Website creator Zoho announced on Tuesday it has launched its new website builder, Zoho Sites, which enables businesses to quickly create polished, professional websites without any coding.
Website builders are a great value-added service that hosting companies can sell to small and medium-businesses, especially considering that creating an online presence is often a huge obstacle for those companies with a limited budget.
Zoho and other website providers which tend to cater to the newbie hosting customer pose a significant threat to shared hosting companies and could potentially take away a portion of the new shared hosting business.
Zoho is providing free web hosting with all Zoho Sites websites, and users also have the option to register a domain on Zoho Sites and host their website on that domain.
The WHIR’s Nicole Henderson recently looked at five popular website builders for web hosts, including BasketKit, CM4All Sites, Microsoft WebMatrix, Parallels Web Presence Builder, and RVSiteBuilder.
“We want our users to run their entire business on Zoho,” said Raju Vegesna, Zoho evangelist. “Building a website is typically the first step for any business. That has been one of the missing pieces from our portfolio. With Zoho Sites, customers can create and host their websites on Zoho. As a next step, they can host their email in Zoho Mail, customer data in Zoho CRM, financial data in Zoho Books, etc. Websites built using Zoho Sites will be the face of a business, while all the backend data is managed using our other business applications.”
Zoho Sites enables users to design a professional-looking website without writing any code by selecting a theme from the gallery, draging and droping desired elements such as text, images, and videos, and then publish the site.
The tool is unlike other standalone website creation tools, Zoho Sites is integrated with plenty of third-party applications and also with Zoho’s very own business and productivity apps.
Highlights of Zoho include mobile websites that are automatically optimized for access on mobile devices, eliminating the need to create a separate mobile website. Visitors are automatically redirected to the mobile-optimized website when accessing on mobile devices.
Zoho Sites simplifies the process of making frequent content updates by storing all content in the Zoho Creator database. Whenever content in the database is modified, the corresponding webpage is automatically updated.
Other features include a form builder, third-party integrations, Google Apps integration, collaborative website creation where users can invite other users to serve as authors or moderators of select pages or the entire website, and themes gallery.
Zoho Sites is available in both free and paid editions. The Zoho Sites Free Edition includes two websites, with each website containing two forms, one blog and unlimited pages.
The Professional Edition is priced at $39 per year and includes six websites, with each website containing 10 forms, a blog and unlimited pages. This edition also supports Google AdSense and complete rebranding.
A video tour of Zoho Sites is available at Zoho’s website.
Talk Back: Are you providing your customers with a website builder? If not, are you seeing a demand for one? Let us know in the comments section.
Help us get better! Fill out our WHIR reader survey to let us know what works and what doesn’t. And enter to win a $100 Amazon gift card.