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Do you currently rely on Adobe Business Catalyst for your website?

If so, you’re probably well aware that Adobe Business Catalyst is being discontinued, which means you’ll need a new content management system (CMS). While that may cause you a bit of anxiety since your website is extremely important, it doesn’t need to.

There’s an absolutely incredible CMS that will benefit your company just as much – if not more – than Adobe Business Catalyst has in the past.

All you need now is to understand what the migration process will entail.

The Deadline for Migrating Off of Adobe Business Catalyst

Although the official announcement regarding Business Catalyst’s discontinuation was recent, the actual cutoff date isn’t until March 26, 2021. No new sites will be added to the platform after August 27th, 2018.

Still, while that may seem like a lot of time, there’s no reason you shouldn’t get started earlier, especially once you understand how to migrate to your new CMS.

Why WordPress Is Your Best Alternative to Adobe Business Catalyst

While no CMS is exactly like Adobe Business Catalyst, it’s hard to argue there’s a better replacement than WordPress.

Yes, the migration process involves some work, but the outcome will definitely be worth it.

Here are just four of the many reasons WordPress has become the obvious choice for so many companies migrating from Adobe Business Catalyst:

1. Open Source Means Endless Innovation

Much of WordPress’ success has been because it’s Open Source. That means anyone can participate in advancing it by using, altering, and distributing its code.

If you’re not a fan of working with code, the reason to love Open Source is because it leads to innovations – lots of them. You’ll never be without options for creating and improving your WordPress site. People all over the world are working on plugins and platforms for doing so around the clock.

Even better, many of them – some of the best, even – are completely free and simple to install.

2. It’s Completely Free

Yes, you still need to pay for hosting and a domain, but considering how unbelievably popular and powerful WordPress is, “free” is an amazing price.

If you are switching from Business Catalyst, you’ve probably been paying extra to add additional users to your site. There are no per-user fees for WordPress, so you can add your entire team without increasing cost.

3. A Thriving Community of Support

Any company that owns 60% of its market is clearly doing something right (second and third place only owns 6.6% and 4.6% of the CMS market, respectively). That means WordPress websites account for 30% of all sites on the Internet.

That’s a ringing endorsement by itself, but the real benefit is that choosing WordPress for your website means you’re never far from support.

Some of the many sites that have numerous free WordPress resources include:

Though your passion for the CMS may never take you this far, there are even meetups for WordPress fans all over the world. Now, that’s a strong community.

4. Any Site Is Possible with WordPress

This is a theme we’ll revisit throughout this piece, but if you’re worried that your current Adobe Business Catalyst site will be too difficult to replicate, you’re going to be pleasantly surprised.

Simply by reading through the five tools we recommend below, it should become clear that WordPress is more than up to the task of duplicating – even improving – your site.

With all that being said, as we mentioned earlier, you’ll need to do a little work to ensure your website works just as well on WordPress as it did on Adobe Business Catalyst.

The good news is that there is no lack of extremely powerful tools that minimize the amount you need to do without sacrificing your site’s functionally.

The 6 Tools You Need for Your New WordPress Website

Your options for customizing a WordPress site are almost endless.

Aside from what the CMS offers as default customization tools, there are countless others to help you achieve the final result you want.

Here are five that handle the most common requirements.

1. Gravity Forms for Form-Building

Many companies rely on their websites to build up a robust email list for their marketing campaigns. There’s no doubt Business Catalyst was designed with this requirement in mind. You can use it to build a customer database and email them with the functionality that’s built right in.

WordPress is limited in its ability to manage these kinds of important lists and while there are some great plugins for marketers, the best way to replace this valuable functionality is by combining a form-builder plugin with your email platform (e.g. MailChimp, Campaign Monitor, etc.).

Our recommendation for your form-builder is Gravity Forms.

This is an incredibly user-friendly platform for building custom forms. Their forms editor is very intuitive, making it a simple process to select the fields you want (choose from more than 30). Configure all the other options available and then quickly embed them on your WordPress site.

Gravity Forms’ editor includes Conditional Logic, as well, so you can configure yours to show fields, sections, entire pages, or even submit buttons based on the selections your users make. The result is a streamlined form for each user depending on their choices.

Furthermore, Gravity Forms lets you schedule when forms will be available and how many entries to accept before removing them. This way, if you’re running an offer with limited availability, you can set your parameters once and let your forms do the rest.

It’s also great for monitoring those who sign up, collecting data on them, and using it to market to them later.

The one drawback is it doesn’t offer the same central customer database you’re used to with Business Catalyst. However, it is designed to integrate with popular email platforms like:

  • ActiveCampaign
  • AWeber
  • Campaign Monitor
  • CleverReach
  • GetResponse
  • MailChimp

Integration isn’t limited to email platforms, either. There’s also PayPal, Dropbox, Stripe, and plenty of other optional add-ons.

2. MailChimp or Campaign Monitor for Your Email Marketing Needs

Speaking of the tools you need for your email marketing campaigns, there are actually two really great options that will work well with WordPress and Gravity.

Millions of users will tell you that MailChimp is the best email platform in the world. It offers an iPhone and Android app that Business Catalyst lacks and you can even get started with a free account.

