Business Catalyst Blog

Extend the functionality of your site with BC Widgets!

Roxana Moldovan Tuesday, March 01, 2016

We are excited to announce that our documentation platform has undergone several usability improvements, including a new friendlier layout. Also, from March the 2nd you will be able to use Widgets, a new powerful tool which will help you enhance your BC site.

You will definitely love Widgets if...

  • you want to make the best use of Liquid and provide your users with extremely complex features, without having a deep technical background;
  • you want to extend your site’s functionality just by undertaking few simple steps;
  • you want to make your site more responsive, by using latest technology features.

Widgets are easy-to-install pre-built complex features, that require basic HTML knowledge. They will certainly have an impact on the overall functionality of your BC site and will improve its usability.

Making use of Widgets is easy. It all comes down to uploading and initiating.  You can benefit from advanced functionality right away or customize & configure them according to your needs. 

Let's have a sneak peek in what some of the new Widgets can offer you:

Complex Blogpost Search

Once having installed the Widget on your site, you have two different ways of searching your blog. With the Live search, the Widget is looking at the title and body of your blogposts and returns the results in a dropdown selection list. Once clicked on a select option, the blogpost will appear in the result container. This tool will always return only one blogpost in your container.

The classic way of searching and filtering your blogposts can be done using the Title, Tags and Categories after the Search button is clicked. The widget will search or filter for blogposts that have all the rules in the form. 

The classic way of searching and filtering your blogposts can be done using the Title, Tags and Categories after the Search button is clicked. The widget will search or filter for blogposts that have all the rules in the form.

Order Status Bar

Based on the order status, this Widget can count and display all orders set to specific statuses, including a total count and show it in a tabular format.

It can be perfectly integrated into the account page of your customer's store page. Show them a table or a list so that your customers can check their order history at a glance.

Have a look now at our Widgets Factory and extend the functionality of your BC site today!

We would love to hear your feedback, so feel free to test & review the first set of Widgets made available. Also, if there's a specific Widget you need and you can't find it in our gallery yet, use the feedback button, as new ideas are always welcome. 

Webinar recording: Advanced Ecommerce Filtering

Diana Iliescu Thursday, February 25, 2016

Thanks to those of you who attended our February's BC webinar with Michael Sallander.
In this webinar, Mike Sallander from BC Academe, showed developers how they can add advanced filter options to their ecommerce stores. This includes, showing multiple list views, sorting options, different pagination and price ranges. While the concepts and implementation discussed in this webinar are for more advanced Business Catalyst developers, beginners will also benefit from learning what is possibly and conceptually how to approach these features in Adobe Business Catalyst.

If you were unable to join us live, check out the webinar recording here: Advanced Ecommerce Filtering.

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

Site of the Week: Pubs of Oxford

Roxana Moldovan Monday, February 22, 2016

Business Catalyst Site of the Week is Pubs of Oxford, designed by Code to Pixels

The site was designed as a comprehensive resource for searching all the pubs in Oxford and it took 3 months to complete.

The BC features used include: Web forms, CRM, Secure Zones, Content Holders, Blog, Liquid and multiple Web Apps. The Web Apps combined with Liquid were especially helpful here, as each pub had multitudes of information that needed to be pulled through into different layouts and pages.

I have been working with BC for 2 years now and I love how the most complex of tasks can be completed with ease. The main advantages I've found with this CMS is how it works perfectly out of the box, but also allows for extended features. The combination of Web Apps and Liquid allowed me to create endless features for my clients and build each site to be completely bespoke around their needs and wants.” (Chris Sawyer, Code to Pixels)

An advice for somebody who just started using BC from the designer of Pubs of Oxford: “I'd advise any new starter to delve into the documentation, which is extremely well detailed and the code snippets make it easy to understand. There are also the forums, that are constantly active with Business Catalyst gurus who are always happy to help and share their knowledge.”

Code to Pixels is the digital home of Oxfords freelance web design & developer Chris Sawyer, based in Oxford, specializing in bespoke designs built into the Business Catalyst CMS.

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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"!

