Business Catalyst Blog

New Custom Templates from Code Production

Roxana Moldovan Friday, November 11, 2016

Code Production with its development services accomplished more than one thousand projects for BC partners so far. But no matter what service type we are speaking about, there was always a problem to find the best solution in order to efficiently accomplish a low-budget project from start to finish.

For this reason, Custom Templates solution was presented earlier this year.

With Custom Templates you get maximum flexibility for further redesign by having access to Code Production team that will help you implement any of the requirements and ideas you have for the site in a matter of days. On top of that, when you purchase the template, you can choose only the pages and layouts you need for a particular project to keep the costs low.

Are you a coder?

If you are a coder you will appreciate Custom Templates even more…

Together with template designs you will get a BC site migrated right into you Partner Portal with only pages you purchased with no extra assets such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, implementation modules - a clean setup at the level of custom developed site! 

SASS files included

SASS files are available for every custom template upon request (just leave a note when making a purchase).

Take a look at two newly released templates available for Business Catalyst community today!

Flashbox

Flashbox is a colorful and universal template that is perfect for a digital agency site.
Besides Business Catalyst standard features, it also includes extra layouts and handy features for ecommerce.

LookView

LookView is a modern looking template with a vertical sidebar navigation (adjustable for left or right position).
It incorporates all the main features and functionalities of Business Catalyst along with some great JavaScript animations. LookView template’s blog is empowered with timeline view and separate blog search.

TWO TEMPLATES, THAT’S IT?

Nope! 

Code Production promises more templates by the end of this year.

Incident report for Business Catalyst - November 7, 2016

Magda Neagu Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Hi everybody,

As you probably are aware, our sites have experienced some downtime on 11/07/2016. We want to apologize for any inconvenience this might have caused you, and offer you a detalied explanation on what happened and what measures we're taking to prevent this in the future.

On 11/07/2016 we were confronted with a surge in traffic on our DNS servers that caused downtime and performance degradation to our data centers. Because the BC Status page DNS resolves through our DNS servers as well, it was also unavailable for a duration of time. You have below a timeline of events as they unfolded:

  • At 11:00 PM GMT we experienced a spike in traffic through our DNS servers
  • The Operations team intervened by increasing our capacity and managing the spike as it unfolded
  • Throughout the incident, sites were intermittently available, depending on how the infrastructure handled the spike, and that is why some of our customers could see some sites available, but others not.
  • The BC Status page was impacted in a similar way becoming intermittently available. That is the reason why some partners could access it and others not.
  • The duration of the incident was of 2.5h, ending at 1:30 PM GMT after which our team was able to update the infrastructure to the new levels of traffic.
  • Due to a fault in communication with our support team, the incident showed as resolved on our Status page only much later

At this time we continue to experience high levels of traffic but the infrastructure is performing as expected. As a result of this incident, several measures were taken:

  • Increased capacity was deployed to allow for scaling of our DNS infrastructure and a new procedure are being put in place to enable fast response and containment on similar cases in the future
  • Updated system configuration to prevent status page downtime when having simmilar incidents in the future. 
  • Our team is currently running an extensive review of both this case as well as any potential improvements we might bring further in the future.

Once again, our apologies for any inconvenience this incident might have caused. Our operations team is always on standby to prevent this type of incident from reoccurring, and new measures are being put in place following this incident.

The BC Team

Register now to discuss Web Form Best Practices with Mike Sallander on November's BC webinar

Diana Iliescu Tuesday, November 01, 2016

This month we'll meet Wednesday November 16th (US) / Thursday November 17th (AU) with Michael Sallander to discuss Web Form Best Practices.

Collecting information from leads via web forms and tracking the submissions is essential to most online marketing campaigns. With the many different types of forms to choose from, do you know which one will convert the best for you? Mike Sallander, co-founder of Chicago Digital will show you the different types of web forms, discuss which ones are better at converting and go outline best practices for designing and developing web forms on Adobe Business Catalyst.

Wed/Thu, November 16th/17th: Web Form Best Practices

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 desired plan, for the first year. Coupon validity: 31-Dec-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: MyStore Self Storage

Roxana Moldovan Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Business Catalyst Site of the Week is MyStore Self Storage, designed by Urban Element

MyStore Self Storage is a new local business, run by two previous clients of Urban Element, who wanted another Business Catalyst site to promote their new venture. They wanted a brochure site where potential customers could make storage room bookings.

