New Site Case Studies
Jan 25, 2022
Why RebelMouse Is the Most Secure CMS on the Web
Delivering a secure, high-performing environment with extreme reliability is essential to all of our clients at RebelMouse. We only use industry-leading, reliable approaches to host our infrastructure. This ensures maximum stability and security for all of our clients’ data. Here are just some of the reasons we’re able to maintain a hard-bodied product that’s flexible, too.
We’ve spent years building the most secure CMS of 2022. Open-source CMS platforms like WordPress and Drupal mean everyone has access to your code, and that means your website is completely vulnerable.
Think about it: There are millions of instances of WordPress in the world, and every security update and feature upgrade — no matter how big or small — has to be manually performed for each individual site to avoid outright breaking custom code, plugins, and more. On WordPress, you need a plugin to manage simple things, but those seemingly safe tasks can put your entire site at risk. For example, a plugin to manage affiliate links gave hackers an easy opening to add their own links instead.
Examples like these leave open-source CMS options like WordPress constantly vulnerable to security threats. If you are running a real online business, easily exposed features like plugins are a 2005-era feature that now serve as a major weakness on your site. Security threats created by outdated plugins can put hundreds of thousands of sites at risk, like this breach in 2022 that threatened the safety of 600,000 sites. These constant, sudden spikes in attacks have no end sight, and here's why.
Every time a WordPress security breach is announced, the proper updates have to be made one by one. This is because the only way WordPress core developers can patch significant flaws within their software is to deploy fixes to users in the form of user-installed product updates.
This isn't an issue on RebelMouse. All of our updates are quickly deployed at once to every site we power. We often deploy multiple updates on a daily basis. While many WordPress users count on third-party hosting companies or in-house developers to stay on top of the platform’s updates, RebelMouse users can rest easy knowing that important updates are taken care of immediately.
RebelMouse isn’t a solution for cheap websites. We’re a solution for high-value websites that are high-performing and highly secure. It’s also why we’re able to power some of the fastest sites on the web with superior scores on Google’s Core Web Vitals. Click here to learn more.
Transparency is a priority. The sites in our network subscribe to a status portal that provides up-to-date details on platform performance with real-time updates.
We only use modern and reliable approaches to host our infrastructure for maximum stability. We host our infrastructure in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud because AWS is the most trusted, secure, and reliable infrastructure in the world. We have great relationships with the folks at AWS and utilize the best of their services.
All of our production services are covered with AWS Auto Scaling groups, which means we can sleep at night without worrying that something may go wrong. Our services are self-healing 24/7 as well. And even our stateful services, like databases, are covered with reliable automatic failover and backup solutions.
Since the RebelMouse team spans dozens of countries, we offer 24/7 live support. This means that any vulnerabilities that pop up will never be left unattended. In fact, many updates and patches are deployed across our platform in seconds without any interruption to our site network at all.Click here to learn more about RebelMouse’s infrastructure.
RebelMouse delivers 99.99% uptime with maximum performance, stability, and security.
AWS's Web Application Firewall (WAF) is a firewall that helps protect your web applications (or APIs) against common web exploits that may affect availability, compromise security, or consume excessive resources. AWS WAF gives RebelMouse developers control over how traffic reaches our applications by enabling us to create security rules that block common attack patterns, such as SQL injections or cross-site scripting (XSS), and rules that filter out specific traffic patterns we have defined. These rules are regularly updated when new issues emerge as well.
With AWS WAF, we're making sure that all of our sites are covered against some of the most common attacks, as defined by The Open Web Application Security Project (OWASP). The project is an online community that creates freely available articles, methodologies, documentation, tools, and technologies in the field of web application security.
Click here to learn more about WAF.
To strengthen our commitment to security, RebelMouse offers a bug bounty program. If you believe you've found a security issue on our site, or any of the sites we power, we may compensate you for your discovery. We look at all submitted reports, and if we agree that it's a valid finding, we'll pay $250 for each one.
Click here for more information about what qualifies as a security vulnerability and how to report a bug.
