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Firefox: start page vs. home page
December 2, 2008 7:13 PM   Subscribe

Firefox: different start page than home page?

I'm a relatively recent convert to Firefox 3, from Maxthon. Mostly I like it, but there's one feature of Maxthon I liked that I haven't been able to replicate in Firefox. I'd like to have a fixed start page (the page that comes up when you first open Firefox) that's different from the home page (the page you get when you click the Home icon). This was possible in Maxthon. Is there a Firefox plugin which allows this?
posted by DevilsAdvocate to Computers & Internet (24 answers total)
 
Go to Tools/Options/Main, click either 'Use current pages' or 'Use bookmark'. You can have more than one page open at once.
posted by stoneegg21 at 7:18 PM on December 2, 2008


That just changes the start/home page—both of them together. I'm looking to set http://www.example.com/ as my home page, but http://www.otherpage.net/ as my start page.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:21 PM on December 2, 2008


1) Make a shortcut to a website on your desktop.
2) Open all the pages you want as your start page in tabs.
3) From FF options, select for home page.
4) Copy the home page address field, then close the options window using otherwise you'll have to reset your homepage afterwards
5) Right click the shortcut you made on the desktop, and paste the address you just copied in the URL: field
6) Rename the shortcut.

posted by ArkhanJG at 7:22 PM on December 2, 2008


Ah, it cut out a few words.

1) Make a shortcut to a website on your desktop.
2) Open all the pages you want as your start page in tabs.
3) From FF options, select (use current pages) for home page.
4) Copy the home page address field, then close the options window using (cancel) otherwise you'll have to reset your homepage afterwards
5) Right click the shortcut you made on the desktop, and paste the address you just copied in the URL: field
6) Rename the shortcut.
posted by ArkhanJG at 7:26 PM on December 2, 2008


Why do you want something different?

If you just want fast access to a page, there's the Speed Dial extension that copies the same thing from Opera. Ctrl-[number] and you've opened a new page.
posted by theichibun at 9:17 PM on December 2, 2008


Because I have a page I need to remind myself to look at once or twice a day. Setting it as my start page (but not my home page) in Maxthon was a convenient way to do that. "Fast access" to a page is not sufficient because it does not automatically remind me to look at that page.

ArkhanJG's solution—essentially just using a link to the page to start Firefox—is a "second-best" solution, but I have to set that up in three places (sometimes I start Firefox from a desktop shortcut, sometimes from the QuickLaunch menu, sometimes from the Programs menu), and if I want to change the page, change it in three places.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:08 PM on December 2, 2008


If your home page isn't your start page, then the only thing that's special about it is that you have one-click access to it by clicking on the little house in the navigation toolbar. So, just make a bookmark called "Home", and stick that on your bookmarks toolbar. To remind you that this is now what you need to click to get to your home page, right-click the navigation toolbar and choose Customize, then drag the little house off the toolbar and into the spare icons box.

Put the URL you want for a start page in Tools->Options->Main->Home Page and you're done.
posted by flabdablet at 11:24 PM on December 2, 2008


I don't display my bookmarks toolbar in the interest of maximizing the screen space available to actually display web pages.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:02 AM on December 3, 2008


Have you got "Use Small Icons" turned on in the Customize box? If not, you may find that doing so will let you display the bookmarks toolbar without unduly reducing web page display space.
posted by flabdablet at 12:50 AM on December 3, 2008


The Throbber Button extension might work for you, too.
posted by flabdablet at 1:00 AM on December 3, 2008


you can have multiple homepages in firefox.

Perhaps you could set BOTH pages as your Home/Start Page?

you will get two open tabs... one for each.
posted by Izzmeister at 4:24 AM on December 3, 2008


Yes, I already have small icons turned on.

I don't want to have both as my home/start page, as I easily visit my home page twenty, thirty, forty times a day. I don't want to be opening up my desired start page every time I visit my home page, as then I have to close it every time, as extraneous tabs annoy me (irrationally perhaps, but they do all the same).
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:34 AM on December 3, 2008


If you add your preferred home page to the Bookmarks Toolbar, then right click in the toolbar area and select Customize, you can drag your new bookmark up into the same row with your Home, Back, Forward, etc. buttons. Then you can turn off the Bookmarks toolbar, and your new bookmark will remain visible. You could also drag the Home button into the Customize window to get it off the toolbar, if you want to save space.
posted by vytae at 8:15 AM on December 3, 2008


Alternatively, you could set up your home page with a one-letter keyword (right-click it in your bookmarks folder, choose properties, and enter your favorite single letter into the Keyword field). Then all you have to do to open this page is Ctrl-L (to highlight the URL bar), type your one letter, and hit enter. I do this with a lot of the pages I visit frequently, and the keystrokes are so second-nature at this point that they're just as fast as clicking a button.
posted by vytae at 8:20 AM on December 3, 2008


Morning Coffee extension, perhaps?

