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6 Reasons to Upgrade to RebelMouse from WordPress

The huge gap between current CMS offerings and what the world needed occurred to me during my time as CTO of The Huffington Post. When we were acquired by AOL in 2011, I inherited 53 properties built on dozens of different content management systems. It wasn't long after that I soon realized they were all built by IT people who didn't fully grasp the concepts of traffic and distribution. That's why in 2012 I launched RebelMouse as the first platform to create the "social front page" — a hub where users could aggregate social feeds all in one place. It went viral with eight million users worldwide. The viral success made me realize that there wasn't a CMS to bring it all together, yet.


One of the main reasons I launched RebelMouse was because I recognized that a huge shift in advertising would happen, and that content would become marketing very quickly. And it did.

Today, I am extremely proud of the powerful product we've created. RebelMouse was built to solve the complex intersection of product, engineering, editorial, and revenue. It's allowed us to create a next-generation CMS unlike any other — backed by some of the best venture capitalists in the world — and is responsible for launching some of the biggest media sites such as Axios and The Dodo, both of which saw massive success upon launch.

But our team still sees plenty of sites — including brands, publishers, and personal influencers — not reaching their full potential. A lot of the time it's because they're bogged down with a clunky CMS like WordPress. We're all trying to publish and make money in a competitive industry that's always changing. But to be frank, WordPress isn't keeping up with the industry fast enough. There's a lot you need in and out of a CMS to survive and succeed in this digital climate, and we've created a solution that quickly responds to every industry shift and algorithm curveball.

Here are six reasons why RebelMouse is different from WordPress and worthy of a replatforming process that's simple and can be completed in a matter of days.

1. RebelMouse Is a Centralized CMS

RebelMouse is a centralized CMS, unlike other common web solutions like WordPress and Drupal. WordPress is a decentralized model that requires every platform update to be completed independently. This means that — of the 87 million plus versions of WordPress that are currently live on the internet — each update has to be implemented one by one.

Operating your business on a decentralized model is a big security risk. Every time there's a security threat, the core developers at WordPress must deploy patches in the form of product updates. From there, it's up to the managing developers of each individual site to deploy and configure around these updates to avoid breaking custom code and plugins. And this happens a lot. Since its launch in 2003, WordPress has released 238 product updates, many of them to address gaps in security.

Since we operate on a centralized model, every update on our platform is updated at one time, and sometimes multiple times a day. Usually our clients never notice the difference. We protect the data of our clients and make sure their sites are not only risk-free, but also operating at continuous peak performance.

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

2. More Than Just Tech

We've never been one to stick to boxes at RebelMouse. We started out on the cutting edge of social in 2012, and stayed close to the heart of digital publishing ever since. That's why our clients don't get a stagnant software platform like WordPress. Instead, they get a full-service creative agency full of content optimization specialists, social media gurus, and monetization experts. We blur the line between product and strategy to drive success.

Our content migration process from WordPress to RebelMouse is simple. And once it's completed, we don't waste any time optimizing your site for page speed. From there, we restructure your content strategy so you can see results at scale. Here are some of the strategy services we offer:

  • Monetization: We believe saving costs is the new revenue stream. Our lean tech model creates new opportunities for monetization, and our strategy team uses data-driven methods to make sure your site is getting maximum return.
  • Social: In 2018, engagement is the key metric to watch to drive sustainable growth. Using our social tools, we can help you create deep connections that spark conversation in the social ecosystem.
  • Audience Loyalty: It's easy to have viral moments both on site and via social, but those instances can be fleeting. Organic loyalty is what's required to ensure steady growth. We help you take advantage of the social ecosystem's universe of creators and influencers to help you grow a loyal community.
  • Search: The RebelMouse CMS has the tools to help you optimize each post for SEO. LIke everything else in the current digital climate, the strategy around search is always changing. We'll make sure your current efforts are up to snuff.

3. User-Focused Site Experience

Media sites have become really complicated over time. The industry let intrusive ads take over the internet, and now we're all left cleaning up the mess and re-prioritizing user experiences to get users back and make them stick. When we launched Axios on our new Social UX for Media layout in 2017, it mimicked the social feeds to drive more pageviews, engagement, and user satisfaction. It's a design structure that sees success on our other properties, too, including Dance Magazine and EcoWatch.

