Finding one’s way around the web is the secret to being productive. And like any search, where the journey begins is of utmost importance. For many of us this journey begins every day when we open a browser. Many start their journey with Google’s search engine. Others may set their home page to their email host. Some may give up altogether and set it to Justin Bieber’s home page or worse, Cyndi Lauper’s. I kid you not, I overheard Justin Bieber’s name used conversationally among tweens this past week. But I digress.
Browser wars are well known, but there’s a different war that’s been raging much more silently. It’s the start page war. There’s a lot of value in being the first page people look at when they start their day’s foraging throughout the web. Not surprisingly, Google has been a big player in this market with its staple app iGoogle. But given their recent concession that it’s being closed down during “spring cleaning” they’re leaving a void that others may fill. On a side note, some suggest that Google plans on filling the void with Google+. But we don’t think Google+ will succeed- ever. It appears Google’s on a spiritual journey trying to prove first hand that pride does in fact goeth before the fall. (We actually found one dedicated and confused fan taking the unique position that Google+’s total defeat is all part of its master plan of success. But we find the similarities between that and losing very very badly to be indistinguishable.)
This leaves us with no iGoogle, and still no reason to use Google+. Literally millions of people everyday are going to slowly start setting their home page to the latest teenage pop star unless something is done. Fortunately, a rescuer has come to the scene. Capitalizing on Google’s soon to be iconic demise, (we envision future executives saying let’s not do a Google), is Only2Clicks. It’s a start page that’s simple, easy, and convenient to use.
Lacking billions of dollars in funding and budget surplus, Only2Click’s main hope is in the quality of its offering. That is, you register for an account and begin setting up all your bookmarks. Then whenever you’d like to start or restart your browsing journey, you go to Only2Clicks. It’s intended to be set it to your homepage to make all your favorite locations accessible.
The main item of curiosity is the ‘two clicks.’ These are the categories and then sites that you would like to navigate to. The customizable page contains a navigation bar of categories, each of which contains a grid of sites. Users can add as many sites as they like to each category. They can also add or remove categories, move sites from one category to the next, or drag and drop sites to prioritize their order. As this is your home page you can customize it as much as you like. And when your browsing session starts you first click the category, and then the site you’d like to navigate to.
Adding sites is extremely easy. The first method is manual. Click the Add Link button, enter the site info, and you’re done. This gets tedious fairly quickly so you can also use their bookmarklet or Chrome extension. These install to your browser or bookmark bar so you can readily add any page you’re on to your Only2Click’s start page. There’s also an import and export feature so you can readily transfer your bookmarks. Once links are added you can arrange them in whatever order you like under their respective categories.
A few bells and whistles are apparent, with more in current development. The first is the ability to choose skins. In my demo above I used the Noir skin. In a future version it appears you’ll be able to add your own CSS for full customization. Another forthcoming feature is the ability to choose a permanent only2clicks.com web address. Another useful feature is the ability to set links to open in the same window or a new one.
The web is a rapidly changing place. The big players are sometimes driven more by the need to monetize and less by a desire to invent. Only2Clicks is both an upcoming site as well as an established charitable citizen of the internet. It provides a helpful start page service that the big players in their quest for glory, left behind. Once set up it only takes two clicks to reach all the sites you need. It’s this simplicity that we think will keep them around for years to come.