Business Catalyst Alternatives

Business Catalyst Alternatives 2019

The recent news from Adobe that will scrap the business catalyst website Hosting and CMS platform came as quite a shock to the community. Not to mention the 70.000 customers who will now be wondering where to switch their Business Catalyst websites to.

Adobe’s announcement was definitely a WTF moment!

We look after 25 websites currently on the BC platform so we’ve been starting to research different options and potential solutions to migrate websites to over the coming months.

Business Catalyst Alternatives

How could Adobe break our trust?

Why could they drop a profitable business?

These are all questions we’ve been asking. But Adobe made $2 billion in the last quarter alone. Business Catalyst ‘only’ contributed $30 million of that. But even so, why are they not selling it?

There’s also 500,000 Adobe Muse websites who is probably be looking for an alternative and new home.

Here’s an outtake from the end of service message on the Adobe website:

“Adobe will stop hosting existing sites on Business Catalyst on March 26th, 2021.

Adobe encourages customers to download their data and migrate to other systems well before March 26th, 2020. Detailed how-to information and assistance is available. Customers’ data will be retained by Adobe until March 26th, 2020, after which date the data will be deleted. Data retention is for the sole purpose of allowing customers to export their data and transfer to another platform.”

Note, this has now been updated by 1 year to march 2021.

Below we look at some alternatives that you may wish to consider.

WordPress

This is an obvious one, but definitely worth considering for some smaller / medium websites. WordPress accounts for over 30% of all websites on the internet. And for good reason! It’s free, easy to use, clients like it and with all the plugins available its customisable. With WOO commerce you can easily turn a WordPress website into a full ecommerce business. Also clients really like it as it’s easy to use. Simply put, WordPress is awesome and you can make it as simple or as casual complex as you require.

If you’re thinking of making the switch from Business Catalyst to WordPress then to start with you’ll need some new hosting.

Click the button below to get your new WordPress website setup on Bluehost (you get a FREE domain name and 24 Hour support plus you get a 30 day satisfaction guarantee):

Visit Bluehost Website

We’ve also written a guide of how to migrate from Business Catalyst to WordPress.

Shopify

If you were using a the Business Catalyst for an E-commerce then Shopify should be a platform that you definitely consider switching to. Some massive gobal businesses such as Gymshark use Shopify as their chosen online store. The back end is easy to use and customer covert easier as the front end is slick so you’ll see fewer abandoned carts.

Shopify allows you to have separate channels for wholesale and retail.

Wix

A rising star that’s taking on WordPress. Wix has risen fast to become omen of the top website platforms. They have nicely designed templates to help get your project started. A regular website plan starts at only $5 a month. E-commerce site plans are around $20 a month. Wiz allows you to edit the theme code so you can customise.

Visit  Wix Website

Umbraco

Umbraco is another platform that we’re testing. One of the differences from Business Catalyst is that you have to start paying from day one! So there’s no work in progress grace period to build the site in.

This is .net system though which may require some outsourcing to developers for help with customisation and functions that’s BC Web Apps used to be great for. The testing we’ve done so far as been positive, although it is a fairly steep learning curve. To be honest, it may even involve going on a training course!

With Umbraco we’ve been using ‘partials’ and ‘macros’ in a similar way to how we used content holders (includes) in BC. The contact form builder is very impressive too.

Treepl CMS (Umbraco + ActionPanel)

This is an interesting idea from Code Production. It’s a CMS that sits on top of the Umbraco platform. It allows white-labelling. But it will require a learning curve. You can migrate from Business Catalyst.

Treepl are a small team of 6 people.
Check out the new video to find out more:

Platform OS

This is a solution from the original creator of Business Catalyst. He’s been working in this for a while and it looks really exciting. It should be like a slicker and modern version of BC. BUT it’s an api and not a full website platform (so far).

SquareSpace

Another good alternative similar to WordPress which we’re considering looking into further.

Webbly Cloud Hosting

We’re still looking into this but it’s another good cloud based web solution. Great drag and dropbox features that can save a lot of time.

Magento

Say goodbye to BC and say hello Magento!

Adobe have bought Magento for 1.7 Billion dollars!  This could be very interesting but begs the question ‘did Adobe ditch Business Catalyst to focus their attention on the Magento acquisition?’

Depending on how your website was built here are a few guides that will help with the conversion process:

Re-publish from Muse
If your site was published to Business Catalyst using Muse, re-publishing to another is covered in this article: how to re-publish your website.

Upload your website to another platform using FTP
Learn how to download your website to your computer and upload it to a different platform.

So as of right now there’s not a simple or clear option but don’t panic, over the coming weeks there will be more clarity of the best way forward.

Further reading: Read our how to guide of how to change from Business Catalyst to WordPress.

We update this blog as we get new information so check back in the future.

Although it’s a unforeseen change, we’re trying to see the positive in the sistuation and updating clients website to be more awesome than they used to be.