Paul Howson’s Website

Design and Publishing Notebook

Blogging in BC Needs an Overhaul

The Blog module in Business Catalyst, like most of the system, is adequate for basics. However it is nowhere near as flexible as dedicated blogging systems like WordPress and the like.

In setting up my first blog with BC, the limitations are appearing pretty quickly.

One example: The subtemplate used to display an individual blog post within a whole series of blog posts on the “front page” of the blog is exactly the same template used to display an individual blog post on a page by itself (i.e. on its “permalink” page).

This means that there is no way to change the presentation format of a blog post depending on its display context (i.e. full listing of posts vs. individual post).

A client has requested that the “Comments” link be removed from the shortened “preview” version of posts on the full listing page, but be preserved when viewing the full blog post by itself.

This is simply not possible with the current design.

It is a specific example of a more widespread disease within BC. That is the lack of fine-grained control of pretty well everything. The whole notion of customisable subtemplates for the various elements of the system needs to be expanded greatly. There needs to be much more fine grained control of all aspects of presentation.

This is not difficult. Ask someone who has experience using other, more mature, blogging or CMS systems. They will already be familiar with how to do it.

The new Adobe-BC team have announced that they are working on a better blogging system. Let’s hope they address these issues in a comprehensive way.