Don't miss the upcoming BC webinar on Advanced Ecommerce Filtering with Mike Sallander

Diana Iliescu Thursday, February 18, 2016

This month we'll meet Tuesday February 23rd (US) / Wednesday February 24th (AU) with Michael Sallander to discuss about Advanced Ecommerce Filtering.

In this webinar, Mike Sallander from BC Academe, will show developers how they can add advanced filter options to their ecommerce stores. This includes, showing multiple list views, sorting options, different pagination and price ranges. While the concepts and implementation discussed in this webinar are for more advanced Business Catalyst developers, beginners will also benefit from learning what is possibly and conceptually how to approach these features in Adobe Business Catalyst.

Tue/Wed, February 23rd/24th: Advanced Ecommerce Filtering

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 desired plan, until the next renewal. Coupon validity: 31-Mar-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: Waverley Volkswagen

Roxana Moldovan Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Business Catalyst Site of the Week is Waverley Volkswagen, designed by Complete Business Online.

The site was built for Waverley Volkswagen, Australia's biggest seller of Volkswagens and it took about 10 weeks to complete.

This site uses Liquid, Custom Web Apps, Blog, Web Forms, Newsletters and E-Commerce. According to the designer, the best feature of the website would be the Vehicle Search Engine. They used a combination of liquid, web apps and some custom script to achieve this. Data from a 3rd party server are being pushed to BC via API. They have a custom built dashboard app in the admin to manage stocks, featured vehicles etc.

The biggest challenge for the designer was to build the Vehicle Search Engine – namely to be resourceful and figure out a way to dynamically push the data from a 3rd party car search engine into BC.

"Being a developer has been one of the best experiences in my life. I get to use my problem solving skills to help build wonderful websites for our clients. It gives me a great deal of satisfaction every time I see something that is brought to life and become useful.  I’ve been using BC for 5 years now. The main advantage is that it’s an all-in-one platform. You do everything in BC and there’s a great amount of apps you can use to improve your site." (Jeff Yao, CBO)

An advice for somebody who just started using BC from the designer of Waverley Volkswagen: “BC already has everything you would need to build your website. Once you get to know the ins and outs of BC, you would want to customize your site and you’d need to use your scripting skills so make sure you know javascript/jquery very well.”

CBO is a complete creative & marketing digital agency, who solves problems with creative ideas and digital expertise. 

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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"!

2015 Year in Review

Roxana Moldovan Tuesday, February 02, 2016

It’s been an interesting year for Adobe Business Catalyst, with a lot of work, but also great results, new features launched and a great MAX Unconference, where BC team and partners got together for inspirational discussions and 2016 planning.

We look back with pride and we hope you look back with satisfaction. For those of you who could attend neither our Unconference nor the end-of-the-year Townhall, here are some of the most important steps forward we have made in 2015:

BC.Next

  • Liquid Markup - enabled for all BC users; we implemented new series of filters: Globals, Conditionals, Loops, the ability to get data out of BC;
  • Open Platform – made constant improvements:
    • Offers the ability to build admin apps;
    • Over 60 APIs available using OAuth access tokens;
    • Allows server-to-server authentication.
  • New module syntax
  • New admin editor (work in progress)

Support & documentation

  • The Developers documentation was reorganized; we added Cheat sheet, a great resource for finding quickly what you need in terms of tags & liquids;
  • We updated the knowledgebase - improved layouts, added new features (Quick links, Recent articles, “How to” articles), re-created the partner documentation;
  • We updated the support workflow;
  • The search process was improved by using Google search appliance.

Core features updates

  • Added the Stripe payment gateway
  • Blog post featured image
  • Automated transfer site process
  • Web app updates
  • Improved spam protection for forums and comments

Operations

  • We updated all the .NET & MS SQL servers, changed Load balancers and Monitoring, redone the PCI audit, made some Security enhancements, which led us to 100% uptime in the second part of the year;
  • Managed to smoothly transition more than 100.000 paid sites to the new infrastructure and few hundred thousands trial sites.

We have started working on a new design for our BC site and also on enhancing our library of templates.

