HubTool is Getting Its Hair Did

It has been a while since the HubTool has gotten some TLC, so we decided to spend a little time giving it a makeover, which will go live next week. We have made no big changes to the way things work, just a few cosmetic tweaks to clean things up and take advantage of some of the new capabilities of modern web browsers.

The first change you may notice next week is that the summary field has been moved and is now located under the title. Summaries are used on the HubPages Topic Pages and, if you write one, included in the meta description tag that search engines may show in search results. We haven’t changed how the summary is used on the site or in search engines; only its placement in the HubTool has been adjusted. We hope the box’s new placement makes it a bit easier to find for our new (and long-time) Hubbers.

Another change we have made is that capsules’ edit buttons now only appear when you move your mouse over the capsule in question. This provides cleaner view of the Hub and more effectively indicates which buttons act on which capsule. What’s more, alerts and messages have been reorganized, the tips that used to appear have gone away (perhaps to resurface in a different form in the future), and the buttons have taken on a fresh new look that makes it easier to tell when you can use them.

There’s still work to do and we’re not stopping with these changes alone. Some of you may also notice a few other changes as we begin being beta testing some new ideas. If you spot one of these features, we’re looking for feedback so please feel free to provide it through the link provided.

New Profile Design on Staff Pages

The new profile page design we previewed back in May can now be seen on HubPages Staff Profiles. Here is a quick look:

Simone Smith's profile

As you can see, there are some new additions to the new profile design we originally displayed. Along with some slightly different styles and colors, you’ll notice that the profile has a cool background. Indeed, you will be able to choose one of several fun backgrounds for your HubPages profile- or upload an image to create a nifty background of your own.

You will also notice that a collection of Featured Hubs lies at the center of the profile. These are Hubs that you can hand-select and switch out at will. This section of the new profile design is a great place for you to showcase your best work, especially if you use your profile as a portfolio to present to friends, family, and potential clients.

You will soon be given the option to transition your existing profile to the new design. As with questions on subdomain, the transition will be opt-in only for several weeks, after which the change will be rolled out site wide. In preparation for access to this nifty new profile, be sure to queue up links to your social media profiles, update your bio, select some Hubs you might like to feature, and consider which sort of background you might like to use or upload!

To see the new profile in action across different profiles and styles, check out the following Hubbers on the HubPages team:

We can’t wait to see what you do with the new format!

A New Profile Design

We have been keeping you updated on various tests with new Hub designs, but Hubs aren’t the only parts of HubPages that are getting new looks. In addition to refining Hub designs, Micki Seibel has been working for several weeks on creating a new and improved Profile Page.

The product of her work is something significantly more professional, functional, polished, and refined! Check it out:

Curious about the changes? We’ll walk you through the Profile Page’s updates and new features.

More Author Prominence
One of our primary objectives with the new design is to give Hubbers and their personal brands more prominence. This is why we moved Hubbers’ names and profile images to the top left of the page in a bold header that extends across the entire width of the Profile.

Additional Identity
You’ll notice that below Maddie Ruud’s real name is listed below HubPages username (and special status). We know that not all of you are able to choose your real name as your username on HubPages, so we’re giving you the option to share your real name on your profile page, just as you can on Twitter.
If you prefer to write under a pen name or just use your witty online handle, you are free to leave this section of your profile blank. That said, showing your real name can add professional polish to your online profile and demonstrates that there is a real, passionate writer behind your wonderful Hubs.

Social Media Connections
To transform Profile Pages into functional online portfolios, we are adding the ability to list links to a personal website and external social media accounts at the top of the page. This will make it easier for your readers and followers to find you on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest, as well as your own personal website.
Maintaining an active presence across multiple platforms plays an important role in online success, so we encourage Hubbers to connect your HubPages profile with as many sites as they please!

A Streamlined Bio
The bio is one of the most important aspects of one’s Profile, so we’re leaving it front and center. That said, we also want these pages to adequately showcase Hubbers’ wonderful work, so to save real estate we are truncating Hubber bios after a certain number of words. These bios will not be cut off; visitors can continue to read them in an overlay should they please.

Are you concerned about the lack of bio space? Don’t be! When Hubbers have long bios, they typically fill them with two things:

  1. Links to external sites: These are now featured in their own dedicated section at the top of the page, so they need not be reiterated here.
  2. Links to Hubs one wants to feature: Under the My Content section of your Profile, which will display by default in what is now the blank section of the image we’ve shared, you will be able to select several Hubs to feature in a carousel.

Because we now offer these more attractive linking alternatives and encourage Hubbers to keep the bio strictly bio-focused, we are additionally disabling links in this section of the page.

Similar Hubbers
To help you both discover and be discovered on HubPages, we are showcasing similar Hubbers on each Hubber’s Profile. This feature will help fans of your work find more Hubbers like you and this will also promote your own Profile on others’ pages.

More Functional Use of Space
There is so much interesting information about Hubbers that it would be impossible to display it all at once on one page. We’re addressing this problem by offering a dynamic center of the page that displays your content by default, but can also display Hubtivity, Hubbers you follow and who follow you, Fan Mail, and recent images you have posted.

My Content
This is the section of your Profile where your Hubs and Videos will be featured. At the top, you have the option to display a specially curated collection of your best work.

Hubtivity
Currently, Hubtivity (which displays status updates, comments, Hubs published, Questions asked and answered, etc.) is displayed on your Profile below your Hubs. Almost nobody gets that far along in your profile to actually view it (there are too many interesting Hubs to look at along the way!), so we’re giving this stream of activity its own section.

Following
Hubbers do much more on HubPages than simply publish Hubs. We’re a supportive community of writers who enjoy, comment on, and discover each other’s work. The Hubbers we follow do much to reveal our involvement with the HubPages community, and can also help our own followers discover new writers, so we’re making the Hubbers you follow easier to see.

Followers
On HubPages, followers are earned, and you should be proud of the Hubbers who have decided to get regular updates on your work! With this section of your profile, you can display them proudly.

Fan Mail
On LinkedIn, professionals display endorsements from present and past colleagues. Kind words from earnest Hubbers are well worth displaying, so we’re giving Fan Mail a dedicated section (instead of a truncated summary that leads to a separate page listing followers and Fan Mail). It is also to this section that we are moving the “Contact [Username]” option through which Hubbers can email you directly.

Recent Images
Good images are a big deal on HubPages, and play a huge role in a Hub’s success. We’ll be featuring images that you have recently published in Hubs in this new section of your Profile to give your cool photos, illustrations, charts, and graphs the attention they deserve. These images will include a link to their location on HubPages, as well as your source, URL, and caption, so you don’t have to worry about copyright issues if you use Creative Commons images.

All in all, we have done our best to make your profile page work for you as a Hubber, writer, and creative individual. We hope you like it!