Melbourne: 1&1 is aiming small-to-medium-sized businesses with an update to its shared hosting packages, together with the ability to set up popular CMSs such as Drupal and WordPress in a protected environment.
“Even today more than 50% of small businesses worldwide don’t have a website yet," said 1&1 CEO, Hosting, Robert Hoffman, at the launch. "One of the key reasons is that 75% of these businesses don’t believe they can create high-quality websites on their own.”
Where earlier they might have gone to a web design agency, or opted an easier, template-driven site such as 1&1’s My Website offering, businesses can now choose from a library of pre-installed themes and plugins for WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, Typo3 and Magento.
Possibly of most interest to businesses put off by the cost of a CMS-based site developed by a third party, pricing will begin at £2.99 per month, exc VAT. “We expect that more and more small businesses will move to the internet world on their own,” said Hoffman.
In the default “safe” mode, 1&1 will run the updates for the CMSs and the plugins, with the shortcoming being that users will have a restricted number of plugins to choose from, which the company will test against the newest CMS upgrades. They can, however, insert features such as support for social media, video and messaging using one of 1&1’s Web Apps.
For businesses that find this too big a restraint, 1&1 is offering the capability to switch to "free" mode. This means the starting point could be a more basic site, but with the choice of modifying to go with your needs as your business grows.
“Even if this, technically wise, is also a shared website hosting product, it’s addressing a different market segment [to My Website]: small businesses not knowing about PHP or content management systems or all this stuff, but also wanting to create individual pages and to generate business success,” said Hoffman.
The new service will start on on 1 September, and will be supported by a guaranteed 2GB of RAM for 1&1’s top-end shared hosting package, Unlimited Plus. As per 1&1, this offers performance levels "similar" to enthusiastic servers.
1&1 will also be providing a mobile-website building tool, bundled with its Unlimited and Unlimited Plus package, an app that synchronizes a business’s website content with its Facebook page, and a CDN (content-delivery network) that caches static content in 23 worldwide locations.
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