Business Catalyst will be out-of-business soon, and users are advised to start migrating to another platform. But where to start?
As officially announced in March, Adobe is shutting down Business Catalyst (BC) with the end-of-life (EOL) to take effect on 26 March 2021, giving partners and customers an ample of time to move their data to another platform. After which date, all data will be deleted permanently.
To give BC users peace of mind and for a smooth transition, we have put together a migration strategy. So, let’s get to work:
A little background about Business Catalyst
Business Catalyst is an all-in-one SaaS (Software as a Service) solution for building and managing large and business websites. It offers a large variety of tools, including eCommerce must-haves and email marketing tactics. It’s especially beneficial to web designers since the rich features are quite useful for them. Not only did it make the process of developing a website from scratch a whole lot simpler, it also spared the designers the trouble of the back-end coding.
Established in 2004 by two Australian entrepreneurs, the company offered astonishing services for almost 15 years. BC was acquired by Adobe System Worldwide in 2009 and had been positioned as an entry-level solution for businesses not quite ready for the enterprise products they sell.
From SEO-optimized online stores, payment gateways, built-in CRM to web forms — you name it, BC had most tools a small business would need out of the box.
Time to bid adieu to Business Catalyst
As all great things come to an end, the glory days of Business Catalyst are fading. As mentioned earlier, EOL is scheduled for 26 March 2021 and upgrades to paid version will be until 27 August 2018. However, all developments for BC are already discontinued as of 26 March 2018.
The demise of this company will definitely be a hard blow, especially for those who relied on BC on a daily basis. We need to find a way to move on, and what better way than to find an alternative as great (if not better) as its predecessor.
It may be difficult to put your faith in any software other than BC but there are several splendid Content Management System (CMS) platforms that are guaranteed secured and dependable.
Let’s take a look at the alternative CMS platforms
Bearing in mind that there are many, many more options available. These are some of the more popular.
WordPress is used by over 30% of all websites, making it the natural choice for most people looking for an alternative. It’s very user-friendly and highly customisable — it has an extensive repository of plugins and well-made themes.
Once you get to pass through set up, managing your WordPress website and extending its functionality will be easy.
One big advantage WordPress has over the competition is that there are thousands of developers supporting it, as well as agencies specialising in specific aspects of the platform: maintenance, security, eCommerce, etc..
Although it is not as successful as WordPress, Drupal is another popular CMS due to its enterprise-grade security system. Drupal has a smaller share of the market than WordPress but still powers millions of websites, including many Government ones. It offers a large number of free themes and has been in business for almost two decades now.
We also have Joomla as a fair alternative since a lot of users prefer to optimize it on a daily basis. Like WordPress, Joomla is also an open-source software and written in PHP. It has been downloaded over a million times and a favourite amongst developers that prefer to stay away from WordPress.
ExpressionEngine is a CMS created by EllisLab, a globally renowned software development company. It’s written in PHP and uses MySQL for storage purposes; however, its scope is not as broad as the other top CMS platforms. It works well for small websites and for users who don’t need a lot of plugins or extensions.
The problem with SaaS platforms
Popular SaaS solutions which you may use, or have heard of, are Wix, Weebly and Squarespace. Designed to be easy to use, they promise a hassle-free approach to building and managing a website and offer a wide range of functions to cover most requirements.
However, the minute you need something bespoke to address a specific use case, that’s where you hit the wall. You won’t be able to develop the function within the platform. A SaaS solution is not as powerful and scalable as an open source CMS such as WordPress.
You also need to consider ownership of the code, content and data.
Business Catalyst’s current state of affairs is a big concern. You’ll need to determine what the risks are to you if the SaaS platform hosting your website decides to shut shop. What if this happens overnight?
Your checklist before migrating from Business Catalyst
You need a plan before shifting your resources from BC; that part is obviously not a cakewalk. You cannot just click a button and boom, you’re all set. If you have no clue as to what you’re going to do next, try appointing a professional developer to assist you (it may cost you a few dollars).
Decide which platform you are going to opt for. Word of advice: Go for the one which offers everything you require now and that can be extended in the future as your requirements change.
If you opt for CMS, you are going to require the best of breed web hosting to power up your website and deliver web content over the internet.
Migrating from one platform to another gives you the opportunity to fix broken functions, detect and delete unwanted content, and even re-design the entire output from scratch.
Backing up your entire data is the most important step of all. Your data is your most crucial asset. You don’t want it misplaced during the migration. Back everything up so that you can easily get optimized with your selected platform without any worries and fuss.
Utilize Agile to help accelerate your website rebuilding and then you can push your website live as quickly as possible.
Web Hosting is just as important
First and foremost, do not go for cheaper alternatives when it comes to web hosting. Contrary to what you may think, web hosting is very crucial for your website. If you opt for a low-paying web host, your website will be slow with frequent downtime.
Don’t ever compromise the quality and functionality of your website. Go for a web hosting provider that offers high availability, security and active support.
It’s very upsetting indeed that Business Catalyst is closing down. At this point, if you’re a BC user, it’s only smart to have your resources sorted out and seriously consider migrating to another system. There are plenty of amazing alternatives, like WordPress, Joomla, etc. They offer hundreds of plugins, extensions and even grant several free themes to the users — and budget wise, they’re worth every penny.
Get in touch with us and let us help you sort out your web requirements so you can make your final decision and initiate data transfer to a more reliable platform.