HubPages Throughout The Years 2005-2012 (With Screenshots)
According to this blog post, HubPages held the first ever Hubbie Awards on August 5th, 2011 that celebrated the site's 5th birthday. The site was opened to the public in a garage exactly five years earlier on a cold and dry, 60 F-ish, August day in Berkeley, California. Now, almost six years later, HubPages boasts to have become the best place for everyday experts to publish online and earn ongoing revenue from it.
However, there is evidence to suggest that HubPages had been operational even before this fabled August day. If you look at the screenshot to the right, which is the earliest screen capture of founder Paul Edmondson's HubPages profile recoverable by me, dating back to August 29, 2006, you'll see that his account had been opened 10 weeks earlier than this date, meaning it must be as old as mid-June, 2006.
If we take our investigation even further, we find that users could sign up for an early beta account as early as February 6, 2006 as seen in the screenshot below. For more on how HubPages came to be, read Paul's engaging account of the humble beginnings.
HubPages Before It All BeganClick thumbnail to view full-size
What did HubPages look like in the Beginning?
In this blog post, James Edmondson shares the earliest HubPages logos and graphics that he designed for the site. Indeed, if you look to the right and enlarge the images, you can see these logos on some of the earliest HubPages homepages, even before the site was opened up to the public in 2006.
I love one of the earliest definitions of a Hub that reads like this:
"A Hub is your personal webpage, written and designed by you, with lots of help from us. It's your Hub. Use it to share your passions with the world, whatever they might be."
Share what you know - Rake in the dough. (The famous tagline)
HubPages Homepage in 2006Click thumbnail to view full-size
What happened in 2006?
- In early February, HubPages is opened for beta testing encouraging visitors to apply for beta accounts.
- On June 28th 2006, the first ever Hub is written by Paul Edmondson. It's called 'My Treo 650 On Cingular.'
- On August 5th, HubPages is opened to the public. Anyone can register an account and start writing Hubs on any topic of their choice.
- HubPages has about 15,000 page views on the first day, then this settles into a few thousand daily views.
- On August 15th, founders, Paul Edmondson, Paul Deeds, and Jay Reizt move to the current HubPages headquarters in San Fransisco, California.
- In September, Jason Menayan is recruited for marketing. He doesn't shy away from creating his infamous livelonger account.
- In November, Drax is the first Hubber to publish his 100th hub, thus reaching All-Star status.
- In November, HubPages encourages evergreen content and writing for people as well as search engines.
- In December, the site has 4,750 Hubs, and organic traffic and revenue are steadily increasing.
- In December, the Idea Bank is created and the 'Grow the Pot' contest is announced.
Read more about the first year in the Story of HubPages.
HubPages Homepage in 2007-2008Click thumbnail to view full-size
What happened in 2007?
- By June, 2007, HubPages hires SEM companies to promote the site across search engines, but this strategy doesn't prove cost-effective. Then, they try precisely-targeted campaigns with mixed results.
- The Newsletter is the best tool in the arsenal of HubPages to attract visitors and traffic to Hubs.
- HubPages has an 'invite your friends' feature that attracts some traffic and sign-ups.
- HubPages has a referral program offering revenue for people that bring in new sign-ups, running with moderate success.
- On June 8th, HubPages employees walk around town handing people fortune cookies with the HubPages url on them.
- In July, 2007, 10 months after the launch, HubPages receives over 4 million visitors and more than twice as many page views a month. This traffic is organic and results from the growing number of Hubs. A few Hubbers earn thousands of dollars a month, while most earn little.
- With organic traffic increasing, so does spam content. HubPages is forced to develop ways to combat spam.
- In July, 2007, HubPages disallows adult content in Hubs, which in turn decreases site traffic to about 50 percent.
- The YieldBuild traffic and monetization service that entered product phase in October, 2006 now reaches beta in August, 2007.
- In October 2007, the Flagship Hubs Program is introduced that pays Hubbers up-front for approved high-quality Hubs. The program is now placed on hiatus.