MailChimp also offers a wide variety of templates that are easy to apply for customized emails.

Campaign Monitor is also an extremely popular email platform that works well with WordPress. The tool is especially good at split testing, segmenting your leads, and tracking web activity, which helps to quickly revise and improve campaigns.

Both also integrate really well with other popular platforms like Gmail, Outlook, Leadformly, Salesforce, Zapier, and more.

3. Google Analytics to Track Your Visitors

Every successful website needs reporting in place, so you can actually measure that success and keep things headed in the right direction.

Fortunately, switching to WordPress doesn’t mean you have to fly blind. It won’t provide you with the same reporting that Business Catalyst offers right on its dashboard, but the solution couldn’t be simpler – and certainly isn’t lacking for power.

Even with plenty of free reporting tools on the market, Google Analytics remains the easiest to recommend.

Installing Google Analytics couldn’t be easier, either.

In fact, there’s actually a free plugin called MonsterInsights designed for this very purpose.

Even though Google Analytics is also free, you can use it to see how much traffic you’re attracting, discover the sources for this traffic, compare data sets, check on your conversion rates, and much more.

4. WooCommerce for All of Your eCommerce Needs

WooCommerce is another good example of why you may actually wish you had migrated from Adobe Business Catalyst to WordPress even sooner.

Once again, WordPress lacks the same functionality as Business Catalyst when it comes to eCommerce, but WooCommerce makes up for this – and then some.

This is another free tool, but it comes with impressive reporting and is incredibly secure.

One of the many reasons people love it, though, is because of its level of customization. It currently offers 14 child themes, which can be further customized, so you don’t have to worry about your store looking exactly like others using the same platform. Of course, as it’s Open Source, countless others are available.

5. Advanced Custom Post Types to Create Any Page You Need

With Adobe Business Catalyst, you can leverage any number of web apps to create custom posts for your site. Aside from giving your website a unique look, these custom posts are often necessary in order to make the page function the way you want.

For example, if you’re running a review site, you probably want visitors to be able to add ratings, search by brand and category, etc. Custom posts allow you to do all this and more.

WordPress supports a variety of default post types. These include:

  • Attachment
  • Nav Menu
  • Page
  • Post
  • Revision

However, you can also create custom post types and name them whatever you want. So, no matter what kind of site you run on Adobe Business Catalyst and what kinds of pages you need, you’ll find WordPress equally accommodating.

There’s even an Advanced Custom Post Types plugin to help with this. All you need to do is upload it to your /wp-content/plugins/ directory, activate it, and then start creating your custom posts.

6. A customer database (CRM)

Many companies that currently use Adobe Business Catalyst are already relying on a different CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool. In that case, you can continue using it with WordPress.

On the other hand, if you’ve been relying on Business Catalyst’s built-in tool, you’re not lacking for options. There are countless CRMs out there that you can sync with WordPress to effortlessly manage your clients.

That said, don’t be too quick to pick one.

Before you do, think long and hard about what you are using Business Catalyst’s version for at the moment. Just as important, which features do you never touch?

This will help better inform your decision about which CRM tool will best suit your company’s unique needs.

Here are some other important CRM features you may want to consider for your WordPress site:

  • Comprehensive dashboard for managing your most important tasks from one place
  • Automation for the repetitive tasks you require
  • Customization for its interface and its most important tools
  • Customer support with a great reputation that includes a quick response time
  • Quick, accurate reporting about the behavior and metrics that matter most

These are just a small sample. Again, you have so many options for CRMs that you can afford to be extremely picky when finding the one that will fit your company best.

A new tool you are going to love!

Visual Composer for Editing Page Layouts

Another way to make your WordPress website stand out and grab attention is by customizing the layout of your pages. With Visual Composer, it’s as simple as dragging and dropping the elements you want to create the page you need.

Business Catalyst users are going to love the freedom that page builders like Visual Composer offer. Business Catalyst templates are custom coded, which means that changing the layout of a page from a two column layout to a three column layout meant re-coding a template. With tools like Visual Composer, you can just click and drag to change the layout of the page.

You can choose from their library of themes, customize one you already like, or create one from scratch. Any choice you make can be used to create a responsive design for your site, as well.

This platform works with any WordPress theme, custom WordPress widget, and page type, including the aforementioned ones you may have already customized. Your alterations can include parallax effects, gradient overlays, and video backgrounds – whatever it takes.

To make things even easier, Visual Composer utilizes a frontend editor and tree view, so you can see exactly what your alterations will look like to visitors in real-time. No need to go back and forth to get your design just right.

The possibilities with Visual Composer, alone, will make your migration from an Adobe Business Catalyst site worth it.

Ready to Migrate from Adobe Business Catalyst to WordPress?

Now that you have a better understanding of what is required to move your site from Business Catalyst to WordPress, do you feel prepared? If not, we completely understand.

It’s important that your company has a fully-functioning, beautiful site. That’s why our team at Agency 3.0 is here to help. We have an in-depth understanding of Adobe Business Catalyst and WordPress, having worked with both extensively over the years.

So, if you want to rest assured that your migration will be smooth and successful, contact us today.