The announcement that the Adobe Business Catalyst platform was to be discontinued came as a shock to many in the industry. Originally scheduled for 2020, Adobe bowed to pressure and extended the EOL date until March 2021. Whilst this gives existing users some extra time to migrate, the pressure is still on to find a reliable and viable alternative.
Delivering an all-in-one solution for business websites, Business Catalyst was the go-to choice for owners and agencies who wanted to manage their online platform from just one platform. With built-in marketing tools and dedicated ecommerce services, the straightforward functionality and ease-of-use appealed to the majority of users but was particularly attractive for owners of SMEs and agencies who worked on behalf of these companies.
Whilst many BC users remain disgruntled by the decision to bring Adobe Business Catalyst to end of life, the fact remains that websites currently hosted on the BC platform only have a limited amount of time left. With all BC services ceasing to exist in March 2021 and data set to be deleted, users will need to plan an efficient Business Catalyst migration well before the end of life date approaches.
For users and agencies who are being forced to migrate away from Business Catalyst, finding a practical and workable alternative should be their first priority. Firstly, it’s essential to identify a Business Catalyst alternative which can hold its own when compared to BC. Secondly, it’s important to find a platform which offers more than Business Catalyst.
Originally developed for small to mid-size retailers, the option to run your business using Adobe’s all-in-one hosting solution attracted many site owners to the Business Catalyst platform. Turning complex coding language and back end development into easy-to-use editors, Adobe BC encourages business owners to take control of their websites, even if they didn’t have much technical experience.
Furthermore, Business Catalyst made it easier for digital agencies, PR firms and marketing companies to operate. Able to modify client websites in seconds, these agencies could deliver their client’s objectives with ease, and without the need for numerous expensive, in-house experts. It’s crucial to note that the same straightforward site modification which attracted SMEs to the BC platform was advantageous for agencies too. Allowing them to reduce their outgoings and operate more efficiently, agencies are still relying on Business Catalyst in order to manage, modify and update content swiftly.
Amongst a myriad of features, Business Catalyst was known for its commitment to security. In an era of on-going security threats, data leaks and high-profile hacking, companies and site owners need to be more vigilant than ever when it comes to online security. Whilst the features available via Business Catalyst alternatives are of the utmost importance, the level of security offered should also be a top priority.
For BC users, the obvious question is, where do you go next? Having hosted your entire website on the BC platform, it may have been months or years since you last relied on alternative software to manage your business. So what do you need to consider when you’re looking for Business Catalyst alternatives? First and foremost, the following are worth taking into account:
• What platform can offer you all the features you need?
• Is the platform user-friendly?
• Does it require technical expertise?
• How reliable are its servers?
• Are the servers powerful enough for your needs?
• Does the platform work well with Google?
• How secure is this platform?
• What support is available?
• Can my new hosting provider help me to migrate from Adobe?
With so much to consider, it’s not surprising that the Adobe Business Catalyst EOL caught so many agencies and companies off guard. If you were or are still relying on BC to deliver all of the above, finding a useable alternative may seem like an uphill battle.
Despite the fast-paced nature of the industry, some of the most well-known hosting providers are still the old favourites; Wordpress, Drupal, Magento. For existing Business Catalyst users, however, it’s unlikely these options will prove favourable.
Since absorbing Magento into their organisation, Adobe has announced the EOL of Magento 1, as well as Business Catalyst. Whilst Magento 2 remains available, many site owners have justifiable concerns about moving to an Adobe-based platform after the unexpected EOL of two popular hosting platforms. Furthermore, the use of plug-ins and add-ons on platforms, such as Magento, Drupal and Wordpress, is a potential security issue for agencies and site owners.
Whilst Wordpress and Drupal combined host a vast number of websites, the suitability of these platforms has always been an issue. Wordpress, in particular, wasn’t originally developed in order to host websites and, despite numerous upgrades, this still shows in its framework. Plug-in development remains open source, with minimal control enforced, and has lead to a number of serious security issues and subsequent downtime for sites. Furthermore, reliance solely on PHP/MySQL has the potential to disappoint end users and Google alike. Server limitations ensure Wordpress-based sites are not typically able to cope with tens of thousands of users, so it’s certainly not ideal for larger or growing businesses, whilst reliability concerns highlight issues with server downtime.
Furthermore, the servers behind some of these popular hosting options simply don’t offer the power you need in order to increase compatible with Google’s algorithms. As the search engine has evolved, its placed varying emphasis on elements such a mobile indexing, relevance of content and website quality. Page loading times, or server response times, have also become increasingly important, and Google now uses this when ranking sites for SEO purposes.
Studies have shown that websites have mere seconds to catch the attention of end users. If your website or page takes too long to load, you’ve lost your user, your sale and your engagement, and there’s very little chance of getting it back. This highlights the importance of choosing a hosting platform which is based on reliable, fast and impenetrable servers. As well as ensuring your website’s security, your hosting platform must also rely on servers which can facilitate the needs of site owners, agencies, end users and major search engines.
