The Reasons Why Indie Publishers Flourish on RebelMouse

We care about you. We care about you having a sustainable business.

And that means we care about everything — from revenue to traffic to how you can be sustainable long term. By using data across all our publishers, we can help you understand what's happening in the media world, how to leverage Facebook's algorithm changes, where your audience lives, and more. The digital landscape is constantly changing, and we are always studying its changes to help indie publishers break through the barriers of bureaucracy. Our goal is to give you an unfair advantage through badass tech that helps you understand how traffic distribution works. So you can get your voice heard. Loudly.

One of the best parts of living in the age of new media, and more importantly living within the social ecosystem, is that everyone has a chance to go viral. The chains surrounding public content that were once monopolized by corporations and agencies have now been put back into the hands of the users.


It's a thrill that helps new media darlings like Axios take off quickly and start competing in a space dominated by legacy giants like The Washington Post. It's why indie publishers have an actual chance to make a difference. An indie publisher is a website born without major backing from a larger publication or media group. At RebelMouse, we call them web properties instead of websites. It's a more encompassing way to define the many strategies publishers must master in 2017 — from social to search and back again.

An indie publisher doesn't always have to be born on the internet either. One of our favorite indie publishers is PAPER magazine, a leading name in the print publication industry that used RebelMouse to launch its web property. Since then, they've successfully traversed boundaries that once plagued print publications trying to find their way into the new media landscape.

The RebelMouse CMS is the #1 choice for indie publishers like PAPER because of our similar spirits. We're a team of traffic junkies that don't like to get bogged down by constricting roles and processes that hinder quick growth before and after launch.

Oftentimes when passionate teams are approaching a launch or re-platform, they are smothered by chains of command that can slow down the process and distract from product design and strategy.

We build fast websites that are secure and optimized for user experience. We're also a creative agency that works closely with our clients on content and social strategy, monetization, and audience development. We monitor your data closely — usually on a daily basis — to make sure your insights are pushing you forward on a path of growth and meaningful revenue.

Think of it as getting all the benefits of a traditional CMS and a creative agency without the unneeded hierarchy and corporate jargon. Here's how we do it.

Launch Faster and Better

At RebelMouse, we operate off of a lean tech methodology that launches sites in weeks, not months. And this speed doesn't compromise quality. The sites we launch are also super fast and intuitive for users. Our CMS fuels lightning-fast content, so you never have to worry about speed impacting its distribution — ever. It's how we helped create the two biggest new media companies to date: Axios and The Dodo.

There are a lot of factors that go into why we're so fast. Here are just some of them:

  • Page Speed: We prioritize every feature to help with page speed, so users are never waiting for your site to load.
  • Stability and Monitoring: From DevOps to SysOps teams, there's always a pair of eyeballs on your site watching graphs, charts, and trends, and applying optimizations to your site simultaneously.
  • Editorial Efficiency: We care about more than just page speed. We want your editorial + social teams to have the right tools in place for a seamless and enjoyable content creation experience.
  • Super-Fast Product Iterations: The acceleration of history is a real trend and it is very hard to keep up with. RebelMouse gives you the power of a $10-million-a-year team for a fraction of the cost to keep up with all the changes in the industry.
  • Data-Driven Product Cycle: Everything we release at RebelMouse is A/B tested for performance impact and how each version impacts page speed and user experience.
Access to a Massive Data Set: We power experiences across nearly every topic, industry, and company type. We then bring these insights back into the product to make your workflow and processes faster + more strategic.

Reduce Tech Debt

Even in 2017, new media companies still think they need to invest in an expensive tech team to launch a successful website. But websites aren't what they used to be. Now sites have to be dynamic and put content at the forefront in order to build sticky audiences and generate sustainable revenue.

We're able to provide the necessary lean tech for our clients, freeing them from expensive UX designers and heavy developer support. Our CMS gives you all the necessary tools to succeed in the digital world, without hiring a massive tech team to keep you abreast of constant updates and changes. We are iterative and change with the times. Plus, everyone who works at RebelMouse is as fast and fluid as our CMS. The result is an amazing team of people who have fallen in love with particular aspects of the media and content business. And we live all over the world, so someone is available to help 24/7, with anything from monetization practices to backend issues.

Leverage Our Expertise

Here's the catch. We're not just a CMS, but a creative agency that combines technical skills with artistic creativity. We offer various creative services to make sure your website is set up for social success, with content distribution tools built right into our platform. These include:

  • Facebook Instant Articles Configuration and Strategy
  • Newsletter Design and Customization
  • Ads Setup and Review
  • Content Design and Strategy
  • SEO Strategy

We are inspired by intuition and gut, but we check everything against data and are able to see what is working across a huge set of categories and verticals. It's a unique approach, and it works for the awesome brands and media companies we power.

If you're an indie publisher looking for a home, let's start working together and create something awesome today.

Browse some of our current indie properties:

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If I had more time, this website would have loaded faster

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.

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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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