by Matthew Klare

Rating 91

Does your business need a web presence, but you haven’t the faintest idea how or where to start? Surf over to www.wizmo.com and check out their offerings. Wizmo, a subscription based service, can create a site, host it, provide an e-commerce storefront, and even set up a company intranet, all from its Web site. Most of its services are free to start with. Modest fees are incurred as user volume increases.

Never created a Web site before? Have no fear. Wizmo’s template-based approach to site design makes it easy. Each user is presented with a list of stock pages for use on the site. Wizmo also provides an intuitive means of adding and modifying headers, graphics (with the ability to upload your own images and logos), bulleted items, and other page elements. Using the bundled tools, we set up a respectable looking site in about 45 minutes. A Web site with up to 15MB of disk space is free. Each additional 20MB costs only $2.95 per month.

When it comes to building an e-commerce site, Wizmo takes a similarly automated approach using templates. Sites can be set up to take orders, manage inventory, collect payments (via credit card and direct billing), handle sales tax, and generate sales reports. Wizmo will host a storefront for free for up to 50 items (or SKUs). For sites with more than 50 items there is a $9.95 per month charge, plus a 50¢ charge for each item after that first 50.

Wizmo’s intranet service provides a secure site for a company’s internal use. Basic intranet service, which is free for the first 10 members, delivers e-mail, an online calendar, an electronic scheduler, and company news. Additional users cost $4.95 per month. On a for-fee basis, Wizmo intranets can also serve up any 32-bit application (they currently offer MS Office, Goldmine, and several other applications).

When it’s time to go live with your site, Wizmo offers three options for setting up a domain name: create one under Wizmo.com as part of the monthly fee, obtain a new domain name via a link from its Web site, or use an existing name.

Given the costs of setting up shop on the Web, Wizmo offers a pretty good deal, especially if you’re new to the on-line world. Once you’ve gained some Web wherewithal and need more elaborate services, you may prefer to hire a Webmaster and invest in a server or two. Until then, however, Wizmo can get you where you want to be with very minimal pain and expense.

Small Business Computing Staff
Small Business Computing Staff
Small Business Computing addresses the technology needs of small businesses, which are defined as businesses with fewer than 500 employees and/or less than $7 million in annual sales.

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