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Need an Adobe Business Catalyst alternative?

With Adobe Business Catalyst reaching its “end of life,” many businesses and agencies are wondering: what now?

John Moore Williams
April 2, 2018
Web design

Fellow designers and developers,

We feel your pain. Genuinely.

Yes, we’re about to suggest our CMS as a viable alternative to Business Catalyst (BC). But we’re also, all of us, designers, developers, and content specialists who work on the same sorts of projects you do. Who work with the same tools, and know the frustration that comes from seeing a beloved tool go the way of the dodo. (Hell, some of us are still reeling from the shuttering of Fireworks.)

But it’s knowing what you’re going through that makes us confident we can offer a viable alternative.

Now don’t get us wrong: switching from Business Catalyst to Webflow CMS won’t be seamless. Right off the bat we can say: we don’t have native customer login or CRM systems in place. If those are deal-breakers for you, thanks for checking us out, and good luck finding a solid replacement for your needs.

But we do think you’ll be happy with Webflow CMS. Here’s why:

Content management made visual

Bringing your CMS content into your design is just a matter of a couple clicks.

There’s never been a more designer-friendly CMS than Webflow, or a more seamless merger of design and content management tools.

We’re pretty confident in saying that, because natively, no other CMS lets you create a completely custom database visually — and then visually connect that database to your design and transform it into beautiful, effective content.

Well-structured content. SEO-optimized content. Content any member of your team can alter and update right on the page. Content you can make portable via our API, so you can COPE (create once, publish everywhere).

Content that literally shapes the design around it, because you can always design with it, instead of forcing it, like so many square pegs into round holes.

And yes: you can blog with it.

But you could also publish well-structured:

  • Events
  • Product pages
  • Feature pages
  • Portfolio items
  • Recipes
  • Case studies
  • News stories
  • And, well … just about anything

Oh, and with our dynamic embeds feature, you can easily bring rich content like SoundCloud audio, Eventbrite events, Shopify products, and so much more, right into your site. And not statically: you can use these embeds with the CMS to dynamically pull this content your CMS, so adding new rich content is easy as pasting a link.

All using our CMS’s Collections, which are similar to BC’s “web apps.” And all without even looking at or thinking about code: front-end or back-end.

Here are just two examples of what can be done with the CMS and dynamic embeds:

GrowthPod podcast website
GrowthPod, a podcast for growth hackers, hosts every episode on its Webflow site.
Small Press Traffic walking tour page
Literary nonprofit Small Press Traffic combines an embedded Google Map with custom pins and SoundCloud embeds to power a fascinating walking tour of San Francisco.

Check out our article “13 of the best Webflow CMS sites (so far)” for lots more.

Painless content migration

Of course, moving from CMS to another is no simple matter. It’s not like you just flip a switch.

Thankfully, we’ve brought migrating from another CMS to Webflow as close to flip-switching as we possibly can with CSV import. Just gather your current site’s content into a CSV, with one column for each distinct field in your data, then bring it all into Webflow CMS with a click of a button.

Once we’ve uploaded your content, you’ll be able to match the columns in your CSV to Webflow CMS fields, omit data you no longer need, and even add new fields to your Collection if you need to.

No more clunky dashboard

Tired of BC’s dashboard, and its clunky UI? With Webflow’s Editor, you get to edit right on your live web pages, as if you were writing a Medium post.

That way, what you and your clients see is literally what you get.  

A marketing machine, waiting for you to hit the ignition

Much like Business Catalyst, Webflow CMS is primed to power your marketing engine.

With Webflow CMS, you can:

  • Create versatile landing page templates that enable your marketing team to launch new pages the day they’re relevant, not the day after
  • Use your Collection’s fields to dynamically fill in SEO titles and descriptions
  • Easily set up 301 redirect from your old site to keep your “link juice” flowing
  • Quickly add schema.org metadata and HTML5 semantic tags to ensure your site’s easy to crawl
  • Enjoy ultra-fast loading times that always help with your SEO
  • Update content right on the page, without waiting on dev or design help
  • Add social sharing buttons in seconds

Plus, Webflow was built specifically for responsive design, so your sites aren’t just mobile-friendly, they’re mobile-optimized.

World-class hosting

You won’t need to find a hosting provider, because all Webflow sites are powered by a truly world-class hosting service. Using the same CDN as the New York Times, The Guardian, and more, your websites will load super fast. And a free SSL certificate keeps your visitors’ data safe, and ensures you won’t be seeing any of those alarming warning screens in Chrome.

Wondering about uptime? In 2017, Webflow sites were down for a grand total of 14 minutes — most of that due to massive outages that affected the likes of Amazon, Netflix, and Reddit. That’s 99.99% uptime.

Worried about performance? Webflow sites are among the fastest on the internet. See for yourself.

Superb support via email and in-product

Review after review of Webflow mentions our world-class support team, which is made up of passionate designers who use Webflow themselves every day. Whenever you hit a snag, you can reach out via email, or right from the app.

We’ve also got a lively Forum packed with helpful designers ready to lend a hand out of any jam.

What the future holds

As we noted at the outset, Webflow CMS does lack a few features Business Catalyst could boast. But many of those are either currently in development or firmly on the roadmap, including:

  1. Native Ecommerce: beta coming soon!
    Ecommerce is currently available via integration with a variety of tools, including Shopify, Foxy, and more.
  2. User logins & digital downloads
    Will come in part via Ecommerce, and be further developed down the road.
  3. Customer relationship management (CRM)

And there’s so, so much more to come.

Ready to give Webflow CMS a spin?

It’s absolutely free to get started. And you’re going to love the code-free power Webflow CMS gives you.

John Moore Williams

Head of Content Strategy at Webflow. Nice to meet ya. Follow me @JohnAMWill.

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