Our BC community has been constantly growing, we now have 16760 Facebook followers and many, many friends willing to give a hand to beginners and professionals alike, on our very active forums.

Thank you for your permanent feedback, for your criticisms and your appreciation. Thank you for being part of a great 2015!

*Image courtesy of Anoop Krishnan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Business Catalyst 2 year plan to be discontinued

Magda Neagu Monday, February 01, 2016

In an effort to streamline our offering and come up with the best plans possible for our customer base, we hereby announce that the biyearly (2-year) offering of Business Catalyst will be discontinued, as of end of March 2016. With this move, this pricing schedule will no longer be available for new sites, or as an upgrade from an existing 1 year or monthly plan. 

Existing biyearly plans will carry on until the renewal date. Upon renewal, they will be switched to a monthly plan, while still carrying their discount 

The Business Catalyst Team.

Tutorial of the month - Battle of the Blogs: How to Choose between the Blog Module and a Web App Built Blog

Roxana Moldovan Wednesday, January 27, 2016

There is not always an easy answer for choosing the right type of blog on your Business Catalyst website. In this edited version of the live Adobe webinar, Mike answers this question in detail and shows you how to make the right choice for your site.

Watch Battle of the Blogs Tutorial

Below are the topics discussed in this two part video series:

Is Business Catalyst Good for Blogging?

Watch Mike explain how the design freedom in Business Catalyst, SEO friendly setup and features and integrated email marketing make Business Catalyst an excellent tool for bloggers.

Examples of Using Both the Blog Module and a Web App Built Blog in the Wild

Mike will share with you several examples of when we’ve used the built in blog module and when we have used a custom web app built blog. Sharing some of the features and strengths and weaknesses of each.

Deciding between Blog Module vs Web App Built Blog

Finally, Mike will rundown all of the pros and cons of the Blog module vs. Web App built Blog and show you how to decide which one is right for your website.

View Tutorial of the Month


Site of the Week: Kodiak Sportsman Lodge

Roxana Moldovan Monday, January 25, 2016

Business Catalyst Site of the Week is Kodiak Sportsman Lodge, designed by OpenVine Solutions

The site was build for The Kodiak Sportsman's Lodge, an all-inclusive fishing and hunting lodge located on Kodiak Island, Alaska and it took five months to complete. 

The features utilized in this website include Web Forms, Blog Modules, CRM, Email Marketing, Content Holders, Photo Galleries Modules and FAQs Modules.

The biggest challenge for the designer was to find creative ways to display testimonials, home page sliders, and other elements without using web apps.

"We have been using Business Catalyst since 2007. Advantages we have seen while using BC include the ability to have many components integrated in the same site. The automatic versioning feature is also very helpful, allowing users to roll back pages and other items as needed. The platform is fast loading and has good stability. We also find the design features of the backend to be very user-friendly for both clients and developers. BC's robust features enable us to keep development costs down, and our clients appreciate having the ability to make updates to their websites without having to have technical knowledge." (William Germino, OpenVine)

An advice for somebody who just started using BC, from the designer of Kodiak Sportsman Lodge"It is worth investing some time to learn about Business Catalyst's robust features before getting started. They have a great help section full of resources, including detailed videos and screenshot tutorials, to assist you with most of the BC functions you will be using. The better you know the program, the more you will be able to help your clients."

OpenVine Solutions is an internet consulting company specializing in web development and internet marketing for small and mid-sized businesses. They have been designing attractive, user-friendly websites since 2002. 

* * * 

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"!

 

 

Webinar recording: Business Catalyst and Responsive Muse

Diana Iliescu Thursday, January 21, 2016

Thanks to those of you who attended our January's BC webinar with Michael Sallander and Chris Kellett.
In this webinar they revealed how you can build data-driven responsive websites with Muse & Business Catalyst. These 2 Adobe tools prove to be a powerful combination for building a modern website that allows designers to unleash their creativity and customers to manage content. This presentation will go over how the 2 tools conceptually work together as well as some coding demonstrations on how to connect them.

If you were unable to join us live, check out the webinar recording here: Business Catalyst and Responsive Muse.

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