Business Catalyst Blog

Tutorial of the month - BC.NEXT: What You Need to Know in Under 10 Minutes

Diana Iliescu Wednesday, June 10, 2015

This tutorial of the month is important for all Business Catalyst users - new and well-versed. This video focuses on the changes to Business Catalyst brought about by the new BC.Next Rendering Engine – a new way of building sites in Business Catalyst.

Scott Shefler, leading Business Catalyst expert and BC Academe Instructor, has all the information you need to know about BC.Next, in under 10 minutes.

Watch BC.Next Video

So, what are the new features, and what do you need to know? Here’s a quick overview:

New Rendering Engine
While implementing the new rendering engine, BC made sure that backwards compatibility standards were met. This means that if you are a current BC user and like the way you currently build sites, you can continue to develop and implement them the same way.

Module Tag Improvements
Old tags were a series of parameters separated by commas. This made it difficult to set up modules, and to understand later what the module was outputting. The new tags are a lot more practical and easier to understand. Each parameter is named, making it easier to understand and remember what you’re outputting.

BC Renders in JSON Format
This provides an intuitive way to grab data and manipulate it to your liking.

Liquid Markup Language Support
With Liquid, you are given greater control over what information you want to access, and total freedom to decide how it gets outputted, all in an intuitive and easy-to-understand way.

Suppressing the BC Injected JS/CSS
With BC.Next, you are given the option to disable style sheets and script links that BC has inserted in the page templates. This makes things less confusing during development, and gives the site better Google page speed scores.

New Admin Editor
The new admin editor may not be for everyone – play around with the new features to determine if it’s a fit for your business.

What do you think are the pros and cons of the new rendering engine? Have you used BC.Next, and if so, what has been your experience? Let us know in the comments below, and be sure to check out Scott’s video, BC.Next: What You Need to Know in Under 10 Minutes, for more information and examples about these topics.

Don't miss the webinar this Wednesday: Connecting Business Catalyst is Only an App Away!

Diana Iliescu Tuesday, June 09, 2015

Michael 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. He is a unique problem solver who enjoys helping businesses and developers alike.

Business Catalyst does a lot of amazing things out of the box (especially with apps) but many times your clients have the need to connect BC with an external system such as CRM, Ticketing, Email Marketing, or Live Chat software. In this webinar, Mike Sallander will uncover for you simple, yet practical, examples of apps that connect BC to 3rd party platforms.

Pick the sessions below and register on your relevant timezone.

Wed, Jun 10th: Connecting Business Catalyst is Only an App Away with Michael Sallander

To help you put your learning into practice, webinar participants will receive a 15% discount on their next website. (*15% discount coupon applies for new site upgrades on any yearly/biyearly desired plan, until the next renewal. Coupon validity: 30-Sep-2015, only available for the webinars’ attendees. The discount code will only be offered live, during the webinar session.)

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 there!
The Adobe Business Catalyst Team

2 upcoming BC Sandpiles

Diana Iliescu Monday, June 08, 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

Using Liquid to Show Different Content Based on Opening Times
9th June (10th in AUS) 2015
Learn how to show different content depending on opening times. Mat Baxter from Commotion will share how to use module_json to gather opening times, compare to the current server date, and then work some magic!

Ask A Web Pro: Jayne Burgess
16th June (17th in AUS) 2015
Have you ever wondered how other BC Partners run their business? Do they use contracts? How do they handle Scope Creep? Do they charge for support? In this meeting we will run through a series of questions asking everything you want to know but are afraid to ask.

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

SEO Training Course exclusively for Business Catalyst

Diana Iliescu Monday, June 08, 2015

Our BC Partner in the UK, Platonik, have produced a free SEO Blueprint to help partners and their clients improve the visibility of their web pages in Google and boost website traffic.

Here's a summary of what is included in the blueprint:

1. Only give Google your best content

Since 2011, Google have been regularly changing the algorithms in their search engine to provide the user with the best content for the best search result, aiming to return higher quality websites higher up the search results. In other words, low quality websites will suffer. The SEO Blueprint explains what low quality and high quality pages are and how to remove or improve low quality pages.

2. Use the built-in on page optimisation features within Business Catalyst

Business Catalyst is a search engine friendly platform and you should use the built-in features to benefit your website. The SEO Blueprint highlights how to ensure your web pages, blog posts and content rich web app items have the correct on page optimisation settings and also provides recommendation for improving e-commerce page content.

