Business Catalyst Blog

Register now for the new webinar series!

Roxana Moldovan Thursday, July 21, 2016

Mike Sallander is a serial entrepreneur who has emerged as one of the leaders in the Business Catalyst community, co-founding Chicago Digital, BC Academe and Solid Sky, and also the new owner of the BC App Store. He is a unique problem solver who enjoys helping businesses and developers alike.

Pick the sessions below and register on your relevant timezone.

Wed/Thu, July 27th/28th: BC Widgets – Learn how to create your own

Business Catalyst widgets are per-written modular pieces of code to help you add more functionality to your BC sites while saving you time. Business Catalyst has made many widgets available to you, but did you know you can create your own? Adopting the idea of creating widgets can help standardize solutions and reduce development time internally for you and your company.

To help you put your learning into practice, webinar participants will be receive a 15% discount on their next website. (*Some conditions apply, see below)

Registrations are now open for the August and September sessions as well:

Wed/Thu, August 17th/18th: A whole new way of looking at page editing

Are you tired of only having one editable region for a page? Are your clients looking for easy ways to change header images, side modules, and footer modules for pages and templates? Make these issues a thing of the past by tuning into this month’s webinar where Mike Sallander will be showing you how the power of Style Guides and a Page Control Web App will transform your client’s editing experience. You will see several examples of how this technique has been used on actual websites and insight into how to accomplish this for your own websites.


Wed/Thu, September 21st/22nd: New Revenue Models at the BC App Store

App developers have new ways to distribute their apps to the BC community. This provides greater financial opportunity for developers and the potential for even better apps for BC App Store customers. The 2 new revenue models are: Recurring Apps per Site and One Time Apps per partner. These revenue models make the distribution of integration apps possible so you can easily connect Business Catalyst to external CRMs, Email Marketing, Analytics, Marketing Products and more! In this webinar, Mike Sallander, owner of the BC App Store will be walking you through the developer program and showcase apps that are already using these new revenue models.


If you have any questions or suggestions please do not hesitate to send them over to BCPartner-Team@adobe.com. We will be happy to answer all your inquiries.

*15% discount coupon applies for new site upgrades on any monthly/yearly desired plan, for the first year. Coupon validity: 30-Sep-2016, only available for the webinars’ attendees. The discount code will only be offered live, during the webinar session.

Thank you and see you there!
The Adobe Business Catalyst Team

Site of the Week: Bradshaws

Roxana Moldovan Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Business Catalyst Site of the Week is Bradshaws, designed by Strange Ideas

Bradshaws is a feature rich e-commerce site, providing inspiration and insight to lifestyle choices that revolve around a passion for kitchen and home decor products. The unique aspect of this site is the interweaving of context orientated content and products. Brand pages such as Bodum and Crabtree & Evelyn are real examples of this combination.

The Bradshaws site has been active on BC since 2012, however this most recent iteration of their site took approximately 3 months to rebuild on the Foundation platform. Features are constantly added on a regular basis.

Web Apps have been particularly helpful for the clients to manage product sliders, catalogue header images and content in dropdown menus which would have been otherwise difficult for the client to update easily. Catalogue header images can now be repurposed through Liquid to be used on other pages. Another feature that is extensively leveraged by the client is the CRM and e-mail marketing. After building custom email templates, the client sends out a campaign at least once a month since 2013, linking to Blog content and sharing across social media.

The biggest challenge of rebuilding the site has been SEO. Maintaining link paths throughout the site and avoiding ranking penalties after the switch was particularly challenging.

"I have been working with Business Catalyst since Feb 2012. The greatest and most obvious advantage of using BC is the “all-in-one” featured platform. “Liquid” programming language has also given us great advantages to provide features and benefits to the client and end user.

BC is a great platform whether you are just a designer or just a programmer. The platform allows anyone to provide feature rich solutions to any size client. However, the ideal situation is having a great designer, an experienced programmer and of course great clients who want to leverage all the features BC has to offer." (Adam Strange, Strange Ideas)

Strange Ideas is a graphic design studio based in London, Ontario, Canada. They provide branding, marketing, and web development to a wide range of industries and sectors across Canada. Their solutions combine fresh ideas, crystalline vision and captivating design to yield practical and aesthetic results. 

