Make Your Own Custom Home Pages

What do you use for a home page on your browser? iGoogle? Yahoo? MSN? C’mon… have some imagination, folks!

With a wee bit of creativity and a little bit of your valuable time, you can make yourself some really cool custom home pages. Load ’em up with the stuff YOU want, not that carp that those other sites put on theirs. I’ve been making and using custom home pages for years on my own systems. I just got tired of those usual home page sites not providing the content that was really important to me.

Now, before we get into this any deeper, let me assure you that I’m no super artist or whiz kid HTML coder. The extent of my artistic skills fall squarely into the stickman category (see Fig. 1). You don’t need to be an artist or a coder to do this stuff. There are apps like The GIMP (graphics application) and KompoZer or Sea Monkey (WYSIWYG editors) that you can use to make beautiful and practical home pages in just a jiff!

Figure 1 – Stickman

Let your imagination run away. I tend to make my home pages in a practical format. They’re just pretty pages with links to my most visited sites. I still have my browser’s bookmarks to go to if necessary, but a goodly portion of my daily surfing can be done using my home page as a launch pad. I have two different home pages that I’ve created buttons for on my browser (Firefox). One is my general home page (Fig 2 thumbnail) and the other is a Linux specific home page (Fig 3 thumbnail).

Figure 2 – General Home Page

Figure 3 – Linux Home Page

You can do this, folks. It’s easy-peasy. Just find (or make yourself) a nice background image for your home page, then start adding the content that you want on it. Play around with your WYSIWYG editor of choice. Both KompoZer and Sea Monkey are pretty intuitive and easy to use. Once you have your home page created you’ll need to “serve” it on your own system. This is not as complicated as it sounds.

All “serving” means, is providing a place to access something whenever you need to access it. In the case of your custom home page, you’re just going to save it like any other file… right there on your hard drive somewhere. The next thing you need to do is point your browser to it and load it. Once your browser loads up your custom home page, just do whatever you need to do to set it as the home page in that particular browser. You can also create custom buttons on the tool bar, if you know how to do that.

Play around, make some boo-boos, have some FUN with it.

Until next time…

~Eric

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