Rapid, Data-Driven, Layout Development on RebelMouse

One of the most important things that made us successful at Huffington Post was the ability to rapidly iterate through front-end changes. The success of your website can lie in a number of factors, such as a change in ad configurations, the placement of a newsletter sign-up form, a Facebook share, how well your infinite scroll works, and the order of your stories in feeds and related posts. All of these details add up quickly, and most media companies live with a horribly daunting backlog shackled to a small team of overworked developers who find themselves a week further behind every day.


When we set out to build RebelMouse, solving this in a really beautiful, next-generation way was a core part of our mission. It wasn't an easy problem to solve. That's why I'm so delighted about how our solution makes it simple for even non-coders to create A/B tests to get feedback from stakeholders. From there, we test a percentage of traffic and collect data on bounce rates, share rates, time on site, and total page views. The information is returned automatically with every test run.

This process would have been a dream for us to have at HuffPost. But back then, we had to hack together views of data that were incomplete and cost us dev cycles. I'm so proud that even small companies can now have access to an environment that is completely state of the art, and helps you keep up with changes even in a world where history is accelerating and the changes come faster every day.

Create Staged Environments and Custom Layouts

Using the RebelMouse CMS, you can stage and A/B test different media layouts to figure out how to truly captivate readers and bring in repeat visitors.

Everything inside RebelMouse is component based, so you can assemble pages like Lego blocks. Each component is simple to style, so you can have gorgeous pages that pop, are clean, and reflect your aesthetic. Content is meta tagged through multiple rules that make it simple to decide how you want to highlight your video content, add sponsored or native posts, include outside widgets where you need them, completely control your ad stack, and do custom layouts.

Here's a look at it in action:

A staged environment allows you to build and test functionality without changing what your visitors see live on your site. Staged environments are useful for two main reasons:

  1. You can create multiple post layouts to test performance or customize the layout for a specific channel.
  2. They can be used to stage and test layout variations internally without bringing the changes live till you're ready.

Why Test Multiple Versions

There's more that goes into a website's success than aesthetics. It has to be perfectly optimized for usability, or users will bounce away and find another site that suits their needs instead. That's the way it works in our fast-paced society. User experience is key. You have to make sure your site is easy to use, navigable, consistent, authentic, and stripped of all intrusive ads.

Even as experts in our craft, it's hard to predict which minute changes will make visitors convert best. It's imperative to have a tool that lets you test real-time data and make better-informed decisions that will drive the success of your site. Being able to make data-driven updates and improvements will step up your content's engagement, and help grow your organic loyalty and reach long-term.

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Why RebelMouse Is the Best Content Marketing Platform

RebelMouse is a unique platform and company. The company was founded on the vision that media companies would need an always-modern solution to thrive in the new connected internet, and that brands would have to behave like new media companies and use the same platforms.

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How to Categorize Your Post Order

Use the Order Property feature to set up your content's best flow

Creating content isn't just a simple process of writing, editing, and publishing. There's an important amount of strategy needed to ensure your articles get the visibility they deserve. Nailing down a solid plan for your content's structure and order is important to make sure every post has the opportunity to reach its maximum audience.

In Layout & Design Tool, there's an Order Property feature within a Posts element that allows you to order the posts on your page by several different categories, including title, recency, and primacy. Here's what the setup looks like:

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Introducing the Paywall Element

Customize which content your users see for free

The rise of the subscription model has continued to climb over the past few years, and it took an even larger upward turn after the start of 2020's COVID-19 crisis. For publishers, a smart paywall strategy will not only improve user experience, but build sustainable revenue for your business to thrive. Subscriptions can also be a golden ticket to strong user loyalty. It's estimated that 80–90% of the people who are paying for digital subscriptions now are at least somewhat likely to still be paying for access next year.

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Cater to New Users With Silent Login

Bypass the sign in process for special events, contests, and more

Since RebelMouse supports creating online communities, we make it easy for users to sign up for sites on our network using their email address and social profiles. Now, there's a Silent Login element for when you would like one of your users to silently log in to add a post.

The Silent Login element gives new users the ability to sign up for your site without needing to complete the typical email sign-up process. This is ideal for sponsored posts, contests, events, and job postings. For example, if you're running a contest for the best Halloween costume photos, you can use a Silent Login element to create a workflow that allows users to submit their photos for review via Entry Editor without first having to create an account for your site. The experience for non-logged-in users is completely customizable.

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Inside RebelMouse’s Regression Testing

Even the smallest software update can change how entire systems function. Running tests after each update, called regression tests, ensures that every element of our platform is still working properly. RebelMouse runs regression tests continuously to increase efficiency as our functionalities expand and new features are introduced.

For each update of a production branch, we automatically begin regression tests. After tests are completed, we generate and review reports, and if there are any unexpected changes, we create tickets to revert changes and fix issues.

Here's a rundown of the different kinds of regression tests we perform:

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How to Add a Link to User Names

Use code to link users to their profiles

RebelMouse makes it easy for content creators to build dynamic and engaging communities. Each user can have their own username, permissions, and profile. A user's profile can also be linked to via their username anytime it appears on your site.

There are two ways to add this link:

1. Add the Username as a Link to an <a> Tag

HTML:

<a href="#" id="my_username">PROFILE</a>

JavaScript:

<script type="text/lazy-javascript" priority="10">
var user_data_for_use;
setTimeout(function(){
{{require}}(['settings'], function (settings) {
user_data_for_use=settings;
document.getElementById("my_username").setAttribute("href","/u/"+settings.user_site.name);
});},1000);
</script>

Upon page load, the code above will change the value of the href attribute to href="/u/username_of_user" for any element that uses id="my_username.".

2. Insert the Username as Text Inside a <span> Tag

HTML:

<span id="my_username"></span>

JavaScript:

<script type="text/lazy-javascript" priority="10">
var user_data_for_use;
setTimeout(function(){
{{require}}(['settings'], function (settings) {
user_data_for_use=settings;
document.getElementById("my_username").innerHTML=settings.user_site.name
});},1000);
</script>

Upon page load, the code above will insert the username inside a <span> tag as text by referencing id="my_username."

If you have any questions about this feature, please email support@rebelmouse.com.

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