Adobe has announced the discontinuation of the Business Catalyst platform, with End of Life scheduled for March 26, 2020. That means that any website currently using Business Catalyst will be deleted along with all its customer data.
In light of the initial scramble that many businesses might be making to find a new host and CMS for their website and data, it’s a good opportunity to talk about how Content Management System (CMS) needs have changed, and what you should look for when choosing a new platform.
The CMS Has Progressed
Having a CMS is not the luxury that it used to be years ago. It puts your online content in the hands of your marketers rather than your IT team; no one really builds their site from the ground up anymore. A user-friendly CMS allows your marketing team to quickly support your marketing efforts online and not get stuck in the "queue" of IT tasks that an IT team may be dealing with.
When Business Catalyst came into the Adobe product family, there weren’t as many DIY solutions around as there are today, like Wix or SquareSpace, which are a good places to start for very basic CMS needs. It was a good option at the time because it required little maintenance and a variety of inexpensive add-ons and tools.
The downside to Business Catalyst—and why their websites are scrambling—is that it required users to both host and build their website with them. Now that they are ending services, users must find both a new CMS and a new host. A versatile CMS that is open source, like WordPress, can be used with most hosting providers.
Business Catalyst also didn't support the needs of businesses that wanted to collect and manage data to engage with their audience and provide awesome user experiences for visitors.
6 Features to Look for in a CMS
WordPress has progressed immensely since it started, and has grown with the Internet itself. It's evolved from a site where individuals upload informal blogs, to the go-to platform for national publications and global businesses alike.
WordPress is a great solution for businesses that need custom development and have the capacity to manage and maintain the technical aspects of the platform. It’s also a good choice for those who want keep options open in terms of hosting sites down the line.
HubSpot is another great option for hosting your site because it provides built-in marketing capabilities, allowing you to promote your services in an easy, user-friendly way.
Everything we do these days depends on a strong online presence so your business can be found and provide helpful information to those who are looking for it. When it comes to modern business needs, here are some features you should consider:
Look for a platform that allows you to customize your website to what your business needs. Look for platforms that attract large developer communities, because they'll offer a multitude of third-party plugins that enable customization.
2. Manageable Maintenance
Like an untended garden, websites that aren’t properly supported, groomed, and regularly updated become outmoded. The danger then is that businesses can become obsolete right along with them. Make sure that you choose a platform that you can realistically manage.
A CMS today can support marketing efforts by collecting and organizing information about your website and how people engage with it, so that you can inform future promotions, design, and marketing efforts.
4. Intuitive User Experience
Look for systems that are user-friendly, and can be easily learned by everyone who needs to access website information, whether they're the CEO, marketer, or IT admin. Many modern systems now have an intuitive UI that helps them do that.
Make sure your platform has the capacity to add plugins or design capabilities that allow you to engage with your customers and prospects. These capabilities will vary, depending on your products and services, or if you need e-commerce capabilities. Some platforms also allow you to A/B test content on your website to see what is most effective with visitors.
An advanced CMS will enable you to implement both technical SEO and SEO for content. Look for search capabilities, and the potential to set up automated emails and workflows, newsletters, and AI functionality. Your CMS may also be able to be consolidated with your contact lists to segment, manage, and track their interactions with your business online. Make sure you have archival capabilities, and advanced technical abilities, like building and updating content behind the scenes and going live later.
So, while the Adobe Business Catalyst platform is going away, it's for the best—it really hasn't supported advancements in the way we use websites in several years. It hasn’t kept up with any of the features that other hosted website builders, like WordPress and HubSpot have.
Now’s the Time to Redesign!
Don’t fall short of user expectations. Your website should include features and functions that will engage your visitors and promote conversions. Which CMS and host you choose ultimately depends on what you want to accomplish and what makes the most sense for the size of your business.
✅ HUFU Quick Tip: Not sure who hosts your website? Find out on www.hostingchecker.com.
Are you considering a new platform for your website that can do more for your business, or is your website currently hosted by Adobe Business Catalyst?
The good news is that you have time to make a plan —and we’re ready and able to help.
Our team of expert consultants is standing by to help you decide on and execute a plan. After all, we’ve been designing and building award-winning websites since 1997.
I’m happy to schedule time to talk with you about your website needs and to come up with an individualized plan for your business. There is no obligation for this free consultation.
Book time with me for a free consultation today!
In short, picking the right CMS allows us to implement strategic web design. Want to know more about how it works?