Start Center

Updated on Sunday, December 6th, 2015.

About Start Center

What Is Start Center?

The Start Center at is part of the Start Center Project, a loosely affiliated network of start centers.

The idea behind the Start Center Project is very simple. A start center should be a single page of links to relevant Web sites for just about any subject or interest, sort of like a condensed page of bookmarks, for starting out on the World Wide Web. It's an organized list of links, collected and sorted by topic, that the Start Center owner thinks is worth visiting and exploring at least once.

The Start Center is designed to be different from search engines like Google, Web directories like the Open Directory Project (AKA DMoz), and full-service portals like Yahoo. It's designed to be complete enough while always remaining small, simple, quick, and consistent.

Can I Make Start Center My Home Page?

You are welcome and invited to make the Start Center of your choice your home page.

In the most popular Web browsers, the easiest way to make the Start Center your home page is to do three things:

  1. Browse to the Start Center of your choice,
  2. Bring up the browser preferences window (usually accessed by choosing "Options" from the Tools menu or by choosing "Preferences" from the Edit menu), and make sure the general options come up, and
  3. Click on the "Use Current" button in the home page settings area.

Can I Make My Own Start Center?

Absolutely! All you need are a Web hosting provider and a short URL to park your Start Center at. We suggest a URL such as "" or "" where is your domain name.

What Do I Need To Make My Start Center Official?

The absolute essentials are a start page, an about page, and links to other start centers you like. Feel free to copy the style and arrangement of your favorite start center, as well as the content of its about page, or create your own.

We advise against using plug-ins or browser scripting in your start center, including JavaScript, Flash, or AJAX. Start centers are most useful when kept as simple and quick as possible. We suggest using only HTML or XHTML, CSS optional.

If you know (X)HTML and CSS, you can use any plain text editor. If you don't know any HTML at all, then we suggest using a webpage editor, such as Kompozer, the Composer component of Netscape or Seamonkey, Amaya, Dreamweaver, Web Expression, or even (for the adventurous) FrontPage Express.

We suggest arranging sections and links in alphabetic order to maintain consistency, with only a few exceptions, but you're free to use another arrangement if it makes more sense to you. The exceptions to our arrangement are quick links, causes we support individually, and other start centers.

Please resist the urge to simply upload your bookmarks page or to add pictures, buttons, or lengthy descriptions to your links. As much as possible, let your links describe themselves. People will remember the sites most worth visiting without such extras, and if you make normal and visited links stand out from each other, that alone will guide your visitors back.

We also advise against using a CMS or scripts serving pages on each access. It's perfectly fine to have a back-end for your Start Center's content and use scripts or any other automation system you're familiar with to regenerate your Start Center page when you edit content, but just try not to regenerate your Start Center page every time a visitor loads it. By keeping your Start Center static (regardless of how you generate it), you'll keep the Start Center Project the fastest-loading instantly-there network of home pages on the World Wide Web.

Why So Many Start Centers?

As opposed to a single consolidated start center? We have a few reasons.

The major Web portals try to be their own start centers, as do a lot of Internet service providers (ISPs). The most well-known are Yahoo and MSN. They tend to be bulky and make a lot of changes throughout the day to stay relevant. They're fine for the purpose they serve, but being a start center full of always-relevant links is not their purpose.

The Open Directory Project, also known as DMoz, tried to catalog the entire Web, but due to various reasons—external influences and internal struggles—it failed to stay relevant. Being a single collection point needs it to be under the direct control of a single individual, subject exclusively to that individual's whims, as well as a single point of failure should the server have a hardware fault, the hosting provider have connection problems, or the domain name expire.

By being a distributed collection of cross-linked start centers, we keep our own individual preferences while taking advantage of the Internet's greatest strength: its center-less, distributed nature.

Bookmarking sites have the advantage of being centralized and, for most people storing bookmarks there, being complete. However, they tend to suffer from the disadvantages of being too centralized, too bulky, too disorganized, or too full of links that don't make effective starting points.

Who Runs The Start Center Project?

You do. The Start Center Project has no center and no coordinator.

But if you mean who got this project going, it was started by two people: Jeff Corgan, who designed and built the first Start Center in the project, and Ariel Millennium Thornton, who organized and promoted the idea of distributed, linked start centers.

Who Do I Give Credit To?

Please give credit to Jeff Corgan and Ariel Millennium Thornton for the start center idea, and to the author of the start center that inspired you to make your own.

Thank you.