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Our section "Site of the week" promotes some of the best accomplished sites, hosted on our platform. If you too have designed a beautiful site that you are proud of, send us an e-mail to bcpartner-team(at)adobe(dot)com. It might become the next "Site of the Week"!

App of the Month: Support Tools

Roxana Moldovan Tuesday, July 12, 2016

IOBB's Support Tools BC Admin Plugin extends BC's support capabilities allowing you to instantly communicate with your website visitors via instant messaging in real time. The chat box appears in your visitors’ browser window where they can chat with you by typing into the live chat box. In addition to the basic Chat feature, IOBB Support Tools offer you a number of other features to manage and analyze your customer support, understand more about your visitors and, more importantly, give them a great customer service experience.

IOBB Support Tools is powerful, yet simple. As Administrator of this platform, you can set up the chat box in minutes. The power comes from its flexible use of widgets to customize each conversation in advance. Here are some additional benefits of IOBB Support Tools:

  • The ability to provide stellar support by answering visitors’ questions and get more conversions.
  • Quick setup just by adding the code to your website and chat online in the chat console dashboard.
  • Comprehensive dashboard containing Visitor histories, transcripts, customization tools, statistics, and much more!
  • Customize the chat box widget to suit your brand personality both visually and with autoresponders.
  • Always be contactable even when Assistants are ‘Away’.
  • Keep conversations going seamlessly. Have transcripts sent to offline users through email.
  • Allow visitors to leave messages even when you are offline.
  • Search and pull up any chat conversation as and when you need it.
  • It's a service, so there is no need to invest in server hardware and get annoyed with versions and incompatibility.

FOR BC CLIENTS

All BC Clients get a FREE subscription of IOBB Support Tools (limited features) just for registering.

FOR BC PARTNERS

It's important to note that ALL BC partners get a FREE Professional subscription to IOBB Support Tools if they register as a partner. (http://iobb.co/IOBB-BC-Partner.html) The partner program was designed specifically for BC Partners so they could easily add more value to their existing products and services without having to invest in servers and 3rd party software. The partner program offers the ability to resell the service enabling the BC partner to be more effective by providing additional client management tools that integrate with BC as well.

ABOUT THE DEVELOPER

3MD Communications is dedicated to providing marketing and technology services to small and emerging businesses looking for opportunities to increase their potential for success. Unlike traditional marketing and technology firms that focus on analyzing problems for large customers, 3MD Communications works exclusively with small business clients to develop concrete, practical, short-term action plans that will start moving their businesses in the right direction.

Brand new Custom Templates from Code Production

Roxana Moldovan Monday, July 11, 2016

WHY CUSTOM TEMPLATES?

Two reasons:

1. Nothing extra

Usually, when you buy a template you get a lot of needless pages, features, content, files and code which have to be removed later.

Code Production’s new template solution allows you to just purchase those parts needed for a particular project. That way you don’t have to waste time removing unnecessary parts.

2. No limits for designers - re-skin and then let our developers complete your site

When you purchase a template, along with a setup of the selected pages onto your Partner Portal you also get a full set of PSD files. You can re-skin the purchased PSD’s to match your client's needs (including adding new pages/elements/content). The Code Production team will then supply you with a quote and apply the changes to the template with fast turnaround.

It will be the same developers who developed the template working on your site updates. This means they are working with code they developed, making the whole process efficient and cost effective.

HOW BC PARTNERS USE TEMPLATES

Nowadays, almost everyone uses templates. Primarily for low budget projects, or as a starting point for a larger custom project.

Earlier this month Code Production conducted a survey among their BC Partner clients to find out the biggest challenges which BC Partners face working with templates.

For almost 100 BC Partners who took part in the survey the biggest challenge is this: with templates it’s hard to plan your budget and delivery.

All templates require at least some development involvement. Based on the Code Production’s survey, 66% of BC Partners handle their further development in-house, while 34% outsource.

But no matter what your workflow is you are still at risk of:

  • having limited capabilities in customization;
  • over-paying developers to work in someone else’s code;
  • spending your own extra hours on development, instead of concentrating on sales and management;
  • extra expenses;
  • limiting your ability to accomplish on time.
    Custom Templates is a solution exclusive to Business Catalyst that helps eliminate these risks to a maximum degree.

Get your first Custom Template from Code Production

A universal template that includes everything BC offers with extra modern features needed for an average small to midsize website or the base for a more complex site.

