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.

Announcing a New HubPages Network Site

Big things are afoot at HubPages HQ. Today we’re launching an entirely new website on the HubPages Network!

Through the process of managing HealDove, our health and medicine Network Site, we’ve come to the realization that modern and alternative medicine content serve vastly different communities with very different needs. To that end, we are maintaining HealDove as a site for modern Western medical information and advice, and we are also creating RemedyGrove, a website for alternative remedies and natural medicine. RemedyGrove will include topics like herbal remedies, aromatherapy, reiki, healing meditation, and more.

Feel free to stop by https://remedygrove.com/ and take a look. Many articles have already been moved, and more will be transferred over in the coming weeks. If you have articles already on HealDove that are a better fit for RemedyGrove, they will be moved automatically by HP staff. No need to do anything on your end.

Keep in mind that natural and alternative medicine articles should be submitted to RemedyGrove, starting today. But don’t stress too much. If you accidentally submit to the wrong site, we will make sure your article gets where it needs to go

Announcing the 7th Annual Hubbie Award Winners

The votes are in and the winners have been chosen! We’d like to thank everyone for taking the time to vote, and please feel free to drop by and congratulate the winners. Now, without further ado, the 2017 Hubbie Award Winners:

Awards

  1. Best All-Around Article:  Organic vs. Free Range vs. Cage Free Eggs
  2. Best All-Around Hubber:  Bill Holland—BillyBuc
  3. HubPages Lifetime Achievement (staff picked):  Ronald E. Franklin—Ronelfran
  4. Most Helpful Hubber:  Glenn Stok
  5. Rookie of the Year:  Larry Slawson
  6. Most Likely to be a HP Employee:  Marisa Wright
  7. Funniest Hubber:  Keith Abt—FatFreddysCat
  8. Best Imagery:  Sally Gulbrandsen—SallyBea
  9. Biggest Grammar Nerd:  Marie Flint
  10. Most Academic Hubber:  Linda Crampton—AliciaC
  11. Hubber with Most Obscure Knowledge:  Natalie Frank
  12. Most Trusted Hubber:  Dora Isaac Weithers—MsDora

This year the HubPages Staff is very pleased to honor Ronald E. Franklin (Ronelfran) with the HubPages Lifetime Award!  Ronald has been an active member for over six years,  writes informational, high-quality articles, and is a positive member of our community.  Congratulations, Ron!

We would also like to extend our congratulations to this year’s winners. It was a tight race in many of the categories!  We are grateful for all of our Hubbers and their time and commitment to make HubPages the best place to share knowledge and expertise with the world.  Keep up the fantastic work!

Vote for Your Favorites in the 2017 Hubbie Awards!

The polls are officially open for the 7th Annual HubPages Hubbie Awards! You have two weeks to submit your vote, so take your time and consider your choices carefully—no rush!

The Prizes:

Winners in each category will receive an official HubPages mug with the HubPages logo and your name or username.

If a Hubber wins more than one category, he or she will receive a mug for each category won (though we do love to see as many deserving Hubbers win as possible, so please do your best to diversify your votes).

The Rules:

Before you cast your vote, there are a few ground rules to keep in mind. Each Hubber may only vote once, so make sure you’ve got your list of nominees ready to go. Nominations submitted after Wednesday, September 20th at midnight will not be counted. If you don’t have a Hubber or article to nominate for every single category, it’s ok to leave spaces blank.

When you’re ready, you can visit the Official 2017 Hubbie Voting Form, or if you need more time to consider your vote, you can always browse the categories before making up your mind:

Hubbie Award Categories:

  1. Best All-Around Article
  2. Best All-Around Hubber
  3. HubPages Lifetime Achievement (staff picked)
  4. Most Helpful Hubber
  5. Rookie of the Year
  6. Most Likely to be a HubPages Employee
  7. Funniest Hubber
  8. Hubber That Uses the Best Original Imagery
  9. Biggest Grammar Nerd
  10. Most Academic Hubber
  11. Hubber with Most Obscure Knowledge
  12. Most Trusted Hubber

If you’re ready to cast your vote now, proceed to the Official 2017 Hubbie Voting Form. Remember, you can only vote once, so take your time figuring out which articles and Hubbers you’d like to nominate. Happy voting!