- In the year 2007, the Hub Tool is revamped, forums, Hubtivity, and the Requests feature are introduced. HubPages sees about 35 million visits and over twice as many page views.
What happened in 2008?
- In February 2008, HubPages runs the HubLove - Exercise your Heart and Mind contest that awards points for publishing Hubs and guessing daily clues. Stacie Naczelnik wins the grand prize worth $5,000 with 400 points scored.
- mroconell takes the initiative to create the first ever Wikipedia article on HubPages.
- In March 2008, Hubber Maddie Ruud joins HubPages and instantly becomes the most awesome head moderator on the net.
- In April 2008, the Capstone Hubs Program is introduced. The program used to pay an up-front $25 for all approved Capstone Hubs.
- On April 23rd 2008, the 100,000th Hub is published. It's called 'Active Versus Passive Devices.'
- In June 2008, software engineer Fawntia Fowler joins the HubPages team. She is responsible for making the some of the coolest features on the site like the HubFeed, the Poll and Quiz Capsules, and many others.
- In August 2008, the HubMob special program (predecessor to the currently running Weekly Topic Inspiration Program) kicks off.
- In September 2008, the HubPages Blog is officially live with the first entry written by the then HubPages staff member Ryan Hupfer.
- In October 2008, the number of daily HubPages visitors is around 370,000, while monthly unique visitors are 2 million. On average, one Hub gets 40 visitors a day.
- On October 30th 2008, the 200,000th Hub is published. It's entitled 'Baby Safety - Travelling Safely With Your Child.'
What happened in 2009?
- In January 2009, there are approx. 40,000 active Hubbers, HubPages reaches Google PageRank 6, and is the 192th most visited website in the United States with 5.6 million US monthly people.
- The Weekly HubNuggets Special Program is introduced.
- On January 8th, Milestones are introduced to add some flare to your Hubtivity.
- On February 12nd, one Hubber, by the name of Honey reaches 1 million Hub views.
- On February 16th, Dorsi is the first Hubber to be interviewed in the Payout Chronicles blog interview series.
- On April 23rd 2009, the 300,000th Hub is published on HubPages.
- On May 8th, the 30/30 and 100/30 HubChallenges are introduced by Ryan Hupfer. The Hub Challenge is still on the roll, learn more about it here.
- On June 8th, HubPages surpasses 1 million Hub views a day. The site is now the 146th most visited site in the US.
- On July 14th, Hubpages reaches the 400,000 Hub mark. There are more than twice as many Hubs than forum posts, and over 80,000 published Hubbers.
- On September 22nd, HubPages has 500,000 Hubs published and 14 million unique visitors a month.
- On October 28th, HubPages becomes a top 100 website in the United States.
- On December 16th, HubPages announces the HubFeed that makes for a new, interactive Hubtivity.
HubPages Homepage in 2010-2012Click thumbnail to view full-size
What happened in 2010?
- In March 2010, HubPages runs the Helpful Health Hubs contest, which encourages and rewards the publication of Hubs on health-related topic.
- On April 1st, the HubPages Store opens, offering unique and interesting items like HubPages Brand Piano Hampsters and HubPages Turd Furnaces.
- In June 2010, the Eat, Drink, and Be Hubbalicious contest kicks off, during the course of which Hubbers are encouraged to publish Hubs on ingredients, techniques, recipes, and world cuisines.
- On June 15th, the new HubPages iPhone App is announced, developed by Larry Freeman.
- In June 2010, new community and marketing manager Simone Smith joins HubPages. She possesses awesome features and comes with a full-blown user manual.
- On August 18th, the one billionth Hub view is announced. The Hub in question is Angela Harris' Sponge Cake Recipe.
- On August 24th, the first ever HubCamp is introduced, a coming-together of Hubbers taking place on Wednesday, October 6th, from 6:00 to 8:30pm in San Francisco. You can see the schedule in this blog entry.
- In September 2010, the HubPages Marks the Spot contest encouraged Hubbers to reveal great locations by way of the newly-introduced Map Capsule.
