Introduction: Build Your Own Start Page. Easy, FREE, No HTML.No Hosting.

Picture of Build Your Own Start Page. Easy, FREE, No HTML.No Hosting.

Everyone has a "Home Page" that comes up when you start your browser. MSN, Yahoo, AOL(ugh).
Wouldn't it be nice to have a page with all YOUR own links to all the pages you visit each day?
The page can be stored on your hard drive or on a flash drive to use on a different computer.
Trust me when I say that completely explaining the process is much more difficult than actually doing it. I've made several of these for myself and friends and after the first it really takes very little time.

So here it is.

Step 1: What You Need

Picture of What You Need

Computer(Duh)

WYSIWYG Web Editor
, I used WebDwarf .
I have no affiliation with Virtual Mechanics but it's free and easy to use.
Download here:
www.virtualmechanics.com/products/dwarf/
It also allows you to easily re-size and move objects around.

Images
to use as links.
If you are a true minimalist you can just use text boxes and link to them.

Step 2: Step 2 Collect Your Stuff (The Hardest Part).

Picture of Step 2 Collect Your Stuff (The Hardest Part).

Create a folder on your hard drive to store images that you will need.
You should have at least a mental list of the sites you want on your page.The page can have any number of links on it and can be as simple or flashy as you want.
The background can be either a solid color or an image(Tiled or full size)

Collect link images by visiting your sites and save the header in the your folder. To make it easier to find you will want to "save image as" (the name of the site).eg "Yahoo.jpg".
Some sites don't provide for saving header images(Instructables.com). In that case you can either use the Snipping tool (Vista) or try a Google image search.
 NOTE: If you are a true minimalist you don't need images, you can just create a text box and put in the name of the site.
I also copy and paste all the site URLs in a text document to save time later.

Step 3: Start Building

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Run WebDwarf.(there should be an icon on your desktop).
When the program starts you have a blank page

Background:
Your Background can be an image (tiled small image or one large image) or a solid color.
If you have seen a background you like on another site, right click on the background and choose "Save Background As". Save to the folder you created.
There are also many sites that have free background images for download.
Right click anywhere on the page and either choose a background color or image.
At this point you can add the title of your page also. this is what will appear at the top of your browser window.
We'll try a Stone Wall tiled background.
For a single full size image you will probably need to re-size it to fill the page correctly.

Step 4: Add Links

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Lets go with just 4 for now but you can have as many as you want.
My current page has about 50 links.
There are 2 ways to do this.
Choose "OBJECT from the drop down menu and go to "IMAGE".
Go to the directory where your images are stored and add the selected picture.
OR
(The easier way) Open Windows Explorer and go to your image folder.
Just drag your picture to the workspace.
There you can resize and space them to your liking.
In the "VIEW" drop down menu there is an option to "Display Grid Guide".
That can help quite a bit to get everything lined up and sized correctly.

Text boxes can be added as links or just for the heck of it.

Step 5: Associate Images With Web Pages

Picture of Associate Images With Web Pages

Right click on an image(or text) A properties box will open.
add the URL that you want the image to link to and choose whether to open in a new page or not.

Repeat for all links
.



Step 6: Preview and Publish

Picture of Preview and Publish

Preview and test your page by "Publish" drop down menu.
Click" Preview HTML". and your page will open in your browser.
From there you can test your links and check out the look and feel of your page.
Once you are satisfied with your project, publish it from the drop down menu (Publish Project) and choose "Files On Disk". Don't forget to check"Gather All Files."
I create a new folder on my C: drive and save it to there.
If you want portability just publish it to a jump drive.

Step 7: BONUS-The Missing Link

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It's easy to create an "Invisible " link on your page.This can point to a "secret" web site or another page stored on your computer.
Just  drag an image (any Image) to your page and right click to bring up the properties box.
Click on "Shading" and slide the "Trans"slider all the way to the right.
Re-size and place it so you know where it is. It will be completely invisible in your browser. Your cursor will change to a pointer when you mouse over it.
Have Fun.

Comments

Computothought (author)2010-03-01

If you are using OSX, BSD, Linux, MInix, Haicu, Unix, or the like, that software will not do you much good.