HubPages' new policy of spreading out the pictures and rearranging hubs has made an absolute mess of so many of my pieces. It will take a lot of editing and re-writing and formatting for a large number of my articles because they are in need of photos that are placed NEXT to the text, not on top or below it. (Especially all of the Barbie Doll pieces that showcase outfits). What a mess. I have read the HP blog about what they're doing but it seems that articles should be reviewed separately -- not made to adhere to a one-size-fits-all format. I am not sure what to do about this and I am not up to fixing all of this (especially while recovering from my second surgery this year) but when I look at many of my earlier articles, they are an absolute mess. And I really don't understand WHY this has to be done!!!!!
If you've read the blog posts, or the dozen or so forum threads, about the topic then you already know why it is being done. As Paradigm says, the majority of devices your hubs are being seen on are not capable of producing the image you designed your hubs to produce; a hub that looks beautiful and is very readable on a HD monitor looks like crap and often doesn't even make sense on a phone screen. We all owe HP a "Thank you" for understanding this and working to make the site more readable to everyone.
I have read the blog posts, "dozen or so forum threads" and all else, ... thank you so much for pointing it all out as if to call me stupid; that was so very helpful. I know the devices are now on mobile but a lot of people in this world -- myself included -- still use a desk top as well. The fact that HP wants to keep up with changing habits is commendable but it does not solve the problem now created.
Then you already know WHY it is being done. The question is how to fix it.
I use a desktop, too, with a 20" screen. And like you I designed my hubs very carefully for appearance on that monitor. And just like you, that appearance really sucks when viewed on a mobile device, which is what the majority of readers now use. Problem, though, as it isn't about how it looks on MY screen - it's all about what the reader sees.
So I've gone back through some 180 hubs, editing each and every one, to change the appearance to something is artistic, pleasing and informative on a mobile device. Most of my hubs contain a dozen or more photos which are an integral part of the information I'm giving, and it is very important that they be placed correctly within the text. When my readers use mobile devices I either accommodate them with the same care used when I designed the appearance in the first place or I don't get the backlinks that bring more readers and that google finds important: I choose to accommodate them.
Making a Hub look better on a mobile device is not a good reason for redesigning the entire site and making it appear the same on both computers, tablets, and phones. The code that styles a webpage is quite sophisticated these days, and it's easy to develop one stylesheet for a phone (which would expand an image to be the full width of the window) and another stylesheet for a computer (which would allow an image to float to the right and appear alongside a text column).
Giving up on the user experience on a computer in order to improve the user experience on a phone is just lazy coding.
The problem, I think, is where to put the right-floated image (or other capsule). Does it go above the accompanying capsule or below it? Split it in the middle, reformatting the text that is there to accommodate the photo?
I've noticed that in every case, putting the floated capsule under the text capsule works. It could sometimes look better in the middle, or above, but it always looks OK underneath. That's why I always hoped HubPages would tweak the programming so the floated capsules opened underneath instead of above.
The problem with that is that some Hubbers put too much text in a single text capsule. The photo would end up being way too low down and too far away from the text that refers to it. That's why I suggested in my tutorial hub on this subject that the text should be split between individual text capsules, where appropriate, and move the photo in where it should be displayed.
That was the problem I had. Photos weren't too bad, but Amazon capsules often ended up far from where they belonged. The text capsule had to be broken up to get it anywhere right.
Right. And even better—put the related text in the Amazon capsule.
You're right, Brianrock. As I mentioned in my earlier post, HubPages introduced a mobile layout about two years ago. At the time I assumed it was just a workaround, because all it did was change every half-width capsule to full-width, above its related pararaph.
I've been waiting for the proper layout ever since. Looks like this is it!
Teri, it may come as a shock to you, but all your half-width capsules have been displayed full-width on mobile devices for over two years. And the great majority of readers are reading your Hubs on their cellphone, so just imagine how your Hubs have looked!
That fact has been discussed on the forums many times over the last two years (and they added a "mobile preview" option when editing your Hub so you could check it looked OK). If you're not a regular on the Tutorials section you may have missed it, and that has been a weakness of HubPages - they have all the information in the Learning Center, but established Hubbers can't be expected to keep going back and checking it constantly, and the announcements are easily missed.
I notice that now, they're adding a banner on our Account page when they make a major announcement, so perhaps that will help keep people in the loop better.
I agree it's a mess. I have quite a bit of work to do, and I'm just thankful that hubpages has given me a list I can work through. I've decided to start with the ones that have the most traffic.
As this will make my hubs better and deter traffic from bouncing, I'm okay with it. Whatever it takes to get Google to take HP seriously is okay with me.
But Tess, what amazes me is why anyone's Hubs are a mess as a result. The mobile layout has been in existence on HP for over two years, so any Hubs written in the last two years should be in compliance. What seems to have happened is that the importance of formatting for mobile hasn't got through to Hubbers and it's an indication that current methods of communicating changes aren't effective enough.
