Set up your first online business
In this section of the Getting Started Guide, you'll learn how to sign up for an account and set up your first online business. Once you've created your first site, you'll have a better understanding of how to add pages and functionality. You'll also be able to access the Dashboard and see how the reporting system tracks and displays each customer interaction. The Dashboard is the front page of the Admin Console, the browser-based online interface that allows you to manage and edit your site.
To get started, visit the Business Catalyst home page and click the Free Sign Up button.
Enter the form fields and submit the sign up form:
Check your email. You'll receive a confirmation message that contains the log in information to access the Admin Console.
Use the log in information to access the Admin Console in a browser. In the top navigation, click the Partner Portal link with the gold star icon.
The Partner Portal appears. Click the red Create Site button.
The Online Business Builder appears.
Use the Online Business Builder to enable the desired functionality for your site.
The fastest way to use the wizard is to use the default selection: Use an Online Business Template. Leave the menu set to: Full Solution. Click Finish and you're done! This option allows you to evaluate all of the core functionality using the default template and color selections.
If you prefer to choose which template to use and which features to enable, click Next. The wizard will take you through each of the options listed in the left column. Choose the desired template design and enable site functionality on a case-by-case basis. Click Next after selecting the desired settings for each category.
To work with your own template or to use an existing website as the basis of your online business, select either the Start from Scratch or Import options on the first screen. These options allow you to upload an HTML page or enter the URL of a live website, and use these designs for your trial site.
Regardless of which design option you choose, the Online Business Builder displays Your Login Details screen at the end:
Enter the login and site information for your free site.
The name you choose for your site will become the subdomain of the site’s address, like this:
After entering your login and site details, check the check box to accept the end user license agreement, and then click Next.
The Finish screen appears, alerting you that your new site has been created. Click the links on the Finish screen to begin editing and configuring your site.
Logging in to the Admin Console
To access the Admin Console and start adding content and managing your online business, use a browser to visit the Admin Console for your site. For example, enter the following URL into the address field:
Note: Replace "yoursite" in the URL above with the site name you entered in the site settings section of the Online Business Builder.
Enter your name and password into the login window that appears, using the user name and password you created previously.
To learn more about working with your new online business, watch the system orientation video tutorial. This overview of the interface will help you begin editing your site right away.
When you first log in to the Admin Console, visit Home > My Details. This is your personal account area, where you can update your contact information and password. The option to receive a weekly site report is enabled by default. If you prefer not to receive these weekly messages, deselect the checkbox and click Save.
Note: The Admin Console is browser-based; no additional software is required to use it. However, it is important to remember to click Save after making your selections. If you click Back or close the browser window before saving your changes, they will be discarded.
After watching the System Orientation video, proceed to the next section of this Getting Started Guide, to learn how to upload your site files to the remote server.