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Native Multivariate Testing at Scale With RebelMouse

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.

Natively Test Across Multiple Dimensions With Core KPI Measurements

Creative teams with great ideas are most successful when they have an environment where ideas can easily be tested against each other instead of trying to find total agreement on one idea. One of the biggest problems we observed while studying CMS platforms in our space was that creative teams were forced to test a "new design" or a "redesign," jamming a ton of very interesting decisions into one. The amount of lost opportunities to quickly build and test great ideas across the industry is staggering.

We're proud of how we've solved this problem with our Layout & Design tool. Any idea can easily be built out from the base of an existing one. You can be knee-deep in the middle of redesign work and then quickly pause for a moment go test a variant of an idea with users or colleagues.

For creative environments to stay focused while being enabled with this type of creative capacity, it's vital that all ideas end up getting measured. An idea might sound awesome to the group or a team member, but it may not always perform. All of the variant testing we enable is measured against the core KPIs that were established at launch by default. So pages per session, bounce rates, total engagement, and conversion goals are all easy to measure for your exact mission.

Knowing that this data will get measured also has a huge impact on how meetings end up being conducted and creative ideas are expressed. It's often easier to be passionate about the importance of a new idea when you know there will be no hard measures of its performance, and those are the types of creative ideas and passions that often misalign with actual growth. When teams know every test can and will be tested against core KPIs, it keeps everyone's creative energy focused on actually moving the needle.

In addition to all these elements, we've discovered that dynamic multivariate testing has to happen across the site and existing users. Testing should also be based on traffic sources. For example, Facebook has declared fullscreen ad pop-ups to be an obtrusive user interface, and is heavily penalizing sites for it. However, that's very often the most premium and desperately needed source of revenue for a media site. On RebelMouse, we enable you to serve different layouts (and variants of those layouts) to Facebook so that you can keep that premium revenue, but serve it safely away from Facebook. The creative potential — when you understand how to test variants with our platform — is unlimited.

We always think about happiness at RebelMouse, and this feature has made our clients very happy. But it's not just because of the growth it creates. It's also the positive structure it gives teams to not only work with each other, but grow strong creatively together.

Request a proposal today to learn more about multivariate testing that works.

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Easily Snap RebelMouse Into Slack

RebelMouse offers a Slack integration that allows you to sync your editorial process with Slack's notifications. We can set up three events that trigger notifications:

  • Changed stages in the editorial process
  • Edited a post
  • Published a post
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A Seamless Transition: Introducing RebelMouse to New Team Members

Behind every site powered by RebelMouse, there's a team of dedicated content creators, storytellers, developers, and leaders who are working to make sure their site is growing and flourishing. Sometimes, these teams fluctuate as new members join and others leave.

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How to Use Variables to Set Colors Across Your Site

Why This Is Important

You can easily set colors for every element of your site on RebelMouse, including the color of your text, links, and headlines. Usually there's a set of 2–3 colors used across a site. But instead of hardcoding the color on every element, you can use variables to make it so that if a color needs to change, you can update it in one place instead of everywhere — making future maintenance easy.

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Learn More About RebelMouse’s High-Performing Infrastructure

To ensure every site powered by RebelMouse is high performing, secure, and optimized for user experience, we only use the best and most reliable methods to host our infrastructure. Here's a detailed look at some of the services and security measures we use every day to secure maximum stability and security for each of our sites.

Click here to learn more about what makes RebelMouse secure, stable, redundant, and high performing.

Services

Stateless services, such as application services for front end and back end tasks, are deployed within an Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) into multiple availability zones using Amazon Auto Scaling groups. Every service deployment is automated and can be done without an operator. Auto Scaling groups eliminate the need for manual recovery procedures in the event of hardware-related incidents. Additionally, Auto Scaling groups for stateless services provide the ability to balance resources according to current load.

Stateless services include:

  • Front end and back end applications
  • Background workers
  • Dedicated services for paid content and statistics

All interactions with our internal services are done via Amazon Elastic Load Balancing (ELB). Load balancing allow us to control the flow of all incoming traffic and reroute it to the group of instances that are available as necessary, which covers any networking and hardware issues. Every load balancer controls the health of the listener instance by regularly performing health checks and removing failed instances from production environments.

Load balancing and Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances provide monitoring services with resource consumption data. Stateful services such as MongoDB, Redis, and Memcached are deployed within a VPC into multiple availability zones using Auto Scaling groups. Every data service has backup, recovery, and automatic failover procedures. Backup and recovery procedures are integrated into Auto Scaling groups and tested regularly.

Services performance is monitored by internal and external tools:

  • Sentry is used to track errors.
  • New Relic is used for application performance monitoring.
  • Amazon CloudWatch is used to monitor performance extremes.
  • Monit, Nagios, and Cacti are used to monitor metrics per instance.

Security

Defense in Depth (DiD) standards are adhered to and applied at all levels:

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS), such as Identity and Access Management (IAM), and CloudTrail
  • VPC and subnets
  • Load balancers (security groups)
  • EC2 instances
  • Operating systems use permissions-based controls

Access Monitoring:

  • AWS CloudTrail monitors all activities in our production data centers and grants us the ability to perform audits

Data Protection:

  • Secured storage
  • Encrypted transition protocols
If you have any questions about RebelMouse's technical infrastructure, email support@rebelmouse.com.

Stepped Entry Editor: Guide Your Users Through Content Creation

Small, dedicated teams can create quality content that helps your site grow traffic organically. RebelMouse's platform enables multiple communities with granular permissions and simplified contribution tools to create a collaborative workflow built for creators.

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How to Fix: Invalid Twitter Card

Sometimes when you share a RebelMouse article to Twitter, it will render the tweet without a Card:

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How to Fix: Facebook Image Sharing Error

Sometimes when you share images on Facebook that are in the body of the post, the following error will occur:

"Can't load URL: The domain of this URL isn't included in the app's domains. To be able to load this URL, add all domains and sub-domains of your app to the App Domains field in your app settings."

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When to Use the Post Content Element’s Lead Media Properties

RebelMouse's Layout & Design tool makes designing your site easy and intuitive. But there are certain design factors you need to take into account when building out your site.

When creating a post page (i.e., the landing page for any article that a user is directed or navigates to), styling it is slightly different from other pages because it requires you to use the Lead Media property of a Post Content element. Within the context of our Layout & Design tool, "Lead Media" is defined as the main post tied to a post page's URL, which includes all of its images, media, and text.

By contrast, the Posts element displays all other articles (or posts) that aren't the main post you land on. These are the subsequent posts on a page that appear afterward as you scroll — such as in an infinite scroll setup, for example.
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Cross-Site Shareable Elements on RebelMouse

We now have a new feature that will be very helpful for clients that have multiple sites and/or a site network powered by RebelMouse: Cross-Site Shareable Elements. This new feature makes styling work much easier since users are able to update several site layouts at once by editing a single element. This should also prevent duplicating code in similar site layouts, as well as saving users some coding time.

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