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Why Your Site Needs A Progressive Web App, Yesterday

The search community dubbed 2015 "Mobilegeddon" when Google announced that mobile responsiveness would become a key ranking factor in the algorithm. Since then, fast mobile experiences have been a priority both on sites and on the platforms. 2015 also brought about the rise of preloaded pages in the form of Facebook Instant Articles and Google AMP. Now, in 2018, it seems that mobilegeddon is back for more.


The next step in mobile consumption is the migration to Progressive Web Apps (PWA). This new web application standard brings about a best-of-both-worlds experience that's a natural progression into what mobile publishing was meant to be. At RebelMouse, we're happy to announce our PWA offering. Here's everything you need to know.

What Is a Progressive Web App?

Progressive Web Apps provide an app-like experience on mobile within your internet browser. Using JavaScript, developers can update the apps without submitting changes to several app stores. This way one app works across all devices, rather than having to create separate apps for Android, iOS, etc. PWAs can use every app-like function, too, including location services, push notifications, and even your camera. So far, Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla support PWAs, and Apple is working on implementing them as well.

Does My Site Need a PWA?

Yes, and here's why:

Reliable and Fast: PWAs load quickly across all browsers, even if the network is spotty. They can even work offline. For example, if a user is looking at a PWA on an airplane, the publisher will still be credited with those pageviews when the plane lands and the user gets back online.

High Engagement: Not only do PWAs load very fast, but they also deliver an engaging experience to the user. Instead of just being a mobile-friendly site, readers are immersed in a dynamic and interactive experience, much like they would be if they were using a native app. PWAs also encourage repeat visits, with the ability to prompt users to add the app directly to their device's home screen.

SEO: Google sees every PWA as a new site. PWA URLs can be easily optimized to be extremely SEO-friendly as well. And data shows that 90% of PWA URLs have an average SEO score of 85%.

How Do I Get a PWA for My Site?

Eighty-seven percent of digital marketers now prioritize the mobile experience. The shift toward PWAs will pick up steam as we head into the second half of 2018. And as with everything in the digital ecosystem, it's better to be one step ahead of the curve.

At RebelMouse, we obsess over staying on top of trends and industry shifts so that our clients can focus more of their time on creating quality content and being strategic. Our lean tech model means our developers handle all the heavy lifting. We now offer PWAs for any RebelMouse client.

If you're not on RebelMouse yet, let's start working together. Even if you aren't ready to replatform your site, we can help ensure your current site is optimized for mobile. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help you.

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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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