Currently, some of the best-known free and cheap hosting providers simply aren’t doing this. With increased server response time, a relatively high rate of downtime and on-going security concerns, site owners and agencies could be seeing a drop in their SEO rankings without knowing why. Indeed, many are investing in new, quality content, only to find it doesn’t increase their rankings at all. In order to be effective, of course, this content needs to be supplemented by the development features Google expects to see. Reliable servers offering minimal page loading times are non-negotiable for users who are trying to find Business Catalyst alternatives, and it’s this which pushes some of the best-known hosting platforms off the table.
When you’re looking for alternatives to Business Catalyst, Siteglide gives you everything you need and more. Whether you’re managing just one website or hundreds, you can rely on the Siteglide platform to take your security seriously.
We understand the need to protect your site, your data and your business from costly security threats. As well as the inevitable loss of functionality which occurs as a result of a security breach, the loss of confidence and reputational-damage which follows such an incident can be significant, and it may even lead to a considerable loss of clients and consumers.
In order to increase your security and prevent data leaks, Siteglide operates with plug-ins, add-ons and extension. With everything you need built-in to the Siteglide platform, you have access to a fully-functioning alternative to Business Catalyst, without the need for potentially dubious open source extras.
By reducing the need for these plug-ins, we block an open channel for hackers to access your site and your data, thus increasing your security significantly. Whilst this is vital for any business, it’s particularly important for organisations which are processing data connected to European individuals. The relatively new General Data Protection Regulations are now fully enforceable, and any breaches are likely to attract considerable fines and sanctions, as well as negative press and PR.
Fortunately, Siteglide has the answer. As well as increasing security by preventing the use of plug-ins, our platform has built-in GDPR compliance features, so you can be sure that you won’t inadvertently breach the Regulations. For companies who are spending a considerable amount of their outgoings on ensuring data compliance, this in-built security feature could reduce your costs immediately and ensure you’re able to operate without assistance from external GDPR-compliance experts.
With Google’s added emphasis on page response times, you need your website to respond quickly. Built using AWS, Siteglide offers superior server functionality, so you won’t need to worry about pages lagging, content not loading or users being left hanging.
For individual site operators, the benefits of a fast and reliable server are obvious. Your website will respond efficiently to end users and meet Google’s algorithm requirements in the process, thus increasing your SEO rankings.
Similarly, agencies and digital marketing or web design firms can use this as a selling point to attract new customers and keep existing clients. As business owners become more aware of Google’s evolving algorithms, the issue of server speeds is likely to become more prevalent. By using Siteglide’s AWS-based platform, you can reinforce the importance and availability of superior server speeds and increased uptime when you liaise with your clients.
Furthermore, the 99.99% average uptime reported by AWS ensures websites will experience minimal downtime, which means you or your clients aren’t missing out during key retail periods. With the ability to facilitate thousands of users visiting any Siteglide website at any time, AWS ensures Siteglide offers the security and functionality needed by companies of all sizes.
Absolutely. The framework behind Siteglide offers enhanced security and speed, so you needn’t worry about the back-end development letting you down. In addition to this, Siteglide’s features provide you with everything you could possibly need to manage your site.
Drag & Drop Editors ensure on-going management and maintenance doesn’t require technical experience or ability, so anyone can manage a website using Siteglide’s advanced platform. By making it easy to update, alter or delete content, you can manage your site in seconds and deliver the latest news and information directly to end users. For agencies, this significantly reduces the time it takes to manage a client’s website, and it also minimises the need for costly in-house technical experts. Both of these measures allow you to reduce your costs considerably, and free up time to take on new clients and accounts, thus providing the opportunity to increase your turnover with no added costs.
Of course, a viable Business Catalyst alternative doesn’t just provide website maintenance, hosting and management facilities. For many BC users, the ability to manage your SEO and digital marketing via an all-in-one solution was one of the main attractions, and Siteglide offers just that.
A dedicated marketing suite, content management system and customer relationship management system are inter-linked to provide you with all the features you need to manage your online presence, and not just your website.
We make it easy to create and modify marketing materials, such as emails and landing pages, as well as offering unique automation facilities. This ensures you can execute campaigns easily, with all of the design and prep work completed in advance. Built-in data collection features, such as contact forms and newsletter sign-ups, work on your behalf to increase engagement and build relationships with new end users, whilst automated segmentation ensures relevant marketing material is received by new end users straight away.
Whether you want to retain control of your SEO or hand it over to Siteglide, automate your marketing activity or launch campaigns manually, send content to all users or use segmented lists to target different types of end user, Siteglide offers it all. Although the Siteglide platform is a viable alternative for Business Catalyst users, our advanced features and superior security features ensure we’re much, much more. Why not take a look today?