3. Fix Duplicate Pages

Business Catalyst has a built-in sitemap that will provide and update Google with all your pages. Google Webmaster Tools can also tell you if you have any pages with duplicate page titles or duplicate page descriptions. The SEO Blueprint outlines how to rectify duplicate page issues.

4. Improve Page Quality and Internal Links

The SEO Blueprint pinpoints how you can rewrite page content or add additional content to pass the Google quality threshold and outlines two techniques that will improve your page visibility in Google and website traffic.

5. Add New Website Content based around research

The SEO Blueprint outlines some free and paid for research tools to find long tail key phrases relevant to your business or product that have “low volume but low competition”. For example, It is much easier to get traffic for “car insurance for left handed vintage cars” than “car insurance”.


To download the free SEO Blueprint visit http://www.platonik.co.uk/abc-seo

Also, there’s a SEO Training Course including a free summary chapter plus $50 off and a 30 day money back guarantee. Click here to enroll and enter the code ABC at the checkout or buy the training course at http://marketing.platonik.co.uk using code ABC to remove 20% off the course (offer ends 30 June 2015).

App of the month: Form Customizer

Diana Iliescu Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Introducing the Form Customizer App

The Business Catalyst Form Customizer App is a great concept and a useful tool which allows you to simplify the form editing process and convert the form from the table representation (like BC does by default) into Bootstrap and Foundation block, to allow better integration with a site page design. Most frontend developers use CSS frameworks and prefer using DIV-based markup instead of tables which are default mode for form markup in BC.

Clients who have just bought a site template in the marketplace often want to add new pages and also add new forms. Form Customizer is an easy tool for integrating such forms to a site design almost in just one click. It means that if your site template is based on the Zurb Foundation or Twitter Bootstrap frameworks you can make a BC form to be consistent with the whole site design very easy and without needing to know HTML and CSS.

Form Customizer saves a lot of your time especially if you are not a programmer, which prefer to edit the source code manually. You can change style and form view just visually.
The Application also supports many extra features, which make the working process much easier.

The built in history of the form editing allows experiments and tests with forms and can revert the changes with just two clicks, if needed. The Preview feature allows you to test form markup before publishing it to the site’s public page.

Special “drag and drop” mode allows you to easily rearrange form elements even if you have a multi-columns form. In addition, Form Customizer gives you a simple tool for using the “responsive” feature of both frameworks. For example, you can set a multi-columns mode for forms on smartphones and specify what specific form elements you can put to each column.

About the developer

GetInBlue is a BC partner, recently collaborating with 7bits software development based in Poltava Ukraine and changing business priorities. We are a software outsourcer, acquiring new clients every day helping with their Web Developments, Ecommerce and Start-up first stage Development requests. Recently decided to start developing App’s tools for BC partners, we believe there is scope inside Business Catalyst platform to try and make life a little easier for the developers, we have 14 programmers specialised in many specific languages, also we manage project.

Episode 46 of the BC Podcast – Dave Haggblad

Scott Reynolds Tuesday, May 26, 2015

In this month’s podcast, Dave Haggblad from Digital Ink Multimedia shares how he uses WHOSAYDO to make his clients' sites more successful.

Tune in for Episode 46 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:

  • Michael Sallander announces the BC App of the Month
  • Dave walks through Digital Ink Multimedia’s process
  • Dave explains the value of WHOSAYDO

In this month’s interview Dave explains the three questions he asks before starting a project. He calls this process WHOSAYDO.

Who are you trying to talk to?
"When you talk to everybody you are talking to nobody"
Build a profile of your ideal customer. Be very specific. It should really feel like you’re talking to one person. Don’t worry, the rest of your clients will still hear the message, but your target clients, the ones you love to work with, will feel like your speaking just to them and that’s very powerful.

What are you trying to say to them?
"You can't have a website that says 50 things. No one will hear it."
What is your primary message? What is your secondary message? Everything you do with design and content should support the primary or secondary message.

What do you want them to do?
Make it clear how to take an action. Don't leave your visitor at the bottom of the page. After consuming your carefully crafted content, don’t leave your prospect not knowing what to do next. Don’t assume they will know how to contact you, sign up for your newsletter/course, or buy what you’re selling. Make it really clear what the next step is.

