Reviews (1-21 of 21)
Adobe Business Catalyst Review: "If only Adobe BC accounts could stop charging for unwanted services - Be careful No BC Refund Policy Exisits !"
- Server Uptime is good
- Online Chat is good
- Security is good
- Technical Service is good
- If a customer has a query they don't listen to the customer they just look at ways to hide behind BC company policy. In the UK if a customer changes a subscription plan by law they have a 14 day cooling off period. BC doesn't allow a plan to be changed once it’s been upgraded even if this is within a 24 hour period. I understand that BC having to comply with international law is not going to happen and that's not what a customer would expect. But what I do expect is for their accounts department to actually consider and review a customer’s requests or simple error's made without just quoting company policy.
- In my case, I noticed our website was being tagged as NOT SECURE in Google Chrome Browser. I knew BC didn't offer SSL when I tried it a few years back but that I would check to see if they added that service. Sure enough, they added SSL certificates last summer, that’s was great news. So I read that SSL only came with the Platinum Service Plan and upgraded at a cost of $264.13 . Then a few minutes later I noticed that actually, I could have purchased the SSL on my current Web commerce plan (Gold Plan) for just $80. Within 24 hours I requested the upgrade be canceled and to just add SSL to my current plan. After all, we didn’t need a Platinum plan for our needs we only needed the SSL certification. The accounting department said this was not allowed or possible due to their cancellation policy of NO REFUNDS. They even suggested I could change back to GOLD service in the summer and then pay another $80 to add the SSL that would be lost. This is not the service I would expect. In strict comparison and contrast to our domain is hosted with GoDaddy and they will allow customers to change service policy at any time and they always Pro Rata any billing need meaning the customer is never charged for a service they don't want at that time.
- When a customer upgrades a service it should be upgraded for 12 months from the upgrade date. The old service remaining credit should be deducted from the new service subscription and BC should clearly display the upgrade price for the next 12 months. The customer should be given the opportunity to review the service cancellation policy before checking a check-box and then processing the order.
- BC fail to communicate important service upgrades such as SSL certification added last year. Someone could have called me on that emails get lost these days so what’s wrong with a plan good old fashioned phone call
- BC has changed their service plan names, that's not a problem in itself providing its communicated to the customer and that it is 100% adopted across all media platforms, user portal and billing etc. The WebCommerce Plan is also the Gold Plan and I was not aware of that so found it very confusing.
- When upgrading a service plan BC should provide pop up windows to highlight the company cancellation policy which is good standard practice
- The Web Apps element of Business Catalyst is unique among hosted CMS systems. It helps us solve unique challenges without involving heavy-duty programmers.
- As a Hosted CMS, it has a lot of great features without a ton of cost or liability being taken on which is important to us.
- BC has a growing developer community and has made significant upgrades over the past few years, which don't end up costing us more, and would be very expensive or time consuming in a traditional CMS
- Our client's like that it is from "Adobe" and that it has Dreamweaver integration. This provides them with a level of comfort that helps us sell the project.
- There is a lot of documentation out there, but much of it is out of date or lacking in detail or specificity.
- The biggest weakness of BC is its support. While the chat feature is good, it has long hold times and staff that is not knowledgeable about the product. I doubt anyone in support has ever even built a site with Business Catalyst before. They need US support centers with actual designers or developers who would be able actually help. It seems like 50% of our support questions should be easy but end up being escalated as a "not for the development team" or never answered.
- The Admin UI could be more intuitive and the In-Content Editing is very difficult to actually use in practice with a novice client.
- Probably one of the easiest e-commerce platforms to work in, it does take setup, but compared to a lot of other e-commerce solutions, this is probably the best one that I have seen that can be designed and implemented custom.
- Their template system works very well and allows you to create and re-use templates across Adobe Business Catalyst.
- Their pre-built modules are great, giving people a great way to use common web elements without having to use a plug-in or find some solution, it is simply built in and generally works exactly as you would expect.
- Adobe Business Catalyst is more of an all-around solution, providing elements that most smaller companies would have a hard time figuring out, since it includes the ability to build websites, send and track e-mails, analytics. It really is a powerful tool that would typically require a fair amount of coding knowledge and expertise but with the system already built, it can be easily modified and edited by those with limited or no coding knowledge at all.
- They do not have the ability to create and build custom plug-ins for use on websites.
- They do not support every payment gateway, they support the major ones, and most others, but if you have some very unusual payment gateway, it might not be supported.
- The custom web apps were absolutely one of my favorite parts of this system, and it is really a shame that they do not allow them to be used on all tiers of the website, you have to get the web commerce tier to edit and use them.
