FAQs

THE BC PLATFORM

What is Business Catalyst?

Business Catalyst is the all-in-one product that makes life easier and business more profitable. We're replacing 5+ tools that are essential for internet businesses with one - that's why life is easier. No more moving data between a handful of separate solutions. No more remembering 5 log ins for different products. No more wrestling with code and techie stuff. At a basic level Business Catalyst is web hosting for your business website. But to go with that you get website management tools, email marketing, eCommerce and an integrated customer database.

How is Business Catalyst like web hosting?

It's very similar actually - some people call Business Catalyst a "next generation" hosting solution because of all the built in goodies that it comes with. You'll have an FTP account to upload web pages, CSS, flash, JavaScript and images. It's also true to say that any non-programming related thing that you can do with a regular web hosting company, you can do with us.

You call Business Catalyst an all-in-one online business platform. How is it "all-in-one"?

When your clients logs in, they'll be able to immediately access their contact database, their orders, web form submissions, products and catalogues, web pages and email marketing campaigns from one central location. Furthermore, all of those functions are built to work together from the ground up!

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

Business Catalyst enables web designers to build powerful Online Businesses for their clients. While we provide fool-proof editing options for your clients, these are intended for on-the-fly content editing (eg. editing a web page). In order to customize the overall design, layout and "look" of sites, you will require a basic understanding of HTML and CSS.

I use Dreamweaver to build my web pages, how will that work with Business Catalyst?

We love Dreamweaver too! In fact we love it so much that we built a dedicated extension that allows you to manage your Business Catalyst website directly inside Dreamweaver. The BC Extension works on Mac and PC (MX, 8, CS3 and CS4). Download the extension here.

Is my creative freedom limited when designing on Business Catalyst?

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

Is your system standards compliant?

Yes indeed it is. Is your website? Because Business Catalyst will respect your HTML code and won't change it, your website's XHTML standards compliance will depend on the HTML code that you or your designer has created. 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?

You can use your own web address, also called a URL or domain name. You can either redelegate your domain and use our DNS servers or you can 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 knowledge base article. Please note that if you are a Premium Partner and wish to use our rebranding features you will need to redelegate the domain to us.

Can I run Javascript, CSS Stylesheets and Flash on Business Catalyst?

Of course! Anything you can run on another HTML page or on your blog will work just fine. Remember that at a base-level Business Catalyst is like any other web hosting platform.

How can I collect payments on my shop?

There are a number of ways you can collect payments on your online shop. You can use any of the existing payment gateways already supported, e.g. Authorize.net, Google Checkout, PayPal and many more. Or you can opt to use the "Process Offline" method that captures payment details from customers and you can then process these manually using your existing point-of-sale (POS) system. You can also enable customers to choose to pay by Check and COD.

Can I use FTP to manage my website?

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

How do I enable SMS notifications for my inquiry forms?

You can use the inbuilt workflow framework to choose who you want notified each time a customer inquires and how you want them to be notified, e.g. via email, SMS or both. If you want SMS notifications you simply buy a suitable SMS pack.

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

Sure you can. 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 however you like.

Do you take a cut of my client's online sales?

Nope! Business Catalyst doesn't take any cut from your client's online sales. However, their payment gateway or bank may charge a fee to process payments.

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

On the Pro plan, you can send 10,000 email newsletters per month at no extra cost; on the Business plan you can send 1,000 newsletters per month at no extra cost. If you want to send out more, you can purchase additional email newsletter packs.

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

No, there isn't :)

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

Sure. We provide extensive APIs that allow you to connect most 3rd party systems to Business Catalyst. For example you'll be able to synchronize your inventory, get a list of recent orders, customers and more.

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

Our goal was to create a platform that fulfilled the needs of 90% of all business people, so they didn't need to get their nephews and granddaughters to program for them. So the answer is no, you can't run PHP, ASP, .NET or other server-side code. But you can probably replicate the functionality, and then maintain it yourself without a problem.

I've heard solutions like this aren't SEO Friendly. Is this solution search engine friendly?

