What is Adobe® Business Catalyst®?

Adobe Business Catalyst is a unified hosting platform that enables you to work in your preferred editing environment to create sites that meet client requirements, without any server-side coding. The Business Catalyst hosting solution provides website management tools, email marketing, e-commerce, and an integrated customer database that makes it easy to build and publish websites.

How is Business Catalyst like web hosting?

Adobe Business Catalyst is very similar to web hosting because of the dynamic, built-in modules and features. You'll have an FTP account to upload web pages, CSS, SWF files, JavaScript, and images. Most nonprogramming-related tasks you can do with a regular web hosting company you can do with Business Catalyst.

Why is Business Catalyst referred to as an all-in-one online business platform?

Once your clients log in, they will have immediate access to their contact database, orders, web form submissions, products, catalogs, web pages, and email marketing campaigns from one central location — all built to work together.

Do I need to know programming or HTML to add content to my web pages?

Business Catalyst enables you to build powerful online businesses for your clients. Editing options are intended for on-the-fly content editing (for example, editing a simple web page). In order to customize the overall design, layout, and look of sites, you should have a basic understanding of HTML and CSS.

I use Adobe Dreamweaver® to build my web pages. How will that work with Business Catalyst?

Adobe has built a dedicated extension that allows you to manage your Business Catalyst website directly inside the Dreamweaver user interface. The Business Catalyst extension works on Mac OS and Windows® operating systems. Download the extension here.

Is my creative freedom limited when designing on Business Catalyst?

Business Catalyst does not limit your creative freedom whatsoever. You have complete control over the HTML and CSS that you put into the system.

Is Business Catalyst standards-compliant?

Because Adobe respects your HTML code and won't change it, your website's XHTML standards compliance will depend on the HTML code that you create. However, if you do insert any system modules onto your web pages, the code generated by the system will be compliant.

Can I use my own web address? Or do I need to use wxyz.businesscatalyst.com?

For paid sites you can use your own web address or domain name. You can either redelegate your domain and use the Adobe DNS servers, or create an A record in your existing DNS service to point your domain to your new site at Business Catalyst — it's up to you. For instructions on this, see our Knowledgebase article. Note that if you are a Premium partner and wish to use our rebranding features, you will need to redelegate the domain to Adobe.

Can I run JavaScript, CSS, and SWF content on Business Catalyst?

Yes. Anything you can run on another HTML page or on your blog should work just fine. At a base level, Business Catalyst is like any other web hosting platform.

How can I collect payments on my online shop?

There are a number of ways you can collect payments. You can use any of the existing payment gateways already supported, such as Authorize.Net, Eway, PayPal and others. Or you can opt to use the "Process Offline" method in which you capture payment details from customers, and then process them manually using your existing point-of-sale (POS) system. You can also enable customers to choose to pay by check or COD.

Can I use SFTP to manage my website?

Yes. You get access to SFTP to speed up managing your Business Catalyst website. You can even access system templates and layouts via SFTP.

How do I enable SMS notifications for my inquiry forms?

You can use the built-in workflow framework to choose who you want notified each time a customer inquires and how you want them to be notified, for example, via email, SMS, or both. If you want SMS notifications, you can buy a suitable SMS pack.

Can I customize the look and feel of my inquiry forms?

Yes. When you paste the HTML code for any of your web forms into your web pages, you can completely change the layout and use your own CSS to customize it to look the way you like.

Does Adobe take a portion of my client's online sales?

No. Adobe does not take any portion of your client's online sales. However, the payment gateway or bank may charge a fee to process payments.

How many email newsletter campaigns can I send out each month?

Refer to the buying guide for more information.

Is there a limit on the size of my customer database?

For the best experience using Business Catalyst we recommend creating a maximum of 100000 CRM records.

Can I integrate an external system with my Business Catalyst site?

Yes. Adobe provides extensive APIs that allow you to connect most third-party systems to Business Catalyst. For example, you'll be able to synchronize your inventory, view recent orders, get a customer list, and more.

I've got some PHP code on my website that someone else programmed for me. Can I use that?

No. Business Catalyst is designed to fulfill most business needs without requiring you to hire programmers, and running server-side code such as PHP, ASP, and .NET is not supported.

Is Business Catalyst search engine friendly?

Business Catalyst automatically generates a sitemap that Google, Yahoo!, and Bing can use, helping to ensure that your website gets maximum visibility through these popular search engines.

