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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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Meet RebelMouse

Build on a better platform that supports far-reaching content distribution, impactful conversion, and unparalleled loyalty.

The world's largest companies trust us to power their global, multiplatform content experience. As a platform, we're now one of the largest in the world, reaching 50+ million people every month. As a creative agency, we build mass pop culture hits that grow organically to become household names — Axios and The Dodo, for example.

We work strategically with United Airlines and many other brands to establish the new media roadmap for their future and implement it. RebelMouse was founded by the CTO who built The Huffington Post. The founding vision and mission is still the same today: to be the right new media platform for both media companies and brands. It's working exceedingly well, and we're delivering some staggering results for our clients.

Read our latest deck here!

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How to Add an Authors Element to Search

If you have a community of creators contributing to your site, it can be helpful for users to search for articles by a particular author. By default, if a user searches for the name "Rachel Williams," the results will pull up stories about Rachel Williams instead of the author profile of Rachel Williams. There's an easy way to change this behavior in our Layout & Design tool. Here's how.

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New: Seamless Site Design With Global Styles

Keep your site's aesthetic consistent with one-click Global Styles

Site design should be seamless, which is why we obsess over creating a CMS experience that's intuitive and user-friendly. At RebelMouse, we believe that a site's look and feel should be part of the everyday workflow, and it should never distract developers or site contributors from their daily tasks.

This is why we've recently rolled out Global Styles in our Layout & Design tool. Users now have the ability to override styles by creating their own preferences in Global Settings that can then be applied to other pages en masse.

Users can create custom styles for any element, and then use those styles in other layouts by selecting them from a drop-down menu in one streamlined motion:

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How to Add YouTube Feeds via RSS

Easily add videos to your articles on RebelMouse

Since YouTube is one of the most popular social networks around, it's likely you'll want to add a YouTube channel's feed to your site at some point. Additionally, you may want to add a YouTube playlist to your site. Both options are possible on RebelMouse thanks to RSS Feeds. Here's how it works.

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Update: “Show Less” Function Removed From Layout & Design Tool

This new change helps improve the infinite scroll experience

As a RebelMouse client, you're likely familiar with our Social UX for Media layout, which includes an infinite scroll design that allows users to expand and collapse articles as they consume content.

To improve this experience, we've removed the "Show Less" function, which previously collapsed lead media, post, and/or post content elements in our Layout & Design tool. Now, if you uncheck Show Full Post Body, the "Show More" function will be enabled and the "Show Less" function will no longer be available.

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RebelMouse CEO: Reimagining Diversity “Starts in the Office”

Why women, minorities, and the LGBTQ+ community will restructure workplace norms

Entering a new decade means a new opportunity to change how we approach diversity. In a joint interview alongside Leanne Pittsford of Lesbians Who Tech, RebelMouse founder and CEO Andrea Breanna said that the only way to fight patriarchal dominance is to encourage and nurture more women, minorities, and members of the LGBTQ+ community in the workplace, particularly in tech.

Over half of RebelMouse's employees are women or identify as LGBTQ. Read our full diversity and inclusion report here.

Check out the full video below.

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Mailchimp Free Users: You May Need to Upgrade Under New Pricing Plan

Features previously available in Mailchimp's Free plan have changed

Mailchimp has recently updated their pricing structure, and template customization features that were originally supported in the Free plan have been moved to the Standard plan.

The change means that any Free users will need to upgrade to the Standard plan that currently costs $14.99 per month. Beyond template customization, the following RebelMouse features will also no longer be available if you're using their Free plan:

  • Sending emails using Discovery
  • The ability to send daily and weekly newsletters
  • Turning a post into a newsletter using Entry Editor

While it may be an inconvenience to upgrade your Mailchimp account to a paid plan, consider this a small investment in a strategy with winning potential. Think of a newsletter as an extension of your site's content that puts the experience back in the hands of your readers. After all, users prefer to read and consume content on their own time in familiar interfaces, like Gmail. Click here to learn more about crafting an effective email strategy.

If you have any questions about Mailchimp's new changes and how they will work with RebelMouse's integration, email support@rebelmouse.com or contact your account manager today.

Related Articles

How to Make Your Top Menu Disappear on Scroll

Create an un-sticky Top Bar using Layout & Design tool

Depending on how you structure your content, it can be helpful to have your site's header and menu bar disappear as readers scroll. We call this un-sticky Top Bar behavior. Here's an example of what this looks like:

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Boost Your Performance With RebelMouse’s New AMP-Rendering Engine

Using React + Node, AMP-powered sites provide a next-level user experience

RebelMouse is proud to announce a new rendering engine driven by Google's lightning-fast AMP format. In our relentless pursuit of world-class site performance, our team of developers put together a faster experience for our clients that includes a more cohesive codebase, quicker development output, and increased reliability and overall performance.

To do this, we used React and Node — JavaScript languages that appeal to a broad pool of developers. The same code can run on both servers and browsers, and allows us to leverage modern front end optimization tools.

Here's a quick rundown of what React, AMP, and Node are, and how RebelMouse has used them to create an AMP-focused front end experience that's fit for the next decade of publishing.

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