April 19, 2005 - (HOSTSEARCH.COM) - Internet giant Yahoo today announced a new feature on Yahoo! Local that provides free web hosting
for small businesses. This free and easy-to-use feature builds upon Yahoo!'s leadership position as the number one online destination for local information and small business services. Small businesses can quickly and easily establish an online presence and connect with the increasing number of consumers using the Internet to find comprehensive local products and services. The service is available in beta at http://local.yahoo.com/freesite.
"As more and more consumers rely on the Internet for information about their neighborhood from finding restaurants to plumbers to dry cleaners local businesses are realizing the value of reaching potential customers online," said Paul Levine, general manager, Yahoo! Local. "By providing small businesses with free Web sites, we are not only helping them leverage the Internet, but also adding depth and comprehensiveness to our local product for consumers."
According to The Kelsey Group, over 50 percent of the more than 20 million small businesses in the U.S. do not yet have a Web site. With the launch of this new service, Yahoo! now enables these businesses to establish an online presence by providing a simple interface and template that allows them to create a site in minutes. These new Web sites are automatically integrated into Yahoo! Local, extending businesses' reach to consumers who use search engines to find information about local products and services.
The free service complements other innovative merchant offerings in Yahoo! Local, including Free Basic Listings and Enhanced Listings. These tools give merchants the power to add and edit content about their business on Yahoo! Local. A small business may extend its Internet presence over time as their online needs grow with award winning services from Yahoo! Small Business such as: domain name, e-mail, enhanced Web hosting and e-commerce solutions.
"By bringing together our leadership in essential small business services, our vast consumer reach, and our local and search expertise, Yahoo! is uniquely able to help small businesses get started and be successful online," said Rich Riley, vice president and general manager, Yahoo! Small Business. "This new service complements our industry leading suite of online services that help small businesses get online, sell online and market online."