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Adobe Business Catalyst Shutdown, And What To Do

Posted on Tuesday, January 29, 2019 by Julia O'Reilly

If your website is NOT powered by Adobe Business Catalyst, you have nothing to be concerned about and you can stop reading.

If your website IS powered by Adobe Business Catalyst, you need to start mapping a strategy.

On March 26, 2021, the BC platform will be shut down. All websites and data on it will be removed. By then, your website needs to be off the BC platform and launched on a different platform.

You could wait until that deadline to get a new website online, but we highly recommend getting started much sooner. Why take the risk and invest more time and money on your BC website if it’s going to be turned off?

How to migrate away from Adobe BC

Step 1: Get in touch

Unless you have the expertise to handle this in-house, you’ll want to get in touch with a professional service that can migrate your site safely, with all customer data and any other data your website currently handles, like store items or service items or calendar items.

Step 2: Review

Are you happy with your website? Do you need simply to migrate it, exactly as it looks and functions to a new platform? That’s straightforward.  We can help with a painless and safe migration.

Is your website outdated and you need a makeover? If yes, you'll want a more detailed conversation to ensure that your website looks and works as it should for your market and audience.

Step 3: Migrate

When your site is migrated, you'll be able to review it before it’s launched. Any changes or minor edits can be made and then it’ll go live and replace your Business Catalyst website. 

If we're revising the site, you'll be able to see the site in progress for reviews and approvals.

Step 4: Ongoing support and growth

Choose a reliable partner who will guide you in driving traffic to your website to create the customer conversions you need!  Our hosting is entirely scale-able.  That means that you can begin with a starter brochure site and expand as you grow, up to a full-scale ecommerce site, without changing hosting or rebuilding an entire website.

A Note on Security and SSL

As of June 2018, Google and other browser publishers are demanding websites to have SSL protection. SSL certificates must be renewed annually. If there is no security certificate, sites will be flagged. Check out my blog post on SSL about why it is so important now.

WHY SSL IS CRITICAL NOW

Whatever you elect to do with your current site and hosting, make sure that your webhost is offering SSL certification with their platform.

SSL is included in our hosting for no extra charges or renewal fees.

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Eight Reasons Why Our Hosting Is Better Than WordPress

Posted on Tuesday, January 15, 2019 by Julia O'Reilly

Here are the top eight reasons why our hosting is better than WordPress:

1. Security, security, security

This is not an open source website platform that allows anyone in the world to write code like plug-ins and patches for your website. All code is written in-house. Number one priority is Security, including Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance and SSL.

2. We host your website through a secure software developed specifically for web.

Our platform provides hearty business and interactive tools that help you engage your customers and attract new visitors. No matter what you need (a booking calendar, shopping cart, affiliate sales program, photo gallery to showcase your clients or your work, or an email marketing tool) we’ve got you covered. And of course there are Customer management tools and tracking tools.

3. No down time.

Our hosting is on Amazon Web Services Cloud servers that are placed strategically around the globe for safety and to optimize website download speeds. WordPress sites break down quite frequently. Trust us, we’ve inherited more than our fair share of these disasters.

4. We don’t use application plug-ins.

Our hosting developers write code so they have complete control over the code. On our hosting platform, all the code is developed from scratch, in-house. Every function is thoroughly tested and updated. Ongoingly, forever. It’s all done seamlessly for you behind the scenes. And if there ever are any technical issues, there is robust support for resolving problems.

5. We have a drag and drop web page design feature.

If you want to manage your own website’s content and/or page design, it’s easy to do. All our websites are responsive and mobile ready, and there are free templates to get you started! The admin interface is easy and intuitive to use.

6. Internet and social media marketing have become essential to the success of a brand and business. It takes time. And time is money, right?

If you’re a business owner or manager, you know that having a great-looking website is no longer good enough.

WordPress requires additional plug-ins for social media management. We integrate social media management tools with our hosting. You will be able to load content, schedule posts across multiple channels, schedule and load an email blast and even trigger a timely blog on your website. No plug-ins needed. Yes, all the tools that make it easier and faster to stay on top of your marketing.

7. WordPress is not a content management system.

WordPress was never built as a content-managed system. What added that functionality was the growth of open-source plug-ins for WordPress. (see #3 above) Because the software platform is not developed at the root for content-management, there are often conflicts and issues, and generally you’re on your own to resolve them when they come up. This is especially important if you want to take on the management of your website.

WordPress can be a great for posting a quick blog, but if you want your website to collect data securely or (more importantly) collect leads that can turn into sales, walk away from WordPress now. Is there a CMS plug-in for WordPress? Yes, there’s a plug-in for everything. We would never trust it and we refuse to leave our client’s valuable information vulnerable to being hacked through a plug-in.