Personally, I'd just throw the link onto the bookmarks toolbar ("quick links") and be done with it. Or use a calendar alert system if it were really important that I check it.
posted by dhartung at 4:49 PM on December 3, 2008


Edit the browser's launch icon properties and change it from (eg) "/path/to/firefox" to "/path/to/firefox http://this_uri.com". Your home page won't be affected, but the browser'll start on the URI you specify.
posted by genghis at 5:00 PM on December 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


you can drag your new bookmark up into the same row with your Home, Back, Forward, etc. buttons

Is this a FF3 thing? I tried doing that with FF2 and the closest I could get to it was putting all the Bookmarks Toolbar Items into the buttons toolbar in one lump.

I guess if you're not currently using the Bookmarks Toolbar, you could put just that one item in it and that would get the job done with FF2 as well. And if you rename that item to nothing, all you will see is its favicon, and that will work just like the Home button used to.
posted by flabdablet at 5:31 PM on December 3, 2008


Is this a FF3 thing? ... the closest I could get to it was putting all the Bookmarks Toolbar Items into the buttons toolbar in one lump.

I guess I've never had more than that one thing in my Bookmarks Toolbar, so I never noticed this issue. You're right though, when I added a few more things to the Bookmarks Toolbar menu in FF3 they all went up to the new location together. Hopefully if Devil's Advocate usually leaves that toolbar turned off to save space, he's not keeping a lot of (or any) other bookmarks in there.
posted by vytae at 9:53 PM on December 3, 2008


The people suggesting you modify the launch icon to include an argument with a "start page" URL are giving you your solution. In this manner, your start page is set by whatever you put in that icon, and your home page is whatever you assign as your traditional home page.
posted by WCityMike at 12:50 AM on December 4, 2008


WCityMike, DevilsAdvocate has already considered the launch icon solution and doesn't like it because it involves setting the start page URL in every copy of the launch icon, of which he uses several (desktop, start menu, quicklaunch bar).

For my money, putting a single bookmark in the Bookmarks Toolbar and then using Customize to make the BT contents replace the Home button in the main toolbar looks like the Right Thing.
posted by flabdablet at 2:04 AM on December 4, 2008


Yes, the "modify the launch icon" solution, as suggested by ArkhanJG, genghis, and WCityMike is the best work-around so far, and it's what I'll be doing unless an actual way to have separate start and home pages appears.

Unfortunately, I do have a handful of bookmarks—even though I don't have the Bookmarks toolbar turned on, I do use them from the Bookmarks menu item from time to time.

The Morning Coffee extension would be ideal if it automatically opened a page which you haven't viewed in, say, the past twenty-four hours, without having to click on anything, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

And yes, I know I'm very picky about my browsing experience.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:07 AM on December 4, 2008


Just to clarify, do you have other bookmarks in your Bookmarks Toolbar folder, or just in your Bookmarks menu in general? You can go to "Bookmarks->Organize Bookmarks..." to check. The only bookmarks that will show up as buttons are ones in the "Bookmarks Toolbar" folder, not the ones you save in your "Bookmarks Menu" folder. You can have a thousand things bookmarked for access from the menu, and they won't clutter up your button space as long as they're not in your "Bookmarks Toolbar" folder.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who's so picky about their browsing experience!
posted by vytae at 1:11 PM on December 4, 2008


This can be done with the SessionManager plugin: https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/2324.

Use SessionManager to configure your start-up page (Tools --> SessionManager --> SessionManager Options) and use Firefox to set your home page.

MeMail me for details if it's not apparent how to do this. I was used to similar behavior in Opera and it took me a while to figure out this workaround. It's pretty painless to do, though.
posted by puckupdate at 5:22 PM on December 4, 2008


Thanks, puckupdate! Exactly what I was looking for.

vytae: I had been under the misimpression that the Bookmarks toolbar was just what was in the Bookmarks menu item. Thanks for clarifying that for me. That would have been the closest to what I wanted had not the actual answer come along.

And thanks to everyone for your suggestions and for humoring my pickyness.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 5:55 AM on December 5, 2008


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