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Building a Better Online Business
Creating and managing your online business requires you to follow the same basic principals of any business - relying on sound Business Strategies. There are however, a few practices that differ or that just are unique to an online business. Here we share our views and experience with you to help you develop a more effective and profitable online business.
Top Left Designs have been a Premium Business Catalyst partner for seven years now and whilst it is not an unknown and proven CMS for Web development, people still ask us why we are so strongly committed to this platform.
I thought it was probably worth sharing some of the key reasons we made this decision and have been so happy with the outcomes we have realised.
Our primary objective was to utilise a single CMS so we might become an authority in the use of that product or Web design and development rather than trying to keep abreast of several different platforms. We also sought :
- A product that was not open source or proprietary
- Easy to use by developers and site owners alike.
- Have a strong developer and support base that could be accessed readily.
- Demonstrated innovation in its own development.
- Was supported by strong team of developers and designers offering continual improvement to the base product.
We found that unlike many other platforms we knew of and had worked with, Business Catalyst (BC) met our criteria completely to our satisfaction. Soon after we took the product on it was acquired from its Australian owners by Adobe Systems, who have since poured considerable resources into further development of the product and the underlying system infrastructure over the last five years.We have seen the world wide user base of development partners grow from around 5,000 to well over 175,000 since the Adobe acquisition.
Ease of Website Development and Support.
Further to our primary objectives, we also sought a platform that was not only going to allow developers to deliver modern website rich in features but also a product that offered our clients the ability to easily maintain and update their own content and even add functionality of their own. In this regard, BC has proven itself to be a valued product by our clients. Adding new features and updating websites has been made so much easier because of BC and the ever-growing resources we have been able to tap into.
As time has passed, concerns with website security have grown more prominent for many businesses. Whilst we constantly are made aware of WordPress sites being hacked, compromised with malware and even hijacked, we take comfort in the fact that our own platform has never been compromised in these ways.
Central to the security of our sites is the fact that BC is a cloud-based or SaaS solution run from the three worldwide data centres located here in Australia, the USA and Europe and the fact that developers can only upload non-executable code to the websites.
As a SaaS based system, clients also rest easy in knowing that all the server administration, system updates and security is maintained and wild by Adobe engineers. Updates are released to the central servers on a periodic basis and all uses run from the same set of software to get. This approach not only delivers high quality service but also reduces the ongoing administration costs normally incurred.
Single Solution to All Business Needs.
Unlike many other Web development platforms that rely on plug-ins or integration to other services to deliver to all the needs of modern business with its digital marketing, BC offers all the needs in a single solution. BC sets itself apart in this regard integrating the key functions for any business needing a strong online presence by including;
- CMS for developing and maintaining content
- Business modules for common business processes.
- At integrated e-mail marketing, inclusive of 10,000 newsletters per month.
- Built in e-commerce. Fully customisable to suit all businesses selling products and services online.
- Integrated blog and forums.
- Its own performance analytics dashboard for reporting on site visitor patterns.
- Custom report enabling site owners to extract reports on any data in.
- CRM and workflow management
Back what people find most astounding about all of this is the price. Site owners can fully operational e-commerce, e-mail marketing and blogging solution in place for just $42 per month.
The list of features, the range of models available and how we can develop different websites by adapting our use and configuration of those modules still amazes us after all this time. Much of our success in being able deliver site specifically suited and customised to individual clients’ needs however falls back to one single feature that BC has and that sets it apart from everyone else.
Whilst the naming of this module might be confusing, this single feature is enabled BC developers throughout the world to develop some very powerful customised solutions for their clients.
Web Apps are a custom database that we can define in BC for most purposes we can imagine. If the client has structured data that needs to be presented and maintained within a website then Web Apps is the solution.
Is BC the solution for everyone? No it is not – no CMS platform ever will be. It is however, a product that enables us to deliver Web solutions for our clients are the same or lower investment to alternative solutions and at the same time exceeding the functionality of products and generally provide.
At present, we have a new liquid version of CMS in beta trials to be released this year which will enable our development teams to offer even more robust and efficient solutions.
BC provides developers with all the essential tools to build commercial grade websites for small to large businesses stop whilst we have seen some great features and other products and would like to see in BC, it remains a rock solid solution that delivers value to the developers and our clients.
If you would like to see more about BC features we suggest you view the details of those either here or visit the Business Catalyst website. We welcome discussing how easily BC can help your business as a website owner or, if you are a website developer then follow this link to try out free 30 day trial and build a basic website yourself.
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Story - Brett Stockley from Pretty Pollution
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