Business Catalyst Blog

New Google's mobile-friendly rules and Business Catalyst

Diana Herac Saturday, April 11, 2015

It is a widely know fact that beginning April 21st, 2015 Google will apply new indexing rules that are aimed to change the search algorithm for mobile devices. Olga Karavan from Code Production/EZ-BC will share a few thoughts on how these changes will affect existing Business Catalyst sites and the advantages of a new algorithm you can benefit from when creating new sites.

About the new algorithm

Basically, this update provides for a new algorithm for the websites’ search on mobile devices. It involves additional code standards which make the website mobile-friendly. In other words Google will now promote «mobile-friendly» sites over none mobile-friendly sites if you search from a mobile device.

Moreover, websites where the code meets the new requirements will have a new label next to the site description:

 

In order to check if your sites meet the new requirements Google has created a Mobile-Friendly Test service where you can check your site for «mobile-friendliness».

How will this affect current sites (including BC) that don’t follow the “new rules”?

Since the new standards relate only to the search results on mobile devices, your BC site will be gradually losing positions in Google Search engine unlike the websites that follow the new rules. This may happen quicker for some sites than for others – everything hinges on the competition level in the segment. It is also worthwhile to mention that despite the fact that the new requirements relate only to the search done on mobile devices, they will also indirectly influence the overall site ranking and desktop search results. If your website is in the high-competition segment I would highly recommend optimizing your site according to the new standards.

What’s the solution? Responsive design!

First and major requirement from Google is that your site has to be responsive. Responsive design is basically a technique that adapts the site layout to the viewing environment by using fluid, proportion-based grids, flexible images and CSS3 media queries. In simple terms, a responsive site has an ability to figure out what resolution of device it's being served on and change the site's behavior accordingly, whether we are talking about resolution, number of columns, image size and so on. For Google the main advantage of the responsive design is that it is using one single HTML structure no matter if the site is mobile, tablet or desktop optimized.

“Mobile-first” – the high-end solution

Google has also integrated an advanced requirement for mobile friendly sites that is called “mobile-first development”. In general the idea of mobile-first is the following: when you develop HTML/CSS for your new responsive site you start from the mobile version as the base version and then create media queries and other responsive design techniques to build tablet and desktop versions accordingly. I apply this technique for the projects we deliver in Code Production but they require separate designs for all 3 versions of the site, which is a hassle for some designers.

What about mobile sites? (Mobile support feature in BC)

Now you may wonder if the new rules apply to Business Catalyst sites that were created with Mobile Support feature enabled where the separate templates are created for «Desktop Content», «Tablet Content» and «Phone Content». Unfortunately they don't… With Mobile Support enabled you basically create different versions of the site pages with their own HTML structure and that is not responsive design. For these sites I highly recommend making them responsive in order to meet the new requirements and, in addition, it will be easier to maintain one single version of the site.

Can an existing Business Catalyst site be optimized to become mobile-friendly?

If your BC site has a moderate and flexible HTML structure that meets major W3C standards then most likely it can be revised to meet the new requirements without much of an effort. It would first have to be made responsive and then a few extra-required tags for “Mobile-friendly” label would have to be added. Unfortunately, for the sites that I personally review and estimate, as a part of Code Production team, most of them do not meet latest HTML/CSS standards and cannot be optimized for the new algorithm. For these sites we would only recommend «reslicing» (creating new HTML/CSS code from scratch) and then further re-implementation into Business Catalyst. I believe this is the most unfortunate part of this new innovation from Google, not only for Business Catalyst sites but also for any site that is not fully responsive. On the other hand, this could be a good extra reason to convince your client to migrate their existing non BC site into Business Catalyst…

If you have any additional questions on this topic, I'll be happy to answer in the comments.

About the Author

Olga Karavan is the Lead Markup Developer and Mentor and Code Production / EZ-BC. With over 5 years development experience Olga has accomplished more than 1,000 web projects and remains the main expert for HTML and CSS at EZ-BC.

