Register.com Boosts Web-Building Possibilities for SMBs

By Devin Comiskey
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Register.com, Inc., a popular provider of domain registration and Internet services, has introduced new Flash-based animated templates and interactive Web form capabilities into its flagship do-it-yourself Web site building solution, WebSiteNOW (WSN). The announcement comes right on the heels of Yahoo offering free starter sites for small businesses.

With WSN, small business owners get a simple, straightforward method for building a contemporary, sleek, professional-looking Web site without the cost or time resources traditionally involved in hiring a professional Web designer.

Register.com launched 40 new design templates that you can customize with pictures, logos, content, and now, a choice of a variety of Flash-animated graphics. In a written release the company said the templates are "reflective of today's design standards and offer customers superior quality results that are easy to achieve."

"Register.com's WSN package gives small business owners the ability to build highly customizable, branded Web sites with a level of sophistication not available with other DIY solutions," added Sarah M. McAuley, spokesperson for Register.com, in the release.

Register.com has also introduced a new tool for easily integrating Web forms into WSN templates, making it simple for customers to collect data that is imperative for marketing purposes and for building a client database.

You can also use Web forms to compile a newsletter subscriber list, conduct opinion polls or customer satisfaction surveys, or let visitors set up appointments directly from the site. By letting information flow interactively between customer and business owner, businesses can help foster customer loyalty and improve overall customer experience.

Other features let you customize Web forms, augment default forms for contact information or product inquiries, or build forms completely from scratch. Customers can submit information via online forms to the site owner in a format that's easy to import into a spreadsheet or within the body of an e-mail.

"Perhaps even more so than at large enterprises, Web sites are a valuable sales channel for small business owners, and it is imperative to the credibility of their business that they present a strong, professional image on the Web," said Peter Forman, CEO of Register.com. "With these new features, our WebSiteNOW tool is not only among the most sophisticated do-it-yourself options from a design perspective, but it also helps customers use their Web sites as more than just one-sided marketing tools," P>

A five-page WSN site costs $49 a year (not including the domain name), with no additional charge for WebSiteNOW Web forms or the new Flash-animated templates. Register.com backs all new WSN packages with a 30-day, money-back guarantee.

SMBs Getting Many Free Choices
Register.com's announcement came shortly after Yahoo Merchant Solutions announced its free, five-page Web sites for small businesses.

Company spokesperson Jenna Fogle pointed out specific differences between the Yahoo product and WebSiteNow.

"Yahoo's site can only be published as a subdirectory of local.yahoo.biz/{sitename}. It cannot be published under its own domain name. As such, serious small businesses will want to think twice about the image it presents to their key constituents. Register.com's WebSiteNOW comes with an individual domain URL to make it a unique business. Yahoo's pages included in the site cannot be named, they are pre-determined, which is not true for Register.com," she said.

" Yahoo offers only one template and just four colors. Register.com offers over 40 templates, and as of today, Flash capability," Fogle added.

"Yahoo's advertisers will appear on your home page — this could prove unhealthy for small business owners in terms of branding. At Register.com, small business owners have complete control of the site's contents," said Fogle.

Adapted from ECommerce-Guide.com, part of Internet.com's Small Business Channel.

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This article was originally published on April 25, 2005
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