Don’t Lose New Followers to Slow Page Speed

For most digital publishers, it's almost like a ticking time bomb every time a new reader hits their site. There are only a few split seconds available to deliver a fast, quality experience. Otherwise, the reader will move on, and the chance to gain a new follower goes up in flames.


To be fair, speed has been a priority for internet users ever since we said farewell to dial-up access. On Facebook, many publishers relied on mediums like native video and Instant Articles to deliver fast content experiences that never left the platform. But in light of Facebook's early 2018 algorithm changes and their information scandal, more users are diversifying away from the platform's News Feed. The so-called "friends and family" algorithm update that prioritizes posts from personal Facebook friends over those from publishers, has profoundly impacted the livelihood of a number of media companies. Mic — a popular publisher that heavily relied on Facebook to drive much of its traffic — saw their views on the platform plummet from 192 million in April 2017 to 11 million in March 2018, according to CrowdTangle (via Digiday). These media casualties, paired with the recent #DeleteFacebook movement following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, have put the platform in hot water with publishers.

The best way to diversify your distributive opportunities is with a fast web experience that performs well on all platforms and channels. An important initiative given that the focus on page speed will only become more prominent in the eyes of Google as 2018 rolls on. The search engine announced that mobile page speed will become a ranking factor starting in July 2018. For sites that aren't optimized for mobile, or are not currently utilizing the Google AMP format, this could mean a permanent fall from Google's page one. On mobile, Google's data suggests that 40% of consumers will click away if a page takes more than three seconds to load. That's no time at all, so the pressure is on to deliver faster experiences for everyone.

There are a lot of ways to both optimize for page speed and nail the right server response time. We implement a lot of best practices to ensure our clients deliver a lightning-fast experience on both desktop and mobile, and there's one easy-to-use feature we're particularly proud of: lazy loading. Contrary to what the function's name suggests, lazy loading helps our clients' web experiences capture readers within the first few seconds of a visit by drastically reducing load time.

What Is Lazy Loading?

In the world of computer programming, lazy loading is a design pattern that allows specific parts of your site to load in a certain order based on what the user needs to see first. We have the option to implement this feature on all RebelMouse sites. As a result, the properties we power have pages that load incredibly fast by selectively choosing the elements that should get delayed, and presenting the most important information to readers immediately.

Our Layout & Design tool makes it easy to collect elements for lazy load:

What Does Lazy Loading Look Like?

The best part about the way we use lazy loading is that you don't have to be a developer or computer programmer to use it. Within our Layout & Design tool, content creators can simply drag and drop site elements that they want to be considered part of the lazy load. For example, you could move the right-hand rail of your site into the lazy load element so it loads later, rather than right upon a user's entrance to the page.

Here's the whole process in action:

When Should Lazy Loading Be Used?

Lazy loading should be used for on-page components that aren't needed right away. Some examples are related post lists, sidebars, and other elements accessory to a story. By doing this, the main content of a story is immediately available to a user, and the secondary features load after the user is already busy consuming the core article.

There are pitfalls, however. Media properties have to test carefully when moving their ads to a lazy-load element, for instance. Failure to do so could negatively impact revenue depending on other competing elements in the load stack. But any decreases in ad revenue should also be negated by increased time on site, engagement, and user loyalty. It's a delicate balancing act that benefits greatly from robust A/B testing.

How Do I Start Using Lazy Load?

RebelMouse's intuitive lazy load is a core part of our CMS — the very same technology that's built new media powerhouses Axios, The Dodo, and Dance Magazine. The drag-and-drop method we use to implement lazy load is a great example of our lean tech model. We're continuously updating and optimizing our platform so content creators can worry less about tech and focus more on building loyal audiences through organic and distributive growth.

If now isn't the right time to replatform your site, you can still take advantage of our creative agency that helps ensure the site you do have is operating at its fastest possible speed. Let's start creating something together today.

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.

Keep reading... Show less

Why Premium Creative Agencies and CTOs Choose to Develop on RebelMouse vs. WordPress and Drupal

The Intersection of Design and Development: Where Your Clients Thrive

We started RebelMouse seven years ago knowing that there was a fundamental design flaw in the world of traditional CMSs: Every instance, on every platform, had to be updated independently. It's similar to an era when users had to manage their own Microsoft Exchange Server for email. The costs of managing, maintaining, and iterating on a CMS to keep it awesome and world class is typically a $10 million-a-year endeavor. But even then, these cost-prohibitive CMSs are still behind the times.