Of course! We use friendly and customizable URLs throughout and utilize search engine friendly techniques such as 301 Permanent Redirects. We even integrate with Google, Yahoo!, and Bing sitemaps feature, so the system regularly and automatically generates a "sitemap" which the search engines use to ensure your website gets maximum visibility in the search results.

Can I use Google Analytics on my Business Catalyst site?

Yes. You can easily add Google Analytics to any BC site and get the rich reporting features that it provdies. Business Catalyst also provides an advanced reporting system builtin that comes with every site which you can use without any extra configuration.

Can I build multi-lingual web pages?

Yes. Business Catalyst has full unicode support. You can create web pages in any languages imaginable. You can even send your newsletters in your language of choice. To create a multi-lingual site you'd 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?

Not at all. You can have as many catalogs and products as you like.

Can I sell my products in more than one currency?

Business Catalyst has full support for multi-currency online stores. You can setup your online store so that customers from different geographies automatically see the right price and currency so to maximize your conversions.

What payment gateways do you support?

We support many payment gateways from right around the world. Click here to see a list. If you don't see your payment gateway on this list, then you can post it on our wish list, however we cannot guarantee if/when it may be added to the system.

Can I sell eProducts / Downloadable products?

Yes. With Business Catalyst eCommerce functionality you can sell both physical and electronic products. In the case of electronic products, the system will automatically provide 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 your Administration area come in?

The Business Catalyst Administration area is translated and available in the following langauges: English, French, German, Spanish and Swedish. Currently there are no further plans to add other language support for the Administration area. However this doesn't affect your actual site. You can create your website in any language that you like. Business Catalyst supports unicode which means you can have your website in English or Japanese or Hebrew - virtually in any language!

What are the system requirements to use Business Catalyst?

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

  • Use any popular web browser. On the Mac we support Safari 3+ and Firefox 2+. On Windows we support Internet Explorer 7+ and Firefox 2+, Safari 3+
  • Use FTP
  • Use our Adobe Dreamweaver Extension - it allows you to manage your Business Catalyst website directly inside Dreamweaver (CS3, CS4 and CS5) on both Mac and PC

How reliable is BC?

System Reliability is non-issue because all of our Data Centers are located in Tier 4 Data Centre facilities. This means that all of the facilities that house our servers have:

  • Multiple cooling and power distribution paths for stable systems
  • Multiple active power distribution paths to prevent down time from blackouts
  • Redundant components for fault tolerance
  • High connectivity and power into our machines

All of our Data Center facilities are connected to the net via Tier 1 networks, or have peering arrangements with Tier 1 networks. This means that our 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 our servers. And on top of all that we provide a 99.98% uptime service level agreement.

Where are your data centers located?

Business Catalyst operates data centers in 3 different continents to ensure our customers get optimum response times from their websites. Our data centers are located in:

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

What about data management? Do you provide back ups?

Business Catalyst has a highly fault-tolerant server configuration in our data centers. For web and FTP servers, traffic is managed by a redundant pair of hardware load balancers, and in the event of a server failure, immediately and transparently distributed to the remaining servers in the pool. For database servers, there is instant failover to a mirror server for each database. Site assets (images, scripts, et cetera) are stored on NAS (Network Attached Storage) device with fault-tolerant disk configuration and redundant control units. Firewalls and other network hardware are also installed in redundant pairs for immediate failover in the case of malfunction. The data centers are also connected to the Internet through multiple links from different Internet service providers for added reliability.

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. We also provide the Customer Report Generator to export all customer related information at your convenience. Another option for very complex sites would be to maintain a replica using our Notifications and Web Services API's. We do always suggest you retain a copy of your site's files and data locally, to protect from inadvertent file deletions in future by the site's users. To further assist, a comprehensive site backup and transfer tool – where you can download the BC site into an archive and be able to upload it again as a whole complete BC site – is on the long term roadmap. We do not have an ETA for this at present.


PLANS

Which plan is right for my client?

Use the tables below to compare the Business Catalyst features available in each plan, organized by what section of the system features fall under: home/dashboard, content management, modules, eCommerce, email marketing, customer database, reporting & analytics, administrative tools, and system usage limits.

