W3Schools case study

W3Schools.

Building dynamic ‘learn to code’ spaces for developers.

  • 42% increase in daily users
  • 50% reduction in TCO
  • Increased capability to scale to 6-figure container volumes

The client.

W3Schools is the largest web developer site on the internet with over 75 million monthly visits and is widely acclaimed among the global developer community. 

W3Schools offers developers a dynamic way to learn how to code through simplified and interactive learning experiences.

Challenges.

W3Schools Spaces is a unique offering from W3Schools. It allows users to code websites directly into their browser. 

W3Schools had already built a static version of Spaces where developers could work with CSS, HTML and Javascript. They were looking to build on this by developing a dynamic, sophisticated back-end offering that would enable users to use a huge variety of languages including Python, PHP, SQL and more – allowing developers to build and host their own websites easily in one platform.

This would also allow W3Schools to generate revenue from users via subscriptions to enhanced features.

The challenge was for Nordcloud, W3Schools and AWS to work together and build this application in a secure, cost-effective way capable of scaling with demand once the new functionality was up and running.

I think the super effective delivery – while obviously down to people working hard and getting things done – was also down to the planning being very good. We were all aligned on what we were creating and how we were doing it.

THOMAS THORSELL-ARNTSEN

CEO; W3schools

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Priorities.

Container system for multiple users

A modernised, cloud-native data solution was needed to overhaul the legacy database throughput and performance, and provide improvements in analytics, reporting, dashboarding to give users the access, visibility and insights needed.

Security and scalability

A greenfield data analytics platform was required, with the capabilities to ingest any data type and utilise Google services to transform, standardise and deliver the data to various dashboarding and reporting systems.

Prototyping and testing

Nordcloud explored a variety solutions, looking at various architectures in terms of security and cost. We then put together a proposal offering several best-in-class options for our client. These were developed into low-fidelity prototypes which could be tested with AWS.

Solution.

A dedicated team of Nordcloud developers with container expertise integrated into existing workflows between W3Schools and AWS to build a bespoke solution.

Teamwork

From the start, W3Schools, Nordcloud and AWS were closely aligned – preparing the business case, driving approval of AWS funding and developing an effective technical design. This ensured smooth delivery of this challenging project.

Technical expertise

Nordcloud provided an agile team of experts with the knowledge required to build a new serverless container management platform based on Amazon API Gateway and AWS Lambda, and using Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) and AWS Fargate.

Proactive approach

As W3Schools said: “Nordcloud are good facilitators – they drew out the information needed and made things happen. And the clear communication has been excellent. We don’t like to beat about the bush here, and Nordcloud are very open and direct. It works very well.”

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Results.

The new, improved W3Schools Spaces was delivered and launched successfully, with the capability to scale to 6-figure container volumes. 

It now offers developers a new way to build powerful websites using front-end and back-end languages. It has successfully grown from 1 to 7 languages, and now includes SQL, C#, PHP, Java, Python and more. Additional languages and functionality are being added all the time. 

Daily users have increased 42% since the launch in February 2023. With the increased traction at the top of their sales funnel, W3Schools are converting more of their users into satisfied paying customers.

Boosted scalability

6-figure volumes can be handled simultaneously, providing easy scalability.

7 programming languages

Now available to developers through the dynamic new Spaces, up from 1 language.

42% more daily users

Daily users have increased 42% since launch.

More paying customers

Thanks to increased traction at the top of W3Schools’ sales funnel.

Managed

50% reduction in TCO

Thanks to Nordcloud’s help leveraging AWS funding.

I think we are past the point now of fulfilling what we’d hoped for at the beginning. 

Everything now is a bonus on top of that. It’s beyond expectations – and that’s down to the collaboration and how everyone from AWS, W3Schools and Nordcloud have worked together.

THOMAS THORSELL-ARNTSEN

CEO, W3Schools

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