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SaaS How Spendesk scaled its B2B SaaS website: moving from two CMSs to Storyblok

Spendesk is an all-in-one spending solution software for finance teams to make smarter spending decisions. Designed from the ground up, Spendesk caters to all institutions looking to streamline their financial processes throughout the spending process. 

Previously on another headless CMS and HubSpot, Spendesk found themselves tackling a multitude of issues with their systems that had built up over time and needed more user experience for teams to use. Such constraints left them looking for a new system that could adapt to their needs and fix the issues as the company grew. 

80% cut
Page creation time
2x faster
CMS speeds
25% smaller
codebase with dynamic pages

At the end of 2021, Michael Saifoudine (Senior Website Manager at Spendesk) led the initiative to look for a new headless CMS that could fit the marketing, development, and design teams' needs. At the time, the company lacked many processes and features internally. The marketing team needed tools to enable them to become owners of the website content entirely and edit any content more easily. 

This was something that was lacking in their previous headless CMS, where the entire user experience was at fault, including: 

  • Essential localization tools that were easily accessible and simple to use for their website in 3 languages (including English localized for the EU, UK, and US)
  • Difficult reusability of content for editors to easily and quickly build campaigns and new pages off existing page structures and components 
  • Slow deployment for developers
  • A tech-stack fit with Nuxt.js
  • Editors could not edit or build pages quickly without breaking the website 
  • Developers reached technical limitations and could not add more components without having to restructure their design system 
  • Developers and the website team were the only owners of the website previously, with other team members struggling to get on board with the previous CMS

Going into 2022, it was decided that the website was an essential part going forward and needed investment in rebuilding the website. Overall, the main goal was to move to a new headless CMS to support traffic growth on the website, convert traffic to conversion experiences, and consolidate all pages (blog, website, and signup experience) into one platform. 

While the team was also reaching some limitations on the technical side, there was also increasing pressure from the previous CMS provider to move to a larger and more expensive enterprise plan to access more features while not getting the overall value and benefit they needed in the long run. 

The need to unlock new budget (such as needing a new hire on Michael’s website/development team) meant considering a move to a headless CMS that could offer more value at half the price. This would then enable the marketing and design team within their work and push faster web deployment times for the development team (growth engineers, frontend architectures, web designers, and product squad).

The project was broken into various phases, starting with: 

  • A benchmarking phase (comparing all headless CMSs on the marketing and looking to 15 other B2B scale-ups like theirs to make sure they were making the right choice)
  • The CMS design phase (rethinking the code structure and design system)
  • Build phase (from one headless CMS to another)
  • Content migration phase (migrating 300 pages in 3 languages)
  • QA phase, and
  • Go-live phase 

During the benchmarking phase, Storyblok helped support Spendesk in this process by making introductions with current customers to learn more about how they are scaling with Storyblok.

Spendesk’s Product Site

Spendesk’s Product Site

Unlocking the website as a digital storefront with Storyblok

For Spendesk’s C-Levels and other teams, it was important for the website to become a source of trust, lead generation, and the gateway for visitors to their product discovery experience. Not only was there a need to educate customers on their product and digital storefront, but with various types of customer personas visiting the site at different points of their user journey, showing content-rich pages that aided them along their journey was key. 

As Spendesk was mainly outbound-led, they felt the need to build their inbound presence and pipeline, starting with their website as a digital storefront and making a good first impression. This meant building a solid experience on their site with strong SEO and ROI calculators and A/B testing. In addition, this also would contribute to the overall product discovery experience, giving visitors ownership in their navigation journey with detailed product and pricing information, reinforcing trust in the visitor experience with various resources, customer use cases, partners, and more. The shift to become a rounded educational and experience-led website with a different, easy-to-use UX for visitors was essential. 

With the previous CMS as a time-consuming tool, the entire page-build experience had limited scalability for different content types and was not suited for design systems, on top of a very expensive licensing. 

  • Quote from Michael Saifoudine, Senior Website Manager at Spendesk

    We looked into Storyblok to build faster and conduct more agile testing, from hours to just minutes. Editors could also easily use the design system with a live preview within the Visual Editor, providing more autonomy for editors and developers while being appropriately priced to their budget and value.

    Michael Saifoudine
    Michael Saifoudine
    Senior Website Manager at Spendesk

They also wanted to enhance collaboration between the marketing, development, and design teams, which was within Storyblok’s capabilities. This included accommodating 35 users, made up of the paid team, content studio team (copy team for French, German and English), and other marketing functions such as employer branding, PR, community (managing Spendesk’s community, CFO Connect), and more. They planned a total of 6 months for the entire process from the decision-making process, technical migration, SEO, content migration and rebuilding the entire design system. 

Moving 1000+ blog pages to Storyblok 

Alongside the website migration, Spendesk also wanted to move their blog, which was previously hosted on HubSpot, to Storyblok. From a subdomain at blog.spendesk.com, the team wanted to compile all this into a folder within the main domain as /blog. This would then allow them to take advantage of the blog traffic and better convert towards their core website, making up to 3 to 4 times the website traffic at Spendesk today. Another key advantage within the migration was also the fact that the team wanted to have a seamless navigation experience instead of having two different websites (between their main website and blog site). In having the same navigation within the blog pages, helped to create conversion bridges to their core pages (homepage, product pages, and pricing page). 

Spendesk’s blog before the rebranding and migration

Spendesk’s blog before the rebranding and migration

To migrate, Michael’s team centralized their code base and design system into Storyblok to create a consistent editing experience for their content editors, where they could then easily reuse existing components within blog posts. Doing so also required a redesign, where the overall design phase was complete within a month before they started the migration. Today, more than 1000 blog posts and their pages are available and ready to edit and update in Storyblok as their central content hub. 

Spendesk’s blog after rebranding and migration

Spendesk’s blog after rebranding and migration

Key Takeaways

Overall, Spendesk could measure the value that Storyblok brought in providing the ability to give back marketer and design independence and autonomy in their content editing experience. This allowed the teams to gain more control in curating the best customer experiences and branding towards their website across multiple language sites - allowing the whole marketing team to be empowered and defined clear roles for each user. In turn, the development team could ship pages quickly, from a matter of hours to just minutes, and focus on building website experimentations and delivering business value to their website and product. 

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