Business Catalyst Blog

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

BC Extension for Dreamweaver

Magda Neagu Thursday, May 07, 2015

The new rendering engine is just out the door for most sites and we are getting ready to finalize Liquid. As such, in order to allow the team to better focus their efforts on the next version of Business Catalyst and additional improvements to the core product features, we have decided to stop development on the Business Catalyst extension for Dreamweaver and retire it from the Creative Cloud Add-ons store. The Dreamweaver CC version 2014.1.1 will be the last one compatible with our Business Catalyst extension. Partners using greater (than 2014.1.1) versions can continue to edit Business Catalyst sites through Dreamweaver by using standard sFTP connections instead of the Business Catalyst panel and site management interfaces. 

Partners still using older versions of Dreamweaver (version 2014.1.1 and below) can continue their workflows that include the extension, with limited support available in the future for this setup. If you need help finding out the DW version you are on please go to Help -> About Dreamweaver.
Dreamweaver Creative Cloud customers with versions newer than 2014.1.1  can continue to manage their sites through the sFTP server functionality.

To find out how to setup your sFTP server in Dreamweaver for your Business Catalyst sites please follow the above link to the documentation which explains the setup and workflows to be followed from now on. 

Thank you,

The Business Catalyst team

App of the month: Dynamic Price

Diana Iliescu Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Enhance “Add to Cart” experience on your BC site!

Dynamic Price app allows 3 simple features:
1. Dynamic price change when attributes with cost are selected (both for sell and retail pricing)
2. Show total price for product calculated from quantity instead of sell price for a single item
3. Hide attributes cost from user

Easy to install, zero coding skills are required!
Only $9.99 per site.

About the developer:
Since 2008, with 750+ projects accomplished, EZ-BC helps BC partners from all over the world to deliver Business Catalyst sites of any size and complexity. You design and they do the rest for you. For more info visit EZ-BC / Code Production.

BC App Store is changing home

Magda Neagu Tuesday, April 28, 2015

We are excited to announce that Solid Sky LLC, one of the top BC app developers, has acquired The BC App Store (www.bcappstore.com) from uGurus, LLC. The BC App Store is the official marketplace for distributing apps for Adobe Business Catalyst. The co-founders of Solid Sky, Mike Sallander and Scott Shefler, have been very involved with the Business Catalyst community in the past 6 years through their web agency Chicago Digital and online training programs at the BC Academe. Solid Sky and its affiliates are dedicated to serving the Business Catalyst community by focusing on making the product better and strengthening the community. 

The purchase of the BC App Store allows for new focus and renewed energy on growing the central marketplace for Business Catalyst apps. Apps enable greater functionality and extensibility of the growing Business Catalyst platform and are a key component to Business Catalyst’s strategy for evolving the platform. Giving 3rd Party developers the ability to contribute to the platform helps Business Catalyst stay competitive and more completely deliver an all-in-one platform.

Check out some of the popular apps in the store today:



Back-up BC - Easily backup your websites and store on external cloud services

BC Client Training  - Train clients 24/7 with white-labeled BC training videos.

Home page slider - Launch a homepage slider without web apps


Brent Weaver, CEO of uGurus, tells us the transition to Solid Sky is complete and is excited for the BC App Store’s future:
"I am really excited to finally be able to announce that Mike Sallander and his team at Solid Sky have taken over the operation and ownership of BCAppStore.com. Mike has a rich history in the BC market with his agency, training, and app brands and is a great fit to take our vision to the next level. This transition began in December of 2014 and is now complete. Mike's team has been supporting operations since the New Year and has been doing an excellent job. More apps are in the store and there are many announcements on the horizon for how apps will continue to support and enhance the BC partner community."
 

New and exciting apps ready in 2015:



BC Video Gallery - An easy-to-use video gallery management system

BC Social Store – sell your products on a Facebook page

Dynamic Price – enhance the “Add to cart” experience

The release of new apps is not the only thing that has happened this year on the BC App Store. Solid Sky is committed to making the BC App Store even better. To accomplish this they are focusing on 2 areas:

  • Make the experience of installing apps simple and enjoyable
    • uGurus did a great job putting together the technology behind delivering apps with one click. Solid Sky has improved the experience by adding support documentation and additional support channels: Live Chat and Phone.
  • Help Developers contribute Apps
    • Solid Sky is there to help app developers every step of the way. Solid Sky plans to release new resources and training materials that may include a new SDK, UI Kit, and Sample App. They will also host free webinars for the community on app development:
 

Mike Sallander, CEO of Solid Sky, had the following comment regarding their new acquisition:
"It is incredible to have the opportunity to play a more integral role in the future of a product that we fell in love with and dedicated ourselves to many years ago. The community surrounding Adobe Business Catalyst has been instrumental in the success of our agency and I am motivated to give back and help the community grow”.

Business Catalyst wants to show its support and dedication to the BC App Store and Business Catalyst Partners by offering a discount on new Business Catalyst subscriptions for App Store Customers.

