Alert: More Than Half of All WordPress Sites Will Be in Danger This December

In December 2018, a scripting language responsible for 57% of WordPress sites will no longer receive updates, including security patches, themes, and plugins. The end-of-life cycle for PHP 5.6 and 7.0 could mean a major security threat for WordPress sites using the language, and could dramatically decrease their rankings on Google. Security updates and patches for certain versions of PHP will cease even earlier, meaning thousands of sites could be vulnerable to hacks and data breaches before the new year.


Security loopholes on WordPress are common, and data breaches do happen. In November 2018, the widely used General Data Regulation Protection (GDPR) Compliance plugin was hacked, putting even more sites at risk. The hack automatically created administrator accounts on WordPress sites, presumably to create "backdoor" codes to gain unrestricted access to data. Breaches like this happen often because WordPress operates using a decentralized CMS model.

Why Security Threats Happen on a Decentralized CMS

Since its launch in 2003, WordPress has released over 200 product updates, many of them to address security vulnerabilities. Since WordPress is a decentralized CMS, every update has to be deployed to each individual site. This means every instance of WordPress on the web — and there are more than 87 million of them — has to be updated one by one. It's why many WordPress customers use costly managed hosting to make sure their site is up to date with 24-hour monitoring.

If a site does not have third-party hosting, it's up to the managing developers of each site to deploy and configure around these pivotal updates to avoid breaking custom code and plugins. This can be problematic for smaller teams that have one-to-two developers at most, and who cannot monitor a site 24/7, 365 days a year.

Why It Doesn't Happen on RebelMouse, a Centralized CMS

RebelMouse is a centralized CMS, so all of our updates are deployed to every site in our network at once. Many times, our clients don't even know they're happening. Our coverage spans across time zones so your data is never vulnerable. And not only do we ensure every site we host is operating safely, but we also make sure each is optimized for peak performance.

But this doesn't mean that our platform is closed off to industry advances in infrastructure. We use the languages of the open web, and any developer can easily learn our platform to create high-quality work without relying on unstable and fragmented WordPress plugins and updates.

Safety is just one of the major reasons it's worthwhile to upgrade your technology from WordPress to RebelMouse. Here are five more enticing truths about why you should be using our enterprise-level platform. And even if a replatform is not on your current roadmap for 2019, we can still optimize your site for data protection, site speed, monetization, and more through our creative agency branch. Request a proposal today 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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Making Sense of PageSpeed Insights and Core Web Vitals

Page speed and Core Web Vitals are an important piece of the SEO puzzle. Having a quick load time and passing Core Web Vitals are important factors in Google's search 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.

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New Feature: Stacking Sticky Elements

We always love to introduce new features to the RebelMouse platform, and today we're announcing a Double Sticky Bar. This will allow you to have two sticky elements at the top of your page, with the option to have one of the sticky elements disappear after a select amount of time. This can be very useful for an ad or banner you want to display briefly, and then be able to have the space back.

How Does It Look?

It's entirely up to how you want it to look, but here's an example screencast where we have an ad for our new book at the top, followed by a breaking news banner right beneath. You can see that as the page scrolls down, the behavior is set to have the ad removed after a couple of seconds of scrolling, and that it will reappear as the page scrolls back to the top:

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RebelMouse Q2 2021 Platform Performance Updates

Q2 of 2021 was a big quarter for the open web. Google delayed their release of SEO ranking by CrUX report, and they changed their method for Lighthouse scoring drastically. Our team was a few steps ahead of these changes, and we were able to update our platform so sites in our network had little, if any, performance interruptions.

We invested over 1,592 hours into our platform in Q2 2021 alone, and all of the sites on our platform received the benefits of these updates. To break it down into large buckets, we invested in the following key areas:

  • 538 hours dedicated to new features
  • 725 hours dedicated to improving existing features
  • 329 hours dedicated to performance and infrastructure updates

Here are the major updates that we've added to the RebelMouse platform in Q2.

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How to Use the Pagination Element

You can add pagination to section, tag, and archive pages using RebelMouse's Layout & Design Tool. This can be done through our Pagination element:

Using the Properties card, there are three options that you can configure on the Pagination element:

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New: Add Media Bar Now Supports More File Types

The Add Media Bar in our Entry Editor allows you to add rich media integrations to every post with just a few clicks.

Today, we're pleased to announce that Add Media Bar supports even more file types than before. Using the paperclip icon, you can now choose to upload Excel, PowerPoint, Word, PDF, and/or CSV files.

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Google’s June 2021 Lighthouse Update Changes PageSpeed Insights Performance

Google updated how their PageSpeed Insights scores are calculated by releasing a new version of Lighthouse on June 1, 2021. Lighthouse is a tool built into Google Chrome that lets you know how well your site is performing against Google's standards for a better open web. At RebelMouse, our team keeps up with updates from Google closely, and reads all of their release notes and GitHub updates.

This latest upgrade to Lighthouse had a negative impact on one of our previous methods for loading JavaScript in the JavaScript element of our Layout & Design Tool. Performance scores dropped as much as 20–60 points for sites that were using the JavaScript element in its previous state. However, our team kept on top of Google's changes, and developed a new approach that we call the post Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) method. LCP is a metric in Google's Core Web Vitals that measures the time it takes to load the main content on a page. Our post-LCP method loads JavaScript immediately after the LCP event has completed. Thanks to this new approach, scores in our site network have largely stayed intact, and many of them significantly outperform the open web.

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How to A/B Test Mailchimp Campaigns With RebelMouse

Mailchimp has a tool to A/B test campaigns on their platform. You can also use this feature through RebelMouse's native Mailchimp integration. Here's how it works.

First, you need to create a test audience in Mailchimp. We suggest creating one that consists of just your own email or internal team emails. Click here to learn more about how to create an audience in Mailchimp.

Once you have created your test audience, send the newsletter you wish to A/B test from RebelMouse to your newly created test audience. That way the newsletter will be saved to your Mailchimp campaigns on the RebelMouse platform. Click here to learn how to send a newsletter through RebelMouse.

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Optimizing Tweets for Zero CLS Penalties

Tweets are a very popular embed for media sites. They can contain lots of information and drive lots of traffic, and we have worked very hard to make it super easy for writers and editors to embed them by simply dropping a link into our Add Media Bar.

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