Q&A To Be Retired

I have a big announcement today that will affect many writers on HubPages. It is my sad duty to announce that the HubPages Q&A feature is being discontinued.

Q&A earns less (both for you and for us) than any of our sites and takes a significant amount of engineer and moderator time to maintain. This section of the site never generated the level of traffic we hoped for at its inception and traffic has been steadily declining in recent years. We believe the resources that go into maintaining Q&A are better spent on improvements to HubPages and its Network Sites, where they will go further and do more good, and that a roughly equivalent user experience can be had by posting in the topical forums instead.

In 30 days (from today), you will no longer be able to make new Q&A posts. Posts that would previously have been Questions should now be posted in the appropriate topical forum. But don’t worry; existing Q&A content is not being deleted. In 60 days (from today) all Q&A posts will automatically be converted to forum posts.

If you would like to keep your Question URL and continue to earn from it, we are also giving you the option to write an article about it. We will provide a redirect. Simply write an article that asks and answers your Question and then email me. We will redirect the Question URL to the new article once the 60 days are up. Keep in mind that writers who choose this option will not have their Questions converted to forum posts (since the URL will point to an article instead).

Do busy authors need to do anything about this change?

No. Taking action is not mandatory. If you do nothing, your Questions will all be converted into forum posts 60 days from today.

Will I still earn from my Questions when they are converted to forum posts?

No, unfortunately you will no longer be able to earn from Questions (and neither will HubPages) when they are converted, which is why we are giving authors the option to write an article instead and retain the Question URL (and therefore the traffic).

Can I ask questions in the forums when I can no longer post in Q&A?

Yes. Anything you would previously have posted in Q&A should now be posted in the appropriate topical forum instead.

Image and Subtitle Changes

Image Updates

We know there’s been a lot of concern about our July announcement of our pending change to full width capsules on all articles. The biggest fear most writers have expressed is that some images will look bad when stretched to a larger size. We’ve listened to your feedback and decided to release an additional update today that will help images look good full width.

If images are too small to remain attractive and clear full width, the image will only be displayed as large as possible without causing pixelation or quality degradation. In other words, very small images will be centered within the article, but they will not be stretched. Instead, they will display at their original size.

That said, if an image looks smaller than the width of the article, it’s a good indication that it should be replaced with a larger one. We recommend doing so where possible.

These changes will happen automatically, but it’s a good idea to take a look at your articles to see where small images can be replaced with larger ones and to make sure your capsules display in the order you intended. You can see what your articles will look like with all capsules full width by opening the article in the HubTool and clicking the orange “Preview” button at the top. When the preview pops up, select the “All Capsules Full-Width” tab. We have also given you the option to see which of your articles contain floated capsules so you’ll know which ones to focus on. Simply visit your My Account page, click the filters option above your articles, and check the “Only with Floated Capsule” check box.

Along with the update to image sizes, we are also getting rid of legacy half- and quarter-width photos. This change will only affect a small number of users with very old articles. Half- and quarter-width images will now display the same as other images.

We have also added the option to use animated GIFs on articles. You will be able to upload and add them and the animation will function in your live article. The only restrictions are that animated GIFs cannot be used as profile photos and must not be wider than 520 pixels.

Subtitle Update

We are also pleased to announce that we are making some much-needed changes to subtitles. When capsules become full width, Heading 2 subtitles (including Capsule Subtitles) and Heading 3 subtitles will both appear larger; something writers have been requesting for a while. We are also removing the option to use Heading 4 subtitles, and existing ones will be given the same look at Heading 3 subtitles. You can use the “All Capsules Full-Width” preview to view these updates as well.

The changes to image size and animated GIFs will be live later today. The new subtitle design and all capsules becoming full width will occur in a few weeks.