Business Catalyst only works directly with Web Professionals like yourself. When you sign up with us, you'll get a Partner Account and access to our Partner Portal, which you'll use to create Online Businesses and manage your clients on BC. There are 3 Partner levels - Free, Standard and Premium.
To start playing with the BC platform Create BC Trial sites from within the Partner Portal. Free accounts have limited access to the features of the Partner Portal and the Partner Program, but you can still work with BC without paying any upfront fees to join us.
With Business Catalyst, you can create as many Free Trials as you like. Free Trials are limited in that you cannot : configure payment gateways to collect payments, add your customer's domain name, or set up their email accounts.
When you're ready to take a site live, you upgrade the site automatically from within your Partner Portal. The monthly fee is just like the fees your clients used to pay for web hosting on a monthly basis - but instead they pay a monthly subscription fee to use BC.
When you create a site, you get to choose from multiple billing options. You can charge your client directly and we charge you, or we can charge your client directly as "Business Catalyst". Premium Partners receive even more options in this regard - you can read more about Consolidated Billing here.
Every client you put on the system is one distinct Online Business and incurs a monthly fee. The monthly fee covers everything they need - web hosting, usage of the application - all the features in their plan. There are costs for going over plan limits but these are clearly explained.