Yahoo! to Help Small Businesses with Site Hosting

Tuesday Dec 10th 2002 by Beth Cox
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The portal updates its offering for the small- to medium-business market; the latest business hosting iteration comes in three different service levels.

By Beth Cox

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Yahoo! has been steadily broadening its revenue stream with new business-oriented offerings — it launched a business email service in October of last year. The portal's small business service itself was begun back in 1998.

Site hosting was first offered in 1999 when the company rolled out a series of services aimed at small businesses and retailers who want to take their business online.

Depending on a small business customer's needs, the new business-class service offers everything from basic design templates and site building and authoring tools to advanced PHP scripting and MySQL database services.

The Yahoo! Web hosting service comes in three flavors:

Business Starter, priced at $11.95 per month, with a $15 setup fee and offering 10 Personal Address email accounts, 50 megs of storage and 20 gigs of data transfer.

Business Standard, for $19.95 per month with a $25 setup fee and offering 25 Business Edition email accounts, 100 megs of storage, 25 gigabytes of data transfer and 24/7 toll-free customer support.

Business Professional, for $39.95 per month with a $25 setup fee and offering 35 Business Edition email accounts, 350 megs of storage, 35 gigs of data transfer and priority round-the-clock toll-free customer support

"We want to be the one trusted partner for small business online," a Yahoo! exec was quoted as saying. But there is lots of competition, of course.

"This is a marketplace that ... has some big players already," Dana Tardelli, senior analyst at Aberdeen Group, told Reuters. "(Yahoo! is) a newcomer so they have to scratch away at competition. That's not to say coming in with a brand like Yahoo they can't do that. They are going to be very effective — from just their brand and user trust."

Yahoo!'s efforts to diversify its income have been paying off, as was demonstrated when the company reported third-quarter 2002 revenue of $248.8 million, up 50 percent from the same period a year earlier. Net income was $28.9 million, versus a net loss of $24.1 million a year ago.

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