A Modern Story of Web Performance From RebelMouse Founder + CEO Andrea Breanna

In the first months of 2020, we've focused at RebelMouse on page speed and performance. We worked very hard and found ways to take 90% of the sites we power to 90+ performance scores via Google's PageSpeed Insights tool — even with sites that are loaded with ads, embeds, third-party analytics, and other typical slow-loading elements. You can read more about our victories here.

A few months after we started this process, COVID-19 hit the world very hard. Suddenly, every media company was faced with a huge problem: Advertising fell off a cliff in what seemed like seconds. The only way to survive this unprecedented downturn is to grow traffic and control costs at the same time. So we started to shave our code and made our websites faster. We dropped costs just as dramatically as we were increasing scores.

Here are some surprises we found when doing this: If you want truly exceptional performance, none of the JavaScript and CSS frameworks that developers love so much make the cut. We thought the React version of RebelMouse was going to be the huge page speed breakthrough, until we realized the only way to achieve this goal was to write the code carefully and refactor it endlessly until it was as short as possible. As any author will tell you, like editing a book or a blog post, the revision process is never really done. By stepping away from frameworks, and methodically shaving vanilla code, our customers continue to see major improvements in performance.

As we announced this to our site network and rolled it out publicly, many of our clients asked me personally, "How did you do it?" The answer is easy to understand regardless of how technical you may be. It's perfectly summarized in this wonderful quote attributed to Mark Twain:

"If I had more time, I would have written a shorter letter."
—Blaise Pascal, 1657 (and later, more famously Mark Twain)

The universe is sometimes very beautiful, and especially when you keep it simple. If you would like to start publishing on a site optimized for both speed and sustainability, request a proposal and let's start working together.

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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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