Usability was a primary focus for the developers when building MyStore. The development team used Ajax to create a room size selector that displayed all the necessary information without confusing the user. A query form was developed to enable users to submit photos of their storage items for expert advice.

The site took 6 weeks to complete and the client was extremely pleased, especially by the fact that they started receiving bookings as soon as it went live!

The biggest challenge encountered by the developers was creating the storage selection to be dynamic and easily updatable by the client.

An advice for BC beginners, from the designer of MyStore Self Storage: “Watch BC’s tutorials, start with static/brochure site before moving on to a web app driven site. Also, using usability tools once the site is live can help you monitor its performance and see where you can improve/make changes.”

Urban Element is a Web Design and Digital Marketing agency that takes pride in creating cutting edge, modern websites, that look great, provide rich user experience, and deliver measurable results for your business.

 

* * *

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"!

Improving your support experience

Magda Neagu Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Being satisfied with the product means being satisfied with the Support and Documentation as well, and we actively work on improving your experience in that area. Today we release a new support wizard that can help you reach the answers you need faster, and get the right information to solve your particular issues.When opening up the Contact Us page or the regular Support portal you now have the option to browse solutions to some of the most frequent issues. If you do need to contact support you will get tips on what information is required in order to help us troubleshoot your issue as quickly as possible.

Of course, the standard options of raising a case or accessing our live chat tool are still available, but we hope this new support tool will help us decrease the time spent looking for a solution to your problem. 

The Business Catalyst team

Site of the Week: Aussie World

Roxana Moldovan Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Business Catalyst Site of the Week is Aussie World, designed by Code Artists

For the Sunshine Coast’s only theme park, Code Artists worked with one of Australia's largest branding agencies to create an interactive child friendly digital experience - including micro-sites for The Shed and The Pub, stand-alone Aussie World attractions.

The project was a 4 month initial build, with ongoing features being added every month. By the end of this month, the designer aims aim to launch an online portal for kids, including videos, games and colouring competitions.

The biggest challenge was designing a bright and 'fun' site, while retaining usability and conveying all information clearly.

"I've been building websites exclusively on Business Catalyst since 2010. For me, the biggest advantage is the combined CRM and email marketing. It makes our clients' life so easy having one place to look for all customer-related information." (Beau Boddis, Code Artists).

A piece of advice from the designer of Aussie World, for a person who just started using BC: "If you're new to Business Catalyst, join the forums! The wealth of knowledge that is available is incredible."

Code Artists is a digital agency that creates boutique online experiences.

* * *

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"!

 

 

Business Catalyst Scheduled Maintenance - October 22nd

Magda Neagu Monday, October 17, 2016

To ensure the highest security and performance levels for our services, we're applying a hardware and software update on servers located in our Virginia datacenter. To minimize the customer impact, the updates are scheduled at the most convenient hours for the region and will take up to eight hours to complete. 

During the maintenance procedure we expect intermittent interruptions for some features in the Site Administration section for 3 times in total during the maintenance.

Additionally, throughout the maintenance procedure, website front-ends for sites located in the respective Datacenter that have heavy database usage may experience 3 service interruptions of maximum 15 minutes.
Please find below the maintenance schedule and the list of affected services:

Start of maintenance Duration Datacenter Customer impact
Sunday October 22 2016 11:00 PM PDT 8 Virginia
  • 1 x 15 minutes service interruptions
    Partner registration, Trial site creation, Adobe Muse publish, APIs, FTP and some admin sections will not be available during the 3 interruptions
    Operational and email marketing campaign emails will be delayed
    Reporting data loading will be delayed
  • 2X10 minute service interruptions
       

For up to date information about system status, check the Business Catalyst System Status page.

We apologize for any inconveniences generated by these service interruptions. Please make sure that your customers and team members are aware of these important updates.

Thank you for your understanding and support,
The Adobe Business Catalyst Team

Business Catalyst Scheduled Mainentance - October 16th

Magda Neagu Friday, October 14, 2016

To ensure the highest security and performance levels for our services, we're applying a hardware and software update on servers located in our Dublin and Sydney datacenters. To minimize the customer impact, the updates are scheduled at the most convenient hours for the region and will take up to eight hours to complete. 