Fastly’s CDN is certified under the Swiss-US framework. We use the following Fastly services:
Click here to learn more about our Fastly recovery plan.
A lot of publishers may think uncertainty in the digital space means it’s time to double down on in-house developers to create a site experience that stands out against the noise. But it's actually the opposite: It’s time to invest in an external team that creates and manages tech for you, so you can instead focus on creating content that resonates with new and existing audiences.
Our infrastructure summary may come across as Greek to you, but that’s all right. Let’s create something together that isn’t just powered by next-level strategies, but also innovative and stable technology. Your content will be both protected and optimized for long-term growth.
Request a proposal today and let’s start working together.
Make sure your site is set up for success in 2022.
In the spring of 2020, Google let the world know that its Core Web Vitals would become the new benchmark for measuring a site's performance in its search results, known as the page experience update. Fast forward to more than a year later in August 2021 when, after much anticipation, Google's page experience update became official.
Since its rollout, developers have felt the impact of how their publishing platforms stack up against the new standard. Important decisions around the architecture of your site can now make or break your site's performance in the eyes of Google.
HTTP Archive, a tracking platform that crawls the web to identify trends and record historical patterns, has revealed how top content management systems (CMS) have weathered the page experience update through the creation of its Core Web Vitals Technology Report. RebelMouse consistently outperforms major CMS platforms on Google's most critical metrics since its rollout and into 2022:
Getting superior scores on Google's performance benchmarks isn't easy, either. The Ahrefs blog analyzed Core Web Vitals data from the Chrome User Experience Report (CrUX), which is data from actual Chrome users, to see how the web stacks up against Core Web Vitals. Their study found that only 33% of sites on the web are passing Core Web Vitals.
Luckily, performing well on Core Web Vitals is possible with thoughtful, strategic changes to your site’s codebase. Here's what you need to know and how we can help.
Google’s benchmarks for Core Web Vitals.
First, it’s important to understand the metrics that make up Google’s Core Web Vitals:
The other existing search signals are:
Together, all of these metrics determine Google's new page experience signals.
Google says it will always consider informative, quality content as its number one search signal. However, if two websites both have quality content, but one site has better Core Web Vitals, the site with a better page experience will always outrank any site that isn’t optimized for performance.
"By adding page experience to the hundreds of signals that Google considers when ranking search results, we aim to help people more easily access the information and web pages they’re looking for, and support site owners in providing an experience users enjoy.” —From Google’s original page experience announcement in May 2020.
Click here to learn more about what it takes to improve your site’s Core Web Vitals.
Having a quick load time and passing Core Web Vitals are important factors in Google Search’s ranking and results. But there are multiple ways of testing your speed and vitals, and it can get very confusing to try and understand the results since different measuring tools can result in different scores.
There are generally three ways to get your site's performance measurements:
Each of those three methods can give you important details on how your site is performing, but their results are derived using different methodologies.
Click here to learn more about how to accurately determine your site’s performance.
The saying "Content is King" is still true in today's publishing landscape, but there's no kingdom without high-performing sites. While page speed may have begun as a luxury for savvy webmasters and lucky readers, it's now a make-or-break component that deeply impacts a site's longevity in a highly competitive and global space.
A high-performance site is so critical in today's digital ecosystem that a poor-loading site could be a fatal blow to any publisher or brand. Here are just a few ways poor page speed can impact your site’s bottom line.
Mobile Page Speed Impacts Overall SEO Ranking: Mobile devices account for more than 50% of web traffic. If a site's mobile page speed is slow, this means half of the users trying to access the site are not only suffering a poor experience, but they're likely abandoning the site visit completely. This puts the site in danger of losing positions in its Google Search rankings.
Poor Page Speed Makes Ads More Expensive: Much like with SEO, if your page performance is slow and prompting lost site visits, the ads being served on your site will receive lower impressions. Lower impressions mean the ads are more expensive to deliver, which costs revenue and users in a matter of seconds.
