After we saw those results we launched the platform on contribute.barackobama.com and it quickly became the source of most of the Digital team's fundraising. If you were browsing the site and clicked donate, donated from Facebook or Twitter or if you received a fundraising email from the campaign you probably landed on contribute.barackobama.com.
Once we had this platform in production we used Optimizely to execute about 240 a/b tests to optimize the design/interaction of the donation pages for better conversion rates. By the end of the campaign our 240 a/b tests lifted the donation conversion rate by 49%! Here is a comparison of what we started with and what we ended with (click for high res).
Now that the campaign is over I've had some time to look back on the success of this platform and I can say with 100% certainty that this is the best development environment I have ever worked on. There are a lot of incredible numbers above on how we increased conversions with a/b testing and performance improvements, but I think one of the biggest accomplishments with this platform is the ROI it provided our entire team. By using Jekyll we managed to avoid the complexity that comes with most CMS (databases, server configuration) and instead focus on things like optimizing the UI and providing a better user experience. To work in this environment the most a frontend engineer had to learn was the Liquid template language that Jekyll uses and boy is that simple. We didn't have to work with Devops to deploy because all we had to do was overwrite files on S3 and invalidate a URL on our CDN. There is a lot to be said about simplicity.
If you haven't already, I suggest you go take a look at Jekyll. It's not perfect for every project, but when it makes sense it will make your life so much easier (and faster!).
What's the best part though? When we wake up January 21st, 2013, Barack Obama will still be President of the United States of America. Cheers!
Comments here: http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4842510