Rebuilding Teachable for a team that had outgrown their tech
- Agile Project Management
- UX/UI Design
- Web Development
- Progressive Mobile Apps
GameDev.tv has over a million students across the globe learning how to make video games. Their courses can be purchased and viewed through their website, which is built with Teachable.
Their problem is that the current stack has been pushed to the absolute limit. Their Teachable store is filled with fragile workarounds, creating an artificial growth ceiling.
Being unable to customize customer experience is a big problem, but arguably the bigger problem is Teachable’s lack of analytics and tracking. Due to the way Teachable processes payments, tracking users through the purchase workflow isn’t possible.
The next logical step for the GameDev site is to run paid ads, but without transparent conversion tracking, there’s not enough data to accurately know how the ads are performing.
Our first suggestion was to build a headless Teachable store. This would mean the Teachable backend could handle the stuff it’s good at; student management, course creation and (cheap) video hosting.
For this architecture to work, Teachable’s API would need to support all the functions available in the platform. Unfortunately, it falls a long way short, and we wouldn’t be able to do some critical tasks, like authenticating users so they could log in.
After investigating all the alternatives, it was clear the only path forward was to rebuild a lightweight version of Teachable that paired with a custom frontend.
The final approach was a MACH (microservices, API-first, headless and cloud-native) architecture that connected a Laravel + React learning management system with the Next.js + Strapi customer-facing platform.
The site’s clean and fun design is a big winner, but the bigger benefit is the modular nature of the platform. Since the architecture is based around stitching small services together, it’s easy for new functionality to be added in without extension development.
Where Teachable ran slowly and was full of workarounds, the new system is lightning-quick and customized to how the GameDev team works.
At the time of writing, the platform is still in development and planned for release in 2023. Check back for updates on improvements in traffic, conversion and user retention!
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