Get template

Design and sell your own custom templates

Are you a designer? Code Production invites creative designers to design custom templates and receive commissions from every sale.

ABOUT CODE PRODUCTION:

Code Production (EZ-BC) is a premium BC partner since 2008 specialized in development services for the BC community. Code Production has completed almost 1,000 Business Catalyst projects with partners around the world.

Yearly plans to continue past July 15th

Magda Neagu Monday, June 27, 2016

Back in March we announced our intention to transition all bi-yearly and yearly plans to monthly, in an effort to streamline our price list and offer more flexibility to our users. 

In the following months our team has been working on enacting this transition as smoothly and pain free for the customers as possible.  As such, we have discontinued the sale of bi-yearly plans and then started to transition them to monthly, as well as planned for the similar yearly transitioning. The transition of bi-yearly plans to monthly is ongoing at this time, and will continue as planned. 

What we have discovered during these months of testing, is that the transition would not be as smooth as we would like it, and could not be performed without actions on the customer side. As we do not want to cause a new disruption to our partners and end customers, we are indefinitely postponing the project in order to research a solution that would have minimum impact on our partners.

When ready, we will provide a minimum of 2 months notice for partners, to allow the change to proceed smoothly and the completion of ongoing projects. For the bi-yearly plans already in transition we will provide our full support to partners and customers to make sure the changes are as smooth as possible. 

We would like to thank you for your understanding with the current changes. We know this is not a project that appeals to many, but hope that we can come up with a solution that would incur minimum disruptions. 

The BC Team. 

Webinar recording: Stop Waiting on Content to Save Your Sanity… and your bottom line

Diana Iliescu Friday, June 17, 2016

Thanks to those of you who attended our June's BC webinar with Michael Sallander.

Unfortunately there is a universal phenomenon that exists with web developers everywhere. You hurry up to build a website to meet a deadline and then you wait… and wait, for the client to get you all the content. When they supply the content, they realized that they no longer need certain items you already built, or the site doesn’t correctly accommodate for this or that, which typically leads to rounds of unpaid revisions and projects that drag on way too long. All hope is not lost: there is a way to save your sanity and your bottom line.

Do not start development until you have all the content and functionality defined. This has been one of the most significant improvements Chicago Digital has made to its web building process. Mike Sallander, President of Chicago Digital, will walk you through an example project and how they use Gather Content to stay on top of the content and requirements for custom website builds on Business Catalyst.

If you were unable to join us live, check out the webinar recording here: Waiting on Content to Save Your Sanity… and your bottom line.

You can also find the recordings of the past 2 webinars here: Enable Your Clients to Change Website Icons and Content Loading Like A Pro.

If you have any questions or suggestions please do not hesitate to send them over to BCPartner-Team@adobe.com. We will be happy to answer all your inquiries.

See you next time!
The Adobe Business Catalyst Team

New templates from BCTemple

Roxana Moldovan Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Often projects require a simple landing page while a new website is being built, an event is being organised or a special service is being offered.

Landing pages still take time to setup, so BCTemple put together 5 new templates that will save you plenty of time!

Each landing page comes with a pre-defined light and dark version as well as some other simple features to get you going.

JUST FIVE?

For now. BCTemple are in the process of building plenty more as well as a whole new category of templates that will be released later in the year.

WHAT DOES IT COST?

The marketing templates are exclusive items for BCTemple Members so you can only install them if you’ve signed up for a Temple Membership.

A Temple Membership costs $99 for a year of access – which currently gets you 12 templates with instant 24/7 self-installations on all data centres, plus discounts on customizations.

Join the temple!

WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING?

The older templates are being updated with new technologies and frameworks, as well as BC features like liquid. There are also some new full-scale templates in production that BCTemple think you’ll love.

ABOUT BCTEMPLE

BCTemple are a premium Business Catalyst template provider with 100’s of members enjoying the low-cost benefits of easy to use, pre-built templates and experienced support staff.

 

Register now for tomorrow's BC webinar: Stop Waiting on Content to Save Your Sanity… and your bottom line

Diana Iliescu Tuesday, June 14, 2016

This month we'll meet Wednesday June 15th (US) / Thursday June 16th (AU) with Michael Sallander to discuss how to stay on top of the content and requirements for custom website builds on BC.