During the maintenance procedure we expect intermittent interruptions for some features in the Site Administration section for 3 times in total during the maintenance. 
Additionally, throughout the maintenance procedure, website front-ends for sites located in the respective Datacenter that have heavy database usage may experience 3 service interruptions of maximum 15 minutes.
Please find below the maintenance schedule and the list of affected services:

Start of maintenance Duration Datacenter Customer impact
Sunday October 16 2016 11:00 PM PDT
8 Dublin
  • 1 x 15 minutes service interruptions 
    Partner registration, Trial site creation, Adobe Muse publish, APIs, FTP and some admin sections will not be available during the 3 interruptions
    Operational and email marketing campaign emails will be delayed
    Reporting data loading will be delayed
  • 2X10 minute service interruptions
Sunday October 16 2016 11:00 PM PDT
8 hours Sydney
  • 1 x 15 minutes service interruptions
    Partner registration, Trial site creation, Adobe Muse publish, APIs, FTP and some admin sections will not be available during the 3 interruptions
    Operational and email marketing campaign emails will be delayed
    Reporting data loading will be delayed
  • 2X10 minute service interruptions

Please note: trial site creation for the Virginia datacenter may also be impacted during the Sydney datacenter maintenance times. 

For up to date information about system status, check the Business Catalyst System Status page. 

We apologize for any inconveniences generated by these service interruptions. Please make sure that your customers and team members are aware of these important updates.
Thank you for your understanding and support,
The Adobe Business Catalyst Team

Disabling use of TLS 1.0 in Business Catalyst

Magda Neagu Wednesday, October 12, 2016

As you are probably aware, Business Catalyst is actively working to improve the security and reliability of the platform. Along these lines, we have introduced a feature to move the BC Admin and Partner Portal to HTTPS, and are currently working on disabling the TLS 1.0 encryption protocol.

Starting with June 2017 we will begin disabling the TLS 1.0 encryption protocol to ensure we are using the highest and most up to date security standards. The disablement of TLS 1.0 will prevent it from being used to access Business Catalyst sites. TLS ensures that a connection to a remote endpoint is to the intended destination through encryption and endpoint identity verification. Business Catalyst front end, admin, and API connections, along with email delivery, use TLS as a key component of their security

After we disable TLS 1.0, any inbound connections to or outbound connections from Business Catalyst will need to use the TLS 1.1 or TLS 1.2 encryption protocol. TLS 1.1 and TLS1.2 are already running in parallel with TLS 1.0 for all the BC infrastructure, and are automatically chosen as the default encryption protocols by browsers that support them.

How can you and your customers prepare for this change?

  • For access to Business Catalyst sites (front end and administration section) please use the latest browser versions available. You and your users will experience issues if non-supported browsers are in use or if you have disabled the supported encryption protocols in the browser. A short list of browsers that are compatible: Chrome 22 and higher, Mozilla 27 and higher, IE 11 and higher, Opera 12.18 and higher, Safari 7 or higher. See here a full list of browsers compatible with TLS 1.1 or above.
  • If you are using BC APIs in your integrations please make sure that these integrations support TLS 1.1 or TLS 1.2 as soon as possible, to avoid experiencing disruptions.

We hope to make this change as smooth as possible, and will update our community with notifications along the way to remind you of the upcoming changes. Should you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

The Business Catalyst team.

 

Site administration through HTTPs for new sites

Magda Neagu Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Starting with our next release coming out at the end of October, all new site administration sections will default to an HTTPs setting, having the flag below default to Enabled. If you consider it necessary you can switch back to HTTP at this time, by accessing the appropriate section in the Site Settings entry of the admin menu.  


This is the second step of our project to move all site administration areas and the Partner Portal to HTTPS that was announced at the end of September. The full project will span to spring of 2017 and will include the following:

  1. September 2016 - Allow existing sites to switch to a Secure Admin Console and back
  2. October 2016- Have all new sites default to a Secure Admin Console with the option to move back 
  3. January 2017 - Move existing sites to a Secure Admin Console with the option to move back should the partner consider it necessary
  4. March 2017 - Review all sites that have switched back and analyze the reasons
  5. May 2017 - Move all existing sites to a Secure Admin Console with no option to move back 

Should you have any questions regarding this move or any others from our series of security improvements please let us know.

The Business Catalyst team