Introducing exciting new features: search widget and more

Introducing exciting new features: search widget and more

After making start.me faster than ever, we’ve been working really hard to make it more useful to everyone. Our brand new search widget will do the trick. In this article, we explain the basic features but also the advanced personalization options. It will really save you time! We also introduce a minor improvement, you’ll love all the same!

Basic search features in start.me

Everyone loves Google, obviously. Their market share has reached over 90 percent and it continues to remain strong. That’s why we’ve integrated the Google search bar in our startpage.

Google Custom Search is a much-appreciated part of our Start Page.
Google Custom Search is a much-appreciated part of our Start Page.

You can use it just like you would use the Google Omnibox and it comes with benefits, like searching your bookmarks or quickly adding bookmarks. You can also personalize it further, by setting a Custom Search Engine.

There are many reasons you might want to do this. Privacy online, for one thing. Google tracks you around and records every search term you’ve entered.

But what if you preferred to keep some searches hidden? Just install more privacy-minded search engines, like startpage.com or duckduckgo.com. With one simple click, you could switch from an open search to a private one.

The Add Search widget pane.

The Search widget makes it easier than ever to make your searches safe and fast.

This is how you enhance your privacy online:

  1. Click the green plus to the right of your page 
  2. Start typing ‘Search’.
  3. An option will appear. “Add ‘Search’ widget”. Click the plus to accept.

    The Add Search widget pane.
    The Add Search widget pane.
  4. Now you can add a custom search engine. Type in the name of the search engine you’d like to add and the correspondent URL. We’ve entered the name of our partner Startpage.com. The search URL is this one: https://www.startpage.com/do/asearch?q=%s. The final bit, %s, is where the keyword will be pasted. It should be added to the URL.
  5. Click Add.

That’s it! Now you’ve got a Search widget dedicated to a privacy-oriented search engine.

If you’d like to see the process in a video, here it is:

Advanced search features

You’re free to enter as many alternative search engines to your Search widgets as you’d like. Switching will still be as easy as clicking a button.

The really cool and time-saving feature of this widget is the URL you can enter yourself. Once you realize you just have to substitute keyword with %s, you’re entering a whole new world of searching. The reason is simple: every site has a search option. And every time you search for something, the result will be a URL you can scan for the keyword.

Once you’ve found your keyword, it’s as simple as Copy – Paste. Remember to substitute the keyword for %s, and that’s it. Search your books directly on Amazon, your poets on Wikipedia, your pictures of beaches on Flickr or Unsplash. You can even save the conditions or licenses you prefer.

Searching has never been more personalized.

To help you along, here’s an example list of search engines we’ve added ourselves:

  • Reddit – https://www.reddit.com/search?q=%s
  • Startpage.com – https://www.startpage.com/do/asearch?q=%s
  • Duckduckgo – https://duckduckgo.com/%s
  • Thesaurus Merriam Webster – https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/%s
  • Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%s
  • Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2/142-9750645-1708632?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=%s
  • Flickr (photo’s with permission to reuse) – https://www.flickr.com/search/?text=%s&license=4%2C5%2C6%2C9%2C10
  • Unsplash – https://unsplash.com/search/photos/%s
  • YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=%s
  • DailyMotion – https://www.dailymotion.com/search/%s

Click the little arrow in your Search widget, select Manage search engines and Add custom search engine.

Sorting through bookmarks

The final improvement we love to announce here is the way we present your bookmark blocks.

Some users, and we’re one of them, have collected so many bookmarks, subdivided in many different bookmark blocks. To make navigation easier, we now present your bookmark blocks in alphabetical order.

To which block? Sorting should be logical!
To which block? Sorting should be logical!

We consider it a minor tweak, but it’s still useful, don’t you think?

Please let us know what you think of our new Search widget and the new sorting option. We’d love to hear from you!

Stefan van Dierendonck

Stefan van Dierendonck

For many years Stefan has been active as a blogger, building and maintaining his own and other websites. He is also the author of two well received novels. Wherever possible he tries to combine modern technology with literary or at least pleasantly legible content.


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4 Replies to “Introducing exciting new features: search widget and more”

  1. These features lool great but after adding 1 search engine, I see no way to add any more. There is no “plus” sign. I can add search engines to “Search settings” but the widget only shows 1. Is that the intent? In other words, you add as many Search widgets for each of your needs (i.e. Startpage. Wikipedia, etc…). Or does the widget contain a default engine + other choices?

    Also, in the search bar, I noticed that when Bing os chosen, it does not open a new page (like the others) but opens in same page. Is that a bug?

    For the bookmarks sorting, it is a good feature, but can we leave them in a custom sort if we want? I tend to have the most used ones at the top.

    Thanks and great work. I love Start.Me and tell all my friends and colleagues about it.

    Philip

    1. Hi Philip, Great to hear you really like start.me! And yes, you can definitely add more than one search engine to each search widget or to the search bar. What you’re looking for is the ‘Manage search engines’ option. You can find this under ‘Search settings’ (Search Bar) or directly under the options menu (Search widget). As for your other question: yes, you can still change the order just the way you want to. The minor update we presented in this article only concerned the presentation of bookmark blocks when adding a new bookmark, nothing more. I’m sorry if this wasn’t clear from the beginning! Anyway, do continue enjoying start.me and spread the word! Greetings, Stefan

  2. Can you only have 1 search engine in the block at one-time? As in, in the block and useable. If not, I think it would be great to be able to add more search engine spots in the block it’s self.

    1. Hi Joseph, Thanks for your reaction! Yes, it’s definitely possible to add more than one search engine to you Search Widgets. Just look for the ‘Manage search engines’ option in the options menu (the little arrow in the right-hand corner). You can add as many search engines as you’d like. Hope this answers your question.

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