Adobe Business Catalyst is an absolute rock-star for companies that want an all in one solution, who have limited budgets and/or little technical expertise. It will scale well and can grow with your company. It is more complex and more flexible than something like Wix, where your options are heavily limited, but less open than WordPress where you can use plug-ins and custom code to rebuild how anything works. So it is a nice area in the middle.
Adobe Business Catalyst would probably not be a great solution for companies who want absolute control over their website and everything in it and have highly experienced technical resources to build out whatever they need since not every area of the website or server can be modified.
- Analytics: I am able to see on multiple levels traffic, clicks, and most importantly search terms for improving SEO. The reports are easy to generate as well as read, especially for small inexperienced business owners.
- Marketing: When using the BC platform businesses are able to link up easily with Adobe Marketing to automatically send out emails and newsletters. Its a very smooth and painless process.
- Online Editing: This is probably the best part of BC. Once a design is approved and launched on the platform, my clients do not have to contact me for small content updates. This frees me up as a small business owner to concentrate on design, new clients, and larger projects for existing clients.
- Multi Client Management: The dashboard for managing multiple clients as a reseller is a little difficult to get to. There is also no very easy way for me to manage multiple clients at once. I have to log into and out of individual client accounts to do billing or management.
- Lack of Server support: There are certain server protocols and languages that are not supported using BC. For example I cannot build a custom php database and upload to BC. I am required to use their tools.
- Webapps can be used for various content types and because the interface is simplified and standardized it's easy to give clients the ability to edit content without them having to modify html.
- The template engine makes adding templates into the system and setting them up very fast. This helps to speed up development time.
- Because BusinessCatalyst is a hosted solution, it removes the need for Server Management. Now that the BC API is more extensive and the content can be output via JSON, there seems to be nothing you can not do in the system.
- BusinessCatalyst is a hosted solution and some can view this as a negative due to not having access directly to the server.
- Some of the BuisnessCatalyst modules seem to never be updated or improved upon and it seems almost impossible to extend them into solutions that don't exist.
- The Photo Gallery module is really easy to get setup however it is really difficult to extend due to the lack of access to do so.
- It lacks a tagging system that can be used to output content. Currently it has categories which can be used but I don't think the original intention was this due to there only being three tiers available for use.
Adobe Business Catalyst: "Business Catalyst Review: small to medium e-commerce businesses best option"
- BC has excellent integration of features that allow for end to end reporting
- BC is flexible and adaptable through web apps and integrated modules
- BC offers multi-level customization that can be done efficiently in several ways
- I love web apps but it can be time consuming to get the bulk import file just right the first time
- Support is good, but the effort to research can be massive for unusual issues
- Metadata on blog posts and pages can require lots of content editing at a slow pace
- The new templates have social connectivity built in which is very nice.
- The Sites do a good job on newsletter templates and data tracking.
- The in browser editing is a plus.
- The initial cost is usually spent on a designer or content developer so the client can focus on a set up fee and then just the on going hosting. No long term fees for developers to come in and make edits.
- It is SaaS, so the initial savings can seem costly if the site owner wants to redesign. It is still less costly than having a professional enterprise site built for you, but you will be limited by your budget.
- It has been a while since I used it, but custom pages for businesses on Facebook was something that needed to be built by a developer and implemented.
- Continues to upgrade/improve the platform. Moved hosting to Amazon cloud, a more secure environment. Added B.C. widgets factory to greatly enhance modules used.
- BC apps are being developed by a third party (bcappstore.com). BC Gurus is a great platform for getting tutorials on how design, coding, and more. And they provide client tutorials.
- Recent addition of Liquid logic on the server is the closest thing to server side programming on BC.
- Great tech support.
- I wish tech support would address issues with scripts, style sheets.
- It would be very helpful if B.C. partners were notified about improvements, maintenance schedule, etc. instead of spending time researching.
- The e-commerce module is the strength of Adobe Business Catalyst as I see it. It's easy to set up and establish a secure online store.
- I like using the "content holder" interface. There are building blocks that simplify the process of adding re-usable content to any page.
- Pricing seems inflexible and many times it's what makes my clients turn to other CMS systems. How can I defend spending $40 just because I want to use the BC Apps but have no use for the e-commerce function?
- I used to have a plethora of templates that I could use as a starting point. They are now gone and I miss them.
- Extremely stable platform.
- Very flexible with the modules and web apps features.
- The development UI side of the platform makes it very comfortable and easy for front end coding.
