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Delivering microsites to Twitch's 30 million daily active users

Twitch uses CloudCannon to deliver microsites to 30 million customers, allowing editors to write directly inline and to publish confidently.

Sam Harnack

Sam Harnack
Technical Marketing Manager — Twitch

Why the world’s leading streaming platform chose CloudCannon

Sam Harnack, Technical Marketing Director for San Francisco-based live streaming service Twitch, had a problem.

Twitch’s marketing team relied on a slate of microsites to publish everything from developer documentation and advertising info to conference details, learning resources and brand guidelines. These sites were built using a variety of technologies including WordPress, Ruby on Rails, and Squarespace which made nobody happy. Developers found them cumbersome to build and maintain, and spent much of their time supporting marketers with making content changes, while the marketers bemoaned the lack of a preview or staging environment and the frequent failures of live sites that inevitably followed.

Early in 2017 Harnack, a recent arrival to Twitch, went looking for a better way. The first step was switching to the Jekyll static site generator, which was fast, secure and could easily scale to Twitch’s fast-growing global audience. Next, a new CMS.

Image of an mac showing Twitch's brand site

What Twitch needed

The requirements were demanding. It would need to stand up sites quickly, sharply reduce support requests, offer faultless performance under load, and support hosting on Amazon AWS infrastructure. The marketing team had its own shopping list: It needed a CMS it could use with a minimum of technical know-how and without recourse to developers, and would provide seamless translation into 27 languages.

Twitch trialled numerous headless CMS but found in each case that they were too complex in use and that content was disconnected from the live site.

CloudCannon provides a quality editing interface for our marketing team while allowing developers to use the tools and workflows they know.

The right choice for a fast-moving business

The breakthrough came when CloudCannon was put through its paces. It quickly matched the specification, allowing editors to write directly inline and to publish without the assistance of a developer. Importantly, it integrated with Twitch’s translation workflow to automate the translation process, letting marketers generate content in English and then export to human translators via Smartling. The result: frictionless creation of multiple language versions of Twitch’s marketing sites.

Image of a laptop showing Twitch's brand site

Harnack first transitioned Twitch’s legal pages to CloudCannon and then made it the default for all the company’s microsites. “CloudCannon provides a quality editing interface for our marketing team,” he explains, “while allowing developers to use the tools and workflows they know.”

CloudCannon is the perfect mix — editors find it easy to update content inline and their content is saved back to our Git repository, so we never felt locked in.

Twitch and CloudCannon’s partnership

With over 15 cutting-edge marketing sites on CloudCannon, Twitch continues to push the pace on providing timely content to their audience.

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