A Review of Yahoo! Small Business Web Hosting

Yahoo! is the undisputed number one destination on the Internet with more than 379 million monthly users worldwide. If you are looking for web hosting services for your business you might be well advised to consider the fact that Yahoo! is home to more than 30 million web sites and that they manage over 50 terabytes of data. It is easier than you may think to get all the advantages of reliability, performance, and search engine popularity that comes from being at the top of the Internet.

Yahoo! Small Business offers three virtual web hosting plans for small business. They are: (1) starter (2) standard and (3) professional. Each plan provides a free domain name with no renewal fees for as long as you host with Yahoo! The starter plan is offered beginning at $8.96 per month and that includes 5 gigabytes of disk space, 200 gigabytes of monthly transfer, and 200 email addresses. The standard plan is offered starting at $14.96 per month and it provides 10 gigabytes of disk space, 400 gigabytes of monthly data transfer, and 500 email accounts. The professional plan is offered starting at $26.96 per month and it provides 20 gigabytes of disk space, 500 gigabytes of monthly data transfer, and 1,000 email addresses. Yahoo! Small Business is especially competitive if you are developing a new business web site because they do not require a long-term contract but allow you to rent their service on a month to month basis.

If you are new to building websites Yahoo! Small Business provides a free software package called Yahoo! SiteBuilder that was designed to make web site creation easy. This is software that you download to your Windows operating system. For this review we downloaded version 2.3.1 along with 380+ templates and more than 3,400 images that can be used to develop a multi-page web site without the need to know the web programming language HyperText Markup Language (HTML). The software comes with handy tutorials to help guide you through every development activity. Yahoo! Small Business shows off several business quality web sites that have been developed using these templates. However, if you prefer to use a professional web development system such as Adobe Dreamweaver you will find Yahoo! Small Business web hosting fully accommodating of cool technologies like Flash and Fireworks.

Virtually unlimited MySQL database support is another reason that sets Yahoo! Small Business services above the others. With virtually unlimited databases you can add lots of advanced features to your web site including: customer databases for use with electronic commerce, blogging, interactive message boards, and other database driven content management applications like phpNuke. Yahoo! Small Business provides scripting tools like PHP and Perl that make advanced database programming a snap.

Yahoo! Small Business web hosting accounts come with a $100 Yahoo! Search Marketing credit and a $50 Google AdWords credit. Your business web site will need these advertising services and this provides a great opportunity to learn valuable skills that you will use over and over again.

Yahoo! performance is monitored by Netcraft and free reports are updated every 15 minutes so you can always check to make sure you are getting outstanding service. The reports provide data on four performance parameters: (1) first byte (2) connect (3) DNS and (4) total. Our review did uncover a small number of user complaints that the speed of web pages transferred from Yahoo! was slow. Further investigation did reveal performance numbers that were somewhat less than expected. However, properly designed and optimized pages should operate well within the performance range expected by the majority of users.

Management of your web site at Yahoo! is a breeze because of their web hosting control panel. Everything from setting up email accounts, obtaining monthly web site statistics, to web site development and maintenance can be easily controlled using one standardized interface. Yahoo! allows you to have control over your own DNS so you can modify MX, A, and CNAME records. Yahoo! has the best email service on the Internet providing each mailbox with 2 GB of storage space. Yahoo! spam controls can’t stop all junk mail but they do a great job that significantly reduces the volume that users have to deal with. Yahoo! allows the transfer of email messages with enormous 20 MB file attachments.

Yahoo! Small Business is an outstanding value and is highly recommended. This review is only an overview of the capabilities provided with Yahoo! Small Business web hosting accounts.

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