Comment Capsule Standardization

Starting today we are simplifying Comment Capsule options for a more consistent reader experience and one that aligns more with standard practices in the online publishing world right now. Here’s a list of changes we’ll be making:

All articles will be required to have a Comment Capsule and it will be the last capsule in the article. You will no longer be able to create articles with no Comment Capsules, multiple Comment Capsules, or Comment Capsules located anywhere but the bottom of the page.

Comments will always be displayed from newest to oldest, and Comment Capsules will display up to 100 of the newest comments before requiring the reader to load more. We are also removing the option to disable further comments.

This change will be applied to both new and existing articles. Authors who previously had no Comment Capsules in their articles or had the Disable Further Comments option checked will now have a Comment Capsule with the settings automatically changed to only accept comments from signed-in users and require the author to approve all new comments before they show up on the article.

Full Width Capsules & HubTool Update

Capsule Floating to Be Retired

Big news today, friends! As part of our effort to make the HubPages experience more consistent on mobile and desktop, and to promote a more clear and organized layout, we will no longer support half-width (right floated) capsules. As of today, capsules in new articles must be full width.

We are providing a 90 day grace period for existing articles that contain floated capsules. We recommend checking out your articles and making all capsules full width to make sure they appear in the order you want them to be read. Once the grace period is over, all capsules will automatically become full width.

The main issue you will need to be aware of for this change is to ensure that your images look crisp and clear. You may upload JPG, GIF, and PNG image files to use in your articles, but any images you display should be at least 1,000 pixels wide. Images should also be high quality; the original photograph should not be blurry or unfocused.

In cases where your article contains original photos that are not of sufficient size/quality to look good full width but can not be replaced, we recommend making them into a collage. PicMonkey is free and great for making quick collages, but there are many other free collage-making apps and websites you may wish to try as well.

HubTool Makeover

I’m also very excited to announce that we have revamped the HubTool. It now has a new, sleeker design, and additionally it has been redesigned to work on mobile. Starting today, you can easily compose articles on your smartphone or tablet as well as on a desktop or laptop computer. Here’s what’s changed:

On mobile, visit HubPages.com and make sure you are signed in. Open the menu on the upper left of your screen and you will now see a “Write” button, which is how you start a new article:

On both desktop and mobile, you will see a new Create an Article page when composing new articles:

The HubTool will function on both mobile and desktop devices and now sports an attractive new design:

We hope this change will make it easier and more convenient to write new articles and edit your existing ones on the go. Please stop by the forums to report any issues with these new features. Happy Hubbing!

2016 Update and HubPro Premium

Hi Hubbers,

2016 was a transformative year for HubPages.  We went from one site to a network of over two dozen unique properties.  For us, it was an all-in year.   The net result has been very successful.

As I look back at the time from 2011 to where we are today, I can see many of the things we got right as well as the things we tried that didn’t turn out as fruitful as we hoped.  Here are a few of the important things we got right:

  • We increased the standards for writing on HubPages, which many from the community demanded.
  • We built robust systems to clamp down on spam and poorly written content.
  • We introduced innovative services like HubPro and hired teams of editors and curators to improve content.
  • We created topical sites.

I believe these initiatives have played a significant role in the success of 2016, but they have also reshaped our community.  It’s a smaller, but in many ways stronger collection of people that have created incredible articles with tons of depth. Many of the most successful Hubbers are once again earning hundreds every payout and for a small number, they are earning thousands. Our hope for the future is that folks see the benefits of our community and new members that are passionate on topics from tactical flashlights to hand raising cockatiels are attracted to the HubPages Network as well.

In the next month, we will remove the option of opting-out of HubPro Premium.  Editing is a significant piece of the quality improvement process, and we believe it’s in the best interest of our community, readers, and our future to have one set of options with the intent of creating the best content we can together.  

Today, many of the most influential communities have forms of editing.  I looked around at various successful sites, and I see a strong sense of purpose.  The best communities are made from great people with interesting, useful ideas and information that they share generously.  Like us, StackExchange is one of those communities.  

StackExchange is a large diverse community built around QnA.  I’ve admired them for years.  Many of their pages are deep with rich, thick answers.  They provide fantastic content that harnesses the talents of their community to create a great reader experience.  Many of their most popular QnAs are improved regularly via editing.  

