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What's a good homepage for your browser?

When Google killed off "iGoogle" a few years ago, I was pretty disappointed. It was the default homepage that loaded up every time I opened my browser. The fact that you could customize it with all sorts of information that was relevant to you was probably my favorite thing about it: Gmail, calendar, important news, weather, etc. The overall looks were a bit spartan, but you could choose from various themes as well.

I thought it was a great alternative to the web portals that other companies have (AOL, Microsoft, Yahoo, and others). Admittedly, there's something about these other portals that never really clicked with me, so I don't use them, nor do I have much experience with them. Can you customize them at all? I'm sure you definitely can't embed a Gmail widget in them.

Nowadays, I feel like the utility of these pages have been diminished. Most browsers let you open up your previous tabs and you can pick up right where you left off. Of course, now my browser perpetually looks like this:

Anyway, are there any interesting homepages that you're using when you first open up your browser? Is it possible to just build and design your own? I definitely miss getting all sorts of important (and relevant!) information at a glance.

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Back in the day, I used to use something like Pageflakes or Netvibes:

But since browsers started having tabs and have the option to open the tabs from your last session, I never see a home page. If I need the weather, I use this menu bar app called Degrees (https:­/­/itunes.apple.com­/us­/app­/degrees­/id43017376...) or if I want to catch up on news, I'll just go directly to the websites.

I also usually leave the new tab settings in my browser to just open a blank page primarily for speed, but also if I'm showing a co-worker something on my computer with me, they don't see that my top viewed websites are YouTube and Reddit.
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I remember this circulating when the shutdown first happened with iGoogle (lifehacker.com­/5923751­/two­-excellent­-customizable­-...) but I personally didn't explore any of the options. I want my browser windows to open fast and quick, so I prefer blank.

If I was to go with something I think I'd look to something like Panda (beautifulpixels.com­/web­/panda/).
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I gave up on those landing pages years ago and not my starting/landing/home page is just GMail. It's what I spend the most amount of time in, and it's the most important tool I use, so I might as well make it the first thing I see when I go to the web.

I do, however, have a few other tabs open when I open the browser. My favorite BBS, Feedly, and a couple others. So that's another option. You mentioned that most browsers will open up your previous tabs, but you can also set several sites to load any time you start your browser.
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The usual iGoogle type gadgets plus I could make my own using radar maps of my area and I could also nab an iframe of the local traffic issues from my local news page and made a widget out of that, useful for work. All in all it worked out to be better than igoogle for me.
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I use Chrome and have set my homepage to the New tab page. It shows 8 windows of the top websites that I visit most frequently. The Google search engine is also right there for quick access. I keep all the websites that I visit most frequently on my bookmarks bar. The page loads extremely fast. Be it search or favorites its always available within 1 or 2 clicks.
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start.me is one of the best customizable start pages. It's fast, feature rich and it has a beautiful UI. It's a great tool to manage Bookmarks, RSS, Weather, Notes, To-do's, Mail all in one place.
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There are few websites which give you that option.
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