Recently, on radio, I heard an ad that Google has launched a service to provide websites for Small businesses absolutely at no cost. As it was promoted by Google I thought to see what it actually was and so I landed on http://www.indiagetonline.in. On website I found that it was a joint venture of Google and Hostgator (one of the biggest hosting provider). As the names are big I thought it couldn't be a scam.
So to try it out, I started with the registration and selected a domain to register. The domain was available so on next step it asked for Personal Information, Business Information and Login details. As per their policy user must provide PAN (permanent account number) / TAN (Tax deduction Account Number) / CIN (Corporate Identity Number) to complete the registration. Once I accepted the terms and condition I was registered and I received an email with login details. One thing I noticed that, though it asked for password on registration page, it sent completely different username and password in the email. So I guess the password they are asking during registration process is irrelevant (will anyone at google india/hostgator india like to take care of this? ;) ).
After login into my account, as it was for the first time, I had to run the Site builder set up which is just one step process and was done in a minute. As soon as the site builder was set up I was ready to create the site.
There were various readymade website templates available to choose from and I selected a personal website template and started building the pages. The template had pre-built pages which I could edit and add more text or images. The site builder is easy to use and after some trial and error one can get used to it and create pages with information. Within few minutes I was able to create a one page website and launch it. Yes, the website was launched within half an hour of starting the registration process.
At the end of the anlysis, I figured there are some pros and cons of the service.
The positive points are:
- User gets free domain and hosting for a year
- Free emails set up on Google Apps
- Easy to use site builder and gallery manager
- Get 2500Rs worth of adwords credit to promote your business
- Free Google G+ business listing
- In built traffic monitoring
The negative points are:
- You can't transfer the domain to other domain register company
- If you want to point your domain to other hosting then it will cost you 499Rs + tax ( support guy told me that you can do it for free after 60 days of registration)
- Even though it is offered by Google I didn't find the service of Google's level.
- It wasn't pretty clear on how to verify domain for google apps.
- The video tutorials link shows the video of cPanel not the one they provide.
- The links of changing current plan and upgrading domains aren't working.
- Some users might find the charges after one are higher. Before signing up check out the FAQs to make sure about the charges.
- You can add maximum of 15 pages in site (as per the support guy on call).
So the question is shall you go for it?
Personally I liked the service as it was hassle free and easy to use. Beginners can start with this and see if getting a website and personalized email help them making their business look better. For testing purpose this would be a good platform as user doesn't have to pay anything. If it goes well, you surely can pay for the service and continue it.
To check it out visit http://www.indiagetonline.in