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No More Floating! Hubpages 2017

Updated on July 28, 2017
thranax profile image

Andrew has been a creator on Hubpages for over 9 years. Greeting new users as a Hubpages Elite member and helping through the forums.

Adult Swim is over?

The term "salty" is often thrown around the internet as a term that stands in for upset, aggravated, and just blah overall about an action or event that has happened. Well this incoming change to Hubpages has both me and a lot of fellow Hubbers Salty! What exactly is the issue and why do many people feel this way? Well the new update means floating "capsules" to the right will be removed. This feature has been a part of hubpages ever since I started 9 going on 10 years ago. The main cause is due to the world changing how it searches and consumes information. The larger part of Hubpages traffic now consists of users using mobile devices and tablets which result in a one-column layout which makes it generally more user friendly on these devices.

Well the new update means floating "capsules" to the right will be removed.

— thranax
Old Hubpages example of "Floating Right" to create two columns.
Old Hubpages example of "Floating Right" to create two columns. | Source

While most people see that this might be a step in the positive direction (Hubpages Staff Especially) others see it in a much more negative light. While its true, this change will bring various changes to how the website(s) platform works, it might also throw some negative human responses as well.

Weighing the Situation

Positives
Negatives
Higher Revenue
Forced Text Breaks
Easier on Mobile
Ugly Desktop Layouts
Less Confusing
Less Creative Aesthetics

Hubpages is a Business

While a lot of people will hate to see the floating feature leave - I am sure a whole lot of people will find the whole process easier as seeing it is more streamlined to publish and cuts down on trying to adjust the page for two layouts (mobile and desktop). While I do not like the reduction of creative options I do believe that this was a weighted choice made by the staff and it will overall improve and help grow Hubpages. If this is how hubs must be made now, the only thing to do is to press on and be as creative as possible with what we have!

Tips on how to Embrace the Changes

There is a silver lining with the changes - it means in order to create a hub that truly looks good, more thought and effort has to be put into it. Here are a few tips on how to make the most out of these changes that if done correctly will be both a productive and innovative design step on mobile as well as when full paged on desktop. The common issues that arise from doing full width layouts include image quality and design, getting specific capsules to fit nicely together, and overall encouragement to provoke the reader to not leave early.

Images are the driving force of interest online and in books alike. With the new change there are a few different things to look out for when selecting images to use in your articles. For starters the images have to be a high enough resolution that when on desktop they do not pixelate. This can also be done by simply adding white or transparent pixels around a smaller image that allows the image to hold its own centered. The transparency approach will allow you to use the same half width size images without needing to create or take new ones.

Centered layout means that images for the best effect have to be "created" "crafted" or "found" in a way that promotes the reader to enter the image and scroll down the page. Images that have white space around the top sides and a image in the center are a great example on how to lead from a text capsule into an image. Think of this like a single object sticking up that creates curiosity to keep scrolling down to reveal the entire image.

Marisa Wright uses this image creatively to create a clipped downward flow provoking readers to scroll down the page and see the whole image + keep reading the article.
Marisa Wright uses this image creatively to create a clipped downward flow provoking readers to scroll down the page and see the whole image + keep reading the article. | Source

One more ending note is to use thinner and wider images that use less page real estate then standard squares or long rectangles. This kind of image or collage of images creates an appealing look for a reader and still can include the following text or capsule in the same frame allowing the reader to know that they should be carrying on. If using full size images, try to crop them to a "widescreen" format to achieve the effect of having a high resolution, epic picture that can be digested while not cutting off a full "screen" of content.

This is an example of a cropped down wallpaper image. The fullsize was 1920 x 1080 and this is just a snippit of the most interesting part of the wallpaper. This allows text to be read under the image in both the mobile and desktop views.
This is an example of a cropped down wallpaper image. The fullsize was 1920 x 1080 and this is just a snippit of the most interesting part of the wallpaper. This allows text to be read under the image in both the mobile and desktop views. | Source
This uses the more narrow dimensions and combines four large images in a presentable manner.
This uses the more narrow dimensions and combines four large images in a presentable manner. | Source

Sizing as it stands at time of publishing this article mean that some capsules result in a lot of weird looking white space around them that almost act like a page break. One of the most user friendly and interactive tools, the Poll, leaves a notorious amount of white space around it. These all look fine on mobile, but really need work masking or fitting into the desktop scheme.

We recommend using in-text Amazon links rather than capsules; they tend to perform better.

— Christy Kirwan, Hubpages Staff, http://hubpages.com/forum/post/2902066

Amazon links that are in text can help eliminate the white space that might be encountered in various situations. What it does is create a text link with the little orange Amazon "a" next to the text that allows you to link a word to a product. When using an Amazon capsule make sure to use the description zone to help make the item look like it fits with text or in-between two various other capsules.

Example of In-text Linking

Panda created by Desiigner took radio stations by storm and took the top most played track in the US for more then six weeks! The immense success of this song is somewhat due to the inspirations Desiigner had when creating the track. The track is a combination of how it feels to play "Grand Theft Auto" mixed with the Panda emoji. A very likely combination nowadays as many people both use emoji's and Grand Theft Auto was one of the best selling videogame titles of all time.

