Listen: The BC Podcast - Episode 3

News

We're happy to bring you the first episode of the BC Podcast for 2011!

If you'd like to subscribe to the BC Podcast each month, you can find us on the iTunes store here or by simply searching "BC Podcast" from iTunes.

Listen to the 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 month's episode:

  • Meet Director of Engineering - Bogdan Ripa
    • Learn what he does at Business Catalyst
    • See what he and the engineering team are currently working on
    • Hear what excites him most about the the future of BC
  • A quick sales tip from Business Catalyst's Erin Murray
  • Learn how to create your own podcast with BC
    • Getting to know our new "Streaming" literature types
    • Discover how you can set up your own podcast using BC
  • A HTML brain-teaser - do you know the answer? Post it in the comments section and we'll reveal the correct answer in next month's episode.

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Getting Started with jQuery & BC

If you've always wanted to take the user experience of your BC sites to the next level but have been scared by the thought of dipping your toes into the world of JavaScript, then jQuery might just be for you.

jQuery is a popular JavaScript library that simplifies document manipulation, animation and AJAX interactions - letting you do more, with less coding.

What's even better is that jQuery plays nice with the BC platform, allowing you to easily implement advanced front-end functionality, improving the user experience of your sites and speeding up your development process.

In this post, I'll show you how to get started with jQuery, how to start using it on your BC sites and point you towards some handy how-to articles.

1. Getting to know jQuery

Before you dive in and begin using jQuery on your sites, it's important that you have a basic understanding of how jQuery works. If you're well versed in HTML and CSS, you should find the learning curve a little less steep and be on your way in no time.

To get you on the right track, here are some great "Getting Started" articles:

2. Including jQuery on your BC sites

Including the jQuery library on your site is as easy as referencing a hosted copy of the .js file inside the head of your page. For this example, we'll reference a copy of jQuery stored inside the "/js/" folder of our site:

<script type="text/javascript" src="/js/jquery-1.4.2.min.js"></script>

Because of BC's great site-wide template system, we can easily use jQuery on all of our pages by including the above code in the head of our site's default template.

In terms of hosting jQuery, you have a couple of options to choose from:

1. Host the library yourself
If you'd feel safer hosting the library yourself, you can simply download the latest version at http://jquery.com/ and upload it to a directory on your BC site. For example, many designers host the .js file inside the /js/ directory.

2. Reference an externally hosted version
A number of large enterprises provide hosted copies of jQuery on their existing CDN networks, which are available for public use. For example, Google host a copy that you can easily reference on your site. To use an externally hosted copy, simply replace the "src=" attribute of your script tag with the URL of the version you'd like to include. For example, http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.4.2/jquery.min.js references a "minified" copy of jQuery version 1.4.2

If you'd like to include the latest version of jQuery hosted on jQuery's own CDN, you can use: http://code.jquery.com/jquery-latest.min.js

One of the key advantages of using Google's CDN hosted copy of jQuery is that as many websites across the web reference it, the library will be already cached on many of your visitors local machines - this greatly reduces load times, as they'll already have a local copy downloaded when they visit your site.

3. Using jQuery with BC

Once you're up to speed with the jQuery basics and have included the library in your site-wide template, you're ready to go.

To help get you started, we've written a bunch of great tutorials that show you how to enhance BC's built-in features with a little bit of jQuery magic:

It's always great to see new and exciting integrations of jQuery with BC - if you've recently completed a jQuery implementation, we'd love to see it in action! Feel free to share your BC + jQuery creations over on the Community Forums or in the comments of this post.

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Dave and Kim Kolb share experiences in growing their business, Hightouchweb.com – ideas that could help grow your design business.

After meeting at a resort, falling in love and being laid off at the 2000 tech bubble burst, Dave and Kim decided it was time to build their own Web company.

By combining and complementing their strengths in strategy, design and marketing, HighTouchweb.com was born.

