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Make sure your site is set up for success in 2022.
In the spring of 2020, Google let the world know that its Core Web Vitals would become the new benchmark for measuring a site's performance in its search results, known as the page experience update. Fast forward to more than a year later in August 2021 when, after much anticipation, Google's page experience update became official.
Since its rollout, developers have felt the impact of how their publishing platforms stack up against the new standard. Important decisions around the architecture of your site can now make or break your site's performance in the eyes of Google.
HTTP Archive, a tracking platform that crawls the web to identify trends and record historical patterns, frequently reports on how top content management systems (CMS) have weathered the page experience update through the creation of its Core Web Vitals Technology Report. RebelMouse has consistently outperformed major CMS platforms on Google's most critical metrics throughout the year:
Getting superior scores on Google's performance benchmarks isn't easy, either. The Ahrefs blog analyzed Core Web Vitals data from the Chrome User Experience Report (CrUX), which is data from actual Chrome users, to see how the web stacks up against Core Web Vitals. Their study found that only 33% of sites on the web are passing Core Web Vitals.
Luckily, performing well on Core Web Vitals is possible with thoughtful, strategic changes to your site’s codebase. Here's what you need to know and how we can help.
Google’s benchmarks for Core Web Vitals.
Your Guide to Conquering Core Web Vitals in 2022
Understanding Core Web Vitals
First, it’s important to understand the metrics that make up Google’s Core Web Vitals:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): A website's LCP is the time it takes to load the main content on a page. Google wants LCP to happen within 2.5 seconds of when a page first starts loading.
- First Input Delay (FID): FID quantifies a user's experience when trying to interact with unresponsive pages. This usually occurs between First Meaningful Paint (FMP) and Time to Interactive (TTI) (more on what these two mean can be found below). You want your FID score to be low to prove the usability of your site. According to Google, pages should have an FID of less than 100 milliseconds.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): CLS determines how often your users experience unexpected layout shifts or changes on a page. To ensure visual stability, you want your CLS score to be low. Google wants pages to maintain a CLS score of less than 0.1.
The other existing search signals are:
- Mobile Friendliness: Follow Google's mobile-friendly guidelines to find out if your site meets its mobile experience standards.
- Safe Browsing: Google's Safe Browsing is a service where you can test your site's URLs for malware and suspicious activity.
- HTTPS Security: This determines if your site uses an HTTPS connection by default, which helps ensure site security.
- Intrusive Interstitial Guidelines: These guidelines determine if a site is mobile-friendly enough to appear in mobile search results. Note that any content that follows Google News’s content policies will be eligible to appear in Google News's Top Stories on mobile.
Together, all of these metrics determine Google's new page experience signals.
Google says it will always consider informative, quality content as its number one search signal. However, if two websites both have quality content, but one site has better Core Web Vitals, the site with a better page experience will always outrank any site that isn’t optimized for performance.
"By adding page experience to the hundreds of signals that Google considers when ranking search results, we aim to help people more easily access the information and web pages they’re looking for, and support site owners in providing an experience users enjoy.” —From Google’s original page experience announcement in May 2020.
Click here to learn more about what it takes to improve your site’s Core Web Vitals.
How to Measure Your Site’s Page Speed
Having a quick load time and passing Core Web Vitals are important factors in Google Search’s ranking and results. But there are multiple ways of testing your speed and vitals, and it can get very confusing to try and understand the results since different measuring tools can result in different scores.
There are generally three ways to get your site's performance measurements:
- Use Google's PageSpeed Insights tool
- Use Google Lighthouse's scoring from within developers tools in Chrome
- Examine your Page Experience and Core Web Vitals in Google Search Console
Each of those three methods can give you important details on how your site is performing, but their results are derived using different methodologies.
Click here to learn more about how to accurately determine your site’s performance.
Why Page Speed Matters More Than Ever
The saying "Content is King" is still true in today's publishing landscape, but there's no kingdom without high-performing sites. While page speed may have begun as a luxury for savvy webmasters and lucky readers, it's now a make-or-break component that deeply impacts a site's longevity in a highly competitive and global space.
A high-performance site is so critical in today's digital ecosystem that a poor-loading site could be a fatal blow to any publisher or brand. Here are just a few ways poor page speed can impact your site’s bottom line.
Mobile Page Speed Impacts Overall SEO Ranking: Mobile devices account for more than 50% of web traffic. If a site's mobile page speed is slow, this means half of the users trying to access the site are not only suffering a poor experience, but they're likely abandoning the site visit completely. This puts the site in danger of losing positions in its Google Search rankings.