Alexandru Costin, Senior Director at Adobe shared his excitement to see this renewed investment from the community in the BC App Store:

The BC Platform project has always been about the community and allowing partners to expand Business Catalyst based on their needs. We are greatly excited to see a new partner get aboard this project and taking over the BC App Store. With the new apps coming and the hosting discounts for app purchases this promises once again to reinforce the BC Platform with new functionality and great new apps.

Buy any admin app today and receive a discount code for the value of the app towards the purchase of a new Business Catalyst hosting plan.
 
  • Each individual app purchased on the app store will receive a discount code for BC hosting services.
  • Discount code is an absolute value equal to the value of the app.
  • Discount codes can only be redeemed once, even if entire value is not used.
  • Discount codes can only be redeemed on the same partner portal where the app was purchased on.
  • Discount codes can be applied to sites pushed live with any billing frequency (monthly, annually, and biyearly).
  • Pricing will restore to regular pricing schedule following the discounted billing period.
  • All extras (users, emails, disk space and newsletters) will be charged at the regular rate.
  • Discount codes are not stored. Neither the BC App Store nor Adobe Business Catalyst is responsible for locating lost discount codes or issuing new discount codes.
  • The validity of the code is 6 months from the date of the app purchase. Codes not used until the expiry date will no longer be valid.

Episode 45 of the BC Podcast - Megan Taylor

Scott Reynolds Monday, April 27, 2015

In this month’s podcast, Megan Taylor from Kapow Interactive walks us through a typical web project from start to finish.

Tune in for Episode 45 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’s big announcement
  • Megan walks through Kapow Interactive’s process
  • Megan shares what she wishes she knew when starting out

Important Takeaways:

Don’t forget about offline marketing.
It makes sense that a web professional would market themselves online. And, in many cases this is a good strategy, but don’t forget about marketing yourself offline. Megan works closely with her local Chamber of Commerce, wraps her car with her company information, and even advertises in the local newspaper. Every area is different so experiment with your marketing, but don’t forget about traditional marketing.

Say no to work, but keep in touch.
It’s smart not to spend too much time with clients who aren’t ready to invest in their online business. This is why Megan says “no” to some work. However, she keeps track of these potential clients. When work is slow, these contacts can be valuable leads. Many of these contacts could now be in a better position to pay for online services.

Work on your business.
If you start a website-building business, you probably already know something about building websites. Put some time into learning the business. Educating yourself in sales, marketing, and accounting will help you build a successful business.

To learn more, listen to Megan’s entire interview.

Scott B Reynolds - Thrise

Resources mentioned in podcast:

New Google's mobile-friendly rules and Business Catalyst

Diana Herac Saturday, April 11, 2015

It is a widely known 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

On April 21, 2015, Google will release a significant new mobile-friendly ranking algorithm which means that Google will use Mobile Friendliness as a ranking signal. The update doesn't apply to tablets or desktop, just smartphones, but everyone should make their site mobile friendly, because about 60% of search traffic now comes from mobile.

"Statistics show that more people are going 'mobile only' - either because they never had a desktop or because they won't replace their existing desktop," Google writes in a blog post. "

How to Prepare for it?

If you already own a mobile-friendly website, you won’t have much to worry about. However, if your website is not ready for mobile strategy for your online presence, get this done as soon as possible.

  • Make sure the mobile version of your site is active and functional. Responsive designs are popular, but you can also have a separate hosted mobile version of your site. Google doesn’t have a preference, as long as mobile users’ experience isn’t interrupted.
  • Google’s mobile bots can crawl your site. If Google can’t see it, it may as well not even be there.
  • Refer to the developer guide for more information and tips.

Mobile Sites vs Responsive Layout

Webmaster trends analyst from Google, Gary Illyes did share a few details in a recent Q&A. The summary of Q&A is given below

  • Responsive design does not have a ranking benefit
  • Googlebot must be allowed to crawl CSS & JavaScript to pass the "mobile-friendly" test
  • Mobile friendliness is determined at the page level – not sitewide
  • Tablets will not be affected by this update
  • Google is currently working on a dedicated mobile index

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

Responsive sites have their own benefits, but even if you have mobile site, you are safe from this new update. Google understands following setups as Mobile Friendly,

  • Responsive Web Design
  • Dynamic Serving
  • Separate URLs

Google explains Separate URLs as, a common setup would be pages on www.example.com serving desktop users with corresponding pages served on m.example.com for mobile users. Google does not favor any particular URL format as long as they are all accessible for all Googlebot user-agents.

Business catalyst allows you to setup both the options, Responsive layout and Separate URLs, to see how it works on Business Catalyst, check this document Mobile friendly websites

Does Google give a stronger mobile-friendly ranking to pages using Responsive Web Design (which uses the same URL and the same HTML for the desktop and mobile versions) vs. hosting a separate mobile site (like www for desktop and m.example.com for mobile)?

No, mobile-friendliness is assessed the same, whether you use responsive web design (RWD), separate mobile URLs, or dynamic serving for your configuration. If your site uses separate mobile URLs or dynamic serving, we recommend reviewing the Mobile SEO guide to make sure Google is properly crawling and indexing your mobile pages.  To answer more FAQs about this update, Google has published a list of FAQs, which can be viewed here FAQs about the April 21st mobile-friendly update

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.