Unfortunately there is a universal phenomenon that exists with web developers everywhere. You hurry up to build a website to meet a deadline and then you wait… and wait, for the client to get you all the content. When they supply the content, they realized that they no longer need certain items you already built, or the site doesn’t correctly accommodate for this or that, which typically leads to rounds of unpaid revisions and projects that drag on way too long. All hope is not lost: there is a way to save your sanity and your bottom line.

Do not start development until you have all the content and functionality defined. This has been one of the most significant improvements Chicago Digital has made to its web building process. Mike Sallander, President of Chicago Digital, will walk you through an example project and how they use Gather Content to stay on top of the content and requirements for custom website builds on Business Catalyst.

Wed/Thu, June 15th/16th: Stop Waiting on Content to Save Your Sanity… and your bottom line

To help you put your learning into practice, webinar participants will be receive a 15% discount on their next website. (*15% discount coupon applies for new site upgrades on any monthly/yearly desired plan, for the first year. Coupon validity: 30-Jun-2016, only available for the webinars’ attendees. The discount code will only be offered live, during the webinar session.)

Thank you and see you there!
The Adobe Business Catalyst Team

Site of the Week showcase: vanleasing.com & First European

Roxana Moldovan Monday, June 13, 2016

This week we are featuring two great sites, presented together, as they share a common history: they are built by the same designer for the same customer, but having completely different designs: vanleasing.com and First European

Both sites utilize full BC functionality, using web forms and web apps in conjunction. There are over 1,000 vehicles loaded into each site and the client needed a simple way to add and remove vehicles and keep pricing and imagery up to date. Web apps made this so easy and allowed developers to combine web app data with a custom web form to create a quote feature where the visitor can choose a vehicle, then complete the form to build their customized quote.

"Maybe we’re a bit biased but I like to think that we’ve created some two unique looking sites that our client loves.  For us BC is not just about design - the marketing tools are so powerful. These 2 sites we’ve created make use of BC’s email series functionality really well. We’ve setup automated campaign processes to start from when the customer first makes an enquiry and continues every month from then on, giving customized messages depending on what products they have shown interest in. We love collaborating with other BC partners to push the platform forward and for this project we got Scott at Thrise involved to help us with some of the back end coding for the web app functionality." (Ryan Prentice, Brinn Marketing)

"We’ve been working with BC for 6 years and love the flexibility and powerful marketing tools it gives us right out of the box. At heart we are a marketing company rather than a web development business so for us it’s about building sites for clients that are going to act as the central focus of their ongoing marketing strategy. It is our responsibility to keep content up to date on our clients sites, run their SEO strategy, send out email campaigns and manage their social media accounts.

We know that if we build a BC site properly at the start of a new project, we will then have a powerful and solid platform to run a successful marketing strategy from. We love the flexibility of web apps because it provides such a simple, non-technical way for our content writers to keep client sites up to date. Having the email marketing platform integrated with with the CMS makes it so easy to run automated email series campaigns without having to use a third party system." ( Ryan Prentice, Brinn Marketing)

At Brinn Marketing, a team of talented designers, developers and marketers work as an outsourced marketing partner for some of the UK’s fastest growing SMEs.

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Our section "Site of the week" promotes some of the best accomplished sites, hosted on our platform. If you too have designed a beautiful site that you are proud of, send us an e-mail to bcpartner-team(at)adobe(dot)com. It might become the next "Site of the Week"!



 

 

App of the Month: Photo Album Pro

Roxana Moldovan Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Photo Album Pro makes photo gallery management a breeze on BC. Developers will find it very easy to setup and customize. Clients will love the intuitive drag and drop interface and how easily each gallery can be created and customized on a per album basis.

Features:

  • Great front end with Album gallery display options: Fixed grid, responsive and carousel
  • Easy to add/edit/delete photos
  • Title, thumbnail and captions are automatically generated
  • Drag and drop sorting feature
  • Gallery will generate a master album list that automatically links to display photo gallery
  • Each individual gallery has an output tag that can be placed on any page.
  • Easily customize front-end photo gallery
  • Option to sort gallery with categories

About the developer

Based in Geelong, Australia, JWAM creates award winning web design, brands, graphic design, advertising & marketing. They are a creative agency with a passion to provide clients innovative solutions to exceed their expectations.