26th of March 2021 is D-Day for all Adobe Business Catalyst users. As of that date, all Business Catalyst sites will be taken down and all data deleted with no come back button. While 2021 seems like a forever away, we’d recommend not getting too comfortable. Website migration can be a timely and stressful process so it’s the best to start thinking about the switch now. To help your business make the transition as smooth as possible, we’ve broken down how you can migrate from Business Catalyst to WordPress.
Founded by Australians Bardia Housman and Adam Broadway in 2004, Business Catalyst is an all-in-one creation and management solution for business websites. Offering a wide range of benefits to its users, Business Catalyst includes built-in customer service, marketing and sales features such as eCommerce and Email tools. Here at Start, we’re rather fond of Business Catalyst. Once upon a time, our agency used the platform and loved it too. Our Business Catalyst experience alongside technical understanding means we’re in a really good position to help your business migrate to WordPress and never look back.
Alongside Joomla and Drupal, WordPress is one of the most popular content management systems (CMS) in the world. However, unlike all of the rest, WordPress is the most popular CMS. Powering more than 25% of the Internet, WordPress is the home to over 70,000,000 different websites!
As it is for millions of others, WordPress is our go-to CMS for a number of reasons including its ability to cater to every business need, design and functionality flexibility achieved through visual composers and plugins alongside it ease of use for all. In addition to those reasons, WordPress and many compatible plugins such as Yoast and TinyPNG provide a really strong foundation for well-executed and across-the-board SEO. Furthermore, WordPress is an open-source platform meaning it isn’t going anywhere. (In fact, it actually means the CMS is only going to develop and expand on what it can do for your business now and for years to come.) Breathe easy – your business doesn’t need to worry about going through this migration process again.
WordPress has very few downfalls. In this case, the main one being a business like yours can’t directly move your entire Business Catalyst website to it. However, with that said, none of the top content management systems is capable of doing that either.
So How Do We Migrate?
Unfortunately, there is no simple way to copy and paste your site from BC to WordPress. This means everything will need to transfer everything manually. From web design to custom functions, we’ve broken your site into five main categories, highlighting how to migrate each component from Business Catalyst to WordPress.
Unfortunately, when it comes to migrating the visual elements of your site to WordPress, there’s no simple hack. Business Catalyst uses HTML whilst WordPress is based on PHP and MYSQL making it impossible to export your code and upload it onto WordPress. While this might seem like a massive bummer, we’d encourage you to do some critical analysis on your website before deciding if it really is. If your current Business Catalyst site has been the same for the past 5 years, it definitely needs a redesign. No business environment is that stagnant.
When it comes to designing your WordPress site, there are two primary options – use a theme or engage with a web design agency to create a custom design. If you’re completely set on your current design, you could get an agency to develop your WordPress site based on the current design.
As a standalone platform, WordPress lacks any in-built eCommerce features but the go to plugin, WooCommerce, is the perfect WordPress solution for any online store. Business Catalyst allows for customer data and products to be migrated to WordPress through exportation of your XML file. While this process isn’t difficult, it might be time-consuming as you’ll likely need to restructure your files.
Whilst enabling the exportation of other features, Business Catalyst currently doesn’t allow exporting of blogs posts. However, using an RSS Feed, your posts can be migrated to WordPress. In order to achieve that, you’ll need to follow these steps:
- Create an RSS channel on Business Catalyst
- Compile all your RSS channel URLs
- Save the RSS files
- Import the files into WordPress and assign categories to them
EDM & Mailing Lists
Unlike Business Catalyst, WordPress doesn’t include a built-in email marketing feature. MailChimp, Campaign Monitor and Mail Poet are emailing platforms that can be integrated into your WordPress site through plugins. You won’t have to completely start again when it comes to your mailing lists as Business Catalyst allows its users to export email data.
If your business is using custom-made Business Catalyst Apps, there’s currently no way to transition these over to WordPress. You’re likely to need to rebuild them through and for WordPress. This is something you’re very likely to need a professional agency to do for you.
Time to Get Thinking
By no means is this a comprehensive, technical break down of how to migrate from Business Catalyst to WordPress. This is just a starting point, intended to help you address the main issues you’re likely to face as a soon to be, no longer Business Catalyst users. It’s time to get moving because as said, migration can be timely and extra stressful. Especially if you’re working against the clock.
Ready to Make Your Move?
If your Perth business or interstate company is looking to migrate from Business Catalyst to WordPress and could do with some assistance, drop us a line. From web design, web development to just a team to bounce ideas off, we’re here for you and know exactly how to make this migration a great experience.