Example of Filling in an Amazon Capsule with Descriptions

Panda [Explicit]
Panda [Explicit]

The song "Panda" which was a radio top hit. This song is very chill and easy to listen to at anytime of day or night. It was influenced by the videogame "Grand Theft Auto" combined with the Panda emoji. Desiigner had an amazing idea and transformed it into this track.

 

Positive Reader Flow with other types of Capsules

Here is an example of a Poll used in a page. Currently the way they are formatted align everything to the left and leave a large white space to the right. In order to help combat the effect and make it look like it was designed that way, try using images that are also heavily aligned to the left compared to centered or right focused.

Panda Poll

Do you like the song Panda by Desiigner?

See results

While I cannot see all the shortcomings of various different capsules and how they apply to your page layout (specifically everything in the recipes section) I do think that all challenges can still be overcome with creative uses of images and more thoroughly planned out sections. In this new era it is paramount to learn how to resize and manipulate images to fit your desired effect. I am not saying anyone has to go master photoshop or devote any cost into learning these skills - but maybe just a simple guide on even learning how to resize images using a free editor would suffice.

Other Thoughts and Tips

  • Look at other Hubbers articles and see what works for them.
  • Try to use the existing tools to your advantage such as the Table.
  • Find other articles that help with layouts on Hubpages.
  • Think like a reader and not like a writer when reviewing your articles.
  • Have an idea of a new option for an existing tool, or a whole new tool? Make a mock-up image and a detailed description and post it on the Hubpages Forums and it might be reviewed and implemented!

Kangaroo Pool Floats; 75" Unicorn Pool Raft, Over 5 Ft; Inner Tube
Kangaroo Pool Floats; 75" Unicorn Pool Raft, Over 5 Ft; Inner Tube

While floating right doesn't exist on Hubpages anymore - it still does in real life. Grab yourself a Unicorn Pool Float and relax in the sun while thinking about how to create creative, unique, and amazing Articles at Hubpages! #Floating

 

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    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 8 weeks ago from the short journey

      Thanks for helpful info to one with a lot of catching up to do!

    • thranax profile image
      Author

      Andrew 3 months ago from Rep Boston MA

      Its true that a lot of great images need to be replaced or edited to fit the new size requirements. Its very hard for a smaller image to scale up but there are some cropping tricks and adding white space around images that can sometimes keep the original image usable. While I wish all the old images could still remain being used, its also important to realize that the internet as a whole is always growing and its not the same as it was years ago. More and more devices are cutting edge with high res screens and if your images are stuck in the past it would mean the general audience would judge those images harshly compared to larger, high quality ones.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 3 months ago from Houston, Texas

      This change has me busy, busy, busy! Updating hundreds of posts is a daunting task given the timeline of 90 days. Sadly I am losing some of my good images that no longer look good when enlarged and replacing some of them with public domain ones.

      The only good thing about this change is that it makes me look at my older posts with new eyes. Hopefully this change will benefit HubPages as a whole as well as those of us writing on this site.

    • thranax profile image
      Author

      Andrew 3 months ago from Rep Boston MA

      @Louise - thanks! and yes, I am changing all my Hubs slowly to the single column layout. While I am only replacing pixelated images, I really need to update and rework some of the articles.

      @Marisa - thats one of the things I realize I do all the time. I just think an image "feels right" and describing that feeling even after taking multiple design courses that teach you to defend your work with logic and reasons I still can't for most things I create/use.

      @Sally - thanks a bunch! I plan on creating a short video for hubbers on how to create these images and other tips and tricks for synergy.

      @Venkatachari - thats very understandable as this isn't a normal skill for the average person. I plan on creating a short video on how to handle these images (free option included). If you are using photos directly from your cellphone there is an edit tool built in that you can "crop" the widescreen format right on your phone! Its simply just using an image that is at least 2-3 times wider then it is tall. Combining the images like I did with the four pokemon would take a little more effort and work using a full application editor. (It can also be done on a cellphone such as a samsung note or iphone but I personally haven't done it and can't thoroughly explain how.)

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 3 months ago from Hyderabad, India

      A very good guide to our writers to learn to accommodate ourselves with the new changing era and to adopt the changes to our advantage. Your article is so beautifully presented.

      But, some of us like me may not have any knowledge about clubbing the images or editing the images with white pixels or very light colored ones so that they can fit the space. If anybody can offer advice, it is welcome. Presently, I am using Paint to edit the images (my images are of smart phone with 2340 X 4160 images and of the ordinary phone with 1600 X 1200 pixels).

      Thanks for sharing your wonderful knowledge and tips.

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 3 months ago from Norfolk

      I like some of the ideas shown here. I especially like some of the narrow images which you have used. I will have to figure out how you did those. I have also previously never thought about using an Image on a poll. That is a great idea.

    • Marisa Wright profile image

      Marisa Wright 3 months ago from Sydney

      Thanks for the mention but I must admit, I wasn't conscious of WHY I chose that image! You've given me a lot of food for thought about how to use images better, thanks!

    • Coffeequeeen profile image

      Louise Powles 3 months ago from Norfolk, England

      There's some good ideas here. I quite like the change, I can see how this will be beneficial in the long run with the removal of the floating capsules. I've been busy over the past few days updating the articles I've written and editing them.