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How We’re Making Sites Faster for 2021

A look into some of our latest performance upgrades

Content deliverability is what will define a successful publisher in 2021. After the tumultuous year that has been 2020, audiences will only tolerate quality content, and they will only consume it on a site that provides a next-level experience.

With users in mind, Google continued on its trajectory of prioritizing user experience in 2020. Six months after announcing Core Web Vitals in May, Google said its page experience signals will officially roll out and begin impacting search rankings in May 2021. The page experience signals include Google's Core Web Vitals and existing search signals. Together, these will determine a website's page experience and overall site performance. Click here to learn more.

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Introducing Paid Listings by RebelMouse

At RebelMouse, we're always looking for new ways to increase the value or your digital property. This is why we've introduced a new feature that lets you sell paid listings to your vertical(s) as a feature on your site. This is an opportunity to create direct and recurring credit card revenue through subscriptions from small-to-midsize companies that want to reach your audience.

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How to Monetize Your Site on RebelMouse

Leverage Our Platform to Sell Digital Ads That Overperform

For years now, digital publishers have experienced a collective push to diversify their revenue streams. As online readership becomes more complex, publishers cannot rely on a one-trick monetization method to secure success.

The COVID-19 crisis in 2020 was an even bigger wake-up call for publishers to create a dynamic revenue plan. The timing of the pandemic aligned with the new reality of a cookie-less world, which has completely reprioritized user experience and what it means to build audience loyalty. This means in 2021, publishers need a solid first-party data strategy and a modern revenue plan that can withstand more months of uncertainty to come.

Let's find the right revenue plan for your site. Here are just a handful of ways our next-generation publishing platform supports multiple monetization methods at once.

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How Site Performance Shifted in 2020: RebelMouse Page Speed Updates

Google updated how it measures page performance during the pandemic. Here's how our product changed, too.

2020 was a year that shook every industry to its core. As workforces and workflows everywhere shifted, the digital publishing space was left to pick up the pieces of what it means to create content in a pandemic-filled world.

At RebelMouse, we examined the impact of COVID-19 on marketing strategies. You can read more about our findings here. However, as we round out a turbulent year, some publishers think 2020 will be a positive turning point for the industry overall. More people at home and being online has increased the need for quality content more than ever. Audiences are paying attention to where and how they consume content, and advertisers are taking notice of this pattern change, too.

Because of this, content deliverability is what will define what makes a successful publisher in 2020 and beyond. Audiences will only tolerate quality content, and they will only consume it on a site that provides a next-level site experience.

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Google’s Page Experience Signals for Search Rankings Launches in May 2021

Your site's page performance will dictate its search viability

In May 2020, Google let the world know that its Core Web Vitals would become the new benchmarks for measuring a site's performance in its search results. Six months later, Google announced that its page experience signals will officially roll out and begin impacting search rankings in May 2021.

The page experience signals include Google's Core Web Vitals and existing search signals. Together, these will determine a website's page experience and overall site performance.

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Supreme Storytelling: indy100 Conversation's Top 20 Stories so Far

The Independent is prioritizing free thought and wants to amplify the voices that the mainstream media misses. That's why the U.K. media powerhouse launched indy100 Conversations. The new site, powered by RebelMouse, brings together creators from all around the globe to write about what's on their mind. From COVID-19 to racial injustice, the storytelling on indy100 Conversations has been anything but dry.

Here's indy100 Conversation's top 20 stories so far. Click here to join the conversation.

How to Test Content With Articles and Templates

At RebelMouse, we believe creative teams are successful when collaborative ideas can be easily tested and turned into strategic choices quickly. However, content creators are already pinched for time, and deploying a test on a new site approach or design can mean an entirely new set of tasks to contend with.

Our publishing platform streamlines this process by offering multivariate testing at scale, which includes content testing on articles and templates.

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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:

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How to Use the Feed Builder Dashboard

The Feed Builder Dashboard allows you to create custom RSS, Atom, and JSON feeds. You can access this dashboard by appending the following to your site's URL: r/dashboard/feed_builder

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Display Your Site's Sections Easily With Current Sections Element

At RebelMouse, one of our primary goals is to give you every opportunity to keep readers on your site for as long as possible. A big part of increasing your visitors' time on site is through optimizing your site's stream of content. The Sections dashboard makes sure your website is a well-organized content destination.

The Current Sections element pulls a list of your sections to be displayed as a sidebar on your page. It can also show subsections. Click + Add Element and scroll down to Current Sections.

