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Building websites and ecosystems for your Twitch channel

By 30 November, 2017 No Comments
There’s been a lot of talk about how Twitch keeps breaking as soon as there’s even a small update. Both from viewers, from small streamers and all the way up to large partners streamers.
What this does is to either change the viewer experience or completely destroys it. Often this is out of the streamers hands. There’s nothing that you as a streamer can do to actually fix that viewing experience when it’s on the Twitch platform and not on your end.
Messed up overlay? Sure you can fix that. Something stuttering on your stream? Maybe it’s your connection. But at times it’s you not being able to go live. Your viewers can’t subscribe (or even get unsubscribed). There’s been a lot of these small issues—that do ramp up in ill will.

Is it possible to control the viewing experience?

If the viewing experience is what’s messing you your dedicated viewers—and yes this is only for your core dedicated audience. I won’t make any claims that this will grow your audience or grow you following.
The important part here is to understand is that you can actually change the viewing experience (there will still be things that are in the hands of Twitch). How? By taking it off the Twitch site itself. Oh no! Will this effect people finding my channel?”, nope not even a little. You’re not removing your channel but instead you’re adding it somewhere else, somewhere where you have control.
This is not about pulling away your audience to a different site. It’s more to collect all the information they need in one spot. There’s no need to force them or try insensitive them to go to the new site. The only thing you need to do is give them the best possible solution to save them time. 
Want chat on the other side of the screen? Have your branding everywhere? Want to show your top clips? Have a fully custom panels-esque section under your stream? You can have all that. 
On top of that thanks to the tools that Twitch provides it’s something you could even build on your own without any experience.  

What’s this magical thing called? 

It’s a lot more simple that it might sounds. It’s really only a website. The reason why it’s so much more powerful today than ever before. Is due to the viewer experience that you can enhance with your own brand. Branding isn’t even really something that’s relatively new to, even, larger streamers.
First of all get a domain name. Even if you’re not going to build a website it’s a good thing to have. Adding email redirects or URL shortcuts to different thing (ie. name.domain.com leads to whatever you want to).
There’s way to many things you can add to a website—even just using Twitch embed scripts—to go over here. Instead I’ll go over a few ways you can go about it. From using templates, site builders and all the way to hiring someone that can both guide you through your decisions and get it built for you. You can of course build it on your own but if you can do that you don’t need my help to know that—you can jump to some solutions further down.

Using templates

When you get that domain—and some shared hosting—in many cases you’re able to install things like WordPress with one click. WordPress actually powers a lot of websites around the internet. While you might associate it with a blog it can be something a lot more powerful than that. It’s mostly used as a CMS (content management system) to have a fully functional website.
Of course WordPress isn’t the only CMS around BUT it has a lot of support since it is open source. That also means that you don’t have to pay anything to install it on your host. So while I might talk about WordPress here you can substitute that with any CMS that you feel more comfortable with.
Since WordPress is so widely used there’s tons of templates out there—both free ones and ones that you can buy. You can simply put in a search for WordPress Templates” on Google and a bunch of sites will show up.
“Does a template mean I’m locked in that?” Not really. You’re often able to change a lot of things inside of a template. From colors, images, position of menus, and similar things. However this does come down to what the template allows you to do.
My recommendation is to buy one since it allows you to a lot more with it. This also plays into the next topic since a lot of times these paid ones includes site builders. That means you can create pages on your site where you can position content blocks. These blocks can contain things like Twitch chat, your stream, past Twitch Clips, blog, gear you own, wishlists, and so on. There are also free WordPress site builders, the first one that comes to mind is Elements (something I’ve used in the past).

Using Site builders

While WordPress can offer you the site building solution. There are dedicated site builders out there. Sometimes, similar to how WordPress can be a on click install with your host, so can a site builder be.
This allows you to simply drag and drop content blocks (similar to what I talked about in the previous section). Since these are more dedicated to the task you might be able to create something that isn’t at the core a blog system.
On top of what your host might have provided you. There’s also paid solutions. I’m not familiar with that many site builders besides Webflow. It’s great and you can try it out before you buy. They have some templates but at the core of it you can build some custom designs with some great tools. I even have a series on my YouTube channel on how to use it to build a Twitch starting screen from scratch. Webflow is used by both beginners and professional designers. This is by no means an ad but I do like the tool that they’ve build (even if I still use WordPress for my own sites).
I would not recommend using a branded free site builder. However you can often pay a monthly fee to unlock their more powerful tools or give you access to more features.

Get the right people for the job

Lastly we have simply finding someone that can do the job for you. Running a Twitch branding business I know that it’s not as easy as it sounds. Most web designers have no clue what Twitch is and don’t understand what a Twitch streamer would need.
Still when you do find someone that are able to do it. They should be able to not only design it but also guide you through the essentials on what you might need. It’s perfect solution if you want someone to bounce ideas with. Trust their expertise in their field and allow them to help you get the most of out the work that they do.
This is by far the important thing you should be looking for when you’re looking for a web designer (or preferably a team) that can handle building your website.
Together you’ll be able to come up with not only the best solution, but maybe even new ideas that never had crossed your mind before.

Quick ideas

A few quick ideas (I’ll ad more as I come up with more).
  • Using Twitch Extensions to bridge the gap of something off-site.
  • Top Twitch Clips from your channel
  • Bigger video
  • Custom theater mode
  • Latest YouTube video
  • Instagram feed
  • Twitter feed
  • Email notifications (for news posts/blog posts)

I just linked up with another developer. I’ve worked with him before and we’re getting ready to do some development for streamers that are ready to do the jump.

So if you’re interested in getting Twitch branding for your Twitch channel or if you’re looking to get a functional website done for your channel just reach out. Or why not both?



Do you need a Twitch website done the right way? Or do you need a Twitch branding strategy? If you're ready then take a look at the Twitch services and see if they fit into your future. twitch.livespace.se