View your Google Analytics data directly from your browser’s homepage

We have just released a brand new Google Analytics widget that allows you to keep track of your website traffic stats, directly from your start.me page.

The Google Analytics widgets displays your key Google Analytics data in a chart that is easy to read and understand. You can customize the data by selecting from a large number of Metrics and Segments.

Multiple Analytics widgets can be added to your start.me page, so you can keep track of all your Analytics KPI’s from across all your websites on one simple dashboard.

Instructions for adding the Google Analytics widget to your start.me page

1. Click the + sign in the page-grid to add a widget
2. Search for “Analytics”
3. Add the Analytics widget to your page
4. Authorize start.me to access your Analytics data using your Google account
5. Use the Settings dialog to select the Site, Metric and Segment that you want to display

Please let us know what you think of this new Analytics widget, by leaving your comment below or by e-mailing us at [email protected].

Available to Premium users only

Please note: This widget is only available for Premium users. You can upgrade to Premium for just 20USD/annual or 45USD/lifetime. Premium members also enjoy additional benefits, including an ad-free and faster loading experience. Upgrade now!

Interview with Accenture

Last week, Accenture interviewed us about winning the 6th round of the Innovation Awards. The resulting article was published today and might be worth a read! Unfortunately, the article was written in Dutch. Below is an excerpt from the interview, translated to English. For the full text, you could try your luck with the machine translation by Google.

Q: Michiel de Wit, congratulations! With 1,195 votes you are winner of the 6th round of the Audience Award. Not a surprise, given your exciting social media giveaway, right?

A: Well, actually it was! Only a fraction of the people who voted for us, have actually signed up for the raffle. We have set up a giveaway as a kind of compensation, which meant that our voters could win a free month of start.me Premium. We noticed that the majority did not sign up for the giveaway and needed no incentive to vote for us. Someone even said: ” I normally never do this kind of things, but for you I will.” So heartwarming if someone is genuinely happy with your product!

start.me won the 6th round of the AIA16

As you may have heard, start.me has been nominated for the Accenture Innovation Awards 2016. We received a lot of positive feed back and more than 1,200 start.me users took the trouble of voting for us. And with great result: we won the 6th round! This means we will be participating in the finals in October. Thank you very much to everyone who voted (or tried to)! This literally wouldn’t have been possible without you!

Wonderful comments

We would like to share some of the heartwarming comments we received from users who voted:

I never do this stuff, but you guys are great – the site is great – and I think that’s why so many of us have voted!

Just made us smile. And this one, too:

I was with the old iGoogle for many years, then with igHome. Just switched to you and love it: I tell my friends about it!

And one more, just because it made us happy:

Has been taken care of 🙂 I also promote your site regularly on Facebook, because I really enjoy it myself and so I want to share it with others!

Winners

5 start.me users have won a free year of start.me Premium. The winners have received an email to confirm their Premium subscription and a second one to congratulate them. For those of you who would like to get Premium for free, too: just invite your friends. For every friend who starts to use start.me, we will award you with a month Premium for free. Just drop us an email to claim the reward!

Faster pages, HTTP/2 and some more

We have been posting about our efforts to improve the overall speed of start.me before. That’s because we think speed is a very important characteristic of a service you use every day. Today an update on our progress, with some exciting improvements! Furthermore, we added some features and tweaked the look and feel of start.me a little. You will read all about it further down.

Faster bookmarks

Faster bookmark widgets

Of the more than 5 million widgets on start.me, 55% is a bookmark widget. It is fair to say that lists with bookmarks are by far the most commonly used feature. That’s why we worked hard to make those bookmark lists as fast as we could. We went through the code and optimized it quite a bit. The result is that pages with a lot of bookmark widgets should render almost twice as fast! The improvement should be noticeably for everyone, in particular for those of you who use start.me on a smartphone or tablet.

Caching and CloudFlare

To further improve the loading speed of start.me, we added caching. Pages you often visit are stored locally, so that loading will be quicker. You may notice a short loading animation at pages you haven’t visited for a while.

