At some point, you’ve got to burn it all down.
Over the course of the next month, we’ll be burning down the website you’re viewing right now. This iteration of Film School Rejects, powered by WordPress for the last decade, will be going away. As the person who has been most responsible for keeping the site up and running — with a variety of outcomes — I can say emphatically that I can’t wait to light the first match.
But wait, what happens after we burn this mother down?
I’m glad you asked. That’s the most exciting part, by far. Film School Rejects will be moving to Medium, a publishing platform that, as of today, is expanding to support premium independent publishers. You may know Medium as a platform for individuals who would like to share their stories, but it’s about to become something much more. In February, they announced that Bill Simmons’ new site The Ringer will be hosted on their platform. Not long after that, they showed up in my inbox asking about Film School Rejects. It’s kismet, because obviously Bill and I were always meant to be digital neighbors and best friends. At least that’s how the whole scenario plays out in my warped mind.
We will have plenty of time to talk about why we’re moving to Medium, but it breaks down to a few important points:
- It’s going to be a much nicer experience for our readers.
- The site will be free of annoying banner ads.
- We’ll be able to continue to operate independently, pay our writers and grow our audience.
- The site will be insanely fast.
The first and fourth items on that list go hand-in-hand. What’s the biggest problem we (and many sites like ours) have these days? AdBlock has cut into our revenue, threatening our very survival, which means that we usually need to put more ads on each page to make up the difference. And that’s annoying to our loyal readers who don’t use AdBlock. This is something that eats at my soul every moment of every day. And with our move to Medium, all of that stops.
For example, let’s take a look at how fast our pages load with our current setup. Here is our average page load time from the month of March:
Not great, Bob.
On Medium, our pages will load in about 2 seconds. Yes, 2 seconds. That means faster access to our wonderful content, no pop-up ads to click through and all kinds of fresh typography. For us, this is going to be a monumental change.
There will still be ads, but they will be far from intrusive. The Medium team is building an advertising platform that allows brands to reach an audience in a way that feels natural, is not invasive and supports independent publishers and encourages growth. We’re pretty damn excited about the whole thing, in case that wasn’t already obvious.
When is all this happening? You can preview Film School Rejects on Medium right now. That’s what it’s going to look like. You can view some recent articles on the new site already, plus everything we post in the next month will be cross-posted. On May 2, we will be migrating everything — all 30,000+ articles from the last 10 years — over to Medium and redirecting the domain. Which means that anyone typing filmschoolrejects.com into their browser will see the new site. That will complete the transition and begin a new era for Film School Rejects. We’re looking forward to this new era, as it will be focused on creating fantastic content and delivering it to you in a way that is beautiful, clean and not overwhelmed with advertising. We are excited to share this news with all of you and we can’t wait to complete our move.
Onward, to the future.