For more information about Code Production / EZ-BC visit http://codeproduction.ez-bc.com

8 Weeks 8 BC Sandpiles

Scott Reynolds Thursday, April 09, 2015

Weekly Day/Time:
San Francisco: Tuesdays, 5pm (all times adjusted in relation to this time)
New York City: Tuesdays, 8pm
London: Wednesdays, 1am
Sydney: Wednesdays, 10am

Improving Productivity With Online Tools
7th April (8th in AUS) 2015
Following on from our recent Sandpile on “Tools Tools Tools,” Megan Taylor from Kapow Interactive will present a suite of online tools she uses in her business to increase productivity, make communication more effective, and decrease administrative overheads. She will discuss how online tools keep her work days organised and reveal her secret trick to staying highly productive every day.

Let's Get Visual: Mind Mapping for Business Catalyst Projects
14th April (15th in AUS) 2015
Have you ever completed a project only to find out that your client has expectations that go way beyond the scope of the project? One of the challenges facing Business Catalyst Partners is conceptualising the website design and navigation with the client in an intuitive and easy to adapt format. Join us as we use Mind Mapping to help with Business Catalyst projects.

Think Tank: Fonts and Business Catalyst
21st April (22nd in AUS) 2015
Fonts are an important part of the web, and are often overlooked. At this Sandpile we are going to invest an hour discussing how the group selects and implements fonts.

Business Catalyst Speed Dating (April 2015)
28th April (29th in AUS) 2015
It's been awhile since we had speed rounds of BC vendors showing off their products/services. Each will get 10 minutes to show off they have to offer to the community. Our BC Speed Dating sessions usually turn out to be the most fun and interesting Sandpiles. Don't miss it!

SEO Best Practices with Katherine Anderson
5th May (6th in AUS) 2015
In working with Business Catalyst Partners in her SEO business Katherine Anderson is in a perfect position to see what we are currently doing and in what areas we can improve in order to give our clients bigger wins. So we have asked Katherine back to discuss: robots.txt, 301 redirects and internationalization.

Panel Discussion: Niche Marketing
12th May (13th in AUS) 2015
What's better than one BC Partner sharing their experiences on Niche Marketing? Three BC Partners sharing their experiences on Niche Marketing. Join us as we explore this important topic with experienced BC Partners as panelists.

Liquid Markup Tips and Tricks
19th May (20th in AUS) 2015
This meeting is what the BC Sandpile is all about - BC Partners exchanging knowledge. We will spend the entire meeting sharing tips and tricks related to Liquid Markup to help each other speed up and improve their Business Catalyst workflow. Bring your tips and tricks to share.

Use Liquid Markup for Out-Of-The-Box Features
26th May (27th in AUS) 2015
Are you wondering how to leverage a single Business Catalyst subscription to host multiple websites? In this Sandpile, Phil Marcuson will share some of the steps he’s taken to implement this capability using a bit of Liquid and some out-of-the-box features. We’ll touch on page templates, liquid logic and includes, categories/classifications and the use of custom module templates. We’ll wrap up with time to share your tips and a Q & A.

Full schedule: http://www.bcsandpile.com/_blog/Meeting_Chalkboard/
Sandpile Recordings: http://www.bcsandpile.com/business-catalyst/resources.htm

Sandpile webinar: BC Robots

Scott Reynolds Friday, March 27, 2015

Macros are helpful in doing all sorts of tasks. From testing to data management, these automation tools can save you hours of time. In this BC Sandpile Matthew Knighton from MRK Development will show you how to go from start to finish with Macros, and how to share macros with the Business Catalyst community.

Lets get these robots working for us!

Topics to be covered:

  1. What are Browser Macros?
  2. Install the Browser macro tools
  3. Getting Started - Recording a macro testing your site
  4. Using macros for performing deletion tasks - removing spam comments
  5. Adding lots of Shipping variations with a macro
  6. Using CSV files
  7. Sharing Macros
  8. Q and A

Sign up to be notified

 

Episode 44 of the BC Podcast - Katie Zulanas

Scott Reynolds Thursday, March 26, 2015

In this month’s podcast, Katie Zulanas from MediaTrik walks us through the steps her company takes in a web project.

Tune in for Episode 44 of the Business Catalyst podcast!

Listen to this month’s podcast:
Simply click the play button below to stream the podcast via your browser.

player

Alternatively, you can download the podcast in .mp3 format for offline listening.