8. Extensible and flexible services and utilities

Our platform was developed by a world class enterprise content management software team and website designers. Unlike WordPress, all the features in the list below have been hand-coded into the platform.

Your platform features are determined by your level of subscription. It’s easy to upgrade and unlock more features. No need to move or redesign your site to use more features.

    • Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance by design
    • Reports & Analytics
    • Hosting & Email
    • Dashboard
    • Site Manager (CMS)
    • Customer Database (CRM)
    • Web Apps or Date Builder
    • Blog Engine
    • Events
    • Ecommerce
    • E-Mail Marketing
    • Web Forms
    • Secure Zones
    • Drag & Drop Web Page Builder
    • Social Media Management Tools
    • Project Management Workflows
    • Responsive Mobile Friendly Backend
    • Free SSL Certificates
    • Built-in Photo Editor
    • Free Stock Images
    • Automatic Backups
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Why A SSL Certificate For Your Website Is No Longer Optional

Posted on Monday, December 03, 2018 by Julia O'Reilly

Why A SSL Certificate For Your Website Is No Longer Optional

As you surely have seen on the news in the past year, website hacks and breaches like the Equifax hack in September 2017 and the Facebook hack in September 2018 are a constant. The creativity and reach of cybercriminals grows ever larger. Ugh.  But the good news is that for several years, organizations like Google have been working toward the making the web a safer place by encouraging website owners to use HTTPS protocol for secure transmission.

In July 2018, safety measures became even more rigorous. Google announced it would be marking all sites that have not adopted HTTPS as not secure. This means if your website doesn’t have an SSL certificate, it will display a ‘Not Secure’ in the URL bar. 

ssl not-secure message

If this doesn't scare visitors away from your site, it should. If your business has a website, it's your responsibility to secure your customers information.*  Be sure that ackers and spammers work continuously to steal your customers information or use your website as a launching point to place virus attacks. 

*"Such information can be login details, signups, addresses and payment or personal information. SSL certificates will encrypt the connection and help protect your visitors’ data from being misused by attackers."
_Forbes Magazine, Ivailo Nikolov, May 18, 2018

As the Internet changes, we advise our clients on how to adjust with it. Search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing are are now requiring website domains to render (that is, display your website) using the secure connection of HTTPS in order to continue to be found within their search results. We can't stress enough the importance of a SSL certificate and pointing your website's pages to HTTPS. When you visit any website on the Internet, data is transferred between a server and your browser. We want all of this transferred data to be encrypted.

According to Kayce Basques, Technical Writer for Google:

"You should always protect all of your websites with HTTPS, even if they don’t handle sensitive communications. HTTPS provides critical security and data integrity both for your websites and for the people that entrust your websites with their personal information."and "One common misconception about HTTPS is that the only websites that need HTTPS are those that handle sensitive communications. Like taking credit cards. Every unprotected HTTP request can potentially reveal information about the behaviors and identities of your users. Although a single visit to one of your unprotected websites may seem benign, some intruders look at the aggregate browsing activities of your users to make inferences about their behaviors and intentions, and to de-anonymize their identities."

Make sure your tech works!

"...certain browser features require HTTPS to work. Features like getting a user’s location, accessing their microphone, or storing data locally on their device, all require that your website supports HTTPS."
_digicert, Vincent Lynch, January 8, 2018

So What Is HTTPS?

HTTPS or Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure is a secure version of HTTP (Hyper Text Transfer Protocol). All websites use HTTP to transfer data from a server to your browser. HTTPS encrypts the data on either end for maximum security. For example, if you provide personal information in a website form your information is encrypted on one end and decrypted on the other end.

How Do I Acquire HTTPS?

The first step is a SSL (Secure Socket Link) certificate. In order to create a completely secure connection, an SSL certificate for your domain must be purchased. This certificate is purchased from a Certificate Authority by the administrator of the server that hosts your website. The SSL certificate will contain a public encryption key that is downloaded by the browser.

Once the SSL certificate is installed on the web server where your website lives, the next step is to test every page for errors, assets not loading or broken links. This is a complicated process that should only be handled by a trained webmaster or web professional. Adding HTTPS to your website will change the page URLs of every webpage the search engines already have indexed in their results. If this transition is not managed properly, your website could suffer serious search ranking penalties or set backs. Successfully enabled HTTPS websites with SSL certificates are seen as more trustworthy for visitors.

Contact us to learn more about adding SSL to your website.

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