Home/Dashboard

  Starter $9/mo Business $19/mo Pro $39/mo
Home
Tasks  
Web Mail
My Details

Content Management

  Starter $9/mo Business $19/mo Pro $39/mo
InContext Editing
Web Pages
Blogs  
Dynamic Menus
Forums  
RSS Channels  
Secure Zones  

Modules

  Starter $9/mo Business $19/mo Pro $39/mo
Ad Rotators  
Announcements  
Bookings    
Comments  
FAQs  
Literature  
Photo Galleries  
Site Search  
Sitemap  
Web Apps    
Web Forms  

eCommerce

  Starter $9/mo Business $19/mo Pro $39/mo
Catalogs    
Products    
Affiliate Programs    
Gift Vouchers    
Shipping Options    
Payment Gateways    
Discount Codes    
Tax Codes    
QuickBooks Integration    

Email Marketing

  Starter $9/mo Business $19/mo Pro $39/mo
Email Campaigns  
Lists  

Customer Database

  Starter $9/mo Business $19/mo Pro $39/mo
Search  
Customers  
Cases  
Bookings    
Opportunities    
Orders    
Forecasts    

Reporting & Analytics

  Starter $9/mo Business $19/mo Pro $39/mo
Summary
Customer Report  
Website Report
eCommerce Report    
Admin Usage
Custom Reports

Administrative Tools

  Starter $9/mo Business $19/mo Pro $39/mo
User Management
Role Management
Domain Management
Site-Wide Templates
Content Holders  
Categories  
Workflows  
Import  
Search Engine Optimization
Build Web Apps    
Extend Customer Database    
Customer Service Ticketing    
API Integration  
Meta Data Framework  
Customize System Messages  
Customize System Emails  
Other Customization Options  

System Usage Limits

  Starter $9/mo Business $19/mo Pro (1 User) $39/mo Pro (5 User) $59/mo Pro (10 User) $79/mo
Administration Users 1 1 1 5 10
Email Addresses 10 10 10 20 50
Disk Limit 1GB 1GB 1GB 2GB 5GB
Bandwidth Limit 1TB/mo 1TB/mo 1TB/mo 1TB/mo 1TB/mo
Email Newsletter Credits - 1,000/mo 10,000/mo 10,000/mo 10,000/mo
SMS Limit - - 10/mo 10/mo 10/mo

What is an admin user?

This is a user added to a site & they would have access to the administration area of a site.

What is an email user?

This is an email account setup in a site. This is email only & does not give the user administration access to the site but has full email capabilities such as POP, IMAP and webmail.

Is there a setup charge for your plans?

There is no setup charge for any of Business Catalyst plans. Your client simply chooses the plan that best suits their business and then pays for it on a monthly basis. Note: If you are a Premium Partner using our Consolidated Billing feature, you are able to charge clients a set up fee on top of their on-going monthly bill.

Can my customer change plans at anytime?

Yes they can easily change between plans. Any fees paid in advance will be applied to the new pricing on a pro-rata basis.

Where can I review the terms that govern my use for Business Catalyst?

Your use of Business Catalyst's products is governed by our End-User Agreement.


PRICING & BILLING

Is there a cost if we setup a customer trial site?

There is no cost for trial sites. As a Free, Standard or Premium Partner, you may create as many trial sites as you need. It can often be effective to create trial sites when presenting the Adobe Business Catalyst solution to new prospects. You only pay when you decide to upgrade to a Live Site.

What forms of payments do you accept?

We accept payment by credit card only (Visa, Mastercard & American Express).

How does billing work for customer sites & who is responsible?

It's entirely up to you how billing should work. Some partners do not want the hassle of billing. In those cases, when you upgrade the site you can choose for Adobe Business Catalyst to have the billing relationship with your customer. In this scenario your customer will be aware of us since they will receive invoices with our branding on it, charged at the scheduled rate. You will need to secure the customer’s credit card details prior to upgrading their site from a trial site to a paid site.

