I am really not liking the front page of Hubpages these days. When I first click in to HP, I see a list of the five top questions and articles. It usually something about politics or beliefs. First of all, is that what the public sees when arriving to HP?
Right now it is, "Trump Supporters: Are you going to stay on a Sinking Ship?" "Can you believe certain churches support abortion?" "Do you believe in creation or evolution," another one about Trump, and "Should I be mad my mistress is sleeping with my friend?"
Now, I don't think that these questions/articles represent the heart of what HP is about, especially since most belief-based and political discussions are not usually actual discussions but end up in being name-calling and insults.
They used to have an article of the day, along with the last 10 or so articles. These were articles that represented what was supposed to be quality writing on a variety of topics.
Now, many of the questions, when clicked, will lead to very heated discussion and often insults from one side to the other. It reminds me more of a REDDIT forum than a writing site that has many high quality articles. The HP front page is in stark contrast to the niche sites, which do feature high quality articles of interest.
HP, I am wondering if you can address the current front page of HP? I love the niche sites but sometimes it seems like the main site is suffering neglect. We used to have more interactive things to get quality articles out and more promotion of said articles (remember hubnuggets?)
Thank you in advance,
Staff is working behind the scenes to decide the best solution to this currently. We agree; Hubbers should not have to see this kind of content unless you seek it out. It is just a matter of deciding how to implement the changes we want.
I obviously can't speak for everybody, but, as I've said before, I'd be quite happy to see only hubs on that page, just as our users do who are not signed in. Surely this would be an easy to implement solution until you come up with something better.
Some of the Q&A and forum thread titles alone make me feel sick.
Glad to hear HubPages is aware of and working on this. I agree completely with the original poster. Instead of trolling political and religious "questions", I'd like to see only Hub articles featured on the front page-- no questions or forum entries. HubPages is about quality writing, not yet-another ranting platform.
It has taken seven weeks to do nothing, Christy.
Staff have made a pretty good job at changing the design of all vertical sites. It would be simple enough to apply similar design changes to the main site but let's face it, unfortunately, the main HP site is no longer a priority. It almost seems like HP are ashamed to shine nowadays. Thousands of good articles that are still on here are losing traffic and income by the buckets as a result of sheer neglect because all efforts today are geared towards the new sites.
This policy is self destructive because all vertical sites are inevitably linked to the main site when readers surf through other article links on HP, authors' profiles, forums, back to the HP home page etc. only to be put off by its inferior design.
My understanding is that the Hubs which represented about 70% of HubPages' income have already been moved to the niche sites - and since they've been moved, traffic for many of those Hubs has increased substantially. Good quality new Hubs are being moved straight to the niche sites and gradually, older ones are still being transferred.
Which means that what's left behind on the old site is generating much less than 30% of the traffic and income, and reducing.
If it was your business, which sites would you invest your development dollar in?
Of course there are Hubs still on the old site which are good quality - BUT they are either not commercial enough, or have very low search volumes, and as such they are not worth HubPages' time because they will never make a return on that investment. I know it's galling to have Hubs in that situation, but it's the commercial reality. Many of my Hubs are in that boat.
And you've been here long enough to know that readers don't generally visit forums, home pages and even author profiles much.
It will die down in two weeks, for three years or so anyways.
Please see my latest response in this thread.
We intend to revert the default page after signin to the HubPages Feed within the next few weeks and we are beginning a homepage redesign in 2017 as well. Design changes like this require a ton of work behind the scenes, and we go as quickly as we can, but it will take time. Thank you for your patience.
Christy, the Feed is already the default page after sign in—that is, after I have landed on the Welcome page as a signed out user (hubpages.com), I click on "Sign In", and am taken directly to the Feed after completing the sign in form.
However, if I enter the site over hubpages.com as a signed in user, I land on a list of popular topics—the same list as appears after clicking on Explore > Hubs as a signed in user.
Speaking for myself and from what I can gather from others, we only want to see hubs when landing on this page (or the same as non-signed in users see on the Welcome page). We do not want to have to see Q&A and Discussions. The same for Explore > Hubs.
Nobody's asking for a completely redesigned Homepage. All people want is not to have to see Q&A and Discussions when entering the site over hubpages.com as a signed in user. In other words, to see the same as signed out users see when using that URL.
This issue has been brought up before, but it was done intentionally for SEO reasons and I'm not sure if it's something the Team is willing to reconsider at this point.
At the moment we're only seeing popular Q&A and Discussions when landing there, and hardly ever a popular hub. Wouldn't it be enough for SEO reasons if only popular hubs were shown to *signed in* users? Just a thought.
Christy, based on your comment I think I detect some confusion among the programming team about the home page.
It makes sense that they decided to show only hubs, for SEO reasons, to Google and to other search engines. This is the case since their bots see what signed-out users see.