MP3 audio interview of Dave and Kim Kolb, has them candidly sharing:

  1. Finding motivation in each other and maintaining a "CAN DO" attitude, to get through the tough times.
  2. Have fun doing it - Love what you do and "whatever you do", do it well.
  3. Taking time to follow up with every client (Kim sends personal welcome cards to every one of their customers).
  4. Dave shares his feelings on building their own CMS and the pain of using lots of 3rd party open source plug-ins, that didn't always work.

In their words:

  • Keep it simple and excel at the basics.
  • Don't be all things to all people, you'll drive yourself crazy.
  • Know who you are and what you do.

A Business Catalyst feature that benefits their clients:

"We view InContextEditing as the strongest sales tool within the tool set that BC offers. You can take a mere mortal and have them updating their website in no time with little or no training. The power this gives the client is priceless. They feel like they are actually participating."

I hope you enjoy hearing some of their story as much as I did.

Adam :)

Click here for the mp3 interview of Dave and Kim Kolb.

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As previously announced, we've recently launched a beta version of our new InContext Editing feature for you and your clients to take for a test drive.

Over the past week, we've received some great feedback from Partners via the Community Forums and would like to address any questions you might have regarding this exciting new feature.

In this post, we'll run through three easy steps to getting started with InContext Editing, pointing you in the right direction with links to the relevant articles and resources.

1. Download the BC Extension

One of the great new features of InContext Editing is the ability to set editable regions for your clients. This allows you to lock down certain page elements while leaving other areas editable while in InContext Editing mode.

The best way to take advantage of this new feature is to use InContext Editings tight integration with Adobe Dreamweaver. To speed up the process, make sure you download the BC Extension for Dreamweaver which allows you to interface directly with BC sites via your Dreamweaver workspace.

DW Extension

While not mandatory for setting up InContext Editing, we recommend use of the BC Extension as it simplifies the setup of BC sites within Dreamweaver, saving you time and streamlining your workflows.

2. Controlling Editable Regions

In addition to using Dreamweaver to control your editable regions, you are also able to define them manually by coding them into the HTML of your pages.

If you're using another third-party HTML editor such as Coda or Expresso, or even a basic text editor like Notepad, this means you can still take advantage of InContext Editings editable regions using your tool of choice.

Property Inspector

By default, your clients are able to edit the entire page (including the Site Wide Template) using InContext Editing - if you'd like to lock the editable regions down, it's important you refer to the following articles:

3. Using InContext Editing

InContext Editing allows your clients to edit their content "in context" rather than having a WYSIWYG editor pop-up over the top of the page. This makes simple page edits a much more user intuitive process, with the new content automatically taking on the previously defined styling.

To enter InContext Editing, simply navigate to Website > InContext Editing from the Admin Console.

ICE

To find out more, refer to the following article:

Once you've set up InContext Editing on your existing sites, this is a great article to refer your clients to.

So why not dive in and take InContext Editing for a spin? We'd love to hear your feedback in the comments section of this post and will keep you updated on the final release of this feature over the coming weeks.

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Edward Chan | BC

Article Roundup - 21 November 2008

Here's the round-up of my 3 must read articles for web designers that have been published in the designersphere this fortnight:

10 Amazing Designers that Influence the Community from Web Design Ledger
"I come from a print background of 9+ years. The last 4-5 I have been designing for the web. I have been following these 10 amazing designers that have influenced and taught me plenty through their books, websites & even recent portfolios. I asked around for other designers opinions of whom their favorite’s were and realized the choices were pretty close if not the same..." - Adelle Charles

10 Useful Marketing Tools For Freelancers from Fuel Your Creativity
"...Here are some great tools for social media, marketing + PR purposes that freelancers can also use to help increase their personal brand’s presence both online and offline, in no particular order:.." - Angeline Vuong

10 SEO Techniques All Top Web Sites Should Use from Freelance Folder
"
We recently discussed the 15 Key Elements All Top Web Sites Should Have. This post focused on elements relating to design, content and development. This time, we’ll move onto the important issue of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)..." - Selene M. Bowlby

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