Alternately, you can have the billing relationship with your customer. When you choose this option we will bill you at the scheduled rate for each site and you are solely responsible for any billing and collection of payments between you and your customer. We provide our Premium partners with some great tools to help them manage their billing with their customers, including the ability to setup Consolidated Billing for their customer sites.

In either scenario, commission (if applicable to you), calculated on the scheduled rate, will accrue in your Partner Portal.

How do I redeem my commissions?

  • 20% commission accrues to Standard / Premium Partners on hosting sales, based on the above prices
  • 10% override commission accrues to Standard / Premium Partners on hosting sales of referred Standard / Premium Partners
  • Commissions may be redeemed and paid into your PayPal account once the balance of a given currency that you earn commission in reaches the value of US$500 or more.

Can I cancel a paid site at any time?

Yes, as long as all invoices are up-to-date with payments, you have full control of cancelling a site & no further billing will occur.

Is a payment refunded if we cancel a site?

No, we do not refund payments for sites which are cancelled, regardless of billing being set to monthly or yearly.

Can I mark-up the Business Catalyst prices?

If you bill the customer direct, yes you can. It's highly recommended that if you markup our pricing, you provide value added services on top of our platform hosting.

What extras can I add to a site?

You can add additional users/email accounts, disk space, SMS & extra newsletters. Purchasing any of these extras is done via the Partner Portal > Clients tab > System Usage. All extras purchased are setup on recurring billing with the exception of extra newsletter credits which are purchased as a once-off & valid for use up to 12 months from the date of purchase.

  • Additional 1 User $5/month (includes 10 additional email addresses)
  • Additional 5 Users $20/month (includes 20 additional email addresses)
  • Extra Disk Space $10/1GB per annum (charged annually)
  • Extra Newsletters $0.01/email (first 10,000 free on applicable plans)
  • Extra SMS $10/month per additional 50 SMS (charged monthly)
  • Excess traffic charged at $1/1GB (first 1TB free)
  • Extra newsletter credits:
    • 1,000 @ $10
    • 40,000 @ $240 (40% discount)
    • 65,000 @ $325 (50% discount)
    • 90,000 @ $360 (60% discount)
    • 190,000 @ $570 (70% discount)

THE PARTNER PROGRAM

Do you offer any payment plan options on the Partner signup fee?

No, we do not have a payment plan option available for this.

Once I have signed up as a Partner & paid my fee, can I cancel my Partner signup & get a refund at any time?

No, we are not able to refund a Partner signup fee once it has been processed & your free Partner site & Partner Portal has been implemented.


SUPPORT

What Support options do you provide to Standard & Premium Partners?

Standard & Premium Partners have access to the BC Knowledge base, Community Forums and helpful Training Videos

They can submit support tickets via the Support tab of their Partner Portal, while their clients can submit requests through the Support Central area of their Admin Console.

What Support options do you provide to Free Partners

Free Partners have access to the BC Knowledge base, Community Forums and helpful Training Videos.

Free Partners and their clients are unable to submit Support tickets. Please upgrade to a paid Partner account in order to receive direct Support.

Do you offer over-the-phone Support?

We do not provide telephone support, however in lieu of this we provide live training (with the ability to see the trainer's screen) during our regular Q&A Sessions. Click see a list of upcoming Q&A sessions.

You can bring your queries to these sessions, and we can work with you live in the Webinar to resolve the issue for you. Make sure you book in quickly though, as there is a limit of 6 attendees per session.

Do you provide support around HTML / CSS questions?

HTML and CSS issues are outside the scope of our Support, and unfortunately we will not be able to help you with this issue, however you may like to post these on our community forums, where a member of our helpful community may be able to assist!


ADOBE MUSE

What is Adobe® Muse?

Adobe® Muse is a new tool (currently in public beta) that enables print designers to create and publish original HTML pages to the latest web standards without writing code. With just a few clicks, you can easily publish your sites to the Business Catalyst hosting platform from within Muse.

Where can I download Adobe® Muse?

Adobe® Muse is available in beta at http://muse.adobe.com/.

Where can I found out more about the Muse + Business Catalyst integration?

For more information, please refer to the Business Catalyst FAQ at http://muse.adobe.com/faq.html