January 2013 System Update - Fresh UI improvements, Web App enhancements and more

- Monday, January 14, 2013
January 2013 System Update

We’re excited to bring you all the details of our first system update for 2013, due go live next week. Our January update includes a bunch of great enhancements, including many of the exciting features you've seen over the past few months in beta, now being ready for everyday use by your clients.

Please take the time to read through the new features, enhancements and relevant documentation below, so you and your clients are prepared and able to take advantage of these new improvements. For a more technical and in-depth list of features/bugs being delivered, read the release notes post on the BC Forums.

New feature highlights

New persistent ribbon UI

A new, persistent navigation ribbon

We’ve updated the Admin V3 navigation ribbon for ease-of-use and to make it easier for new users to understand. The new ribbon can persist even when you’re visiting the front-end of your website, and contain the following modes:

  • Preview (a new mode, for previewing the front-end of your site)
  • Manage (formerly “Site Manager”)
  • Content (formerly “Site Editor”)
  • Develop (formerly “File Manager”)

As part of this update, we’re also bringing the new “File Manager” out of alpha and renaming it “Develop” mode. In addition to editing your HTML/CSS/JS files via this mode, but you can now also set Page Properties for your site. To navigate to your Partner Portal, simply hover over your site name.

UPDATE: Due to some existing restrictions, in order to make the navigation ribbon persistent in front-end, you will need to activate this option from your Partner Portal/Settings tab. Please read more details on this issue in this article on our forum.

A range of Web App enhancements

Web App enhancements

Based on a lot of valuable feedback from the Partner community, we’ve added several enhancements to our Web Apps feature. As of this system update, you’ll be able to:

  • Render a custom page when accessing the root URL of a Web App. For example, if you have a “blog” Web App, the items can be made accessible at /blog/my-blog-post, and you’ll have the ability to customize the /blog page 
  • Render Web App items inside a sub-folder, such as /folder/subfolder/webapp-name. For example, you could have /blog/authors/bogdan (where Bogdan is the Web App item name)
  • Instruct BC to not display or index the Web App items of a specific Web App. Today, all Web App item’s URLs can be indexed by search engines. For example, /states/california should throw a 4040 page

Stay tuned for more exciting Web App updates in the near future.  

Features moving out of beta

Email marketing list filtering

We’re bringing this great feature out of beta, while introducing a range of new list filters. For full details on this feature, see our previous release notes.

Inventory control for products

After extensive testing and integrating the great feedback from the Partner community, we’re finally bringing Product Inventory Control out of beta.

For full details on this feature, please refer to this forum article.

SEO Metadata for pages

SEO Metadata interface

With this upcoming system update, we’re also bringing our enhanced SEO Metadata tool out of beta. We'll automatically enable the new interface for all sites that don't require migration and newly created sites. If you don't see the new interface, you need to manually run the migration process by visiting Site Settings > Beta Features > SEO Page Interface, and clicking “Go to the migration page”. Read more about this feature here.

Other improvements/enhancements

Admin V3 default for all Partners and UI improvements

Beginning with this release, we’ll be making Admin V3 the default user interface for all Partners, with the ability to switch back to the older V2 interface from the User Details dropdown menu.

We’re giving you 3 months to train and make sure your clients are migrated over to using the new V3 Admin interface, before making it the default interface for all users starting with our April/early-May system update.

You'll notice the team have made a great deal of minor enhancements across the board inside Admin V3 - including tweaks to UI spacing, list views and persistence when switching between an item's detailed view and back to a list view. For example, if you switching back from editing a product to the Products list view, the Admin will now remember the page of products you were viewing.

Streamlined email marketing editing experience

In line with our on-going beta development of the email marketing editing experience, with this system update you’ll notice that we've introduced a new editor and also moved the “Subject” field to the “Content” step of the wizard, for easier reference and editing.

We've also integrated the fantastic Redactor editor in place of our existing WYSIWYG editor, for editing Email Campaign content. If you've enabled the "Visual, in-context editing" beta feature via Site Settings > Beta Features, you'll be able to see the new editor in action. We're planning to roll this change out across all sections of Business Catalyst in our coming updates.

SPAM and Security improvements

With this update, we're updating our SPAM management feature to not send comment workflow emails when a comment is marked as SPAM - keeping your inbox clean.

We're also turning on our Secure Redirect feature for all websites, to ensure a secure experience for your website and it's visitors. If you would like to redirect visitors to external websites from your site, you should add them under Site Settings > Secure Domain Redirection.


We hope that you and your clients love this month’s system update. Stay tuned for even more product news in the near future via the BC Blog.