One of the most popular and widely used websites, Yahoo proves that you don't need a cool sounding brand name to make it big on the internet. Founded in 1994 back in the dinosaur ages of the internet, Yahoo is certainly a daddy of modern internet portals. It is far more than just a search engine. If you go to you'll see many useful tools and links. You can even change the colors to suit your taste.

On the Yahoo homepage, everything is designed to connect you to the internet, to make all information available and as quickly and easily accessible as possible. Just a search engine in itself is not sufficient for modern internet users who use facebook, email and watch videos as well as keep up to date on the latest news headlines. And just like many of the early companies, Yahoo started as a student endeavor.

So what's the deal with the name "Yahoo!"?

Yahoo is not an acronym but it does have a so called backronym - which is a phrase that is thought of to suit a word and make it look like an acronym. That backronym is "Yet Another Hierarchical Officious Oracle".

Merriam Webster defines the word Yahoo as "a member of a race of brutes in Swift's Gulliver's Travels who have the form and all the vices of humans". It is this definition that the founders of Yahoo liked and chose. I wonder if they were aware of Webster's 2nd definition of the word: "a boorish, crass, or stupid person" ?

The Yahoo Homepage - a closer look

At the heart of the Yahoo homepage is of course a search engine and that is the first and most prominent thing you see at the top of the page - the search bar along with the main categories people like to search in such as pictures or videos and so on. But unlike Google and most other search engines, the yahoo homepage has a number of other functionalities that are instantly available without having to find them first. Right in the middle you have a display of news headlines and videos with a brief description and a link to the video should you be interested. A cool preview feature allows you to quickly browse through them without having to load another page.

On the left we have a classic menu that gives you links to the most important Yahoo sites such as Yahoo Mail or Messenger. You can customize this menu to display the links that you want.

The coolest feature of the Yahoo homepage is the menu below this one on the left called "My Favorites". Just like the bookmarks in your browser you can have it display any list of websites you want. That way, when you open your yahoo homepage it will display a list of bookmarks that you put together over the years. This is a feature I miss in most other internet portals - especially Google.

Change the look of Yahoo's homepage.

Most people don't know this but you can change the color of the Yahoo homepage. Just below the search bar, to the right you have a drop down menu titled "page options". Just click on that and you'll be able to pick a color you like. Here are two examples I made for you:

Yahoo Homepage in yellow Yahoo Homepage in blue

The other option in that drop down menu is to switch to "compact view". This is for those who prefer not to have too much information on the home page but just the most important things. Here is an example of the compact view:

Yahoo Homepage compact view

As you can see, Yahoo is for good reason one of the best homepages in the world and I'm not getting paid to say that. Though it is not as minimalist and simple as Google, it has a lot more functionality and you have many more options with which to surf the internet.

Check it out yourself: Yahoo