Poor Page Speed Makes Ads More Expensive: Much like with SEO, if your page performance is slow and prompting lost site visits, the ads being served on your site will receive lower impressions. Lower impressions mean the ads are more expensive to deliver, which costs revenue and users in a matter of seconds.
Poor Page Speed Tanks Usability and Loyalty: The health of your site will always be dependent on the experience you deliver to your readers. Usability is the core reason why Google decided to prioritize page speed. Slow load times are a sure-fire way to give your readers a reason to abandon your content. To make matters worse, thanks to the massive amount of content being created every day, users have plenty of other options to choose from and may be wary of clicking a link or CTA associated with your site in the future.
Secure Your Site's Future
The RebelMouse platform evolves alongside Google’s algorithm, and our team of growth experts spans all time zones to ensure our sites are optimized for page experience with every new article.
To do this correctly, it takes a lot of optimization to perfect every moment of your site’s load time. We’ve mastered Core Web Vitals already, and our performance scores are drastically outperforming every other CMS on the market.
Our jaw-dropping page speeds have allowed us to power the fastest sites on the web. We’ve done this through a simplified version of code that still allows for ads, videos, and third-party applications to load quickly.
Now that you’re up to speed (pun intended) on how Google measures and scrutinizes site experience, let's take a look at some of the benefits RebelMouse-powered clients enjoy as a result of their excellent performance scores:
Here’s how those scores compare to traditional CMS solutions that don’t prioritize page performance:
It’s Easier to Re-Platform Than Rebuild Your Website
Currently, publishers are trying to build optimized websites that translate easily across devices and platforms, but are failing to also deliver an experience that checks all their boxes and prioritizes their readers. It takes less than a second of delayed load time to turn away a user.
If you are publishing to a site with poor performance, it’s going to take a mammoth effort to overhaul your site’s entire architecture so that it scores high against Google’s Core Web Vitals. In most cases, it’s simply easier and more cost-effective to move your data to a platform that is already high performing with page speed woven into the foundation of its technology versus reinventing the wheel on your own.
At RebelMouse, performance is a pillar of our company’s culture. We’ve taken site performance seriously for years, and have leveraged them to ensure our sites are constantly high performing. It's why we outperform some of the biggest sites on the web. And like with any pillar of a company's culture, optimizing for high performance is never a one-time effort. Our engineers have been crafting and tuning our platform to address these new standards long before they surfaced.
If you want to publish alongside the speed of the web, request a proposal today and let’s start working together.
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Why RebelMouse Is the Most Secure CMS on the Web
Delivering a secure, high-performing environment with extreme reliability is essential to all of our clients at RebelMouse. We only use industry-leading, reliable approaches to host our infrastructure. This ensures maximum stability and security for all of our clients’ data. Here are just some of the reasons we’re able to maintain a hard-bodied product that’s flexible, too.
Inside the Most Secure CMS of 2022
- Why RebelMouse Is More Secure Than WordPress
- WordPress Was Built for a Blogger in Their Pajamas. RebelMouse Is Built for High-Value Websites That Are Stable.
- Stability and Around-the-Clock Support
- Web Application Firewall
- Bug Bounty Program
- A Full List of What Makes RebelMouse the Most Secure CMS
- Publish on the Most Secure CMS on the Web
Why RebelMouse Is More Secure Than WordPress
We’ve spent years building the most secure CMS of 2022. Open-source CMS platforms like WordPress and Drupal mean everyone has access to your code, and that means your website is completely vulnerable.
Think about it: There are millions of instances of WordPress in the world, and every security update and feature upgrade — no matter how big or small — has to be manually performed for each individual site to avoid outright breaking custom code, plugins, and more. On WordPress, you need a plugin to manage simple things, but those seemingly safe tasks can put your entire site at risk. For example, a plugin to manage affiliate links gave hackers an easy opening to add their own links instead.
Examples like these leave open-source CMS options like WordPress constantly vulnerable to security threats. If you are running a real online business, easily exposed features like plugins are a 2005-era feature that now serve as a major weakness on your site. Security threats created by outdated plugins can put hundreds of thousands of sites at risk, like this breach in 2022 that threatened the safety of 600,000 sites. These constant, sudden spikes in attacks have no end sight, and here's why.
