Business Catalyst Blog

Webinar recording: Decrease Your Development Costs with BC Apps

Diana Iliescu Friday, December 11, 2015

Thanks to those of you who attended our December's BC webinar with Michael Sallander.
In this webinar Mike Sallander revealed how you can lower your development costs by using Business Catalyst apps during the build out of the website.

If you were unable to join us live, check out the webinar recording here: Decrease Your Development Costs with BC Apps.

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

Don't miss our December 9th webinar: Decrease Your Development Costs with BC Apps

Diana Iliescu Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Learn how you can lower your development costs by using Business Catalyst apps during the build out of the website. Mike Sallander, owner of the BC App Store, will show practical use cases and implementations so you can walk away knowing how you can apply these apps to your next Business Catalyst website.

Wed, December 9th: Decrease Your Development Costs with BC Apps

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: 31-Dec-2015, 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

Episode 51 of the BC Podcast – Urszula Richards

Scott Reynolds Monday, December 07, 2015

In this month’s interview Urszula Richards from onlineiq shares her experiences as a Business Catalyst Partner.

Tune in for Episode 51 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:

  • We learn how Urszula Richards got started with Business Catalyst
  • How Virtual Assistants can be a great resource for BC Partners
  • Urszula answers questions from the Business Catalyst community

During this interview, Urszula shares a lot of what she has learned over the years. I’m focusing on what she shared about Virtual Assistants, but you should listen to the entire interview to get the most out of her experiences.

Virtual Assistant Use Cases

Getting Clients
A Virtual Assistants (VA) is often hired for administrative tasks, but there’s no reason not to use a VA to help drive business. Urszula had great success when she tasked her VA to look up local graphic designers with only a few websites in their portfolio. A lack of websites could mean they are struggling with web. Once her VA came back with a list of potential designers, Urszula made the most of Business Catalyst’s email marketing to send out an email campaign to the list. It worked. Urszula not only made high quality relationships with many of the designers, she continues to get referrals from that campaign. One of those graphic designers is now Urzula’s go-to designer.

Support
The more sites you build, the more support requests you receive. This can cripple productivity. Urszula solves this by leveraging her Virtual Assistant as first level support. In most cases the VA responds to the support request and adds the work order to Trello for Ursh’s developers to take over.

Urszula’s tips on using a Virtual Assistant:

  • Get really clear about the type of support you need.
  • Understand how much work your VA can take on. If you take on a big project your VA may not have the additional time to help support the project.
  • Distinguish tasks which require little training, supervision and risk vs business critical ones which require a considerable time investment in training. This has implications for what you invest in training and how much of a commitment you ask (eg. how available are they on a weekly basis, and/or what their longer term employment terms are). Once a VA has proved the quality of their work, it can require less supervision.
  • It’s important to encourage your clients to use your support system. You want to ensure things don’t get lost, and you can follow the thread of a support request even when you are not directly involved (or need to take over).
  • Decide when virtual is not enough. You may come to a point where you need someone in-house and in-person.

To learn more, listen to the entire interview.

Scott B Reynolds - Thrise

Resources mentioned in podcast:

Tutorial of the month - How to Build An App in Adobe Business Catalyst

Diana Iliescu Friday, November 27, 2015

Watch Mike Sallander explain step-by-step how you can get started building apps for Adobe Business Catalyst. Mike will share an organized list of resources that will get you on your way to building your first app. He will then walkthrough a demo of how he built the Solid Company Settings app in approximately 2 hours.

Watch How to Build An App Video

Below are the topics that are discussed in this tutorial:

Programming Languages You Need to Know
In this tutorial, Mike will show you some of the jQuery, JavaScript, JSON and Liquid Markup needed to build apps in Business Catalyst.

Business Catalyst SDK
Learn how to implement and utilize the existing Business Catalyst SDK to perform simple functions to retrieve and write data to Business Catalyst’s API.

Get Started
Mike will go over techniques to quickly getting started with apps. Building apps for BC is constantly evolving, so these techniques may not represent current best practices but will get you set up with a simple app in a few hours.

Solid Company Settings
This app gives developers an easy, standardized way of inserting company information across the entire website, using Schema.org rich snippets. This also enables the small business owner to simply update their company information across the site. Watch as this app is developed from start to finish.

Learn how to build a Business Catalyst App Today

Join us for an end of year Townhall meeting

Magda Neagu Tuesday, November 17, 2015

UPDATE: For those who could not attend, here is where you can watch the recording

Hi everyone,

We have set a date for our end of year Townhall meeting on November 24th. We tried to pick a time that would suit all locations. Please see below a selection of cities and their local time for the meeting.

Register now for the meeting to receive the location and login details.

The Agenda will include:

  • updates to AUD pricing migration
  • planning for the next 3 months - what will BC be working on
  • other projects we are looking into
  • Q&A

We hope to see you all there,

The Business Catalyst team

Webinar recording: Battle of the Blogs

Diana Iliescu Thursday, November 12, 2015

Thanks to those of you who attended our November's BC webinar with Michael Sallander.
In this webinar Mike Sallander compared the 2 different approaches to building blogs on Business Catalyst.

If you were unable to join us live, check out the webinar recording here: Battle of the Blogs.

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

Register now for the new webinar series!

Diana Iliescu Monday, November 09, 2015

Mike 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, and also the new owner of the BC App Store. He is a unique problem solver who enjoys helping businesses and developers alike.

Pick the sessions below and register on your relevant timezone.

