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The Ultimate in Home Page Customization
By: Gabor Bernat
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    Table of Contents:
  • The Ultimate in Home Page Customization
  • Warming Up With iGoogle and Netvibes
  • Customization
  • Taking a break

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    The Ultimate in Home Page Customization - Warming Up With iGoogle and Netvibes

    (Page 2 of 4 )



    For most of the people on the planet, Google means the best search engine in the universe. Despite this, Google is not all about the search engine; it covers far more. The company was started back in 1996 as a research project by Larry Page and Sergy Brin, and is now one of the hottest companies on the stock market, to the consternation of its rivals. 

    If you are interested in some other Google-related articles, then just head over to the multi-part series written by Barzan "Tony" Antal at the SEO Chat site at this page. The fact is that Google's list of the acquisitions grows larger and larger each day. Moreover, as you would expect from a big and respected company, each and every piece of software developed by it slowly becomes a gold mine.

    One of these is iGoogle. It is derived from the Kaltix company after Google purchased it on September 30, 2003. 


    Netvibes represents iGoogle's main competition in this arena. It was founded by Frenchman Tariq Krim and Florent Fremont in 2005. From the early days, Netvibes managed to take care of the most essential tasks without losing itself in the details, but at the same time not forgetting to focus on the look of the site. The user has the main control, customizing almost everything.

    Starting from the end of 2007, a major update was introduced. This included a new style system, new social activities, all sorts of gadgets, and applications are now aligned to the Netvibes UWA. In other words, they are compatible with all other home page customization sites. This is true in the other direction as well. Some additional content has also been introduced, but this will be discussed later. However, before we praise one of them, let us start observing what we have in essence.

    Sure, most of these kinds of sites can be used without registering, but in order to support the saving of account information and benefit from the best of what the sites have to offer, you must register. Even so, fear not, as registration is free and takes just a few seconds in both cases. If you already have a Google account, you will be instantly logged into it.

    If you choose not to register, you can still edit the page, but when you come back all of your work will be gone; it is more like a free tour. Also, registering will let you enter your account from anywhere with a web connection. These are basic needs, and both of them deliver.

    There are a few standard requirements from a site like this, that are common and give it an extra certain style and usability. These include support for multiple tabs, and within tabs, smaller windows that are in fact the applications/widgets/RSS fluxes, depending on the situation.

    As a bonus for Netvibes, you can choose how many tabs you want to endure in a row (a number from one to four) and you can resize the size of the windows vertically. Contrast that with iGoogle, where the resize is not an option, just like choosing how many columns you prefer. The rearranging of objects can be done via the drag-and-drop method. This is true for both services.

    At this stage, we can conclude probably that the only major drawback of Netvibes is, sad to say, that they system sometimes cannot handle all that is thrown at it, and this can cause issues with the customization process.

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