Business Catalyst Blog

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.

* * *

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.


Site of the Week: Parent2Parent

Roxana Moldovan Monday, June 06, 2016

Business Catalyst Site of the Week is Parent2Parent, designed by Design Effects.

‘Parent to Parent support’ is an internationally known concept, the Dutch site being inspired by an American initiative in Wisconsin. In the Netherlands, the foundation Parent2Parent (P2P) was founded by parents of children with disabilities. P2P is building a nationwide network, where parents can ask their questions to an experienced, trained Support Parent.

Design Effects constructed a straightforward and secure website, where Support Parents are being trained, and parents can post their questions regarding education, nursing, medical capabilities, etc. Both parents who have questions and parents who can offer support create accounts and (in a secure area) they are asked to complete their profile consisting of four sections; 1) personal details, 2) family details, 2) details of the child with a disability, and 4) areas of interests. Based on the profile, a parent who needs assistance is matched with a Support Parent.

Because the community wants quality matchings, instead of quantity, a moderator (a ’matcher’) checks the matching profiles and manually makes the match. Several filter options are available for him to broaden or narrow the match results.

From the first idea until the launch of the site, the project took more than 6 months. “Because functionality of building several profiles for parents and the workflows had to be invented from the scratch, we simultaneously needed to figure how we could implement this into BC.  Having no programmers who can work with BC available in The Netherlands, we looked abroad and found a dedicated BC-developer from Great Britain. This construction was not ideal, mainly in the concept phase, because of language differences. We had to put in extra effort in the communication, but it worked out well: the number of parents who we hoped would subscribe was achieved in less than half the time we originally planned.” (Willem Plaisier, Design Effects)

For the complete subscribing process with all the required fields, the designers of Parent2Parent had to build several Webapps. This gave them the right flexibility in building the profiles and the filtering functionality. They also offer to site visitors the possibility to subscribe to the P2P-newsletter by filling out their e-mail address. 

An advice for somebody who just started using BC from the designer of Parent2Parent: “ The only advice I can give anybody who starts with BC is: get yourself a building team – interaction designer, visual designer and a dedicated BC developer! If you want to build a site that fits the client's needs, BC isn’t a quick fix. But be honest, no system is... BC offers all that is necessary for an online business.”  

Design Effects is a Rotterdam-based full service design firm, led by Willem Plaisier, BC Partner since 2011. Willem is specialized in crafting logos and design thinking for complex sites - government, social and health care sites, as well business to business sites.

* * *

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"!

 


Scheduled Business Catalyst maintenance

Magda Neagu Friday, June 03, 2016

To ensure the highest security and performance levels for our services, we're applying a hardware and software update on servers located in our Dublin and Sydney datacenters. To minimize the customer impact, the updates are scheduled at the most convenient hours for the region and will take up to eight hours to complete. 

During the maintenance procedure the Admin Console Access will experience 2 service interruptions of up to 30 minutes each (first one at the beginning and the second at the end), impacting sites on Dublin and Sydney datacenters.
Additionally, throughout the maintenance procedure, website front-ends for sites located in the respective Datacenter that have heavy database usage my experience service interruptions of maximum 5 minutes.

Please find below the maintenance schedule and the list of affected services:

Start of maintenance Duration Datacenter Customer impact
Saturday June 04 2016 11:00 PM PDT /8h, local time 09:00 AM.  8 hours Sydney & Dublin
  • 3 x 15 minutes service interruptions for Partner registration, Trial site creation, Adobe Muse publish, APIs, FTP and some admin sections will not be available during the 3 interruptions
    Operational and email marketing campaign emails will be delayed

For up to date information about system status, check the Business Catalyst System Status page.We apologize for any inconveniences generated by these service interruptions. Please make sure that your customers and team members are aware of these important updates. 

Thank you for your understanding and support, 

The Adobe Business Catalyst Team

Site of the Week: Tielka

Roxana Moldovan Monday, May 30, 2016

Business Catalyst Site of the Week is Tielka, designed by Greenlamp.

Tielka is the first tea company in Australia that brought fairtrade organic loose leaf tea to the market back in 2009. The latest version of the website is built on responsive framework, enabling Tielka's retail and wholesale clients order the freshest loose leaf tea straight from their mobile devices.

The latest version of the website was built in just a few days, however, prior to that, the website mock-up took a bit longer, as the agency was working on new branding and packaging for Tielka at the same time and a lot of design decision had to be locked in first before they could start coding the website.

"We used most of the BC features (Custom Apps, eCommerce modules, Web Apps, Web Forms, Blogs, Email Marketing, CRM, etc.), but our favorite feature by far was the new Liquid engine, as it allowed us to take the standards modules to new heights, i.e. check out our implementation of the shopping cart." (Alexei Domorev, Greenlamp)

"We have been working with BC since 2013 when our marketing agency Greenlamp was founded. What appealed to us about Business Catalyst back then was the modular approach to web design, ability to apply different templates to different pages and built-in CMS that our clients could use straight away." (A. Domorev)

An advice for a BC beginner from the designer of Tielka: "Be patient and persistent. BC is a great platform, but it has a steep learning curve at the start."

Greenlamp Marketing Solutions is an Australian based marketing agency. They provide a full spectrum of marketing solutions from strategy to implementation: marketing planning, branding, graphic design, print and web design.

 

* * *

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"!