- Better drill down of the reports & analytics feature.
- Better integration and clarity with the CRM (Customer Relations Management) section.
- More selection of HTML5/CSS3 Responsive templates.
- As mentioned previously, we use the Content Holder module quite often because of the ability to place any html content that is prone to being frequently edited. It simplifies the process and allows us to simplify our templates.
- We also like the ease of the Photo Gallery and how simple it is to either add or remove photos from the gallery once it has been placed.
- Media Downloads seems to be a very helpful resource. With its ability to be categorized both by file type and customized categories within the web site and then placed by category also helps us streamline document placement especially when there are large number of those resources to organize.
- News is obviously a much needed resource and it is simple to add news items, classify them and place them on template pages where they are fed. It is one of the easiest items to teach new clients how to manage.
- Web Apps is our most prized module because of the ease of creating a database, then being able to style the output in any shape form or fashion.
- The Web Forms is very helpful and easy to create. Placing the forms is simple especially when inserting as a module. The problem comes after placement. It is time consuming if there are any edits that need to be made to the form. For example, if you are in the U.S., you typically do not want other countries to show up on a dropdown menu. It would be great if BC would allow you to check the countries (or states) that you want to be active. Also, often times within a web form you may want to include to separate address fields. That is not allowed unless you go back and do custom editing for the forms. "Workarounds" are typically possible but for the designer, anything that adds time to the process also cuts down on profitability.
- Where we enjoy the ease of creating Photo Galleries, we also don't like the fact that you can style the output like you can within other module templates. For example, many clients would like to offer better descriptions and even style the descriptions. If displaying a photo from a art museum, you may want to give the proper title and that would include italicizing the name of the artwork.
- One of our biggest pet peeves is the fact that BC only offers the European date style when displaying that dates in the modules. You should be able to check a box on which date style should be shown.
- On Web Apps, almost everything is fantastic EXCEPT for the ability to sort web app items by date. If I wanted to create a calendar of events based on a web app I want to create, I would want to be able to display those items in chronological order.
- The Event Module is great except the way it uses a quirky form to process payments and reserve events. It should behave more like an ecommerce solution where the form is easier to fill out, customize, submit and process.
- Blogs are one of the best ways to generate new content and gain organic rankings with search engines. Business Catalyst's built in blog engine allows users to have their blog resident on their website instead of having to maintain to two sites. This helps to keep the website fresh and builds SEO.
- Business Catalyst provides a comprehensive Email Marketing module. Users can create and schedule email series. BC also allows for other modules to be placed within the email so that as you update content on your website you are also populating your email newsletter.
- Although not a feature of Business Catalyst itself, there is a great community of BC partners that support one another. The community shares their knowledge and successes as well as their trials and tribulations. The community happily welcomes new partners without condition or judgement. Through the knowledge shared partners can learn about the platform itself, site building in general, tips on working with clients and how to build their own business.
- Business Catalyst support is excellent. Being able to chat with support in real time while you are talking a client through a problem is a great asset.
- The Web Apps module is a powerful feature which allows users to add content to the site while locking in the design. Users simply fill out a form and the information is added to the site perfectly formatted.
- The ability to replicate sites allows partners to reproduce a successful site thereby reducing build time and increasing productivity and profits.
- The learning curve can be steep.
- There is no access to the server side programming so some functionality needs a work around or cannot be accomplished.
- It is more expensive for users than many of the other website options.
Helpful resources for BC partners are:
- BC Gurus - http://www.bcgurus.com - training, templates and forums; new partners should definitely take their Zero to Hero series
- BC Sandpile - http://www.bcsandpile.com - meets weekly Tuesdays on the web to share and educate; also provides additional resources and recordings of past meetings
- Brass Tacks - https://my.adobeconnect.com/brasstacks/?launcher=false - monthly on the last Thursday (AU) web meeting to share and learn BC
- Kiyuco - http://kiyuco.com - tutorials for special solutions
- Tribevita - http://www.tribevita.com - ready to reskin templates
- The ability to link a gateway to a shopping cart is simple and straightforward.
- There is a lot of documentation on how to use their tools and features
- The reports and statistics that are available through the admin portal is incredibly useful to be able to understand how to tighten up the usability of the created site.
- The ability to create simple websites with strong CMS tools.
- Being able to use custom XML with web apps is non-existent even though they have been working on the issue for awhile. They even showed me a beta version of their web apps that would have done just that. That was about 2 years ago.
- It's email portal needs a lot of work.
- Web apps are a great way to create custom functionality for our client's websites that they can easily update at a later time.
