Google Offering Free Sites To Australian Businesses

In partnership with MYOB, Google is offering 50,000 free sites to Australian businesses, complete with domain names and a basic template site. If you're armed with an ABN and don't otherwise have a business presence, might be worth checking out. (Note that while you get a free domain for two years, MYOB may charge for access to its hosting tools after the first year.) [Getting Aussie Business Online]


Comments

    Taken from T&C for MYOB: After the first 12 months, a monthly subscription charge of $5 per month (inclusive of GST) is payable by you to use the MYOB Atlas Service. This monthly charge will be applied in accordance with these Terms.

    Its pretty much a way for Google and MYOB to study and market to 50,000 businesses, and then share your information as they see fit.

    Whilst I do agree with the assertion that almost every business needs to be online (far to few are) and that it shouldn't cost the Earth to do so ... I also feel it prudent to remind business owners that you generally get what you pay for with "free" template business websites.

    It's a little like saying that you can run your business using an Excel spreadsheet (I did for a year or so as a single-operator myself). Sure you can, but MYOB's 1 Million plus customers realise that this isn't the best way to do things either.

    Same thing with the "free" websites being offered here and other places ... They will get your business online just fine but they may not represent your brand/business very well or you may outgrow them quite quickly.

    Don't be afraid to try the free stuff though ... and if/when it becomes necessary then look for a more professional solution to suit your needs.

    A simple small-business website built by a professional who takes the time to understand your needs often costs somewhere in the $1K to $2K range. That's a good price to pay for a good branding and marketing tool.

    I had this conversation with MYOB's Tim Reed and Tony Palmer from C4 a couple of weeks ago on Sky News Business channel's "Technology Behind Business".

    We all have slightly different points of view but there might be some good ideas in it that are appropriate to your small business, if you have a few minutes to watch the discussion.

    http://www.youtube.com/CreativeIntersection

    Note that according to the Terms and Conditions, Google and MYOB can share any information you supply.

    Note that this is using MYOB Atlas hosting which I've never heard of until today and I've been in this industry for 30 years.

    Note that Google offers a free Google Sites which has much better functionality than shown in the web gallery on the sign up site.

    Note that Google also has Google Apps for your domain which allows you to have a business domain, email, calendar, documents and sites included. You can choose a free option with no support, or USD $50 per user per year if you require support from Google.

    Note that I was unable to locate any Service Level Agreement in the Terms and Conditions linked to by the MYOB site, which means that there is no way for you to determine if the MYOB Atlas offering will give you a guaranteed level of service and any remedy which might result from any breech of the agreement.

    Note that this offer does not disclose who owns your domain, who maintains it and how much the renewal fee is which can vary between $20 to $175 per two years.

    Personally, I use and recommend Google Apps for Business for many of my clients; the functionality is excellent, support and community good, stability is high and you can choose your level of required support.

    Disclaimer: I am an authorised Google Reseller and the information I've mentioned here is intended as background to your decision making.

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