To learn more, listen to the entire interview.

Scott B Reynolds - Thrise

Resources mentioned in podcast:

Important updates about Facebook Activity Feed

Cristinel Anastasoaie Monday, May 25, 2015

Recently, Facebook has announced that their Activity Feed Plug-in will be deprecated on June 23rd. For more details about the announcement, visit the deprecated plugins page.

Following this announcement, Business Catalyst is going to retire the corresponding BC module with our July release. Please make sure that your customers and team members are aware of these important updates. Since the plugin will stop working, it is recommended that you update your site(s) to remove the corresponding code.

Alternatively, you might want to consider replacing it with Facebook Page. For more details on how you can add a Facebook Page plugin to your site, check the Facebook Page Plugin article on the Business Catalyst documentation site.

Thank you,

The Adobe Business Catalyst team

Webinar recording: Build an App in an Hour with Michael Sallander

Diana Iliescu Friday, May 15, 2015

Thanks to those of you who attended our May BC webinar about Building an App in an Hour with Michael Sallander. In this webinar Mike revealed from start to the finish how we can build the “Solid Company Settings” App.

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


Registrations are now open for the June sessions as well:

Wed, Jun 10th: Connecting Business Catalyst is Only an App Away with Michael Sallander from Chicago Digital

Business Catalyst does a lot of amazing things out of the box (especially with apps) but many times your clients have the need to connect BC with an external system such as CRM, Ticketing, Email Marketing, or Live Chat software. In this webinar, Mike Sallander will uncover for you simple, yet practical, examples of apps that connect BC to 3rd party platforms.


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

Incident report - accidental email newsletter limit reached warning email

Cristinel Anastasoaie Wednesday, May 13, 2015

[Updated - May 14th 11:30 PST]: We've just sent a follow-up email to explain the incident. Since we've used the BC Email Marketing engine, the broadcast has been limited to BC partners and business owners that had the email address registered with BC and opt-in to receive emails.

As you are probably aware, customers have received a warning email with the following subject: "Warning: You Are Close To Reaching Your Email Newsletter Limit". The email was sent from a Business Catalyst email address or the partner email address (for white-labeled Partner Portals). This email has been accidentally sent and does not reflect the actual email credits a site has.

First, we apologize for any inconvenience this might have caused you, and offer you a detailed explanation on what happened and what measures we're taking to prevent this in the future.

The accidental emails were caused by an incorrect parameter update following a minor system update on Monday, May 11th:

  • Due to an incorrect parameter update and use, the internal engines checking the email quota on Business Catalyst paid sites (Partner sites are also considered paid sites) have considered all sites reached their email quota and automatically triggered the email credit limit warning email
  • The error impacted a large number of Business Catalyst paid and partner sites
  • The email has been sent to Business Catalyst partners and to all admin users with Administer System privileges
  • The email has been sent from a Business Catalyst email address or from the Partner email address (if the site was under a white-labeled Partner Portal)
  • The email has been also sent to Creative Cloud members which have published a site on Business Catalyst

To contain the problem and to prevent such incidents in the future we have:

  • Temporarily disabled the automated warning email engine
  • Investigate the code updates to find the root cause of the incident
  • Fixed the incorrect parameter issue
  • Updated the warning email engine to add an additional check at this level

A service update will be done shortly and restart the automated warning email engine.

Once again, our apologies for any inconvenience this incident might have caused. Our team is fully committed to provide the utmost level of support to all our customers and we continuously dedicate efforts to improve our services.

Sincerely,

The Adobe Business Catalyst Team

Don't miss the webinar this Wednesday and learn how to build an app!

Diana Iliescu Monday, May 11, 2015

Michael 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. He is a unique problem solver who enjoys helping businesses and developers alike.

In this webinar Mike will reveal from start to the finish how we built the “Solid Company Settings” App. This simple app gives your customers the ability to easily update their company information across the entire website. Pick the sessions below and register on your relevant timezone.

Wed, May 13th: Build an App in an Hour with Michael Sallander

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 yearly/biyearly desired plan, until the next renewal. Coupon validity: 30-Jun-2015, only available for the webinars’ attendees. The discount code will only be offered live, during the webinar session.)

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 there!
The Adobe Business Catalyst Team