The new loader. You like it?

We started routing all traffic through CloudFlare, which should improve loading performance as well, especially outside of the United States. CloudFlare provides optimizations and caching and at the same time adds some protection against online threats, improving overall security quite a bit.

HTTP/2

With the move to CloudFlare, start.me also gained support for the new HTTP/2 protocol. To many this long-awaited successor to HTTP/1.1 may be all Greek. Originally an ‘invention’ by Google called SPDY (“Speedy”), the new web standard improves loading speed of pages considerably, by using the Internet connection more efficiently. The benefits should be most notable for those with slower Internet connections.

UI Tweaks

After the introduction of our new logo, we made some minor adjustments to the design of start.me to reflect the new colors. You may notice drop down menus now look a little more sophisticated and some shades of blue have changed. Furthermore, the way pages scroll has changed a little: the scrollbar now starts below the top header. And we changed the icon for the page dropdown menu, to make it clearer it can be used to edit the current page.

Some of the UI changes we made

Search box on mobile devices

It took us a while, but finally we can now offer a search box on mobile devices. Because of the smaller screen sizes of smartphones and some tablets, we were not able to fit the (Google) search box in the header of mobile devices. We finally solved this issue my moving the search box below the header, so that on mobile devices too you can easily Google away!

Search box now is available on mobile devices, too

Multi-line bookmark icon titles

The Bookmarks widget received a new setting. When the widget has been switched to the Icon view, you can now choose how much of the bookmark titles is shown. Previously, on the first line would be shown. The new setting, found on the Advanced settings tab of the widget, allows you two show two lines or even the complete title.

Single line vs. Multi line bookmark titles

We’ve improved icons on start.me

In the previous weeks we’ve done some work in the background to improve the bookmark icons on start.me.

The main improvements are:

  • Icons are now loaded faster. On average we’ve been able to reduce the loading times for all icons on a page by almost 185ms. We’re continuing to focus on improving the overall loading speed of start.me and this is another step in the right direction.
  • For thousands of websites we have improved the quality of the icon. Even if you choose the “large” or “extra large” view, the icons remain sharp.
  • All the custom icons that you’ve uploaded are now available in the “Your icons” tab in the “Select Icon” dialog. This makes it much easier to reuse custom icons for multiple websites.

Stay tuned as we continue to work on improving the start.me product.

You can now find pages shared by other users

As of today you can find user contributed pages on start.me about topics of interest, for instance News, Entertainment and Sports. You can use these pages as a source of inspiration for your own page, or simply “Favorite” them so you can easily access these pages through your Pages menu.

Currently we have over 200 localized pages available, spanning 33 countries. More pages are added on a daily basis. Do you miss a particular page or subject? Let us know and we’ll try to make it available as soon as possible.

Find pages of interest

(1) Open the Pages Menu (left top icon) and select “Find Pages of Interest”.

(2) Here you can browse Public pages and Team pages.

  • Public pages – Pages created by other users or by the start.me content team. Pages can be filtered using the Subject and Country drop down.
  • Team pages – Pages created and shared by other members of your team.

(3) Once you found an interesting page, you can add it to your Pages menu using one of the following two options:

  • “Favorite” page – Click the yellow star icon next to the page title to Favorite a page. You’ll instantly see updates (e.g. new widgets that are added) by other users on this page, but you can’t edit the page.
  • Edit page – Click green edit icon in the right top to Edit the page. You won’t see any further updates made by other users on this page.

Example pages

To give you an idea of the pages that are currently available:

  • US Elections 2016
    Interested in US politics? With this page you can easily follow the most important headlines about the upcoming US elections.
  • Technology
    Do you want to stay up-to-date about the latest tech news and innovations? You’ll find a curated list of the best tech news feeds and sites on this Technology page.
  • Shopping
    Looking for a selection of the best online destinations for shopping? Then don’t forget to follow this Shopping page.