However, I think they missed the point that this should be consistent for signed-in users too. After all, the link anchor text says "Hubs" under "Explore", so what is reasoning for showing Q&A and Forums, which have their own anchor text links under "Explore".
Making it consistent would involve less programming, not more programming. Presently it takes extra code to make the page work differently when signed in or not.
Consistency would also eliminate the extra code needed to route the viewer to different places when they log in. Jayne Lancer gave an explanation here that finally clears up the confusion we had in another thread where some of us insisted that the default page is the feed page and others insisted that the default page is the home page. (Thanks Jayne, I thought I was going crazy).
In my opinion, as a systems programmer, consistency is so much better—avoiding confusion, making the Explore options meaningful, and reducing coding overhead. Feel free to pass this on to the programming department.
This has come up before, and I agree. It looks a little better if you are signed out.
And it's nothing against the people that posted the questions --- I have what are probably unpopular opinions on those topics. It's just that these are questions which are not related to the main purpose of Hubpages, which is to promote quality writing.
Is there any chance they might re-implement a "Hub of the Day" or some kind of interactive thing like that? And yes, I am glad to hear that HP is aware of it. I am not against those topics, but on HP, they just become so divisive.
The main page has been an atrocity for as far back as I can remember.
As soon as they started with this "minimalist design" stuff it went downhill fast - I honestly can't recall what it looked like prior to that, but I do remember it being a step off a steep cliff in the wrong direction.
There is nothing about the design of this site that attracts people. We may be able to get views from Google, but I doubt there are any non-contributors out there that ever say "let's go see what's on HubPages today!" It's a design issue...and the most recent changes to one of my hubs just proves that there is a lack of "design fortitude" on HP staff. (They took one of my hubs and made it look like a teenager designed it. Stretched every single one of the images across the page causing them to pixelate horribly, turned my subtitles into ugly bullet lists...looking at it made me want to puke)
What the site needs is a friendly front page that lends itself to the content rather than begging for new contributors. That is incredibly off putting for anybody that lands there. Yahoo is a great example of this...as terribly managed as that company is, they still managed to hang on by their teeth and it is no doubt due to the design of their site. I *hate* the content on Yahoo, I can't stand the writing/editing of their original articles...yet I visit that site every day when I'm in-between doing other things because of how mind numbingly simple the site is, and the ease of access to content.
It would be simple to do. A carousel of recent "Hub of the Day" winners, with featured/trending pages listed below. Just an attractive "design first" look. If people came to HubPages to read new content, then traffic overall would increase - having less "in your face" links to become a contributor would still be effective due to overall traffic activity.
Unfortunately, the design decisions seem to be going further downhill instead of up.
I rather like the new design for the niche sites. As to the pics, you need to find better quality images and accept that full width is the best option in a time of mobile dominance.
It would be best if HP hid its populist underbelly, though (at least kept it off the front page). It should also be careful about its promotion of conspiracy theories. A few European countries are already looking to make the spreading of fake news illegal. That could have all sorts of ramifications.
Actually, I don't.
I am well aware of the changes to web access. I work in the industry and have training in responsive web design using various different languages. I own several domains, and don't move forward with design until it works well on all screen formats.
But the article in question already exists and is doing fine - If I wanted to spend the time adjusting things I would...if I were writing new content, it's something I would take into account (There is a good reason I don't put new content here anymore).
None of that changes the fact that somebody is coming in making terrible design changes, nor does it justify them. "Mobile First Design" doesn't mean "Mobile At All Costs". The point of the example was not a complaint about having to fix them as much as it was pointing out the lack of an eye for general aesthetics.
This on the other hand, I completely agree with. But that's a different monster entirely.
I'm so glad to hear someone who agrees with me about full-width images and over-simplistic mobile design. I've talked about the importance of good layout on these forums in the past and been shouted down. As you say, sites should be mobile friendly, not mobile at all costs.
That said, I don't worry overmuch about the front page. Well over 90% of all our traffic comes directly to individual Hubs from Google, and readers then navigate by browsing related Hubs rather than going back to the Home page. That's been the case for as long as I can remember. Readers have never come to HubPages to browse because it's not a search engine. Maybe you could argue that IF HubPages changed its front page, it could change that behaviour - but they haven't lost any readers by having a poor front page, because our readers have never arrived that way in all the time I've been a member.
Dear Marisa Wright,
sorry for interrupt
you are right, I agree with you
So why this false promise reply dating back over 7 weeks?
B.t.w. Where do you get your figures from, Marisa? From your own percentage of transferred hubs? Isn't that different for every author?
When someone accidentally finds a HP article via Google and lands on HP as a reader, isn't it likely that they may click on the main HP homepage to find more interesting info?