Poor Page Speed Tanks Usability and Loyalty: The health of your site will always be dependent on the experience you deliver to your readers. Usability is the core reason why Google decided to prioritize page speed. Slow load times are a sure-fire way to give your readers a reason to abandon your content. To make matters worse, thanks to the massive amount of content being created every day, users have plenty of other options to choose from and may be wary of clicking a link or CTA associated with your site in the future.
The RebelMouse platform evolves alongside Google’s algorithm, and our team of growth experts spans all time zones to ensure our sites are optimized for page experience with every new article.
To do this correctly, it takes a lot of optimization to perfect every moment of your site’s load time. We’ve mastered Core Web Vitals already, and our performance scores are drastically outperforming every other CMS on the market.
Our jaw-dropping page speeds have allowed us to power the fastest sites on the web. We’ve done this through a simplified version of code that still allows for ads, videos, and third-party applications to load quickly.
Now that you’re up to speed (pun intended) on how Google measures and scrutinizes site experience, let's take a look at some of the benefits RebelMouse-powered clients enjoy as a result of their excellent performance scores:
Here’s how those scores compare to traditional CMS solutions that don’t prioritize page performance:
Currently, publishers are trying to build optimized websites that translate easily across devices and platforms, but are failing to also 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.
If you are publishing to a site with poor performance, it’s going to take a mammoth effort to overhaul your site’s entire architecture so that it scores high against Google’s Core Web Vitals. In most cases, it’s simply easier and more cost-effective to move your data to a platform that is already high performing with page speed woven into the foundation of its technology versus reinventing the wheel on your own.
At RebelMouse, performance is a pillar of our company’s culture. We’ve taken site performance seriously for years, and have leveraged them to ensure our sites are constantly high performing. It's why we outperform some of the biggest sites on the web. And like with any pillar of a company's culture, optimizing for high performance is never a one-time effort. Our engineers have been crafting and tuning our platform to address these new standards long before they surfaced.
If you want to publish alongside the speed of the web, request a proposal today and let’s start working together.
As the search engine rebounds, your site’s reporting may be off
You may have missed it, but Google experienced a large outage on August 8, 2022 around 9:30 p.m. ET after a data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa caught fire.
The outage impacted users all over the world. At its peak, more than 40,000 people in the United States reported issues with Google.
According to 9to5Google, users impacted by the outage were shown a 500 Internal Server Error or 502 Bad Gateway Error when trying to perform a search. Even Google’s main home page was taking longer than usual to load.
The outage was resolved quickly, but there are reports of lingering issues with indexing and overall search quality since the disruption. According to Search Engine Land, these complications include:
The SEO community documented their issues on Twitter in the hours after the outage, with some users reporting a 40% drop in web traffic. Google’s Search Advocate John Mueller stayed abreast of the complaints and acknowledged that the search giant was working to correct any indexing issues or overall problems with search quality.
\u201c@JohnMu Any internal information about Google status after the nights events? Us, and many competitors, have multiple pages not indexed (including frontpage)\u201d— Kristoffer Holten (@Kristoffer Holten) 1660035312
Luckily, hours after the global search community reported problems with their search rankings, search quality began to improve. However, if your site was impacted by Google’s outage, it may take awhile before your reporting turns back to normal. The good news is that it should resolve itself eventually.
While a fire at a Google data center is by no means normal, the incident does speak to the volatility of search traffic. It is normal for sites to have large swings in traffic as Google makes updates to its algorithm, or in this case, experiences its own issues.
This summer, Google did acknowledge that they plan to be more transparent about updates to its platform that could impact search rankings. But the increased knowledge only adds to the already very full plate sitting in front of site owners and content creators.
RebelMouse is a modern publishing platform that anticipates major changes from Google before they even happen. Our holistic search strategy makes sure that the sites within our network consistently rank highly on search and crush industry standards on site performance.
Never stress about what Google’s up to — whether it’s a planned algorithm update or an unpredictable server emergency — ever again. Request a proposal today to start publishing on a platform that empowers search success with every publish.
