” which makes it always start in offline mode in my laptop. It checks from network manager whether I am online, and since I have a custom script to enable my wireless, network manager has no clue about me being online.

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  10. Jenn UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Mac OS says:

    I use iGoogle. I have an RSS feed for the placeblog I work for, and then a gadget for Google Reader. I also get my Gmail from it. My theme is the Beastie Boys.

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  11. I use a combination of iGoogle, Hahlo (loaded in the sidebar), another tab with Google Reader, and then whatever was left over from my last session.

    I stick with iGoogle since I have allot of my bookmarks saved on that page in case I find myself on someone else s computer.

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  12. freelancer SWEDEN Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    I just have Firefox reload my previous session, which usually contains about 30-40 tabs. Not that I use all of them (or even half of them) every time, but often I find something useful but don’t have time to check it out, so I just open it in a new tab (I don’t even use bookmarks anymore, maybe I’m getting lazy). It’s kinda funny, cause sometimes I find something I had completely forgotten about in a tab.

    My regular tabs are Gmail, my student mail (no forwarding or POP from that account :(), YouTube, GateWorld Forum, Spell of Play, this blog, xkcd, Zero Punctuation, Hack a Day, and a few other forums and blogs.

    My homepage is set to Google, which is what I’ll use most often when opening a new tab.

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  13. Luke Maciak UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    Hmm… Interesting. I really thought home pages were the thing of the past, but it seems that quite a few commenters are using it. :)

    @Dax – the CAPTCHA went away very recently because I realized it did absolutely nothing for my spam situation. I get as much spam now as I got it before CAPTCHA. No need to keep it then. :)

    @freelancer – I totally love that the screenshot of PocketBar features Gigi Edgley! You are aware that she is the only actress that has her own dedicated tag on this blog right?

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  14. freelancer SWEDEN Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    @Luke – I wouldn’t have it any other way. And of course I’m aware of that! That’s probably the reason I found your blog in the first place :P

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  15. ZeWrestler UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    I do both a homepage and tabs depending on which system I’m using.
    Homepage tends to be google.

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  16. vacri AUSTRALIA Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    basic google here. It’s a tiny page that’s served quickly and consumes little bandwidth – basically it’s nice to know that when your browser starts working, ‘the web’ is up. If google doesn’t appear, it’s not likely because the google server is down – any problem is likely to be between my chair and my ISP. I’m also more used to ‘alt+home’ to get a google search than whatever the other shortcut is to get to the inbuilt search box :)

    Usually though I recover saved sessions.

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  17. Mads DENMARK Opera Windows says:

    I use opera primarely (as you can see, posten by opera :)), but I have firefox open at work (When you host/design/test webpages for others you need to have a lot of browsers) most of the time too, some safari and IE as well..
    I find it easier to fire off a new “instance” of FF instead of locate a FF window (among the masses that consume my taskbar), then I can click the X at the top and not worry about killing something important, if it’s a new instance of FF I use.
    Homepage is also google: Simple, efficient and loveable.
    What’s funny is safari (for windows) complains about setting the homepage to google, as it points to the search thingy at the top right.

    What I don’t like about the new opera is that they have changed the “Paste and go” hotkey from ctrl+b to shift+ctrl+v, which is why I’m clinging to 9.27. And then someone will tell me it’s just to edit About:config or something simple.. Just wait

    /Mads out

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  18. Matt` UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Windows Terminalist says:

    Whatever I was looking at when I closed my browser.

    Firefox 3 has been annoying me by opening the homepage I set before I switched to sessions every time I open a new window… might have to set that to about:blank to solve that one, or find a clever-er way.

    What severely pisses me off is when a page opens some other little page (a selection box, very rarely some kind of pop-under, whatever) that I don’t notice until I close the main window. It then becomes the session that gets saved, so when I re-open FF all I get is whatever stupid thing it was that opened without my noticing.