Sorry, Marisa, but I often wonder why you often act as if you were a part of HP staff. This not being the case, I am bound to read "your understanding" of the facts, which is often speculative and usually negative, with a large grain of salt.
If it was your business, wouldn't you want to bring your main home page to the same standard as the home pages of all other vertical sites?
I am sure Christy is rushing down to the magic wand store right now.
If I say something speculative I will say so. This is not speculative, it's based on the original discussions about the launch of the new niche sites. It's not in the blog announcement, but it was in a forum thread where the mechanism for choosing Hubs was explained. They explained that in the initial phase, Hubs would be chosen on the basis of traffic and they'd be moving the Hubs which accounted for about 70% of the site's traffic (and I emphasise, that's 70% of traffic, not 70% of Hubs).
As you know, the initial phase is now complete, so it's fair to assume those Hubs are now moved.
HubPages themselves have said the future of HubPages is the niche sites and only that the original site will continue in some form or other. If I were in business and I had several new ventures where business was booming, and an original business which was in decline, I know where I'd be investing my money. You are a businesswoman, I'm sure you know what I mean.
There is negative and there is realistic. You would be surprised how much I was biting my tongue during the long years between Panda and the niche sites, when I feared for the future of HubPages. I was SO relieved when HP finally embraced niches, and I am optimistic about the future for most of them. But even HubPages has said THEY are the future of HubPages, the main site is just a hanger-on.
I've learned from 10 years of on-line writing for 7 other sites over the years I don't own, it's a waste of time and effort trying to get the site owners to change something. To HubPages credit, they are the only one of those sites still up and running. I used to hold my breath waiting for responses and changes from all of them, an exercise in futility. In fact, I typically try to stay away from forums too because it can become such a time drain.
We would like:
1. One beautiful homepage for all, in the style of the new sites - signed in or signed out.
2. Scrap (discontinue) questions and answers. This is not FaceBook for crying out loud!
3. We don't need a "Feed", we are feeding the public with good quality content.
4. The forums are enough for us to get involved with each other and to communicate with staff.
Simplify, embellish, show off our best work, that's all we are asking for. Simplification means less work, better SEO.
Please Listen to Glenn.
Hanger-on? Since all new work has to be submitted to the main site, the niche sites are a part of the system; they cannot exist without the main site. While we are in this situation, we must make the main home page attractive and interesting to readers and potential contributors alike by bringing it up to the new standards.
While we're at it, get rid of the stupid feed telling us that Jo Blob was awarded the "Engaging Content accolade", or that so and so is now following so and so... Who cares?
Get rid of the stupid time wasting questions and answers.
I repeat: HP is not a social site, it's an information site.
Can't we just get rid of the questions and answers period?
Why not just focus on demonstrating the hubs that are left on this site - many of which are good quality even if they don't get lots of traffic?
How difficult is it in code terms to just switch off the bit of code which feeds Q&A into the front page feed? I wouldn't have thought it took much time at all.
I think part of the problem is that a lot of us continue to respond to questions that get on the front page. Look how many answers they get! If we don't like questions, we should stop answering them.
But it's got very little to do with the main purpose of HubPages.
I imagine at some point somebody thought that having such a function would get them in Google's good books (I hardly think that applies any more) and/or might suck in traffic - especially if they stuck the controversial ones on the front page
Thing is unless you check such assumptions out you can actually create a very bad impression. I know I (and the author of this thread and rather a lot of other people) get a VERY BAD impression of HubPages every time we look at some of those questions on the front page.
If they want to run some sort of focus on Q&A I suggest they also run that on a separate site.
Q and A probably adds a lot more content than new hubs and is important for the site's 'freshness'.
Paul Edmondson reckons the section passes the site's quality test. It's up to them to make those kinds of judgement. They have the data.
Blogging about EXISTING hubs in a structured way would be a much better way of maintaining the site's freshness in a constructive and focused way i.e.
* it focuses on the main rationale for the site - the hubs (NOT Q&A topics likely to be a deterrent to visitors or be hijacked by trolls!)
* it brings traffic to those hubs that already exist allowing them to rank higher in Google
* it brings income to hubbers who don't benefit in any way from Q&As
When building my blogs and websites I was greatly influenced by a chap called Neilsen who said over time most of your traffic is going to go to pages in your archive - IF you find ways of keeping it in view and reminding people it exists. I can certainly vouch for that approach.
If you write everlasting content, the website you host it on needs to find ways of keeping it in view if you are to maximise the full benefit of the investment in creating it. It's certainly worked for me - on MY own websites and blogs!
Now back to moving in-depth reviews of best selling books from one blog to a new website - and then blogging about their new home....
I just looked at the front page again
It has a list of categories and JUST QUESTIONS on the front page. It's a total gift for TROLLS!
How would ANYBODY get the idea that the site might contain hubs if it only has questions on the front page?
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