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How to Add Links in Entry Editor

To insert a link into any article, highlight the text you want hyperlinked in Entry Editor, and then click on the chain icon in the formatting toolbar and select Insert Link. You can also insert a link from scratch without highlighting existing text.

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Austonia Launches a Truly Local Austin Source for News

Following their launch on RebelMouse in April 2020, Austonia is establishing itself as a great source of local news in Austin, Texas. Austonia combines its authentically Austin news with RebelMouse's cutting-edge platform to grow an audience of loyal subscribers.

The Vision

  • Exclusively Austin news
  • Truly local feel
  • Only promote local Austin advertisers
  • No programmatic ads
  • No paywalls to reach a larger audience
  • Led by a Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial advisor, with five full-time staff members
  • Build community through digital media
  • Easily optimize content across platforms in real time

Why They Chose RebelMouse

  • Sophisticated Entry Editor purpose-built for search, social, and emerging digital formats
  • Easily incorporate powerful features to drive engagement
  • Leveraged the RebelMouse Insights Dashboard and real-time analytics data to quickly act on viral hits
  • Track record and impressive client list
  • Trust established during the initial conversations

Austonia’s Three Months Later: Real Results

  • Articles ranked on social and search right from the start
  • After a great first 15 days following their April launch, the growth continued during the next 15-day period leading into May, where traffic grew by 80%
  • During their second 30-day period that ended in June, Austonia saw 12% more growth (no sophomore slump!)
  • By July, 30-day traffic grew by another 80%!
  • And most recently, August gave them another 70% boost in traffic
  • All together, the last 30 days saw 4x more traffic than their first 30 days
  • The growth continues in Q3!

Pageviews

Unique Visitors

April 2020–August 2020 via Google Analytics. Pageviews and User growth, both daily and a 42-day moving average.

And Stuff Like This Happens

When Austonia had the scoop on Joe Rogan moving to Austin, they used the power of RebelMouse to distribute the article across digital channels and maximize the viral impact.

The article started ranking on Google quickly, and as national media sites and social pages linked to their article, Austonia got close to almost 200,000 organic pageviews!

Why Austonia ❤️s RebelMouse

Built-in Modern Technology Integrations: With out-of-the-box compatibility with AMP, Facebook Instant Articles, and various other formats and feeds, Austonia was able to avoid an internal technical hire and still have constant technology upgrades to stay ahead of the curve.

Real Knowledge: Austonia considers RebelMouse to be more than just a tech company — it's best-in-class global expertise.

"When we chose RebelMouse, we did not yet fully appreciate what they offer beyond just technology. The best-in-class team is made up of really smart people from all over the world, working for major clients all over the world, and I benefited from that expertise and experience. As an independent local publisher, this was incredibly valuable and I have so much gratitude to RebelMouse for our success"

—Mark Dewey, Publisher and CEO of Austonia

Change Your Publishing Platform

Just like Austonia, all properties on our platform grow at mind-boggling rates, and are built in a way that allows publishers to focus on producing great content, which in turn becomes sustainable, high-growth social traffic and loyal, long-lasting communities. Customers like Austonia who trust their digital strategy to the experts in distributed content are able to compete with high-budget global news corporations and show up everywhere first!

Request a proposal today and let's start working together.

Select JW Player in Layout & Design Tool

RebelMouse has a seamless integration with JW Player so that you can easily embed videos into your articles.

You can select to use JW Player within our Layout & Design Tool. This option is available for the Post element when the "Show Video When Available" checkbox is selected.

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Never Miss an Opportunity for Engagement With Social Share Buttons

It's important to make sure your readers never miss an opportunity to share your content. On RebelMouse, you can easily add social share buttons to each one of your articles. These buttons make it easy for a user to share a story with one click.

Here's a example of what social share buttons can look like:

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How to Set an Article’s Embargo Date and Time

Protect your posts from early publication

It takes a lot of preparation to make sure your site's content lifecycle runs smoothly. RebelMouse's front end has a dynamic set of tools designed to make sure writers and editors have everything they need to support a content strategy that's designed to fuel growth with every publish.

One of those features is the ability to embargo any article. The Embargo setting prevents an article from being published until a particular date and time.

You can set the embargo using the caret drop-down menu next to the top-right Publish button in Entry Editor. Once expanded, click the Schedule option. From there, you will see a checkbox that enables you to configure the embargo.

