Brief History of Business Catalyst

Business Catalyst, the company behind GoodBarry e-commerce software suite, was acquired by Adobe about a year ago. Adobe turned Business Catalyst into a one-stop solution for Content Management, e-commerce, Email Marketing, CRM and Web Analytics. This was one of many steps Adobe took to enter online hosted applications business.

What is Business Catalyst

Business Catalyst is a hosted Content Management System by Adobe for freelancers and individuals. It does not only provide online website maintenance but also provides e-commerce, CRM and easy to use Online Marketing Tools. It allows users to create Blogs, Forums, Simple online stores, websites, customer database and email marketing campaigns. Adobe calls it “Online Business” and makes it relatively easy to start a business online. However it does not come free.

This does not stop hundreds of freelancers from using it. There is also a free plan that comes with most of the functions however users can not white label this plan. Freelancer gets a commission on their clients’ web hosting fees, and they can also set their own pricing. However it does not currently support Multiple Languages on Frontend nor Admin zone. There are also SEO issues such as hosting server location might not be same as user’s target audience, not all the links are Search Engine Friendly  and pages are not fully crawlable.


  • Very easy to use and learn
  • Widely used by freelancers, new graduates and individuals
  • Free to use Templates
  • Easy to Re-Brand on Paid Plans
  • Online Video Guides
  • Online Business Wiki


  • Unreliable Website and Email Hosting
  • Reports are not accurate
  • Unattractive Templates
  • Links are Not SEO Friendly
  • eCommerce requires programming
  • Not fully indexable by Search Engines
  • Plans are expensive

Business Catalyst Dashboard


Business Catalyst definitely has many functions however it is some how limited for the mid and high-end users. It does not, for example, allow users to import/export products/orders in a compatible format with other systems, it is not updated regularly and mostly importantly everyday users find Business Catalyst over complicated. Business Catalyst is really for those who has limited knowledge in web design and SEO.

If you’re looking for more capable marketing tools, such as search engine optimization, lead automation and nurturing and an easier to use Content Management System or an ecommerce solution, Contact Us for a free advice or quote. Freelancers requiring more control over features and functionality should consider an open source CMS or proper eCommerce Solutions.

3 replies
  1. Josh Baron
    Josh Baron says:

    You mention that there are several SEO issues with Business Catalyst such as the hosting server location might not be same as user’s target audience, not all the links are Search Engine Friendly and pages are not fully crawlable. Have you confirmed these problems through your own personal research/testing or have these issues been documented elsewhere?

    • Innova
      Innova says:

      Hi Josh, We have tested the tool ourselves and I am sure there are other sources pointing out the same issues.
      SEO is not only an issue with Business Catalyst however also a concern with many hosted application where users have no access to the actual code or server side programming. This isn’t a huge concern for regular users and might affect their rankings slightly in some cases depending on their competition. However it might also be the reason why a site is not ranking as high as the competition.

  2. Monique Troell
    Monique Troell says:

    This is may have been true in 2010 — Have you looked at what they are doing lately?

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