Navigating critical tools for your organization on your own can be treacherous. RebelMouse has built a platform infrastructure that exceeds the digital publishing industry’s standards, while simultaneously cracking the code on Google's algorithm puzzles. Our platform is designed from the ground up to empower users of every skill level to build sites that perform well against Google’s Core Web Vitals, which means better organic reach, search returns, and visibility. In fact, Google recently featured RebelMouse on its web.dev blog to highlight how our performance optimizations nurture user loyalty and engagement. We provide the tools and information that unlock sustainable growth and revenue, and we outperform other industry leaders on site, search, and social. Let's start working together.
In late 2019, Google merged Google News Producer and Google News Publisher Center into a single tool. Officially called Publisher Center, Google has created an enhanced user experience and expanded set of functionalities that easily allow any publisher to manage content across multiple properties on Google News.
One of the many great new features Publisher Center offers is the ability to manage multiple sites simultaneously under one organization, as well as the ability to switch between more than one organization.
This makes managing many sites across multiple organizations a snap.
It's important to note that whoever sets up a new publication within Publisher Center must have ownership of the site where that content is published within Google Search Console.
Make sure you are logged into your Google account and navigate to the home page for Publisher Center. If you don't already have a Google account, you can set it up through Publisher Center as described by Google.
If your organization was previously set up to publish on Google News, you may already see your site listed. If this is the case, click Edit to begin the process of optimization.
If this is your first time ever setting up your organization to publish content on Google News, click + Add Publication in the left-hand navigation menu:
Here you will provide the basic information of your site.
Once you've created your publication, you'll see the following main screen:
From here you will be able to continue the setup process for your publication. The first thing to do is to verify your site ownership through Google Search Console. If you need any help setting up Google Search Console, please check out our post on the process.
The next step is updating your basic information, as well as verifying your content and URL through Publisher Center. First, click on Publication Settings from the main interface:
Here you can update your publication name, primary language, location, and verify your URL. If you have any difficulty verifying your URL, Google has detailed help on the verification process.
From this interface you can also add any additional website URLs, as well as update your contact information. Simply scroll down and you will see all of the available options:
Next you will want to add your logos to your publication. Simply click the Visual styles tab at the top of the page and add in your appropriate logos:
Once you're finished adding all of your information, don't forget to click Save in the upper right-hand corner of the screen. Once you have completed your basic information, you'll be ready to configure. Simply return to the main interface and click on the Google News box:
This will open up the configuration interface, where you can customize your visuals and content. If you've already set this up, you will see the current data. If you haven't, you'll want to click Edit on the right-hand side of the screen to begin setting things up:
This will take you to the general edit menu for your publication. You are able to add your publication description, category, distribution options, and Google Analytics tracking. When you are done, simply click the Next button in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen. This will take you to the Content settings tab:
If you want to add specific sections as tabs in your Google News app, click on + New Section. From here you can name your section and add your RSS Feed for Google to be able to filter.
When you have your sections complete, you can restrict access to your sections for specific users, if you need to have something private, or for testing. Again, when you're finished, just click Next in the bottom right-hand corner of the screen and you'll move on to the final step, Review and publish:
As you can see here, if you are missing any details, Google will list them out for you to review. Once all of your settings are complete, you will be able to submit your site to Google for their review.
Once you've determined what your sections will be, you will need to add labels to them. These content labels add greater context to what type of content the respective section contains.
It should be noted that not all sections will need content labels, and that they should only be used if they accurately represent one of the provided content label options.
You can add site-wide content labels, or have them for specific sections. Google gives you a short list of options for adding content labels:
Individuals can be granted access at an organization, publication, or publishing account level.
To grant access, click User permissions in the left-hand navigation menu. Once there, you can enter the person's email address and select the level of permission they need.
You can also review which users already have access and at which permission level.
Resource: Check out Search Engine Journal's 6 Common Google News Optimization Mistakes Common Google News Optimization Mistakes
Figuring out Google Publisher Center is just one part of your digital strategy puzzle. High-traffic sites need a robust platform that changes as fast as the digital landscape. RebelMouse enables you to keep pace with a platform that’s engineered to ride the bleeding edge of digital publishing. We’ve got our fingerprint on the pulse of all major algorithms so that you’re always one step ahead.