Our platform also has a powerful layout tool called Particle Assembler which creates beautiful designs. Instead of leaning heavily on an expensive developer team, Particle Assembler lets content creators design gorgeous layouts within a few clicks. Whatever works best for your brand, we'll guide you through the right design and site navigation that will bring next-level growth to your business.

4. Better Social Distribution Tools

A lot of publishers were slower to understand the importance of distributed publishing when digital started to gain steam. Luckily, it's something we've been working to perfect since we launched our CMS in 2012. Producing quality content is only half the battle — after all, there's no point in publishing engaging content if nobody is around to read it. This is why dynamic distribution is so important in order to succeed in today's digital world. And the good news is that tackling this doesn't have to be a solo effort.

At RebelMouse, we believe we live in a universe of creators. Not only will your fellow creators take interest in the topics you publish about, but they'll also share your content and validate your message.

That's why we created Discovery, an important part of our enterprise-level toolset that's available from right within our Entry Editor where you create articles. Using proprietary technology, Discovery enables you to identify key pages and profiles that could be interested in sharing your content. And through varying levels of social outreach, you can repurpose and share content from your Discovery findings in a way that validates the original message of those influencers. From there, you amplify the content through your own social channels.

This sharing cycle has led to the success of some of our biggest clients. The Dodo — one of the most successful new media companies to date — used Discovery to become the center of all things animals on the internet. It can do this for you, too.

5. Modern Authoring Tools

Chances are the CMS platform you're using was created before social. If that's true, you may still view content on your website and in social feeds as two different entities you have to control and manage. We're here to blur those lines for you and take publishing where it needs to be in 2018.

Our Entry Editor isn't simply a way to publish articles. It's a full-blown toolset for content creators. Before each piece of content is pushed live, it can be optimized for design, social, and SEO. We've also created a new content workflow that ensures every content team is on the most efficient path to publish.

Your writers, editors, creators, and community deserve tools that make them fast and efficient. It's also important that they follow a process that enforces best practices, so that the CMS itself is training your team with every post as they onboard.

6. Easy-to-Understand Analytics

It's important for you to manage your writers, see their performance, enable them to learn from each other, and help them become data driven. RebelMouse analytics provide you with a clear view of who is performing, what posts are working, and where that content is gaining traction.

Our CMS operates on a data-driven product cycle. Everything we release at RebelMouse is subjected to a small percentage of traffic and A/B tested for performance impact. Our testing includes how each version affects pagespeed and user experience. We then take these results and check to see how they correlate with bounce rate, time on site, pages per session, and conversion to goals — such as shares, subscriptions, and purchases. We also take big data and distill it into easy-to-consume insights that you can quickly act upon. You can view how each post is performing on search and social, right from within the Entry Editor.

In addition, we have a deep Google Analytics integration, so you can easily add in components, promos, third-party units, and ad units. But most importantly, as these pieces are being added, they're set up in staged environments automatically, and the traffic performance from these tests can be traced back to impact on bounce rate, pages per session, session duration, number of shares, percent of shares per visit, and unique custom goals for your business.

Let's Start Working Together

We migrate sites from WordPress all the time, and it's a fast process. Even if replatforming isn't an option for you at the moment, we can still offer you our creative agency services to make sure you're reaching your biggest audience possible. Let's create something together. Request a proposal to get in contact with a Rebel.

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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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Read our deck here...

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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.

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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?

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Facebook Offering Small Business Grants Program During COVID-19 Crisis

Program to provide $100 million in cash grants and ad credits for small businesses

Publishers big and small all over the globe are grappling with the financial constraints caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Trying to find the right brand messaging in this unprecedented time is a balance that none of us have ever faced before.

We've developed a live-blog experience that's designed to maximize your potential on search. Keep your audiences up to date by the second as they turn to you for the latest news, updates, and guidance.

In an effort to help ease the strain on publishers, Facebook has announced a Small Business Grants program for publishers. The social network is offering $100 million in cash grants and ad credits during the crisis. The offer is available for up to 30,000 eligible small businesses across 30 countries.

