Google India has announced that it would offer free .in domain name registration and web hosting service for all the estimated 500,000 SMB in India for a period of first one year. The free service also includes access to the free online website building tools, free custom email address and 365-days free technical support to help them find new customers, and grow their businesses.
The ‘India Get Your Business Online‘ initiative, a first-of-its kind program is designed to offer free websites, domain & hosting services to small medium businesses (SMBs) in India.
Google claims to have designed this free web enabling initiative with local partners and the program intent to provides Indian small and medium businesses entities professional tools and resources in establishing their business website with their choice of domain name.
The web hosting and site building tools along with 365-days technical support is being provided by a partner, HostGator.com, a privately-held web hosting company in Houston, Texas.
After the free 12 months period, hosted website account owners will have the option to renew their services with HostGator.com at a discounted fee, and interestingly, if one chooses to discontinue the service at HostGator.com, they will be allowed to transfer their domain away from HostGator.com for free before the service term expires at the end of the first year.
This program is available to only Indian companies and to avail the offer, interested business can logon to www.indiagetonline.in to start building their own website. One would need to provide an ID document, either a Permanant Account Number (PAN), or Tax Deduction Account Number or some sort of Corporate Identify Number to establish Indian status of the company.
Some other features of this program includes integration with social media platforms, a free Google Apps account – with personalized email ids and for those aiming to buy paid online advertising, Google is also offering free tips and tools along with free coupon of worth Rs. 2500 advertising trial from Google AdWords.
“The initiative aims to break down the barriers that stop small businesses from getting online – by offering a quick, easy and free tool to set up and host a website. Our goal is to help 500,000 small medium businesses in India to get online in next three years through this program, with our partner HostGator,” Rajan Anandan, MD & Vice President, Sales & Operations, Google India stated on the company blog.
So what do Indian businesses get:
- Free: It’s free to set up your website. The domain is free for 1 year, and it’s free to maintain your website for 12 months.
- Quick: The website tool takes 15 minutes from sitting down to being found online
- Easy: You don’t need to be a tech whiz to get started. All you need to start is your address, phone number, TAN/CIN or PAN to verify you as a business
- The website is simple because customers are looking for simple information online
- Gives you your own .in domain
- Other features include photos/logos, integration with social media platforms
- You get a Google Apps account – free personalised email ids
- If you want to make your website work harder, you’ll have access to steady stream of free tips and tools from the Getting Indian Business Online team and a free coupon of worth Rs. 2500 INR advertising trial from Google AdWords to help promote your site.
- After the first year, SMBs can choose to pay a monthly pay-as-you-go to maintain their website using hostgator.
- At the end of the first year, they’ll have to pay a nominal charge if they wish to renew their domain name. They can cancel their website at any time.
The “India Get Your Business Online” program is also supported by ICICI Bank and Federation of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), popularly known as FISME that will work with Google India to help SMEs get online through direct customer outreach and events.