Business Catalyst Tips and Tricks
I've divided my thoughts into two categories, Business Catalyst Tips and Tricks, and General Website Useful Stuff - actually just a couple of jQuery items I use regularly and find useful.
Business Catalyst Tips and Tricks
Despite my heading many of these aren't necessarily tips or tricks, they're more to do with common things I do when setting up a new website on Business Catalyst. I'll link through to Business Catalyst's own tutorials where possible, which will hopefully save you the time it took me to find some of the articles.
Dynamic Image Resizing in Business Catalyst
I know I talk about this all the time but it's one thing I find super useful and saves my clients much heart ache having to size images themselves.
I've written another blog post about Dynamically Resizing Web App Images in Business Catalyst and you can also read how to Dynamically generate thumbnail images on the Business Catalyst Forum.
Spam management is something I ensure is set up on all sites I create. It's easy to do and keep junk out of your inbox and the websites CRM.
Comment moderation is set by going to Modules > Comments then selecting Manage New Comment Rules in the Actions box. This will automatically remove entries in the CRM that are a result of spam comments. If you have a Captcha field in your comment form, you'll also want to ensure that the Enforce Captcha Validation is on by going to Site Settings > Captcha and checking the box for Comments.
I always try to use a Captcha field in forms. If you do too, Business Catalyst have recently released some new features to improve this. You can go to Site Settings > Captcha to enable the Harder to Read Captcha image or you can use the reCaptcha item now available in the form setup. The first option will update automatically throughout the site where as adding the reCaptcha to the form will require you to update the form on the page.
I find it's a good idea to set the default from email shortly after setting up the site. This can help to avoid email being sent from the site using the wrong email address. It's also a good time to run through the default email responders to ensure the wording is correct. Access these settings at Site Manager > System Emails.
Web App Meta Tags
Kiyuco have a tutorial on Adding meta data to your Business Catalyst web app items. This is super handy for controlling SEO on detail pages of web app items.
Delete Title Field in Forms
A slightly more obvious one but handy non the less. All Business Catalyst forms include the title field by default e.g. Mr, Mrs, etc. You can delete this from the form completely with no implication for the form's action. Of course you can also completely restructure the form and remove any divs or tables that are included by default.
Combine First and Last Name fields in forms
You can also remove the lastName field that is placed in forms by default. If you then rename the firstName field as FullName (replace all instances of FirstName with FullName) Business Catalyst will separate a full name entry into First and Last names in the CRM when the form is processed. See Customizing Web Forms for more detail.
Optimise Content to Menu Module 2
If you have built or are using a html template then a handy feature to integrate it into BC is the Optimise Content feature available from the More Actions menu when editing a page or template via the admin. Selecting Optimise Content will find any list structures in your html and ask if you want to convert it to a menu on the system. It will set the menu up as a menu module 2 so you can easily tweak or edit it further. See Using the Menu Module Version 2 for more detail
Another handy feature that is quite obvious. Again if you have a site built as static html or are using a template you can extract common elements from pages to a new template on your Business Catalyst site. I couldn't find any info from adobe on the feature but it's quite simple to use and I haven't had a problem with it yet. Just select two pages when viewing pages in List View then use the Extract Template button at the top. Business Catalyst will then find the identical content from both the pages and extract it to a template.
General Website Useful Stuff
This list mostly, ok it only, consists of jQuery items but why not it's great! There are only a couple of items here now but i might revisit this soon with some more.
There are loads of slider options to use but I've found this to be very useful. It's responsive and easy to set up with web apps.
A small but handy friend this is great for keeping email list signup forms small. Kiyuco have a good tutorial on Installing in-field labels for standard textbox controls.
This post by Mario on the Business Catalyst Forum shows a handy way to make the most of the BC Gallery module.