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. Built on Ruby on Rails, the sites made nobody happy. Developers found them cumbersome to build and magnets for support tickets, 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.
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.
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.
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.”
Twitch’s CloudCannon-based sites today serve a streaming platform that supports 2.2 million content creators and attracts 26.5 million daily active users, making it easily the world’s number one in its category.
With over 15 cutting-edge marketing sites on CloudCannon, Twitch continues to push the pace on providing timely content to their audience.