In this episode:

  • Congratulations to the BC App of the Month developers and prize winner
  • Interview with Katie Zulanas from MediaTrik
  • Business Catalyst Quiz Question

Stop Losing Clients.

Once you do business with MediaTrik, you aren’t going anywhere. And, that isn’t by accident. Katie has put a lot of thought into creating a process where clients are quickly entered into MediaTrik’s system. This process happens quickly and efficiently.

And, once your project is complete you’ll find your new team continues to support you. And, there is good reason MediaTrik is so attentive to your needs. Katie and her team know if you feel like they are a part of your team, you are more likely to buy into their other services, like SEO.

To find out more, listen to Katie’s interview.

Scott B Reynolds - Thrise

Resources mentioned in podcast:

App of the month: Social Store Admin App

Diana Herac Wednesday, March 25, 2015

BC Social Store Admin App will help you display your e-commerce products on your desired Facebook page. You can reach out more customers and get more traffic to your e-commerce site.

Features:

  • Easy steps to display your products
  • Product updates done in real-time
  • Any catalog product can be displayed
  • Add custom banner to your Facebook page

Note :

  • The features is not available on Facebook mobile
  • We have used new render engine (e-commerce v3 API is used)

About the developer:
Zoondia Software (P) Ltd is a mobile application development company that brings together cutting edge technologies and innovative ideas and apply them for your business.

The benefits of a live chat software

Diana Herac Thursday, March 12, 2015

In these modern business times, online channels are the in tools when one wants to get more customers into your business. In addition to phone, email, and personal service, LIVE CHAT is a great instrument for online customer support. It can lead to satisfied customers, increased sales, and a reduced cost of doing business.

And this is also one of the best means of getting instant response from a business enterprise. It yields one of the highest satisfaction rates among customers and has become a leading method for online support in the modern business world. The 2013 U.S. Wireless Customer Care Full Service Performance Study has this to say:

“Within the online channel, the chat feature has become the leading contact source, as 42% of fullservice customers indicate using a live online chat feature vs. email (23%) or other social media forum (16%). Additionally, online satisfaction is highest among customers who use the chat feature”

The overall involvement is quick when customers engage in live chat with a live customer service representative. For faster and efficient service, your clients will welcome the facility to easily get an order number and enter a confirmation code into a chat box. While chatting on live chat, your client can continue browsing through product lines and easily view online products. Live chat will have the added advantage of very few interruptions to the present online transaction. In fact, you can easily provide this support all the way to checkout or closing of the sale.

Advantages of Live Chat

Increased website revenue
Live chat builds up and increases trust and confidence in your products and services. After using Live Chat, your clients and browsing site visitors are more likely to buy your products and services than with other methods of getting customer attention and closing a sale. Instead of using the telephone and being made to wait on the line, or waiting for an email box reply which may take some time, more customers will prefer to use Live Chat and receive immediate attention.

Improved Customer Service
Live chat enables your clients to quickly locate a customer support representative who will assist them with any problems and information concerning your products and services. This will in turn enable you to increase company revenues.

Reduce Customer Care and Sales Costs
Live Chat client care will enable your business to reduce the overall cost of providing customer service through tollfree telephone support lines within your conventional client assistance desk system. Traditional customer assistance processes used in business could then be retired.

Pursue Sales leads and Feedback
Getting your visitors to contact you online through Live Chat will enable your sales team to seek new leads and help improve closing sales with your online browsing visitors. Live Chat enables your sales and customer service team to initiate Live Help chat requests to your online browsing site visitors. This allows your operators to ask your site visitors if they need any help before the potential customer leaves your web site.

Considering all the benefits included when using Live Chat, we're happy to announce a new helpdesk tool that can be integrated with any Business Catalyst site - LiveAgent.

LiveAgent is a multi-channel helpdesk tool that collects communication from your customers, lets LiveAgent process it and route it to the right support representatives at the right time.

Learn how to setup Live Agent with your BC site in minutes through this simple tutorial and start connecting with your customers.

The Adobe Business Catalyst Team

Updating Business Catalyst customer on-boarding experience

Cristinel Anastasoaie Thursday, February 26, 2015

With the upcoming release of BC.Next, which comes along with an enhanced rendering engine, new mark-up that gives an improved control over the data and layout, and improved module mark-up for better readability, we will be updating the Business Catalyst site and partner sign-up to take advantage of these updates. 

