Adobe Catalyst websites soon to be deleted

Posted on December 6, 2019

 

You may have heard something about Adobe Catalyst, the website platform from Adobe, coming to an end. It was actually announced by Adobe last year, but has been kept really quiet – at least where website owners and business owners are concerned.

The announcement was actually aimed at web developers, designers and web hosting companies who use the Adobe Catalyst service for their clients. Adobe gave them time to notify their clients so they could prepare to move their websites to a different system.

This announcement by Adobe was met with huge upset, with web design agencies complaining they had invested time and money learning the Adobe Catalyst platform, and developing websites with it. Adobe’s decision to pull the service meant they would need to move to a new platform, and learn a new set of skills. Effectively they would have to rebuild all of their clients’ websites again on a new system, without any additional recompense from the clients.

Unless of course the web designers charged this cost on to their clients, which I imagine some will have done.

If, at this point, you’re thinking why haven’t you heard anything about this when your website uses Adobe Catalyst – that would be because your web designer hasn’t passed on the information to you. Adobe hasn’t told website owners directly because it’s not really their place to. You’re not their client.

That is about to change. Sometimes in the new year (Adobe hasn’t been specific on when) Adobe plans to email all of the website owners still using Adobe Catalyst to notify them of the impending switch-off and deletion. To some, I imagine, this will come as something of a shock; being told their websites are going to be deleted and cannot be recovered.

I imagine some business owners will be very angry about this, and with good reason. They’ve paid for a website, so why is it now being deleted?

So, what exactly is going to happen and when?

On June 18th, 2018 Adobe stopped people setting up new websites.

As of August 27th this year, so just a few months ago, no websites on the Adobe Catalyst platform could be upgraded to paid versions. This was Adobe’s cut-off point for allowing new services. The company didn’t want new clients using its services when it had already planned to terminate them.

All websites, including databases, will be removed from the platform on 26th March, 2021.

Note that’s 2021. Earlier reports put the deadline as 2020 but, presumably, Adobe extended this after realising it hadn’t given web designers enough time to act – especially if they had a lot of clients. This would have meant rebuilding a lot of websites.

After 26th March, 2021 any websites still hosted on Adobe Catalyst will no longer be available to the public, and your data will be lost. You need a new website.

Now, obviously Engage Web can help you with that. We’re more than happy to design and build a website for you and would love to have a chat about what you need. You may also be thinking of looking around at other online website builders, similar to Adobe Catalyst. Systems such as Wix, Squarespace, Yell or one of the many others are very easy to use and are often quite cheap.

The problem with using one of these is, like Adobe Catalyst, you’re tied to that platform. It’s built using their system, so if you wanted to move your website away, you have to start again. If they decide they’re shutting down their service, like Adobe Catalyst is doing, you have to start from scratch.

It’s much better to have a website built on a platform that can be hosted pretty much anywhere, and can be customised to your business needs. If Adobe Catalyst users had known this several years ago, they probably wouldn’t have used the platform in the first place. Hindsight can be a wonderful thing, but you don’t need hindsight to know not to have your website built on a platform that ties you to that company forever.

Darren Jamieson

Technical Director at Engage Web
Darren is Technical Director at Engage Web, as well as being a co-founder of the company. He takes a hands-on approach to SEO and web design, helped by more than 20 years’ experience in these fields.

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