More information on how to apply for the program is forthcoming. Click here to learn more and sign up for updates. Check out Facebook's COVID-19 Business Resource Hub here.

Live-Blog Feature: Publish Real-Time Updates + Maximize Search Performance

Make sure your audience never misses an update

Many organizations are facing communication challenges after the recent outbreak of COVID-19. With so much information available everywhere, it is harder than ever to control the message of your own audience.

At RebelMouse, we're constantly iterating on our platform to help you make your content as relevant as possible. In the current news environment, staying on top of breaking stories using live blogs is incredibly important.

We've implemented our own version of the live-blog experience that's designed to maximize your potential on search. We power this new functionality using WebSockets, which allows for near-instant updates.

The advantage of creating a live blog using RebelMouse is that we index each live-blog update for search so that you receive SEO credit for every single update. This means if one of your live-blog updates hits on a key search phrase, it can drive a lot of traffic from search. This is superior to the traditional way of doing live updates where it was simply embedded JavaScript loading posts.

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The RebelMouse Creative Agency

  • Built for Times of Uncertainty
    • RebelMouse has had a distributed, remote workforce for years:
      • Our team collaborates easily across time zones.
      • Leaders in the company excelled within an ethos of remote work.
      • Our growth-centric team has worked closely together for years.
      • RebelMouse is made up of 60 people in 28 countries, exempt from any risk of a centralized shutdown.
      • Iterative culture that allows us to adapt rapidly to change
      • Diversified portfolio - we have clients across every vertical and every business type. Our solution works for brands and media companies of varying sizes and any content vertical
    • We're the best in breaking news and crisis communications:
      • Our digital services agency built the version of Axios that fueled their rapid growth, making them a new media giant over the past three years.
      • United Airlines uses RebelMouse's agency and tech services to power their content hub and communicate with customers.
      • We're the agency behind La Verità, a subscription-based news site in Milan, Italy that has been at the center of the COVID-19 crisis.
    • We build products designed for a mobile, office-less world:
      • Editors, writers, reporters, and creators can keep up with breaking news and vital edits, and can create content all on their mobile device.
      • In times of crisis, being fast to respond is critical. Solutions that require a desktop environment to create and edit content are no longer appropriate.
    • We don't require any new capital:
      • Our business can elegantly move up and down like an accordion to fit in the current publishing climate.
      • RebelMouse has not required capital for over three years, and is in a strong cash position to survive hard economic times.
    • "No business travel" has been our company policy for many years:
      • It's our policy to avoid business travel if possible. We haven't required a single in-person meeting to close a new deal or launch a new property in years.
      • We know how to work with clients through technology to understand each other and deliver what's needed for success.
      • Our unique work culture makes us very resilient in times where business travel is shut down.
  • Lower-Cost Products With Bigger Returns
    • We build best-in-class digital experiences:
      • The RebelMouse CMS will outperform any platform on page speed, stability, and breadth of features.
      • We power massively popular websites and scale without breaking a sweat.
      • Our CEO is a technical, product-focused person who built HuffPost. The team she's built at RebelMouse since 2012 is passionate about products that outperform.
  • Digital Growth Specialists
    • RebelMouse + Media companies:
      • We grow RPMs.
      • We improve ad visibility.
      • We create new opportunities for digital revenue.
        • Paywalls
        • E-commerce
        • Native advertising
        • Programmatic advertising
    • RebelMouse + Brands:
      • Our digital agency helps brands reach potential customers at scale by winning in search and social.
      • We put in better conversion units and the data systems to track iterations on the metrics that matter.
      • RebelMouse technology builds smarter, faster pages that convert better for paid campaigns.

Learn more about the team at RebelMouse.

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Content creation is still the most powerful engine that propels every publisher forward. But in 2020 and beyond, quality content won't sustain a site on its own. The modern content lifecycle hinges on a number of things working together in unison — including page speed, intelligent SEO, and effective distribution, just to name a few.

However, there's one thing that can throw a wrench in the entire system, and that's platform updates. Whether you're publishing on a common CMS solution like WordPress, using a custom in-house CMS, have access to a dedicated team of developers, or any option in between, platform updates can be both costly and frustrating.

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