Top 5 Ways HubPages Could Improve

Note: This Hub was written before the April 2009 redesign and many of its criticisms were successfully addressed!

As I stated in the last Hub, Top 5 Reasons Why HubPages Is The Best, HubPages is one helluva site. If you know your stuff and have the chops, you never need to look at any other blogging platform. HubPages rules! However, nothing under the sun is perfect, so here are the Top 5 Ways HubPages Could Improve:

1) Now You See Them Now You Don't Double Paragraph Spaces: Enter your text in Microsoft Word or OpenOffice Writer or pretty well any major word processor. Select, copy and paste into your Hub text entry box and save. Where did those big double spaces between paragraphs come from? Now reopen your text box, save again and close. The huge double spaces are gone! But if you reopen the text box again, they'll return! And no matter how many new versions of the text editor are introduced, this irritant never seems to go away. Grrrr....

2) Screen Positioning: HubPages has to be one of the last major websites in the world that doesn't center float its content. Everything is always scrunched over to the extreme left hand side of the window, just like it was in the early Mozilla days. The difference is that although at that time the average screen resolution may have been 800 x 600, when you're accessing HubPages on my 24" 1920 x 1200 monitor, you'll throw the right side of your neck out unless you scrunch down your browser window and specifically center it.

3) Teeny Text Box: The postage stamp text entry box is also a hangover from the 800 x 600 days. On my screen, it's like entering text into a peephole. All it would take is to make that box a resizable window and it would make it much easier to deal with text.

4) Blinkin' Linkage: The link entry box is quite limiting. You have to enter your linkages one by one instead of in any form of bulk, as there is no easy way to do more than one link at a time. I use an awkward workaround: I create a simple HTML page in Notepad, insert all the A HREF links, save it, open it in a browser, copy the links from the browser display window, and then into a Hub. However, there's no reason to make things this difficult.

5) Templating: Although the founders of HubPages may not have taken it into consideration when they were first setting up the site, the platform becomes very clumsy once Hubbers such as myself are approaching the 1,000 Hub mark as it is impossible to apply most attributes to more than one Hub at a time. Keep in mind that I was previously wrong about not being able to apply Categories to more than one Hub at a time, as that can be done. However, it would be nice to extend this functionality to other aspects.

There are other improvements I could suggest, such as incorporating a running word count in the text entry box; having Comments be settable to Moderate by default as well as keeping all shown Comments displayed if the status is changed to Moderate; fixing the #%&$ News Capsule that works only when it feels like it; ensuring the Capsule Ordering doesn't get stuck all the time; and having the first click on the top column header in Traffic Statistics go to the highest, not lowest sorting first (after all, I almost always want to see my highest ranking hubs before I want to see my lowest ranking ones)... but the factors I've just listed above are definitely the Big 5.

Still, when I weigh the relatively minor irritants against the overwhelming positives of HubPages, I simply have to repeat the conclusion I reached earlier: HubPages Rules!

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Comments 18 comments

Elena. profile image

Elena. 7 years ago from Madrid

Hey there, Hal! I think you pretty much nailed my pet peeves with this mighty site. I agree with you, it totally rules, but could use these 5 improvements, more than anything because of what you mention --some seem left over from long gone days.

The double paragraph spaces are in a category of their own, though. That's like trying to solve the Bermuda Triangle mystery! Laugh!


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

Maybe it's the Hub Haunter! Spoooooky! :)


issues veritas 7 years ago

Hal,

In addition to the good ones you point out, I would add that when you comment on a hub that waits for the author to OK your comment, you don't get a chance to edit your comment.

I especially agree on the tiny comment window. It doubles as an eye chart.


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

That's an excellent point and a valid addition to the list. Thanks! And yes, since I'm getting old it's tough enough for me to read small type, let alone that teeny tiny text box on a very high resolution screen! :)


AEvans profile image

AEvans 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

Excellent !!! I agree with you on all five as I have notated mentally the same concerns but never expressed it. How about also being able to change your topic? There is nothing like creating a new hub and then deciding once you begin that it isn't what you wanted to begin with? We should be able to change it before we publsih it. If we want to archive our hubs, we should also be able to do that without a scoring recourse or deduction of pages that were published. There are some that I would like to archive but it deducts my total articles published. :)


Elijah S profile image

Elijah S 7 years ago from Europe

#4 is my pet peeve. nice hub.


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

AEvans: Thanks! You're absolutely right about being unable to change the topic of the Hub. However, that happened to me once and all I did was to delete the Hub in its entirety, and I was not aware of any point deduction for that (although there very well may be... I just don't know about that policy).

Elijah S: Thanks! #4 does beggar belief primarily because I've never seen that behavior before on any other site. The on again off again is very strange! :)


AEvans profile image

AEvans 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

The next time it happens I will definitely try it, thanks again for all of the informative information. :)


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

My pleasure! :)


Misha profile image

Misha 7 years ago from DC Area

I sorta learned to live with all that stuf. But I am definitely not a right person to listen to, cause I am posting once in a blue moon :)


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

Ah, but as the primary, most advanced, most popular, and indisputably best writer's platform in the known universe, HubPages should aspire to perfection! :)


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 7 years ago from East Coast, United States

Yes, the catagory business has me stymied. I had one history hub and they catagorized it Insurance which didn't really make sense.


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

I'm not clear on what you're stating, can you please clarify? I'm not aware that HubPages imposes categorizations, as the Hubber chooses them, or am I misunderstanding?


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

Please note, I have edited the Hub to show that Ryan Hupfer has just informed me that it is possible to mass Categorize by Tag, and I wholeheartedly recommend that all Hubbers do that ASAP!


Fawntia profile image

Fawntia 7 years ago from San Francisco

I'm sorry for the confusion, Hal! I built the categorization page and I evidently didn't make it clear enough that there is more than one way to categorize. In the future, we will try to do more testing to make sure that our interfaces are easy to figure out.

As for the other things on your list, #2 will be taken care of soon with the new redesign. Is there a reason why you can't use a link capsule in situation #4? For #5, what other things are difficult to do at HubPages if you have a lot of hubs?

I will mention #1 to Larry, who is generally in charge of the text capsule.


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

By all means don't apologize as I'm so thrilled to have this bulk categorization feature that I'm exceptionally happy to have been proved wrong! It's absolutely brilliant!

#4, unfortunately, is laborious with more than one link. I like to place links to a significant number of my Hubs in the same field at the end of the article, (as I have, one by one, in most of my motorcycle Hubs) and it's enough to make me tear what's left of my hair out.

#5 is related to #4. In a perfect HubWorld, I would be able to create a capsule with links, text, whatever, then place it in a single particular position (say, above the Comments capsule) in 200 Hubs at once. That way I could (for example) have a capsule that holds all my links to other Hubs in that field and update all 200 Hubs at once when I posted new Hubs which would be listed in the updated version.

When #1 is being addressed, keep in mind that a similar strange behavior happens in the Comments edit. Sometimes when I go to fix a typo or something in a comment I've just posted, all the paragraph breaks disappear and the whole comment becomes one long paragraph.

Thanks for being so attentive to my suggestions! Much appreciated! :)


Misha profile image

Misha 7 years ago from DC Area

Wow! You got a hub delivery of a reply from the team! That's impressive :)


Hal Licino profile image

Hal Licino 7 years ago from Toronto Author

The Hub Team Rules! :)

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