Tue/Wed, November 10th/11th: Battle of the Blogs

Learn the 2 different approaches to building blogs on Business Catalyst. Mike Sallander, Instructor at BC Academe, will uncover the strengths and weaknesses to the 2 approaches so you are armed with the right information to setup a blog on your next website.


To help you put your learning into practice, webinar participants will be receive a 15% discount on their next website. (*Some conditions apply, see below)


Registrations are now open for the December and January sessions as well:

Tue/Wed, December 8th/9th: Decrease Your Development Costs with BC Apps

Learn how you can lower your development costs by using Business Catalyst apps during the build out of the website. Mike Sallander, owner of the BC App Store, will show practical use cases and implementations so you can walk away knowing how you can apply these apps to your next Business Catalyst website.


Tue/Wed, January 19th/20th: Business Catalyst and Responsive Muse

Get a peek into 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 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.

*15% discount coupon applies for new site upgrades on any yearly/biyearly desired plan, until the next renewal. Coupon validity: 31-Dec-2015, 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

App of the month: XML Feed

Diana Iliescu Friday, November 06, 2015

Need to export your products to XML? XML Feed app is the easiest way to create feeds in minutes.

XML Feed app allows you to produce any product feed .xml file you like from admin! Sometimes you need to create XML feeds for third parties like your search provider, resellers, affiliates etc. This app allows you to cater to their requirements of feeds with a fully customizable feed layout. All accessible directly within your admin panel in Business Catalyst.

You can create many different xml files in just 3 steps:
1. Click on button Create new feed.
2. Copy and paste xml required layout. Add tags from reference to places where you want your data placed and select catalog source.
3. Press Create to render xml file.

About the developer

XML Feed was developed by Peter Knezek, who is Business Catalyst Partner since 2010. He is working from sketch of web design, simple ICE web sites, to customized e-commerce solutions.

Manage your marketing and BC conversions in a single view

Diana Iliescu Monday, November 02, 2015

9-20am’s marketing management tool provides a new feed integration with Business Catalyst that allows you to track your BC enquiries, quotes and orders, directly within your marketing dashboard.

Thousands of organisations run Business Catalyst as their primary website CMS - a critical component in their online marketing activity, but running effective marketing campaigns online and offline can be a complex and time-consuming task. Using a tool such as 9-20am to manage your marketing activities can not only save hours each month but also provide powerful insights into your lead generation and sales.

What is 9-20am?
9-20am is a marketing management platform that combines a marketing calendar, budget tracking, activity planning and reporting in a graphically rich dashboard with customisable briefing emails at 9.20am each morning! keeping your finger on the pulse.

How does it Integrate with Business Catalyst?
Adding your Business Catalyst website feed to 9-20am is simply a case of pasting the feed URL’s into your Business Catalyst Api settings in Admin. When you add the Business Catalyst feed in your 9-20am marketing plan you will be provided with three URLs - simply copy and paste these URLs into the corresponding fields in the ‘API Integration’ page in your BC websites Admin, Site Settings Menu.9-20am will start recording the data from your BC site on its feed chart, building a full historical view of your web sites enquiries, quotes and sales over time. This data can be tracked right along-side a linear marketing calendar, your Social media feeds, Google analytics, PPC and a growing number of 3rd party data feeds. The data from Business Catalyst is updated in ‘near’ real time so you get a full view of your stats directly in 9-20am, without having to add any manual data again.

9-20am also provides external feeds from exclusive research data compiled specifically for marketers, such as Google Algorithm changes, National and School Holidays, Sporting events etc.. New data feeds are being added to 9-20am every month and provide unrivalled insight into your marketing environment and ROI.

Can I give it a try?
The Business Catalyst integration is one of the first CMS feeds available on 9-20am and the new app is continually being enhanced and with new integrations and external data - take a look for yourself with the free 14 day trial. The BC integration can be added to 9-20am whilst in the trial period with no additional charge if your website is on the BC ‘webMarketing’ plan or above.

The long, hard road to 100% Uptime

Roxana Moldovan Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Back in 2012 at the end of the fiscal year, we knew our infrastructure could prove to be a very weak point in Business Catalyst. We were coming after some outages that had caused a lot of hassle to our customers, and with some serious e-mail issues that were limiting business in what they could do on BC. But nobody wants to hear that you are working on infrastructure and operations. This is the nasty, back-end stuff that everyone takes for granted, but that we all miss dearly when it is not up to par. 

So we had to take a serious decision: take the heat for some of the stuff we would not be delivering BECAUSE we chose to invest in infrastructure and operations. Fast forward 2 years and after thousands of man hours invested in this, a very difficult transition of all our datacenters to new locations, a change in our development platform, and we can show some of the fruits of all this work. 

As we are already in the final quarter of this year, we are excited to share with you one of the results of our constant efforts to ensure high levels of performance and reliability.

Many people are interested about the guaranteed uptime for hosted sites. We understand that reliability is one of the main factors when choosing or deciding to stick with a hosting solution, because downtime means losing revenues and opportunities. As a clear illustration of this understanding and also a sign of commitment to operational transparency, here is the data of our system performance from the beginning of 2015:

We hope to be able to deliver in the future similar impressive figures and we thank you for understanding when unexpected events occur.

Nobody can promise 100% uptime or not to expect issues. But what we can promise is full commitment to excellency in this field, and to deliver new features and functionality and improve BC a bit more every single day. The road ahead is open, now that our ground is secure. 

Thank you
The Adobe Business Catalyst Team