How To Configure the Customizable Home Page at HubPages
As of June 2011, the customizable home page no longer exists. This hub is kept for historical reasons.
What is the customizable home page?
HubPages provides its users with two types of home pages: the old standard home page and the new customizable home page. It is the page that you see when visiting hubpages.com after you've logged in. Each home page allows you to see what's going on at HubPages. You can see recently published hubs and questions and other activity at HubPages.
I've been using the customizable home page for pretty much all of my time here at HubPages. As the name suggests you can customize the page: you can decide yourself what information you wish to see. Do you want to see the recently published hubs or comments of others? Do you want to be informed about questions in a particular category? That's all possible with the customizable home page.
For all of you who wish to make good use of their time I encourage you to use the customizable home page instead of the standard home page which cannot really be modified.
Where can I learn more about the customizable home page?
If you're not familiar with the customizable home page, have a look at the page in the Learning Center dedicated to this subject. It explains more about the customizable home page and how to change your standard home page into a customizable home page. It also explains the basics of widgets and how you can use them.
How should I configure the customizable home page?
The customizable home page can be confusing, in particular if you've not seen widgets and customizable web pages before. The customizable home page is basically an empty page and you can put widgets on the page. Each widget shows some information about what's going on at HubPages, such as hubs published in a certain category or questions and answers in a particular category.
If you have not done so I greatly recommend that you read the following article first:
- Increase your Productivity on HubPages with the Customizable Home Page
Make the best use of your time by tweaking the customizable home page on HubPages. This hub shares some insights on how on to become a very productive Hubber!
I have written that article a few months ago in which I explained how you should put the widgets on the customizable home page. Should a widget be placed near the top of the customizable home page or can it be placed near the bottom? Information that's important should be put at the top where you can easily see it but less important information - or information that is not updated so often, such as the HubPages blog - can be put at the bottom.
When I wrote that article I couldn't really give you an example of how to configure the customizable home page because I was only just starting out myself. But now, a few months later, I'm going to give you an example of how I have currently configured my customizable home page.
I'm not saying it's perfect and I'd love to hear how experienced hubbers have done it but so far my configuration is working well for me. It allows me to see the hubs of the people that I follow, it shows a lot of the activity that I'm involved in (such as questions / answers) and it shows interesting and potentially interesting new hubs.
My current customized home page - Left column
The left column is the widest column and I'm using it for the most important and frequently updated information. It also contains the information that I want to focus on, such as my recent HubPages activity and hubs of people I follow.
Here are the widgets that I have in the left column, from top to bottom:
- Hubtivity widget with 5 entries. This widget informs me of hubs that answer my questions, all questions (for me, by users and topics that I'm following), answers to questions that I've asked, new followers, and milestones of myself and users that I'm following.
- Hubs by favorite authors, 5 entries. This widget informs me of hubs of people that I follow. I just click the button at the top right if I want to see a few more hubs. What's the point of following people if you're not keeping an eye on any of their recently published hubs? Not all hubs are equally interesting but this does make sure I won't miss the ones that I find interesting.
- Hub traffic statistics, 10 entries. All the statistics of my hubs sorted by daily views, from high to low. This shows me which hubs have been picking up or have been dropping in traffic very recently. It's always nice to see your most popular hub of the day. It might be a hub that you've published recently but it might also be a hub that managed to gain decent traffic from elsewhere. That's a good sign! You don't always want to login to Google Analytics for a full-blown analysis, this is just a basic overview of what's doing well recently.
- News from HubPages blog, 3 entries, titles only. Whenever it updates, it is shown here. I don't need to visit the blog and I don't need to subscribe to another RSS feed to stay updated.
- Forums, official HubPages announcements. Same as the above widget. It occasionally updates and when it does, I'll be informed of any announcements by the HubPages staff.
My current customized home page - Right column
Here are the widgets in the right column, from top to bottom:
- Hubs of all categories that I'm a fan of, 3 entries. Here's where I see all the hubs that I potentially like to read. I'm following the topics already so hopefully people are publishing wonderful stuff that I wanna read! You can increase the minimum required author score so that you only see hubs of a certain quality level.
This is also a good way to find hubbers with shared interests and perhaps to become mutual followers. This is a good way to get followers: you find a hub about a shared interest, you leave an insightful comment, they look at your profile and chances are they'll become a follower. It is really that simple.
- Hubtivity widget with comments, 5 entries. This widget shows all comments that I've made and also the comments of others on those hubs. It also shows comments on my hubs. This allows me to keep track of all discussions that I was or am part of. Commenting on hubs is important and this makes sure that I don't miss any important replies by a hub author.
- Questions and Answers widget, HubPages Tutorials and Community category, 3 entries. This shows all questions of new and established hubbers in the category HubPages Tutorials and Community Questions. This is a great way to help new hubbers who need help here at HubPages. If you're experienced in other categories then you can add similar widgets for other categories as well.
- Hubs of all categories, 3 entries, with a very high minimum author score. This widget shows hubs of all categories but I have set the HubberScore (or minimum author score as it is called in the widget) to a high number, e.g., 90. This allows me to find high quality authors that are not necessarily writing about topics that I'm interested in. They're still delivering quality work so it would be a shame to miss that.
- Broken and malicious links widget. Just in case any of the links in my hubs get broken or when a website turns malicious, this widget informs me of that. It hasn't happened yet but it's only a small widget so it does not take up much space. To keep the quality of the hubs high, these broken and malicious links should be fixed quickly so this is there to inform me.
Notice that I don't have any widgets for forum activity. It would be very distracting when I'm focusing on writing and updating hubs. I just visit the forums manually whenever I feel like it.
The above configuration of the customizable home page allows you to see what's going on at HubPages that is of interest. You can learn from the quality hubs of others, you can see the hubs of the people that you're following and the most relevant activity on HubPages that is related to you is shown.
I would love to hear how others have configured their customizable home page! Have you discovered a widget configuration that really helps you in a particular way? Let us know in the comments section below!