I believe editing is a critical part of a healthy community that provides an enhanced reading experience and ensures the quality of our network for years to come.  While I’m not ready to announce community editing—maybe someday, I am happy to announce that we will be investing more in editing in 2017!

Here is to a fantastic 2017.

Best,

Paul

Does this mean my articles may be edited when the change goes into effect even if I previously opted out?

Yes. All articles, both old and new, will be eligible for every type of edit when this change is made.

Will Editors be able to edit all of my content?

Currently, Premium Editing is the only type of editing we offer the option to opt out of, which means all articles on HubPages are already eligible for Basic Edits (quick spelling and grammar fixes) and Snip Edits (removal of problematic elements like links and products). All of your content will be eligible to be Premium Edited as well when this change is implemented, but we encourage writers to think of Premium Editing as a collaborative process. If selected for a Premium Edit, you will receive advance notice of any edits that will be made and have the ability to communicate directly with your Editor.

I still don’t want my content edited or changed whatsoever. What should I do?

If you are firmly against having your work professionally edited, HubPages is likely no longer the best home for that content. We recommend removing your articles and republishing on a website or blog you own. However, our Editors are highly-qualified, consummate professionals. They have been successfully editing articles on HubPages for over two years. We sincerely hope you will give the editing process a chance before saying goodbye to the HubPages community.

We know this is a big departure from the level of autonomy we’ve offered when we launched in 2006 (which is why we want to give you plenty of time to think things through before we remove the opt out), but it is increasingly clear to us that the best way to provide a phenomenal experience both for readers and writers is to incorporate the kind of professional editing typical of most high-quality magazines and community websites going forward. We are also delighted and deeply appreciative that so many of you are on board and have had great experiences with editing. Thanks and keep up the great writing!

New Design for Network Sites

Big news! Within the next couple days we’re rolling out a design overhaul on Network Sites. We believe these changes will deliver some much needed functionality improvements as well as provide a cleaner, warmer look. Here’s an overview of the changes you can expect to see:

New Color Scheme

We wanted an updated and stylish look that still conveys the warmth and approachability of our sites. Working with a professional designer, we chose the orange and light blue scheme because we felt it best communicated the friendliness and approachability of an informative site with such a wide and unique range of information by everyday experts.

New Menu Structure

With the introduction of the new design, readers will be able to more easily browse the categories on each site using the “More” menu in the upper left. You will be able to simply click the menu to display all topics and subtopics on the site.

Fully Responsive Articles

To begin with, this change will only be live on TatRing.com, though we plan to roll out the responsive design to all sites within the next few weeks. Here’s a list of features the new responsive article design will include:

  • Improved ad layout with different ad placements for mobile, tablet, and desktop viewing.
  • Social sharing options that appear at the top of the article on mobile devices.
  • An improved About the Author Bio (if you haven’t yet created your Bios yet, we highly recommend doing so, as the new design looks much better with text in this section).
  • Improved tablet design with better readability.

Flipboard & Email Buttons Added

Easily email or Flip articles onto Flipboard from Network Sites using these new options that have been added to the social sharing section.

For now, we will only be applying these changes to Network Sites and not to HubPages.com. Our engineers have been working tirelessly to implement these improvements, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. We hope you love the new design as much as we do!

Updates to In-Text Amazon Links

Later today we are making some updates to in-text Amazon affiliate links. In-text Amazon links will now be automatically converted to the revenue sharing format, which means that all in-text links will be subject to our 60/40 impression sharing split (with 60% to the writer and 40% to HubPages, as always).

As part of this change, any in-text Amazon links you have placed in your articles but forgotten to monetize (add your affiliate tracker to) will be fixed so that you will begin earning from them.

We are also adding a small Amazon icon to distinguish Amazon links from other types of in-text links. Amazon is a trusted site by many readers and the icon will provide an easy and intuitive way for your readers to know where these links are going and that they will be directed to an Amazon.com product. As well as providing more clarity and simplicity to your reader’s experience, we hope this visual distinction will result in more Amazon clicks and increased earnings. This is what the new links will look like:

decorated-amazon-link

You will not have to do anything to your existing articles in order to implement this change. It is automatic and will be applied to both existing and new articles.