As part of the change, we are going to restructure our site templates portfolio in order to gradually replace them with a collection of templates standardized on top of template frameworks, which aim to reduce time spent to learn BC and take a site from trial to production. As a first step, starting March 1st, 2014, we are going to end the pilot program ran in collaboration with BC Gurus, which offered a collection of 15 additional templates which, while having a modern design, were using the legacy BC methods and mark-up, making them hard to customize and transform into a real project.

The next step will be to replace the remaining BC templates, which inherit the same legacy and hard to read mark-up,  with a collection of templates based on our Universalis templates, but updated to use the latest additions in the platform, especially new module syntax and liquid mark-up. We plan to launch these together with Liquid 1.0 later this year.

And, since we know that BC partners know better than us how to build templates other partners can use, we are also looking to provide a framework that will allow partners to publish standardized templates into the Business Catalyst site create wizards and get paid for that.

The Adobe Business Catalyst Team

Episode 43 of the BC Podcast - Kristen Lindsey

Scott Reynolds Thursday, February 26, 2015

In this month’s podcast, Kristen Lindsey from Apokrisis speaks to me about her successful sales techniques.

Tune in for Episode 43 of the Business Catalyst podcast!

Listen to this month’s podcast:

Simply click the play button below to stream the podcast via your browser.

player

Alternatively, you can download the podcast in .mp3 format for offline listening.

In this episode:

  • Congratulations to the BC App of the Month developers and prize winner
  • Interview with Kristen about her sales techniques
  • Business Catalyst Quiz Question

Be A Business Partner

“We are not just orders takers for a site, we want to have their solution to be integrated in their overall business goals.”
Speaking with Kristen, I am reminded how important it is to be seen as a business partner, not an order-taker. It takes building trust and setting expectations early on, but it makes for a more valuable relationship.

“Business first, then marketing”
Kristen uses the business goals established in the proposal process to create a monthly dashboard showing progress towards those business goals and return on investment. This not only keeps communications open, but also allows for opportunities to help clients move towards those goals. Being a business partner makes you extremely valuable and of course leads to more work.

“It’s the businesses that really try to integrate their website into their overall business that have the most success.”
It’s our job to explain why this is true. Kristen, and the rest of Apokrisis have obviously have done a great job proving that the work they do is a great return on investment.

Resources mentioned in podcast:

Scott B Reynolds - Thrise

BC Sandpile: a community building love story webinar recording

Diana Herac Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Thanks to those of you who attended our February BC webinar - BC Sandpile: a community building love story presented by Urszula Richards, Scott Reynolds and Adam Zoblotsky.

In this webinar they presented the story of how the BC Sandpile was born and answered key questions about building a successful community.

If you were unable to join us live, check out the webinar recordings here:

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

Liquid Lessons special offer

Diana Herac Saturday, February 14, 2015

Are you struggling with how Liquid Markup will help you build better online businesses? Liquid Lessons is a new course that provides step-by-step examples showing how to best use Liquid Markup in your projects. This course shares solutions to common problems, and helps you build up your Liquid Library.

A Liquid Library is more than just a collection of code snippets. Combining includes with variables is a simple, yet powerful concept. Imagine pasting a couple lines of code to do something that would have taken hours/days to build from scratch. The concept of a Liquid Library can revolutionize Business Catalyst.

This course is starting at $199 (USD), and will go up in price every time a new lesson is added. If you make the purchase now, you will get the entire course, several Liquid Library items, and all future lessons for only $99*. This coupon will only be good until we add our next lesson, so lock that price in now.

Coupon Price: $99* (USD)
Use this link to redeem this coupon: http://thri.se/bcfeb15

Remember, this offer will expire when new lessons are added (which will be soon).

Student Reviews:
“Awesome insights into liquid markup for business catalyst”

“Great course to help business catalyst partners get their heads around liquid. The concept of building a library is super helpful and examples to get started are brilliant. Thank you!”

“Good overview and introduction to Liquid Markup for Adobe Business Catalyst. The lessons are well thought out and organized. Includes downloadable code to use.”

* Coupon is for a limited time.