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Filter Posts by Primary Tag or Section

It's now possible to filter the Posts element in our Layout & Design tool by primary tags and primary sections. For now, this is only possible via XML attributes on the Posts element.

Below are the new attributes that allow you to filter by primary tags or sections, and how to use them.

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Layout & Design Tool Optimization Checklist

One of the best parts of RebelMouse's Layout & Design Tool is that it isn't just for developers. Anyone on your team can learn how to use the tool and manage it completely on their own. The flexibility of our platform allows you to use it as much or as little as you feel comfortable. If you're managing at least some of the workflow in your site's Layout & Design Tool, here's a quick checklist to make sure you're getting the most out of all of its features. This checklist was put together by our Senior Solutions Architect Lika Nikanorova.

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Instagram Rolls Out New “Shop” Section

Users can browse personalized product recommendations with new in-app experience

Instagram has begun to roll out its new "Shop" section in the U.S., and will make the new e-commerce feature available globally in the coming weeks. Shop is an in-app shopping experience where users can discover products and brands across the platform.

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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

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.

How to Include Your Site in Google's Knowledge Graph

Tips to boost your site's visibility on Google's page one

Google's Knowledge Graph is a panel of additional information about a user's search query that's displayed to the right of traditional search results. This feature helps users find reliable information easily and quickly in a strategic location on the first page.

If you're a website owner that wants your site or company to be included in Google's Knowledge Graph, here are some steps you can take to improve your chances:

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Writing for Structured Data

RebelMouse has a structured data integration straight out of the box. This helps manage your structured data strategy with every article you publish. For example, in Entry Editor you will see a warning when a headline's word count goes over 110 characters. This is too long for Google's standards for structured data.

Please note that this is just a warning, and it will not prevent a user from publishing long headlines. If you have any questions about writing for structured data, contact support@rebelmouse.com or your account manager today.

How to Mention Facebook Pages in Social Scheduler

Learn the current @mention workflow

RebelMouse's Entry Editor is a one-stop shop for content creators. It's so much more than an editing interface — it's a command center to optimize every article for social reach.

We wanted to let you know that there has been a slight change to our social scheduling functionality. Facebook changed their limit on APIs which is preventing users from being able to @mention Facebook Pages from our social scheduling tool. We will be in communication with Facebook to fix this issue, but in the meantime there's an easy workaround you can use to maintain the ability to @mention Pages in your Facebook posts.

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How to Ingest Content From PA Media

On RebelMouse, we have the ability to ingest PA Media content as drafts in your Posts Dashboard every few hours.

Currently, a direct feed of content from PA Media will be ingested as drafts that are added to your Posts Dashboard. However, it can be configured so that the articles are published to your site automatically. The post author is listed as "Press Association" by default, but this can also be changed to an author of your choice.

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Use Discovery Listener to Reach Facebook Targets

Take advantage of Discovery no matter how you schedule to social

Using proprietary technology, RebelMouse Discovery is designed to help you figure out the social ecosystem that's already having conversations related to your content. Through various levels of outreach, content creators can use Discovery to reach out to target audiences through email and social channels. Click here for an overview of how Discovery works.

Within Discovery, you can use keywords to find Facebook Pages and reach out to them in a few ways. One of these methods is to "like" a recent post from a target Page, or what we call "pinging."

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New Filters Available in Library

Quickly find what you need in your database of media

It's important for content creators to have access to all of the elements they need to create stunning, dynamic articles. Our Add Media Bar allows you to search for user-generated content through social channels, in addition to finding assets within your own media database, which we call Library.

Now, you can apply filters to your Library to quickly find the correct media file you need to make your content shine.

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Introducing Our Microsoft Single Sign-On Solution

RebelMouse promotes a community of content collaboration. This is why we make it easy to log into any of the sites on our platform through various methods, including email, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Now, we're excited to announce a new single sign-on (SSO) solution for Microsoft accounts.

Our Microsoft integration is an enterprise-level solution that allows members on your team to log into your RebelMouse site using their Microsoft Office credentials. Here's how it looks once implemented:

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Trigger New Pageviews With “Keep Reading” Feature

RebelMouse supports an infinite scroll feed of content that is mobile-friendly by using expandable posts. Your users can read the beginning of your article that is "before the jump," but instead of jumping to a new page, the story expands upon click to show the rest of the post. We do this with our "Keep Reading" functionality:

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How to Create New Articles From Particles

Use Particle Assembler to instantly create new articles

RebelMouse's Particle Assembler breaks down your article into micro pieces of content called particles, which can then be shared individually on social, and can even stand on their own. This is why it's now possible to transform your particles into their own articles. Here's how it works.