- The ability to duplicate websites saves a lot of productivity time.
- Email Marketing through the backend and branded auto responders allow for a heightened customer experience. On top of that, these things are easy to set up.
- The blog module could be improved so there is more functionality and more freedom for easy customization.
- Multiple files upload into the Media Downloads module would be a great feature to have.
- Get a website online quickly
- Build small databases quickly
- Train end-users to use BC quickly
- Build web galleries quickly
- Need to be able to build a relational database inside BC
- Need to be able to easily reference outside links in BC
- Cancelling a website isn't always easy
- It's easy for my design team to turn Adobe InDesign or Photoshop files into HTML and CSS
- It's easy for my production team to build out the whole site in terms of content and on-site search engine optimization (SEO)
- It's easy for our clients to log in, add new pages, update the navigation, blog, and add contact forms
- Some clients really like the email marketing capability, especially as this functionality usually doesn't cost them anything extra
- Our e-commerce clients really like how easy it is to set up and maintain
- Adding unique page titles and meta descriptions to the blog has been challenging especially relating to tags and the "pages" that are automatically generated for them - we'd like this to be a lot easier
- In-context editing is kind of cool but is really slow loading and it's difficult for my design team to set this up properly
- You cannot redirect certain pages that no longer exist, so our clients get dinged in Google Webmaster Tools for pages no longer there - e.g. database-created pages with question marks in the name, .apsx pages and some other funky file types
- When uploading contacts from an email list, we have to contact Adobe directly to get them to manually "verify" each contact so we can email them - we've already gotten permission from them and don't want to have to email them just to get there permission again to satisfy Adobe
- When editing a page, it sometimes loses its formatting after saving in the viewer - the changes are still there, it just doesn't display properly. This used to happen on every save and now happens intermittently
- Managing the customer database
- Setting up drip email marketing campaigns
- A template-based design
- Initial cost of the platform can be daunting
- Since the platform itself was in transition, we needed to edit various highly technical aspects to make sure the site didn't go down
I like that it is tightly-integrated with Adobe Creative Cloud, specifically, Dreamweaver. This gives one more control to make great designs.
- Ability to rapidly build robust websites
- Hosted CMS and Software as a Service (Saas) model - updates and improvements are constantly being made. Don't have to worry about upgrading or managing servers
- Easy to use interface that allows our clients to make simple updates to their websites and manage their business online
- eCommerce is in need of an overhaul to compete with other solutions out there
- Site performance is not as consistent as it should be especially when the platform is pushed to its limits
- The Adobe programs are particularly strong by their continuity throughout the entire system. It is fairly simple to jump from one program to the next with ease, as long as you understand at least one program in depth.
- The Creative Cloud system does create a very convenient environment for keeping our programs up to date, and offering the ability to download whatever program we might now, rather than forcing us to download EVERY Adobe program.
- While there can be short comings with some things, for the most part Adobe has done a fantastic job of monitoring trends in the design world and responding to those trends with specific tools.
- I have run into some Adobe CC shortcomings. Video, specifically, seems to lack options. I was recently required to download a third party system to translate my video into web-ideal formats, such as .ogg and .webm. These are fairly common as web-optimized videos. I was very disappointed that Adobe's fairly advanced video software was unable to export in these formats.
- In addition to the video software shortcomings, I am usually disappointed with the online help options. Adobe is an extremely expensive product, so I naturally expect to have help at my fingertips whenever I may need it. Unfortunately, I am often relying on public forums, where the only professionals that comment end up redirecting you half a dozen times to find the information you need. It would be positively lovely to have 'chat' capabilities with professionals associated with specific programs.
- There are some tools that I think could be simplified in some of the programs. A specific example would be InDesign's color swatches and pantone controls. It took quite a while to figure out how to create a 2-color printing safe document, and it is needlessly difficult to accomplish.
Adobe Business Catalyst Scorecard Summary
Feature Scorecard Summary
About Adobe Business Catalyst
The yearly pricing plan for Adobe Business Catalyst starts at $10.99 per month with the narrower webBasics+ pack, which includes content management features and site analytics, as well as a hosted email. The $16.99 per month web marketing pack brings the CRM into the fold, as well as targeted email marketing and the blog. The $34.99 webCommerce pack adds the eCommerce solution, and for $52.99 and $71.99, you can expand access from 3 users to 5 and 10 users, respectively. Paying biyearly takes %5 further off the cost, paying month to month adds 10% to these prices.
Adobe Business Catalyst Integrations
Adobe Business Catalyst Technical Details