Share your page with the rest of the world

Have you created a page that could be useful for others and are you willing to share it? Then please e-mail us the the URL of the page. After we reviewed your page, we’ll feature it in the new “Pages of Interest” section.

Provide us with your feedback

As always we’d like to hear your feedback about this new feature. Please e-mail us or leave a comment below.

Integrate Facebook pages

After the successful introduction of our very own Todo widget, we bring you yet another new widget: the Facebook Page widget. This widget allows you to embed a public Facebook Page into your  start.me page and is perfect if you like to integrate a group or company page.

To add the new Facebook Page widget to your page, follow the next steps:

  1. Click the green ‘+‘ icon at the top-right corner of your page
  2. Select ‘Browse Widgets’
  3. Search for ‘Facebook‘ and select the ‘Facebook‘ search result
  4. Find the URL of the Facebook Page that you’d like to embed, and fill it in, in the ‘Facebook page URL’ field
  5. Click on ‘Done‘ to add the widget to the page

We hope you like the new widget. Try and customize it by tweaking the widget’s settings. One warning, though: the widget only supports displaying public Facebook pages. If you would like to integrate your own timeline, you will have to wait a little longer. We are working on that.

Our very own Todo widget

Our Google Tasks widget is quite popular among our users.  Yet, many users asked for a Todo widget that does not require a Google account. Today we’ve made it available:

The new Todo widget has several improvements over the Google Tasks widget. The to-do items can be edited just by clicking them. They can be reordered, simply by dragging and dropping them in the order you want. The items are stored in our own database, so there it is fast and secure; the widget will feel a lot ‘snappier’. Finally, the check boxes to mark an item as completed as slightly larger, making it easier to check off items.

Instructions

To add the new Todo widget to your page, follow the next steps:

  1. Click the green ‘+‘ icon at the top-right corner of your page
  2. Select ‘Browse Widgets’
  3. Search for ‘Todo‘ and select the ‘Todo List‘ search result
  4. Click on ‘+ New task’, fill in the name of a task and hit Enter

Once you’ve completed a task, you can mark it as completed by checking the item’s checkbox. To edit an item, click on it once. Alternatively, you can right-click on an item, and select ‘Edit‘ from the context menu. To edit multiple items in one go, select ‘Edit‘ from the widget menu. To delete an item, right-click it and select ‘Delete‘.

Browser Iron integrates start.me as default start page

We have some exciting news to share… This week start.me has become the default start page in Iron browser. Iron is based on the open-source Chromium browser project and has seen over 1,000,000 installs since 2008.

Users of the Iron browser will now be able to take full advantage of start.me ‘s modern and advanced start page features.

We want to welcome all Iron users and hope you’ll enjoy using your new (personalizable) start page!


Press release

The Hague, Netherlands (March 3rd, 2016) – Today, SRWare and start.me announced the integration of a new personal start page service in the popular Iron browser.

The web-based start page solution provides advanced bookmarking capabilities; support for RSS feeds and thousands of widgets that help users connect to their cloud services right from their start page.

start.me’s founder Arjen Robijn said: “start.me offers users a great way to start their journey on the internet. We’re proud that SRWare has chosen to work with start.me to provide our unique start page experience to the Iron browser community.”

Iron’s founder Stefan Ries commented: “start.me has built a start page that is fast, beautifully designed and contains many personalization features. We are really excited about this partnership, as we believe it will significantly enhance the browsing experience for our users.”

The start page can be accessed at https://iron.start.me. Users can use the start page anonymously or register for a free account to take full advantage of the cloud.

About SRWare

SRWare has developed the popular alternative web browser Iron. Iron is based on the open-source Chromium project. The first version was launched in 2008. Iron has seen over 1,000,000 installs and is popular because of its enhanced privacy features.

About start.me

start.me has developed a modern start page that is used by over 700,000 users every month. start.me’s white-label start page helps browser developers and portals to increase user-engagement and generate revenue through start.me’s built-in monetization platform.

More information

For more information about start.me, please visit https://start.me/about or contact [email protected].