Every time a WordPress security breach is announced, the proper updates have to be made one by one. This is because the only way WordPress core developers can patch significant flaws within their software is to deploy fixes to users in the form of user-installed product updates.
In fact, WordPress announced that versions 3.7 through 4.0 will no longer receive security updates beginning on December 1, 2022. That's because the task of keeping every version up to the date is too burdensome.
This isn't an issue on RebelMouse. All of our updates are quickly deployed at once to every site we power. We often deploy multiple updates on a daily basis. While many WordPress users count on third-party hosting companies or in-house developers to stay on top of the platform’s updates, RebelMouse users can rest easy knowing that important updates are taken care of immediately.
RebelMouse isn’t a solution for cheap websites. We’re a solution for high-value websites that are high-performing and highly secure. It’s also why we’re able to power some of the fastest sites on the web with superior scores on Google’s Core Web Vitals. Click here to learn more.
Transparency is a priority. The sites in our network subscribe to a status portal that provides up-to-date details on platform performance with real-time updates.
Stability and Around-the-Clock Support
We only use modern and reliable approaches to host our infrastructure for maximum stability. We host our infrastructure in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud because AWS is the most trusted, secure, and reliable infrastructure in the world. We have great relationships with the folks at AWS and utilize the best of their services.
All of our production services are covered with AWS Auto Scaling groups, which means we can sleep at night without worrying that something may go wrong. Our services are self-healing 24/7 as well. And even our stateful services, like databases, are covered with reliable automatic failover and backup solutions.
Since the RebelMouse team spans dozens of countries, we offer 24/7 live support. This means that any vulnerabilities that pop up will never be left unattended. In fact, many updates and patches are deployed across our platform in seconds without any interruption to our site network at all.Click here to learn more about RebelMouse’s infrastructure.
RebelMouse delivers 99.99% uptime with maximum performance, stability, and security.
Web Application Firewall
AWS's Web Application Firewall (WAF) is a firewall that helps protect your web applications (or APIs) against common web exploits that may affect availability, compromise security, or consume excessive resources. AWS WAF gives RebelMouse developers control over how traffic reaches our applications by enabling us to create security rules that block common attack patterns, such as SQL injections or cross-site scripting (XSS), and rules that filter out specific traffic patterns we have defined. These rules are regularly updated when new issues emerge as well.
With AWS WAF, we're making sure that all of our sites are covered against some of the most common attacks, as defined by The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP). The project is an online community that creates freely available articles, methodologies, documentation, tools, and technologies in the field of web application security.
Click here to learn more about WAF.
Bug Bounty Program
To strengthen our commitment to security, RebelMouse offers a bug bounty program. If you believe you've found a security issue on our site, or any of the sites we power, we may compensate you for your discovery. We look at all submitted reports, and if we agree that it's a valid finding, we'll pay $250 for each one.
Click here for more information about what qualifies as a security vulnerability and how to report a bug.
A Full List of What Makes RebelMouse the Most Secure CMS
Amazon Web Services (AWS)
- RebelMouse uses the following services that are compliant with SOC 1, 2, and 3:
- API Gateway
- DocumentDB (with MongoDB compatibility)
- EC2 Container Registry (ECR)
- Elastic Compute Cloud
- Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes
- Elastic File System
- Key Management Service
- Relational Database Service
- Route 53
- Simple Email Service
- Simple Notification Service
- Simple Queue Service
- Simple Storage Service
- RebelMouse uses the following AWS security, identity, and compliance services:
- Identity and Access Management
- AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) (for access control of users)
- Threat Detection and Continuous Monitoring
- Infrastructure Protection
- Data Protection
- Compliance and Data Privacy
- AWS Artifact (for access to compliance reports)
- Identity and Access Management
Fastly’s CDN is certified under the Swiss-US framework. We use the following Fastly services:
Click here to learn more about our Fastly recovery plan.
- We use 1Password to manage all logins across the company.
- Two-factor authentication through major third party applications, including Google.
Publish on the Most Secure CMS on the Web
A lot of publishers may think uncertainty in the digital space means it’s time to double down on in-house developers to create a site experience that stands out against the noise. But it's actually the opposite: It’s time to invest in an external team that creates and manages tech for you, so you can instead focus on creating content that resonates with new and existing audiences.
Our infrastructure summary may come across as Greek to you, but that’s all right. Let’s create something together that isn’t just powered by next-level strategies, but also innovative and stable technology. Your content will be both protected and optimized for long-term growth.
Request a proposal today and let’s start working together.