The New Customizable Home Page

HubPages recently announced the new customizable home page.  This was created with two goals in mind:

1)  Improve the ability to track the content that they are most interested in

2)  Improve the ability to organize the presentation of this content in the most convenient way.

In today’s blog, I will walk you through the features of the Custom Home Page.

Getting to the Customized Home Page

Once you are on HubPages, the easiest way to get to the Home Page is to click the HubPages icon which is on the top of the screen.

Once on the Home page, to switch to the Customized Home Page, just change the home page setting in the drop down list which can be found at the top of the page just underneath the search box.

Once you open the drop-down list, you can choose the Customizable Home Page.  There is the same drop-down list on the new home page, so it is easy to switch back if you like.

Your First Time on the Customized Home Page

The first time you go to the page, you will find a bunch of widgets already there.  We’ve done our best to select widgets that will either teach you about the new home page or will help you to track content that you are interested in.

Here is the list of the widgets that are there in the beginning:

1) Widget Tutorial: provides a tutorial on using the new customized home page

2) Forums Widgets: allows you to track the forums where you are already active.

3)  Hp News Widget: allows you to find out what’s new at HubPages.

4)  Questions & Answers Widget: allows you to track the latest questions and answers.

5)  Hubs (By Author) Widget: tracks the hubs written by your favorite authors as specified in your user fan clubs.

6)  Hubs (By Category) Widget: tracks the hubs written about your favorite categories as specified in your category fan clubs.

Here’s a snapshot of mine when I first started using it:

Underneath your username is a status message if you have any comments to moderate.

Personalizing Your Home Page

There are four things that you can do to make your home page more personal:

1)  Move the widgets around up, down, right, or left.

2)  Change the settings for a widget including number of items to display, amount of information to display, or the category that you want displayed.

3)  Remove widgets

4)  Add Widgets

I’ll walk you through each of these options.

Moving Your Widgets Around on the Page

All widgets are movable on the page.  To move a widget, you do the following:

1)  Move the mouse pointer on the title bar of the widget.

The mouse pointer should change to a draggable icon.

2)  Hold down on the left mouse button and move the mouse.

The widget is now be movable.  You will notice an outline of a box that appears on the screen.  This is the location of where the widget will appear when you release the mouse.

3)  As you move the mouse around the page, the outline of the widget will also move.

In this way, you can move the widget up or down or even to the other column.  The customized home page consists of two columns, a wide column and a thin column.

4)  When you have found the place where you want to move it, release the mouse and the widget will now be there the next time you return to this page.

Here is what it looks like if you haven’t already tried it:

Changing a Widget’s Settings

In addition to moving around a widget, you can change a widget’s settings.  Each widget has its own settings.

Settings of the Hubs (By Authors) Widget

Let’s assume that you want to change the Hubs (By Authors) Widget.  In my case, I like to see 10 hubs displayed instead of the standard 5.  Additionally, I only want to see my favorite categories.  The default is to view my favorite authors in all categories.  If I wish, I can add up to 10 authors who I am not yet fans of.  This is a great way for me to check hubbers out and see if I want to join their fan clubs later.

So, here’s what I do:

1)  I put the mouse over any part of the widget and an edit button appears at the bottom

2)  I click the edit button and now I get to a widget configuration screen:

3)  I do a search for authors to add.

I know that gredmondson writes about movies so I’ll add him to my author list.  Once his name appears, I click on it and it gets added to my list.  I also see that I can add up to 9 more authors.

I also like the writings of renchin and the pewterpigeon so I’ll add them to my list.

4)  I can also use the drop-down lists to change other settings

I choose to display 10 settings instead of 5 and I want to see only my favorite categories.

Below is what I have after making all these changes:

5)  Finally, I hit the save button

Removing Widgets

Widgets are removed by hitting the delete button.  This button is only available when you click the edit button

So, here are the steps for removing a widget:

1)  I put the mouse over any part of the widget and an edit button appears at the bottom

2)  I click the edit button and now I get to a widget configuration screen

3)  Now, I click the “delete” button which is located at the top right corner of the settings view of the widget.

Adding Widgets

To add a widget, just click on the “add a widget” button and pick frfom the menu that appears.

Here’s what you will see:

As you can see, most of the widgets we have already spoken about.  Three widgets that are not automatically added which you may be interested in are:

1)  Hubtiviity

2)  Hub Statistics

3)  Broken Links

For each of these widgets, you can change their default settings by hitting the edit button.

Using the Widget

Once you’ve personalized your page, now it’s time to use the widgets.  To learn all the details, you can also take a look at the Widget Tutorial.

If there are more than one page to your widget, you page through the widget by clicking on the previous or the next arrow.  If you want to jump to page one, you will need to refresh the page.  We did this in the effort to keep the widget display as simple as possible.

Normally when you click a link, the page will change.  If you would prefer to have a link pop up as a new window, then for many browsers, holding the shift key down when you click on the link is enough.  This works in IE7, Firefox, Opera, Chrome, and Safari.

One nice feature of the custom home page is that it does polling.  This means that the page will automatically update over time as long as you are active on the machine.  If the browser window remains inactive for 30 minutes or more, then the polling will automatically stop.

We hope that you like the customizable home page.  Are there other widgets that you would like to see?  Do you have any suggestions for improving the existing widgets?  Please let us know what you think.

4 thoughts on “The New Customizable Home Page

  1. Thank you for writing this hub article, Larry. It’s understandable and straightforward, both of which are greatly appreciated. In addition, I will try the new home page. Thank you again.

  2. I recently added my hub pages acct.But I would like to move everything from my http:www.themicrostories.blogspot.com which exclusively contains short stories and humor of my own creation.Now at this other site I was posting everything in a bilingual,english and spanish versions,Since it is all my own writing can I transfer here at least the english language versions,and how?

  3. In due time I will attempt to place some of themicrostories in my hub pages,I GET VERY CONFUSED BY DOING THE TRANSFERING,you guys should have a person on the phone whom one could request all these techie stuf’,millions of people would call you.not everyone has zen webmaster patience,I haven’t been able to enter my widget for the e card,I need so much help to set up my website right.

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