BC sounds like a good solution for you from the little bit you shared.
Here are your answers:
- Would I be able to sell downloadable items using the eCommerce features?
Yes you can. BC allows you to have media downloads for purchase.
- Can I set up a mock shop on the free BC site?
Yes, you can start a free trial site that will allow you build and try out BC. Once you are ready to go live with the site you would pay to upgrade the site to a live site.
- How much does the eCommerce upgrade actually cost? Like I said, we are a Creative Cloud subscriber.
The price is $38.88 per month (USA pricing. AU differs - more info here on pricing: US Monthly Pricing | Adobe Business Catalyst ) with Creative Cloud you have five basic sites with BC but to "upgrade" you pay the regular price for BC sites.
- There will be some features that I will need to code, perhaps talking to another database, I understand that you can call out from the app to your own webservices etc?
There are APIs that allow you to talk to other services and send information back to BC.
You can find more answers by reading the KB: BC Help & support
On a side note, if you need help getting started with Business Catalyst I would happily offer my services. Send me a PM if you need additional help.
Muse is an entry design tool to build more basic sites with BC so it has limited functionality over what BC can actually do.
To add what Lynda has said...
To clear up first - The creative cloud sites are the only basic BC version. You can not use eCommerce features etc. You have to setup a true BC site as Lynda mentions or upgrade.
- You can only have one file per product as a downloadable product, so if you have a pack, these have to be a zip file for example. Files can be no more then 250mb in size.
- Api endpoints: Developer reference
Many thanks for the advice here. I was interested until I saw the cost. I am in the UK and this is £60 per month, so probably double what you would pay in the USA. This is just not worth it at the moment for us.
Looks like I will be coding it all myself
Not on BC you wont. You do not have access to the server side code so you will only have the features available in the free Creative Cloud site. So you will have to look at another platform and hosting.
Hi Liam - that is what I meant Thanks again for the advice.
> There will be some features that I will need to code, perhaps talking to another database, I understand that you can call out from the app to your own webservices etc?
All your content and information will be rendered in the dom not direct though with those methods above. So keep that in mind if you are considering having actual content on the page and looking to have SEO benefits with what your doing.
This isn't 2004, google renders the final page's DOM HTML before indexing it otherwise baiting the google bot with fake info would be too easy.
We focus quite a lot on SEO and Marketing TheBCMan, I could provide a heap of information in that regard in terms of ranking, performance ranking and rendered content and what all that effects your listing in google. End of the day - It matters and its easy to prove.
As another note on that, why do you think BC has spent time putting in the JSON stuff with BC.Next and liquid?
So people don't moan is my guess.... but at the end of the day you have your opinion and I have mine.
From what I've seen, there is nothing BC can do that will stop partners from moaning.
I am not running off opinion, actual fact and google and the legend that is Matt C.
Very easy to run a test yourself if you want to see it.
The inline page will rank massively higher then the other and if large content in the json it wont render in the results at all.
To expand now I got a bit of time on the above for others..
You can not just ajax json, you wont get any ranking. You have to sacrifice some performance in terms of asynchronous loading so google can pick things up, you have to do certain schema setup, you still need to do a snapshot and the amount of content loading is a factor as google stops ranking considerations so far in. 2 of the recommended elements for this by google is not even possible in BC, so its never going to be that effective.
Will that ever be better then inline content? Defiantly not and anyone reading this, do not let anyone say otherwise, its a simple fact that content is king and the faster you present that in the right structured format the better and that content will always rank higher then something dynamic.
If it is the only option - sure, you got to accept that, but it is important to keep in mind what you need and what negative and positive things come out of all solutions.