Keep reading... Show less

Native Multivariate Testing at Scale With RebelMouse

What Differentiates Our Approach

There are many popular tools that allow you to perform experiments and A/B tests on your users — primarily Google Chrome Experiments and Optimizely. But all of these solutions are JavaScript additions to your web page that sidestep the problem of old, outdated, and clumsy CMSs. These solutions work by calling on a third-party JavaScript library that rewrites a page after it's rendered. This approach adds extra page weight and creates strange user experiences due to having to wait for everything to load and be rewritten on the fly.

At RebelMouse, we've solved this in a very elegant way. At the core level of our platform, we can natively render different layouts and track the exact differences in performance when comparing a test to your other layouts.

Keep reading... Show less

Modern E-Commerce: Blur the Line Between Content and Design

Create Modular + Reusable Design Patterns on RebelMouse

Content saturation is an industry-wide problem, and the e-commerce space is no exception given that it's filled with big brands, small Etsy stores, and everyone in between all fighting for similar audiences. The best way to fight this symptom is to understand your audience and provide them with what they want.

Keep reading... Show less

Instagram-style E-commerce Features on RebelMouse

Revolutionizing E-commerce on RebelMouse

Whether you're a brand with a blog or a media company with a site, driving purchasing behavior and building an audience that uses your content to find things they love to buy is vital. We're very proud to have built out the same functionality that everyone is now used to on Instagram, with layovers on images that lead to products with attribution.

Keep reading... Show less

Building Premium Communities and User Journeys on RebelMouse

RebelMouse is much more than just a replacement for a traditional CMS. Our platform is a tremendous community-building experience. Today's social ecosystem has given us a seemingly limitless number of premium creators who understand how to create gorgeous and relevant content that drives the growth of their own audiences. These creators and influencers are either experts in certain topics, or heavily engaged in targeted content that drives their interests. They're not only consuming the content they're passionate about, but they're contributing to the conversation, too. The new role of the editor is not just to cover the most important topics and people around their expertise, but also to invite those preferred influencers into their community and get them to participate in creating premium content.

Keep reading... Show less

Dynamic Voting: Grow Traffic and Engagement Organically

Help your audience find its voice.

Creating quality content is no longer on marketers alone. We live in a universe of creators who are willing to not only consume content that resonates, but play a role in the creation, promotion, and conversations surrounding it.

Since the start of RebelMouse, we've been on a journey to create dynamic media that is easier for content creators to curate and amplify on social. It's why we've built an online engagement platform centered around the power of communities that thrive naturally in the digital ecosystem.

Keep reading... Show less

How to Monetize Your Website in Today’s Publishing Environment

In order to define distributive publishing, we have to ask the following question: If you have quality content, but nobody sees it, does it even exist? The answer is no, because your content needs to be supported in a way that lets it move seamlessly across all channels, especially site, search, and social. But let's take this question a step further: If you can't monetize your content to generate the support it needs, how do you create quality content in the first place?

Keep reading... Show less

How COVID-19 Has Changed Four Key Components of Marketing

Picking up the pieces and the importance of building trust in a pandemic

As the second half of 2020 begins to pass us by, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage on throughout the global community. The longevity of the pandemic has left thousands of industries struggling to find an appropriate position in the marketplace that will allow them to sustain themselves alongside daily tragedy.

The pandemic is far from over, but publishers and marketers are beginning to sift through the aftershocks of what COVID-19 has done to the web. Here's a quick look at the decline in conversion growth during the first few weeks of the pandemic in the United States:

Keep reading... Show less

Explore Careers at RebelMouse

Join RebelMouses's modern and distributive workforce responsible for the websites of media powerhouses, including legacy brands like United Airlines and new media darlings like PAPER Magazine and Protocol.

If you feel like you've never quite fit into boxes or labels within the tech space, we want to hear from you. Built on a foundation of site performance, our cloud-based platform reaches 50+ million people a month with an always-modern approach to product and strategy.

Our fully remote team spans 25+ countries and has very flexible schedules. If you don't want to be confined to an office chair, and like the idea of being able to work from any place in the world you choose, we're a match.

RebelMouse is dedicated to pursuing inclusion for all individuals, regardless of their gender identity, sexual preference, ethnicity, religion, age, or disability. We work hard to form meaningful relationships beyond our platform, and it's this passion that has formed what is now a diverse software company and creative agency that's bucking industry norms. For us, diversity is a company pillar, not just a statistic.

Click here to browse our current opportunities
Subscribe to Our Newsletter