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You can customize Firefox down to the tiniest detail. That includes giving the start page a makeover and making it more useful. It doesn’t matter whether you think of the home page or the New Tab page as your start page. Here are tips to revamp both.

New Tab Page Makeover

Firefox gives you three in-built options—Enhanced, Classic, Blank—for the new tab. I have never been able to tell the difference between Enhanced and Classic, both of which appear in the speed-dial format. Anyway, you can do away with these default options as described below.

Get a Dedicated Add-on

There are several add-ons designed to put the New Tab page on steroids Make New Firefox Tabs More Useful With These Add-Ons Make New Firefox Tabs More Useful With These Add-Ons We all like to customize our things – it’s nice when they feel really ours. This is true for many aspects in life, and naturally, doesn’t skip computers, phones and software. If it’s possible to... Read More . Super Start is one of them and is quite popular. It gives you a visual way to maintain your bookmarks and also allows you to organize them into groups.

Super Start comes with a handful of muted themes. A tiny notepad and a list of recently closed tabs are tucked away in the corner. The add-on preferences allow you to set Super Start as your home page, view the speed dial in text-only mode, add a search box, etc.

super-start-options

New Tab Tools is also worth trying. It combines a speed dial with the launcher from the default home page. You can choose from a light and a dark theme, tweak the number and arrangement of tiles, and even add custom thumbnail images for the tiles.

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If visual appeal is all you want to add to new tabs, you’ll love Browser Backgrounds. Every time you open a new tab, it randomly displays an interesting background from a predefined set. Add your favorite photos and wallpapers to the mix.

browser-backgrounds

Personas Plus is another useful add-on to change Firefox skins quickly.

Add a New Theme

Firefox themes help you make Firefox feel like home. Install one that adds a nice background in new tabs or even allows you to add a custom wallpaper to them. Certain add-ons like Super Start and New Tab Tools (listed above) have an in-built setting to upload a background image of your choice.

Want to preview a theme before installing it? Just hover on its thumbnail on the themes page. Firefox will temporarily display the selected theme instead of the existing one.

firefox-theme-preview

Take the makeover a step further by choosing from one of the Complete themes that transform the look of various browser elements including tabs, menus, buttons, the address bar, and even the window frame. For example, FXChrome makes Firefox look like Chrome Best Of Both Worlds: How To Dress Firefox In Chrome Clothing Best Of Both Worlds: How To Dress Firefox In Chrome Clothing Answer quickly: which is better, Firefox or Chrome? Browsers keep changing, computers keep changing, and most importantly, our needs keep changing. How many times have you changed your default browser in the past several years? Read More .

Home Page Makeover

The default Firefox home page is clean and convenient, but if you want to give it a personal touch, try one of the following alternatives.

firefox-default-home-page

Switch to Your Favorite Website

Setting up Firefox to load one of your favorite websites on startup is easy. Open Firefox Preferences via Edit > Preferences, and in the General tab, look for the Home Page field. Add a link to your preferred website there. You can simply type it in or select it from your bookmarks.

If the page is running in the background, you can also click on Use Current Pages. Of course, this will set up multiple urls as home pages if there are multiple tabs open. This means that clicking on the Home button will load all of the pages listed in the Home Page field.

Want the default page back? Not a problem. Restore to Default will bring it back.firefox-set-start-page

Hijack the New Tab Page

By default, you won’t see the home page unless you set it to load when Firefox starts or unless you press the Home icon. How about making it appear every time you open a new tab? Use one of the following methods.

tab-mix-plus-options

  • Type about:config in the address bar, accept the warning that appears, search for browser.newtab.url, and change its value from about:newtab to about:home.

browser-newtab-firefox

Follow up this tweak by setting a super-useful start screen 2 Super-Useful Browser Start Screens You Should Start Using Today 2 Super-Useful Browser Start Screens You Should Start Using Today Ah, the new tab page. Such a great opportunity for productivity that so often goes to waste. And it's hard to find the perfect one. Read More like Start.me as your home page.

Total Visual Control

The UserStyles.org website has a decent collection of themes for the Firefox home page as well as the New Tab page. Use it with the Stylish add-on and you can gain complete control over how Firefox looks These Add-Ons Let You Make Firefox Look However You Want These Add-Ons Let You Make Firefox Look However You Want Make Firefox look however you like. Whether you want something to create space, a dash of colour, or to bring back the old Firefox look, there's a theme or extension out there for you. Read More . Here’s how you can go about implementing user styles How To Fix Small Annoyances On The Web With Stylish [Firefox & Chrome] How To Fix Small Annoyances On The Web With Stylish [Firefox & Chrome] Web designers have an almost impossible job. They need to come up with one design that pleases everyone. When talking about a service like Gmail, used by countless millions of people all over the world,... Read More .

What Does Your Start Page Look Like?

Chrome does seem to have the upper hand when it comes to awesome start screens Revamp Chrome's Default Tab Page With One Of These 4 Start Screens Revamp Chrome's Default Tab Page With One Of These 4 Start Screens A good start screen can transform the way you browse and work. It's time you got one. Use one of these alternatives for the New Tab page, to ensure that you're browsing effectively. Read More , but Firefox gives you more options for customization than any other browser. Take advantage of this Firefox freedom Firefox Freedom! Four Things Chrome Doesn’t Let Users Do Firefox Freedom! Four Things Chrome Doesn’t Let Users Do Think Chrome can do everything? Think again. Here are four things Firefox users can do easily that Chrome users basically can't. Read More . Begin by tweaking that start page. It may or may not drastically improve your workflow, but it will brighten up your browser and give you some nice tools to work with.

Do you make do with the default start page in Firefox? Or have you tweaked it and made it your own?If yes, tell us how in the comments.

  1. dragonmouth
    May 4, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    Another appearance over function article. Do these suggestions make FF run better? No. In fact each add-on slows Firefox down just a little bit. Pretty soon there are so many appearance and convenience add-ons installed that FF barely crawls but at least it looks good while not doing much of anything.

  2. Doc
    May 4, 2015 at 7:03 pm

    For a while I used SpeedDial as my startpage, but as it doesn't scale well between different resolutions (1680x1050 and 1366x768) between the two PCs I move Firefox Portable back and forth on, and its thumbnail generation leaves a lot to be desired, I eventually went back to my favorite startpage: about:blank.

  3. Paul R.
    May 4, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    I'm a big fan of New Tab Tools, referenced in the article above. I can quickly and easily modify the number of rows and columns, and as Akshata said, insert custom thumbnail images, in case the thumbnail from the last session isn't up to speed for you (I never liked that idea). You can also adjust the margins around the edges and borders of the thumbnail tiles, and it allows a few other tweaks as well. I love it--its very stable and problem free.

  4. Xoandre
    May 4, 2015 at 1:21 pm

    IDK if anyone actually uses these Start Up Pages, because most people I know simply have Facebook (auto-logged-in) as their start page.

    • mist
      May 4, 2015 at 8:53 pm

      I use Super Start on Firefox for new tab.

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