After you have created an Assembler in Entry Editor, click the gear icon in the right-hand corner of a particle. Next, toggle on the Turn into post feature to turn that particular particle into its own article.

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RebelMouse Outperforms Every Other CMS. Here’s the Data to Prove It.

Our Core Web Vitals drastically outpace every competitor, and we have the receipts

In an effort to build user retention and increase conversions, publishers are making a common mistake. They're adding more features to their websites, including ad placements, but losing sight of the main revenue driver: user experience.

The key to unlocking user retention lies completely in site performance. Currently, publishers are trying to build optimized websites that translate easily across devices and platforms, but fail to 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. This is why Google has made page speed a top ranking factor on search, and shepherded the entire open web's newfound prioritization on site performance.

Game Changer: Google's Core Web Vitals Announcement

Google cemented its seriousness about page experience with the announcement of its Core Web Vitals measurements in Google Search Console. Core Web Vitals are three specific metrics that Google uses to determine a site's overall usability. While these data points will evolve over time, the 2020 version of vitals consists of three specific metrics:

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): This metric 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 below). You want your FID score to be low to prove the usability of your site. According to Google, pages should haven an FID of less than 100 milliseconds.

Cumulative Layout Shift Score (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.

From Google.

Google says Core Web Vitals scores will be considered across every page, and will be a ranking factor in its Top Stories feature. While relevant quality content will always be the most important, the page experience ranking is now a make-or-break metric for your site's survival.

"A good page experience doesn't override having great, relevant content. However, in cases where there are multiple pages that have similar content, page experience becomes much more important for visibility in Search." —From Google's page experience announcement, May 2020

Core Web Vitals will determine every site's performance score. You can see your site's Core Web Vitals specifically via Google Search Console, but your website's overall page performance is measured using Google's PageSpeed Insights and Lighthouse tools.

At RebelMouse, we guarantee a performance score of 90 or higher via PageSpeed Insights. To do this, we've built out a platform infrastructure that exceeds industry standards on Google's key metrics, particularly its Core Web Vitals, outperforming most industry leaders.

You can read more about how we've mastered Google's KPIs here. But the truth is in the data. Below is table that provides a snapshot into how RebelMouse-powered sites score:

And here's what the scores look like for some of the biggest sites on the open web:

As you can see, there's a lot of data Google takes into account even outside of Core Web Vitals. Here's a quick summary of the other important metrics that Google trusts to measure page performance:

First Contentful Paint (FCP): This metric measures the time from click to the time when a user's browser renders the first bit of content from the Document Object Model (DOM), which is your site's HTML structure. According to Google, this is an important milestone for your readers because it provides signals that your page is loading.

First Meaningful Paint (FMP): This is the amount of time it takes the most important content, what Google calls "hero elements," to load on site. Hero elements are different for every site, but should be intuitive based on your content. This metric helps determine your site's usability.

Time to Interactive (TTI): This is the most important metric to keep an eye on. This is when the site is fully rendered and ready for user action. This is a critical point when slow load time can occur, usually because JavaScript or other complex content hasn't fully rendered. So, in short, think of TTI as how long it takes for your site to load in its entirety.

Total Blocking Time (TBT): TBT measures a page's load responsiveness to quantify how long a page is non-interactive prior to becoming interactive. You want your site to have a low TBT to maintain its usability.

Speed Index (SI): SI is the measurement of how quickly the contents of a page are populated. You want your speed index score to be as low as possible.

Creating quality content is only half the battle in 2020, and publishers are already burdened with the around-the-clock task of creating content that resonates. This is why quality content must be supported by modern technology that can keep up with the speed of the web. RebelMouse provides publishers with a CMS that supports the new content lifecycle with an editorial suite designed for reach on site, search, and social.

Click here to read more about our modern approach to web performance. If you want to make performance a priority, request a proposal today. We can easily transform your site into one of the fastest on the web, giving you increased user retention and better conversion rates than ever before.

How to Update Groups and Users

Easily adjust your group settings and user profiles from Posts dashboard

The content lifecycle is rarely a solo effort. This is why RebelMouse supports a network of online communities to streamline the publishing workflow among administrators, content creators, and everyone in between. Learn more about our online communities here.

Managing many creators means constant change. To help meet this need, we've provided you with the ability to view, edit, or ban user profiles within a community or group.

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