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  19. gp ARGENTINA Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    (sorry for the little offtopic)
    @Mats Rauhala:
    You can disable the NetworkManager dbus messages (which tells firefox to go to offline mode)
    Edit /etc/dbus-1/system.d/NetworkManager.conf
    Replace
    <allow send_interface=”org.freedesktop.NetworkManager”/>
    with
    <deny send_interface=”org.freedesktop.NetworkManager”/>
    There are three of them.
    Save and reboot and its done :D

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  20. ido ISRAEL Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    I use firefox’s addon “session saver”, which means I never loose a tab, not even if firefox crashed.

    every now and again I clean my open tabs, remove things I meant to read but never got a chance to, remove junk tabs like google searches from a couple of days ago, etc.

    3 tabs which are usually open are: gmail, greader, and Yahoo mail.

    the first bookmark on my “bookmark toolbar” is google, which I sometimes use as an “open new tab” with middle-click. never really liked the built-in search bar, don’t know why.

    oh, and i don’t use iGoogle, I don’t like its design, but I may start using the new upcoming iGoogle…

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  21. Alphast NETHERLANDS Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux Terminalist says:

    I use iGoogle (in Firefox), in the secure connexion mode (due to the need of reading Google AdSense reports). It’s ok, but recently I happened to unwillingly use sessions a lot because Firefox and Hardy in general keep crashing on me (especially at the end of the day). I can’t get bothered to manually restart at the end of my work day, so I just push the off button and leave it like that. So of course I just restore the crashed session the day after.

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  22. Chrissy UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Mac OS says:

    For my main browser- Firefox – I just have a homepage set to iGoogle for a quick look at my recent e-mails, calendar, weather, and Flickr comments. Mostly I like it for the theme. For all other browsers, I use about:blank

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  23. /side story, I took my friends laptop once, and set his homepage to like 3 sets of meatspin and tubgirl… and then a lot of other random shock sites… so it would take him forever to close out of them all.

    I typically just leave my firefox install with the firefox google homepage. I did play around with the extention for firefox that gives you a schedualed homepage, and such… but I just didn’t like it.

    I personally just like working with just a few tabs… because how i browse I follow links of links and typically open them in new tabs… so by the time I am done going though a blog or wiki or something… I am at 50 open tabs anyway… I don’t need my other sites to add into that… if I am not viewing them they don’t need to be open.

    I am not niave to how easy your life can be with tabs and an auto start lineup… but I just don’t have a need for it. I remember the sites I like.

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  24. k00pa FINLAND Mozilla Firefox Linux says:

    I like to use “restore session”. But my actually homepage, is my own website. I like to close all tabs after browsing so I also use about:blank.

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  25. k00pa FINLAND Mozilla Firefox Linux says:

    I like to use “restore session” and also about:blank.

    Reply  |  Quote
  26. ST/op DENMARK K-Meleon Windows says:

    It depends…
    - at least, Google. Just to make sure the Internets are working!
    - at work, iGoogle, Gmail, and a few tabs with last visited sites.
    - at home, last session, whatever it is. I tend not to run webapps in Firefox, and use Prism instead. Of course, it is kinda Firefox, but without the clutter of tabs, toolbars and the like.

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  27. Adam Kahtava CANADA Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    My homepage is Yahoo! in Netscape Communicator 7.0.

    Even the word “Homepage” sounds so arts and crafty! Homepages are for homeboys! about:blank-about:blank-about:blank is the way to surf.

    :)

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  28. JuEeHa FINLAND Mozilla Firefox Mac OS says:

    Lets see. On my main machine:
    TenFourFox: tab restore, but settings show that I had set it to about:mozilla
    Camino: http://caminobrowser.org/start/ (default homepage)
    lynx: default
    links: no homepage
    wannaBE: default
    iCab 3: about:blank
    Classilla: about:mozilla

    Old tower:
    Handpatched iceweasel 2 based browser I have lying aroud: about:mozilla
    Konqueror: about:blank
    lynx: default
    elinks: no homepage

    Server/tinkering machine:
    Dillo: about:blank(If I remember correctly)
    links: no homepage

    Laptop(I don’t know what to call them in English but in Finnish they are called “Miniläppäri”. Very small often underpowered laptops for net surfing. mine is Asus EeePC 701SD. I haven’t used it in few years):
    Firefox 2: http://www.google.com/firefox
    lynx: default

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