In today’s world time is money, and as we know an online presence is an absolute must! The complication that comes with this process is the time and energy it takes to make a great website with useful features. By using Business Catalyst Apps you can build a website with more features faster.
Different Types of Apps
BC Apps are custom features that you install into your BC admin area that you get from the BC App Store. The apps allow you to increase the functionality of the website and make it easier for business owners to maintain. There are two times when you would use apps:
- When building a website
- After site is complete to better manage the website
You and/or your agency can benefit greatly from using BC Apps:
- Decrease the amount of time it takes to build a site
- Decrease the cost of building a site
- Provide a better back-end experience for customers
- Offer features previously not possible
- Create additional Recurring Revenue Streams
Build Your Website
There are specific apps that help you to build a website. So instead of spending your time building an app from scratch and integrating it into your site there may be an app to make that process quicker. For example lets take a deeper look into the Dev-in-a-Box app.
At Chicago Digital, we use Dev-in-a-Box mostly for its Form Magic. This enables our developers to implement custom validation and ajax submissions of web forms with ease. Here is an example of a web form where we used Dev-in-a box: http://www.pro-linepackaging.com/get-started
Manage Your Website
From apps that help you build a better website, there are also BC apps that make managing your website easier. For a great example of an app that improves your management of your site look at Solid Admin Menu.
Solid Admin Menu app lets an admin user change the contents of the admin menus and allows you to perform the following features:
- Change admin menu labels
- Add links to external resources by adding new admin menu items
- Reorder menu items through the drag and drop interface
- Ability to hide default menu items
- Change menu item icons from the library or uploading your own
At Chicago Digital, we use the Solid Admin Menu app to put a My Account tab on the backend for all our customers. This section displays our customers hourly rate, account manager, support contact information, documentation, support plans, order extras and more.
Create Additional Revenue Streams
There are even BC Apps that can add to your recurring revenue. The following are three examples of different apps that you can include in your support plan, include in marked up hosting or sell as a monthly product.
At Chicago Digital, we sell BC Social Store and Backup BC as an additional monthly product to our customers. We include the BC Client Training in cost of our marked up hosting plans as it is a great way to add value to the hosting and reduce the amount of support needed for clients.
Hopefully this opened a window into how BC Apps can be used to extend and build a better website in less time. It is important to note that you have to be a BC Partner to install apps into the backend. You can also find all the apps mentioned above and much more at the bcappstore.com. From ecommerce and Google Analytics Manager to social media and homepage sliders there is an app to help you along the way!
This content came from my presentation at our March BC User Group Meeting. If you live in the Chicago area, join us every third Monday of the month to learn about web design, online marketing and Adobe Business Catalyst. Check out our upcoming events here.