- In October, Awesome Halloween Treats by Jaynie2000 is the one millionth Hub published on HubPages.
- On November 19th, the HubPages for Students page is introduced, offering a great resource for students that highlights college-related or academic Hubs.
- On November 30th, the first ever Hubber-hosted HubCamp is announced. Hubber Craan is about to host a HubCamp at Fort Pierce Branch Library in Fort Pierce, Florida.
The Evolution of Hub Designs Throughout the YearsClick thumbnail to view full-size
What happened in 2011?
- As of 2011, local HubPages Meetups can be organized and discussed in the appropriate forum section. You can visit the HubPages Meetup page and find meetups for your region, or set up a new one.
- In January 2011, the Money Grows on Hubs contest encourages Hubbers to write useful Hubs on all topics finance.
- In March 2011, the So You Think You Can Write Online contest is announced and challenges Hubbers to find out if they can be successful at writing online.
- In April 2011, HubPages ushers in the era of new publishing standards to ensure the influx of high-quality content while keeping spam off-site.
- On April 19th, the new HubPages Ad Program that was first announced in February becomes available for all Hubbers. The program provides Hubbers with an alternative to Google AdSense.
- On May 24th, the new generation of HubMob, called Weekly Topic Inspiration, is announced.
- On June 25th, the Hub of The Day Program is introduced. The feature was built by Fawntia with the purpose of highlighting high-quality Hubs that comply with all aspects of HubPages' best hubbing practices.
- In July, the HubPages Share and Share a Like contest is run, encouraging Hubbers to write on topics ideal for sharing on social media sites.
- Also in July, having decided that moving Hubbers' accounts to individual subdomains would benefit both the site as well as its authors in the long run, HubPages invites Hubbers to come and get their subdomains.
- In August, the Clogs to Coins contest is run, encouraging Hubbers to share their ideas and expertise on plumbing.
- In November, the HubPatron of the Arts contest benefits poets, fiction writers and photographers by making available $3000 in prizes to those who give Hub-form to their works of art.
What happened in 2012 so far?
- In 2012, HubPages begins testing various new Hub layouts and designs for performance. There have been a least 3 different designs so far, which lasted only for short periods of time.
- In March, The HubPages Know it All contest takes place, prompting Hubbers to both ask questions and write Hub answers to other people's questions.
- In February, a new type of content is introduced to HubPages. Hubbers are now able to upload their own videos to make Video content. Existing Hubs can also be converted into Videos which might benefit them with Google and global trends in the long run. There are also new publishing standards for video content.
- In April, HubPages begins the new, 'Meet the Stuff' interview series, which allows Hubbers to ask questions to staff members thus gaining new insight into the workings of HubPages. Another new interview series called 'Discovered by a Greeter,' which introduces new, promising Hubbers to the Community, begins today, on June 11th.
- On May 15th, a new and upcoming profile design is introduced. It's supposed to go live sometime in late summer.
- A new editing feature is also being tested that would allow Hubbers to leave technical feedback on other people's Hubs, thus helping them with undetected imperfections.
- Now in June, The HubPages Cookbook contest is running with the purpose of encouraging Hubbers to make good use of the newly-introduced Recipe Capsule.
- HubPages statistics as of 11/06/2012 look like this:
- Published Hubs: 1,257,567
- Forum Posts: 2,106,832
- Total Users: 2,200,800
- Published Users: 214,293
- Hubs with 10,000+ Hub views in the last month: 389
- Hubs with 1,000+ Hub views in the last month: 8,986
- Hubs with 100+ Hub views in the last month: 76,125
- Hubs with 10+ Hub views in the last month: 375,815
- If you want to see the stats at the time of your reading this Hub, go here.
Some Interesting Pages From The PastClick thumbnail to view full-size
Jason Menayan and relache kindly allowed me to use their profiles as examples illustrating how HubPages profiles have changed over the years. As you will see the current design has been in place for quite some time now, but a full makeover with customizable features is on the way thanks to Micki Seibel. I can't wait!