Can I use Google Analytics on my Business Catalyst site?

Yes. You can easily add Google Analytics, which you can get directly from Google APIs, to any Business Catalyst site and get the rich reporting features that it provides. Business Catalyst also provides a built-in advanced reporting system with every site, which you can use without any extra configuration.

Can I build multilingual web pages?

Yes. Business Catalyst has Unicode support. To create a multilingual site, simply create a collection of web pages for each language that you wish to support and link to them from a central location on your website.

Is there a limit on the number of catalogs or products in my client's online shop?

For the best experience using Business Catalyst we recommend creating a maximum of 50000 products and 20000 catalogs.

Can I sell my products in more than one currency?

Yes. Business Catalyst has support for using multiple currencies in your online store. You can set up your store so that customers from different geographies automatically see the right price and currency, helping to maximize your conversions.

What payment gateways do you support?

Business Catalyst supports many payment gateways from around the world. If you don't see your payment gateway on the list, you can post it on the Business Catalyst wish list. However, Adobe cannot guarantee whether it will be added to the system.

Can I sell electronic or downloadable products?

Yes. With the Business Catalyst e-commerce functionality, you can sell both physical and electronic products. In the case of electronic products, the system will automatically provide your customers who have made a successful payment for their purchase with a link to download the products. You can limit how many times an electronic product is downloaded after purchase.

What languages does the Business Catalyst Administration area come in?

The Business Catalyst Administration area is available in English, French, German, Spanish, and Swedish. Currently there are no plans to add other language support for the Administration area. However, this does not affect the languages in which you can make your actual website available.

What are the system requirements for Business Catalyst?

There are a number of ways you can use the Business Catalyst product:

  • Use virtually any popular web browser. On Mac OS, Business Catalyst supports Apple Safari 5 or later, Firefox 30 or later and Chrome 18 or later. On Windows®, Business Catalyst supports Internet Explorer 9 or later, Firefox 30 or later, and Chrome 18 or later.
  • Use FTP.
  • Use Adobe Dreamweaver® or Adobe Muse™ software to manage your site. Refer to the system requirements for those products for more information.

How reliable is Business Catalyst?

The data centers that host Business Catalyst are located in Tier 4 data center facilities, and the servers have:

  • Multiple cooling and power distribution paths for stability
  • Multiple active power distribution paths to help prevent down time from blackouts
  • Redundant components for fault tolerance
  • High connectivity and power into the machines

All of the data center facilities are connected to the Internet via Tier 1 networks, or have peering arrangements with Tier 1 networks. This means that the servers are essentially hooked in to the "backbone" of the Internet, which generally results in higher network speeds and lower latency from your customer's browser to the servers. Adobe uses reasonable efforts to make the services available 24x7.

Where are your data centers located?

The Business Catalyst data centers are located on three continents to help customers receive optimum response times from their websites:

  • North America (Virginia, USA)
  • Europe (Dublin, Ireland)
  • Asia Pacific (Sydney, Australia)

What about data management? Does Business Catalyst provide backups?

Adobe Business Catalyst has a highly fault-tolerant server configuration in its data centers. All servers also have regular full and differential backups. However, it is important to note that recovery procedures cannot be initiated for individual file backups, as they are intended to perform "full recovery" of the servers in the event of a hardware or software failure only.

At an individual site level, we provide several backup options for customers. You can use FTP to copy your web pages, templates, and layouts as often as you see fit. A Customer Report Generator can be used to export all customer-related information at your convenience.

What about security? How secure is Business Catalyst?

Besides what is publicly available, we cannot disclose any additional details about our infrastructure and security systems in place, since this is considered sensitive information. Here is the information that you can share with your customer:

  • Business Catalyst has a multitude of security mechanisms in place, such as AAA (Authentication, Authorization, and Access Control), attack detection and annihilation mechanisms, encryption of sensitive data, firewalls, anti-virus, etc.
  • Business Catalyst is a PCI Level 1 compliant product. Accordingly, all cardholder data specific mechanisms, environments, policies, procedures, etc. have been audited for security compliance by an accredited 3rd party investigator.
  • The Business Catalyst code and environments are regularly tested for security holes both manually and using various 3rd party penetration software. A multitude of security standards (e.g., OWASP) are considered and followed.