Marisa, I think if one is permitted to use side capsules or small pictures, etc., one assumes that responsive design has been taken care of.
I certainly didn't check every article on various sizes phones, tablets, laptops, etc. It would be inconceivable to spend that much time checking it. Plus, of course, I wouldn't have many different sizes of mobiles.
So what you seem to be saying is why didn't HP tell us this sooner?
Am I right?
No, because HubPages did tell us, and the advice has been repeated several times. Unfortunately, the mechanism for notifying Hubbers is imperfect (if Hubbers do not frequent the forums then they are likely to miss the information).
There is a "mobile preview" button on our Hubs when editing, and for the last two years, the expectation has been that we will check that button when designing our Hubs, to make sure the Hub reads well on mobile devices. That message clearly hasn't got through to many Hubbers.
Tess, HubPages did tell us about this sooner—two years ago. And Google warned us too at that time. I wrote my hub “Why You Need to Stop Using Right-Floating Capsules” two years ago when it was first announced.
+1 I did the majority of mine at that time as well, Glenn, I dragged my feet on the remaining 3 which I fixed a couple days ago when the latest announcement was made by Christy. I remember it took time to look for new images to replace the ones that became pixelated when enlarged. It was messy as the OP says.
Glen, here's the thing. I honestly can't remember if I ever read that. I have 26 of my hubs with right capsules, out of about 160 hubs. To be honest, even though I've been here 3 years, I only really started taking an interest about 20 months ago. So I might well have missed that.
That said in responsive design, one codes so that any size picture will be viewable. So if it was on the side (i.e. a small piccy), then it should have been coded in such a way that it was no longer on the side. I don't know. It's a long time since I've coded, so I'm fuzzy on that.
I'm just thankful that I only have 26 to do (although it will be a big job). And, of course, it gives me the opportunity to fix them in other ways.
My point is that I truly can't remember that, and I would have used any tools at my disposal, assuming that if the tools were there, then they were kosher to use.
Tess, the site IS coded that way, however there is one problem. When the right-floated capsule becomes full-width, it appears above the related paragraph, not beneath it. That often makes a nonsense of the Hub - for instance, an Amazon product will be shown before you mention it.
The mobile phones made this mess. HP is just trying to deal with the resulting chaos.
The reality is that there is webpage technology that can display pictures of any size just fine on both desktops and mobile devices, but for whatever reason HubPages isn't using it. I guess it's a legacy issue since this site was created back in the days when desktops ruled. In order to use this tiling and resizing technology, you have to upgrade a website to a new platform that supports it, and that's a huge and expensive undertaking.
You are absolutely right, Rock. I was very disappointed when HubPages first announced the mobile arrangements - but I assumed it was a quick-and-dirty fix to solve an immediate problem, and that they would eventually do a proper redesign to cater for mobiles, like every other major website.
Sadly that seems to be beyond HubPages' capacity and as you say, it may be because they can't do anything better on the existing platform. They have the same problem with the forums - when you look at how the forums are organised, they're so primitive compared to most others, but that's because they chose to custom-build their own platform at the start.
I agree I would be very difficult to go back and change almost everything. I'm not sure about this but I read a post by Christy Kirwan yesterday. It says that they will accept those small size photos which will look bad in full width. You can check her post. I hope this can help. Good Luck!
I am sure, however, that you didn't mean to be so snide.
Maryam, I will read that post by Christy, thank you.
I wrote a lot of long hubs, and felt overwhelmed by this too. I have carpal tunnel in both hands. We were warned about this two years ago, as others are telling you.
It is easier though to work on a few each day. The "filter" word on the top left of your A/C page will give you a precise list of what hubs need to be fixed. Copy it and cross them off as you go along. You still have a whole month. I believe that after the month, or if you can't enlarge them, you or the staff will just center them in the middle of the page. So that's another option for you.
I made many mistakes with photos when I began writing here. I realized that many pictures can be enlarged just by clicking on them, then adding them back to the photo capsule. Also, as I go along, I see I can delete some pictures. Either take them yourself, or maybe there is a site that has the same photos and allows the public to use them. Barbies are popular.
I put many of the pictures that need to illustrate my writing on the top of my words. That way, readers see the picture I am talking about. Also, when I was new, I often wrote a whole hub in one text capsule. It's not so hard to fix that. Add a bunch of empty text capsules. Copy and paste smaller amounts of words in each one. That way, you will gain the spaces in between your words to be able to add the pictures. You can put the photos above or below the text (a matter of preference).
Honest, it's not as hard as you think. Devote an hour a day. And delete any photos you really don't need. Hang in there, I have 156 hubs, and I only have 28 left! As the years went on I apparently neglected many of them. It's a chance to improve them in other ways too, so they will be acceptable to niche sites.
You can do it!
