Christmas giveaway: win lifelong Premium

It is nearly Christmas and here are start.me HQ we are in a festive mood. Because it is nearly Christmas, we decided it would be nice to give away some presents. And so we will! For Christmas, we will be giving away 20 lifelong Premium subscriptions to start.me, worth hundreds of dollars.

I want one!

So what do you have to do to get one of these Premium subscriptions? Simple! All you need to do is invite a friend to start.me. For every friend you invited that starts using start.me, you will get a chance to win a lifetime subscription to start.me Premium. And, as a bonus, when you win, your friend will get lifelong Premium, too!

So what are you waiting for? Go to our Christmassy ‘Invite a friend‘ page, invite some friends, and win that Premium subscription! Oh, if you don’t have an account yet, be sure to sign up first.

Background colors, icons and new RSS widget setting

Last tuesday we already posted about some new widget customization options we added. Today we released some more improvements. They are not as big as earlier this week, but still worth mentioning. And of course we like you to know we are continuously working to improve start.me. Not all improvements are always visible, so the ones that are, we like to brag about a little every once in a while…

More background colors

When we launched the new option to select a background color for widgets we realized 9 colors is not a lot to choose from. To give you a little more to choose from, we added 12 more neutral colors, including those you were used to have in the Notes widget. In the future we hope to allow you complete freedom in picking a color, including darker ones.

Search feature in icon selector

start.me supports custom icons for both widgets and bookmarks for quite some while. The icon set we offer contains over 600 icons. Finding the right one could be quite a bit of work, at times even frustrating. So we added a nice search feature. Just start typing the name of the icon you are looking for (e.g. ‘photo’, ‘twitter’ or ‘check’) and we will find the icon for you!

Not sure how to select an icon for a bookmark? Just right click it and select ‘Edit’. Try using custom icons in combination with the new detailed list mode and Markdown support of our Bookmarks: quite awesome!

Start feed widget extra large

RSS feeds quite often contain photos. Some major news feeds like Mashable and Lifehack offer beautiful pictures in their feeds. To make those great images stand out more, we added a new option to the RSS widget: ‘start with extra large image’. This option is available when you choose the ‘thumbnail’ or ‘large’ image mode and have at least 2 summaries displayed. Once the option is enabled, you will see that the first article will be displayed with a full width, extra large image. Just beautiful. Try it and be amazed. Oh, and it works really well with Youtube RSS feeds, too!

Bonus: more to discover

You may have already tried our new Discover section on start.me/discover. Our editors are adding new sites every day. Have you already discovered our new Apps category? And for those of you from Russia: check out the hundreds of new sites our editors have found for you! Still looking for a great Christmas present? Perhaps you find something you like in our Gifts and Deals sections on Discover > Shopping.

More widget customization options

The most important building blocks of start.me pages are widgets. No wonder we get a lot of feature requests from people who want to customize their widgets. Thus far, most of the customization options allowed you to change the functionality of the widget. Today’s release gives you more control over the widget’s looks. You can now change the color and transparency of widgets individually. When you try it, you will see this opens up tons of new possibilities!

Widget background

So far, there was no way to make specific widgets stand out. We added a ‘Background’ tab to the settings dialog of all widgets to change that. Apart from the default white background, you can select one of 9 background colors to make some widgets stand out more. The colors have been picked to be both distinctive and work well with the overall design of start.me widgets.

We introduced transparent widgets quite a while ago already. The transparency of widgets can be set for the entire page. In some cases, that setting is a little too coarse and it would be preferably to be able to set widget transparency individually. So we added a new setting to allow per-widget tuning of transparency. You can still set a global transparency value for all widgets on a page, but choose to set a different transparency level for one or two specific widgets. Great if you want some widgets to blend in with your background image.

Some other new options

Apart from these really cool background settings, we also added some widget specific settings. The Notes and Twitter Timeline widgets now support a configurable height, allowing you more control over the look of these widgets. For the Notes widget, this means you can have long texts displayed in a relatively small space.

The email widget now supports custom IMAP, so that you are not limited to the providers we offer: by simply specifying your own email server’s IMAP details, you can integrate email from whatever source you want!

And finally, we made a new widget available: the Profile widget. This widget offers a nice way to describe yourself, your organization of something else you like. A photo can be attached to the description as well as links to Twitter, LinkedIn, et cetera. You can see some examples on our about page.

We hope you like the new customization options and would like to invite you to share with us some of the pages you have made using the new customization settings!

Reorganized widget settings

Oh, before we forget: we reorganized the widget settings dialogs, making common settings easier for you to find. The widget’s title and icon can now be changed directly through the settings dialog, providing you with one clear place to go for customization settings. We hope you enjoy!

 

Some Sinterklaas presents for you

It has been quite a while since our last update. Holiday season is a busy time for us. We had to buy a lot of presents for the celebration of the Dutch Sinterklaas holiday, which typically takes a lot of time. Our friends, family and kids were all very happy with what they got. And of course we did not forget about you!

More organized overview of your pages

Did you know there is a nice overview of your pages available? Well, perhaps not. It has been there for a while and it is a really useful way to get a quick overview of your pages (e.g. start.me/u/3425qZ/start-me). The page can be accessed by clicking the ‘Personal pages’ link in the pages menu.

We made quite some improvements to this page. Your pages are now categorized, so that you can clearly see what pages you created, what pages you are following, but also which pages you shared with the world or a team.

Similar improvements have been made for the overview of Team pages (e.g. start.me/o/p3gyZK/start-me). The pages shown are now grouped, showing pages flagged ‘Popular’ first, followed by those pages you yourself contribute to. Pages that are team only and cannot be seen by outsiders are shown separate from those shared with the world, to avoid confusion.

Copying pages

Oddly enough, it has been possible to copy widgets for quite some while, but copying entire pages was still something you would have to request through start.me support. We have had quite some requests for this feature, but every time we wanted to go ahead and build it, something else came up. This time, somewhere between 10 and 11 PM, we just did it. And it is great! Being able to copy entire pages allows for setting up page templates, which can be especially useful in team context.

Copying pages is simple: just right-click somewhere on the page, or use the dropdown menu next to the page title and select ‘Copy page’. The page will be copied and you are asked to specify a name. It is that simple!

Improvements to start.me/discover

Last time we introduced the brand new start.me/discover feature, allowing you to browse thousands of sites, organized in over 250 different categories. Since Discover was introduced, we made many small improvements and spent quite some time adding more and more sites. You will find that duplicate listings no longer occur and the pages adapt more to the interests you specified in your preferences. Discover is still in beta and we are working on a lot more interesting things to follow in the future. So please, don’t be hesitant when it comes to giving feedback or sending feature requests.

We already had a lot of fun doing our Sinterklaas shopping using the sites in the shopping categories. We found some nice new webshops. At the same time, we got some good input from expert shoppers about missing sites. So if your favorite webshop is missing, let us know!

Hi Paul!

As you may or may not realize, start.me is still a young company, in existence since 2014. Even though hundreds of thousands of people are using start.me, the team behind this great personal start page service is still quite small. Starting december, Paul Kamer joined our team as web developer. He is a very experienced developer and will help realizing more of the features you have requested over the past years. So there he is: our Sinterklaas present to you 😉