Written by Scott Solomon, Content Marketer at eZ Systems

In 2008, Ryan Holmes founded what would quickly become the worldwide leader in social media management. Hootsuite was built with a simple goal in mind: create a better social experience for businesses.

Why Hootsuite Moved to eZ Publish

Hootsuite had a large number of its webpages hard-coded, which meant that developers were in complete control of the content. Many of those hard-coded pages unfortunately sat on their product stack. This created a log jam for the company’s marketing department. “Marketing would have to submit a ticket to the engineering team to get a typo fixed and because they were so busy doing their own work scaling the product for our users, that ticket might sit there for three weeks before it got eyes on it. It wasn’t maintainable and it just wasn’t working,” says Hootsuite Front-end Software Developer Jeff Waterfall.

Hootsuite needed an enterprise-grade CMS that it could migrate all of its content and webpages into. The team had tried quickly spinning up microsites in the past, but this complicated things. “The problem that we had was there were too many sites sitting on too many CMSs,” says Waterfall. For two years, Hootsuite tried balancing a wide array of CMSs. “We were throwing more technology at a problem that could be solved with just one CMS and a proper implementation.”

With the assistance of Mugo Web, Hootsuite surveyed the CMS landscape before stumbling upon eZ Publish. Hootsuite developers liked eZ Publish because it was built on an open-source, Symfony PHP framework. “The fact that eZ has moved to a Symfony stack is a bonus for us. It makes the CMS not only more powerful, but also some people prefer to develop on it,” says Waterfall. 

“Being a back-end developer, it’s great to have more flexibility,” says Denis Antipov, Senior Web Developer at Hootsuite.

As developers, Antipov, Waterfall and others no longer need to manage Hootsuite’s content. They can now spend their time developing applications instead. “Now, we don’t have to do the boring stuff, we get to do the fun stuff again,” says Antipov.

The Hootsuite marketing team has seen benefits as well. “What marketing likes the most is the quicker turn around time. Now they can go and edit and make changes themselves, without having to rely on the development team. When there is something that is time sensitive it can go out in a timely manner.”

For Jeff Waterfall, features such as Twig templating made content migration to eZ Publish much easier. A lot of the pages that Hootsuite needed to migrate were filled with static content, so they didn’t require much back-end support. “I was able to create templates with the templating engine and build out pages without having to do to much backend heavy lifting. If you look at other CMSs the templating engines aren’t as powerful. It can make content migration really painful,” says Waterfall.

The Results

Since the implementation, Hootsuite has seen enhanced SEO numbers. “Our SEO numbers have gone up quite a bit because we’ve been able to optimize things for SEO,” says Waterfall. Hootsuite’s content writers are now able to go into the eZ Publish interface to change content for SEO and modify words as they see fit.

Hootsuite has also taken advantage of eZ Publish’s advanced workflows, especially when it comes to translations and localized content. “Now we have real workflows. Editors can translate content, submit drafts and easily edit them. That whole workflow was missing before and now we can do it simply with eZ Publish,” says Antipov. Before implementing eZ Publish, localized content was simply not an option.

Not only do eZ’s workflows help with translations, but it has also improved the way Hootsuite stages and tests content. “We use content staging before we push things to production. Our editors are able to review their content and visualize it in pre-production before it’s pushed live,” says Waterfall. 

By bringing together the microsites, the team has simplified the workload for other team members as well. “Having everything in one place is nice, especially for our Google Analytics gurus. They don’t have to look through a jumbled mess of sites anymore for analytics. They are all in one place.”

Hootsuite plans on spending more time building on top of the eZ Publish Platform. “We are building it out a month at a time, just making it bigger and refactoring as we can,” says Waterfall.

Visit Hootsuite’s website, powered by eZ Publish.

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