Tip: I had many images that looked grainy when enlarged so I edited them to have a larger white border to maintain their original density.
Okay, I'll bite. What's a "floated capsule" everyone is talking about? I thought we were talking about half-sized right- or left-aligned picture capsules. Or are they the same? Jeez.
That's the one - a right aligned picture capsule. When viewed on a monitor there are two capsules side by side - often a text on one side and a photo next to it as opposed to above or below it. The photo is "floated" to the right (or the text capsule is).
Or a right-aligned Amazon capsule, highlighted text capsule...
Just to clarify, when I publish a hub now, I DO check the mobile preview. I've done that for the last couple of years; formatting takes so much more time, now.
But the bigger problem in mobile, in my opinion, is that the advertisements which crop up are so intrusive, it makes me wonder how much time the reader is actually giving the content; do they read it all the way through? Do they comprehend what they've read? Or do they get fed up with the ads? We have to have the ads, of course and most people are used to them. But on so many sites with pop-ups and ads (like the ones in our articles) that break up the continuity of the written piece to the point of distraction and frustration, it is more of a negative. You cannot keep people's attention if you keep interrupting their train of thought. The internet has made it so that, with all the information thrown at us all day long, it is more of a chore to stay focused.
I do more than just write on HP for pennies a day; I have other clients to attend to, and of course, this year's physical challenges have kept me back a great deal. But I have many articles that were designed with small photos for a reason -- it was necessary for keeping them aligned with the content; the pictures go with each description. I do go through some here and there but even with ones published WITH the mobile preview, I notice that some are still mangled.
I don't know what it is, but I think we need a better way to present material to keep pictures in line with the paragraphs they should accompany. Perhaps a different way for formatting. And, speaking of ads, I really wish there was a way that we'd see more to complement an article. Google's picks are often rather baffling.
I miss the days when I could write, edit. proof and publish. It is all so much more involved, now, and hard to keep up with.
That's interesting. Do you mean that your small photos looked OK on mobile preview?
For example, the Barbie/Francie doll articles -- there are a lot of them -- describes what the outfits were each season; they had pictures next to the text. The particular article I just looked at now has a "small picture warning" at the top (I assume all/most of them do now). Looking at this on mobile preview shows a bunch of pictures piled one after another -- the pictures are nowhere near their text descriptions. Although the pictures are labeled, it makes it quite difficult for the reader to actually view the description with the picture next to it, and wouldn't it make sense to have it that way? Viewers want to see what I am talking about as they read the text, not have to scroll back through the pictures and advertisements to try to find the right one. What HP needs, then, is a way to insert a photo inside the text box so that it can stay together. Christy, Paul, Robin ... is something like this possible and can you put it on a "to-do" list? Or is that something we have in place somewhere, now?
Teri, This was all covered two years ago in my hub “Why You Need to Stop Using Right-Floating Capsules”. You can make the floating capsules fall into the correct position by breaking up the text into individual text capsules. Then move the floating capsules where they should belong.
Teri, you said you viewed this Hub in Mobile Preview at the time - did it show up correctly on mobile preview? That's what I'm curious about.
The pictures are all over the place, I don't know. There is nothing to keep them attached to the descriptive text. I wonder if it is possible to do text capsules that let you insert the picture. I am going through some old articles (not the Barbies; those will be last even though I don't know what to do with them) to spread pictures and edit. It's going to take a long time to do all of this and I am not sure how really useful it is, but, so be it.
I think I see what you did - did you put all the photos in ONE photo capsule, then right-float it? That's something I've never done, because I knew the appearance would be unpredictable on different devices.
With the new layout, you've really got no choice but to use a separate photo capsule for each photo. Then you can position them perfectly.
The only sensible way to put multiple photos on one capsule now, is to turn some of them into thumbnails. Then the reader sees ONE photograph and a series of thumbnails above it, and can click on the thumbnails to see the other photos.
If I understand what you're saying, this will be an extraordinary amount of unproductive, unpaid work. Not sure if it's worth it, with this topic, anyway.
What I do, and have done even before this whole mobile issue came up, is to put the photo in the middle of the text. That is, I write part of the piece dealing with the photo, and parenthetically add 'see photo, below,' then end that text box, place the photo capsule, and then another text box to finish the information for that part of the article.
This has served me well when, for example,the text to go with the photo was short, and a lot empty white space resulted, and that did not look good, either. By splitting it up as I have described, the problem is solved.
I know I got an email just today informing me of several of my own hubs needing this treatment for the mobile fix.
Hang in there!
I don't quite get it, MsLizzy.
Are you getting a lot of white space between a text capsule and a photo capsule underneath it? That just means you've got a few empty spaces under the text (what I would've called "carriage returns" on the typewriter). Just edit the capsule, place your cursor on the end of the last paragraph and hit "Delete" a few times.
If you are referring to the difficulty of lining up a short paragraph and a photo side-by-side, that's no longer an option.
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