Personalize the web
- Very customizable
- Excellent selection of widgets
- Have as many homepages as you want
- Wizard available to help set up your initial page
- Page can quickly become overwhelming
- Some parts badly translated
Netvibes is an imaginative way of centralizing everything important on the web into one easy-to-use homepage.
When you go to Netvibes, you'll be able to create your page before you have to create an account, allowing you to see if the service is for you before actually committing to anything. If you do decide to register, it's a free process that takes less than 5 minutes.
The Netvibes concept works like this - you have a homepage based around Google search. You then pick widgets and RSS feeds from a huge selection, organize them however you please and decorate the page to your liking. There is also a social networking element - you have a customizable profile page and can add friends and follow activity.
You can have as many Netvibes homepages as you like, each based around a different area or topic. The configuration settings are pretty basic, but seeing as how the widgets make up most of the service and they are very flexible, this isn't a problem. If there is any downside to the service, it is that for the more interesting services, you'll have to give Netvibes your account details, and we found some of the instructions written in confusing English.
There are several services that offer similar features to Netvibes - iGoogle, for example. What makes Netvibes stand out, however, is the fact that you can create more than one homepage. This means that it's really easy to specialize in a specific area, which is great for users with a particular hobby or interest.
Netvibes is a great customizable homepage/RSS reader that offers real benefits over other similar services.